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Guidelines On How To Write A Good Pharmacy Laboratory Report In Nigeria

Pharmacy laboratory is not complete without a formal laboratory report. This report, which must be written and submitted within a stipulated time, should follow a pattern set out by the department.
The score of each practical experiments is collated at the end of the semester and added to the main examination score. Other factors may be considered during grading like behaviour or level of participation (which is not always the case). The practical report amount to about 30 % of the total score.
Guide on Pharmacy school Laboratory report format
Pharmacy school Laboratory report

The pattern is almost the same for all the departments with some slight difference. A good laboratory report can boost one's final score. So each practical report must be considered important. The practical report is very difficult. No one should look at it like some easy part of pharmacy (a big mistake a lot of students make).
This post is targeting 100 level students in the universities of Nigeria. This is because many of them have not started practical reports in pharmacy hence may find it quite difficult. However, pharmacy students are exposed to practical and practical reports in the sciences in their 100 level days.

Pharmacy Laboratory Report Format

A typical laboratory report follows a standard research format. This include:
  • Title of the work
  • Date
  • Aim and Objectives
  • Apparatus/Materials
  • Introduction (in most cases optional)
  • Method/Procedure
  • Results
  • Discussion and Conclusion
  • Precautions
  • Citation

Note: For each department, consider asking the lecturer or technician on the recommended style.

A good laboratory report is time-consuming. This can add a lot of stress to the students who already consider time constraints from reading and lectures. Rushing through a report is usually obvious. Nevertheless, one thing is that no matter how much effort you put, the difference in grade is not that much.

Laboratory reports can be in the laboratory manual for those that have a space for the report. On the other hand, a notebook specifies by the department can be used such as the hard long notebook. Depending on the department, the book may be ruled with a pen dividing it into S/N and the workspace. The S/N space is for numbering and official use where the score is entered.

Every detail in a report should be short, precise, and straight to the point. This is because, just like an examination script, starting with junky write-up can turn the supervisor off. Maybe, before he gets to where important pieces of information are, he has skipped the page.

Each practical description is found in the practical manual. The title and method are explained there. The lecture introduces the students to it and the students carry out the practical with assistance from laboratory technicians.

Now, let us discuss each of the subtitles.

Laboratory Report Sub Titles

  • Title: Eeach practical that is curled from the department practical manual should have some basic information from it. An example is the title of the work. It usually feels like; 'the effect of a reagent on the drug absorption of a white albino rat.' However, it will look very funny if every student copies the same topic. This is when the use of English language comes in. A slight variation from the title on the manual will help to make your work look unique. It will send a message to the supervisor that you spent some extra time trying to write your work.
  • Date: This is quite straight forward. The date the experiment was carried out. This can be confusing especially when the result was not gotten the day the experiment was done. The day the experiment was started. No need for time. Nevertheless, no penalty to add it.
  • Aim and Objectives: This is similar to the title. However, the difference is to clarify the reason for the practical. It is the biological principle and concept. It starts with something like;
  1. To investigate
  2. To verify
  3. To compare
  4. To calculate
  5. To determine
  6. To Measure
E.g. To determine the resistance of the heart to current.
  • Apparatus/Materials: A detailed list of equipment used. They should be separated from the list of reagents and materials. When an organism or animal is used, specify the organism, the species, sex, age, sample size, mass etc.
  • Introduction: It involves a brief history of the practical, how past result was and what they concluded with. If the present experiment gives the same result, this part can be the reference to conclude that the present experiment supports past ones. It also involves the laws binding the experiments, equations and theorem and when any of the laws or theorem will be broken with reasons why it was broken. The reason could be to improve on a previous result or achieve a shorter process.
  • Method and Procedure: This is a detailed guide on how the experiment was carried out. This is activities from the start to the finish. This method is a little bit different from one department to the other. However, not every detail is necessary. No one wants to know how a test tube was labelled, how a gel was poured from its container, the size of the equipment used etc. All laboratory report must be written in past tense. The bottom line is, the method and procedure should be understood by a lane man such that he can reproduce the same experiment without stress. So it is better to proof read the work and ask yourself if you can do the practical if you were an art student from the method written down.
  • Results: Result can be reported in a tabular form, bar chart, graph etc. However, no method should completely remove at least a little text explaining the graph or table. Some may involve calculations. The calculations must be legible and clear. Where a text is used for explaining the result, it should be clear and simple.
  • Discussion and Conclusion: This is very important. It needs the interpretation of the result and relates it with past experiments to confirm if the results tally with an already established standard. If there is variation, why and what can be done to improve on it or avoided to improve on it.
  • Precautions: Five precautions is OK. There are laws guiding writing precautions. They include;
  1. Avoid the use of the word ‘I’
  2. Use past tense
It involves cautions you took that could either lead to a false result or bodily injury. The reason for each precaution should be stated clearly.
  • Citation: Cite works of literature used including the departmental practical manual. Cite relevant works of literature. Wikipedia is not allowed.
Read Also: Scholarships For Undergraduate Pharmacy Students In Nigeria

Some lecturers do present questions relating to the experiment that students should answer at the end of the report. Some of them may carry score for that practical. It is proper to answer them well.

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