Related Page - Why Writing Is Important
Related Page - Common Mistakes in Lab reports

A lab report will be required from each person for every lab. Do not hand in lab reports as a group. Each report should be written individually. Reports are due one week after final data results are collected.


1. Cover sheet - 1 Page Maximum
Include title of experiment(s), course number and title, name, group number, and submission date of report.

Do not write your report in the first person (don't use I, we, me, our, etc.). Instead of "I found...", say "It was found...".

Assume the audience of this report is a professional client who has a technical background, but not a soils background. They will understand mathematical concepts, but specific soils terms, equipment, and calculations will have to be clarified for them. See specific labs for details on how to write each lab.

Reports are written after the experiment was completed, therefore, write in the past tense when describing what you did.  When defining something, "is" is an appropriate word to use.  For example:  "In this experiment, the SSD weight was obtained.  By  definition, SSD is when an aggregates voids are full of water, but the surface is dry."

I want technically accurate content, not fluff.  Some reports will be short, some will be longer.  Do not go out of your way to try to make them long while at the same time do not leave information our to try to make them short.

Each person has their own individual writing style and 2 reports may read very differently, but both could be very good. I do not grade reports against a "Correct Report", I read and grade each one individually on its ability to convey the appropriate information.

You must use a word processor to prepare your reports. Minimize the use of fancy "bells and whistles" on your papers. Be professional in your presentation. Charts and graphs can be hand drawn in ink if necessary.

The first submittal of a lab report will be given back to you with comments and with or without a grade.  If no grade is on the report, that means you have to re-write it and re-submit it one week from the date it was returned to you.

Hand in the marked up text portion of your original report with your re-write. Any charts, graphs, and data can be removed from the first report and resubmitted with your re-write.  The marked up text portion of the report should be attached to the back of the re-submitted report.

Reports will be graded on a scale of 1 to 10.  If rewrites are necessary, the maximum score for the rewrite will be something less than 10, typically a 9 unless otherwise indicated.  1 rewrite maximum will be allowed.

Key to comments on my graded reports:
P        New paragraph
G       Grammatical mistake
PS      Poor sentence
RW    Re-write section indicated
SP      Spelling
T        Tense