Lab Report Cover Page: Purpose and What to Include

Essential Components of a Lab Report Cover Page

A lab report is one of the most common academic tasks for students taking a science course. Apart from checking whether the student shows an understanding of the taught concept, determining if the correct structure has been followed is another grading criteria. Students who follow the wrong structure when writing a lab report are more likely to get a low score as it also proves you know how to follow instructions.

So even if you craft a quality lab report, if you fail to incorporate all the necessary sections, you might end up with a low grade. One part of the lab report that a teacher often checks and awards or deducts marks is the cover or title page.

Purpose of a Lab Report Cover Page

The lab report cover page is the first thing your teacher will see when they look at your task. Hence it must contain all the essential information. Otherwise, it might give the reader a wrong impression of your work. Therefore, format the cover page based on the provided specifications, including the citation style.

A cover page's function is to make it clear what the lab report is about and what the rest of the document will cover. Therefore, it should not be vague or written in the form of a question. Instead, keep everything on the cover page simple and straight forward.

The trick to writing a great lab report cover page is to assume the reader knows nothing about you, what you are doing, or why you wrote that paper. So whatever you include in that first page has to act as a way to introduce yourself to the reader. But make it informative yet brief.

Elements of a Lab Report Cover Page

The information to include in a cover page depends on the instructor and citation style. For instance, if you have been instructed to use APA format, ensure you add a running head containing a shortened title of what your report is all about. Keep the information in the running head in uppercase and should not exceed more than 50 characters. The header should also have a page number if you are using the APA format.

The information before the title can be aligned in the left and double spaced; the title should be centered. All information should be on a single page. Do not try to reduce the font size to help the content fit. Instead, include only relevant words and check whether the lab report's title can be shortened.

Some of the standard components that are likely to be found in all lab reports are:

  • Title of the lab report
  • Authors or students name
  • Course name and number
  • Institution
  • Date
  • Teachers name.

Failing to include a lab report cover page can give a negative impression of your work and result in a poor grade if marks are assigned to that section. The right way to format your cover page and information to include depends on your teacher or instructors. So when in doubt, read the given instruction or ask your professor.