Lab reports: introduction

time to complete: 10 minutes

Let’s now consider the introduction. As this section provides the necessary context to understand your work, you may wish to refer to the relevant literature or similar studies that help understand your work.

The introduction must have the following elements:

  • important background information and/or theory 
  • the purpose of the experiment

The introduction may also have:

  • any description of specialised equipment 
  • justification of the experiment’s importance

Task 3: Look at the introduction of a lab report. Which of the aforementioned elements does it include? Have a think and then complete the task that follows.


Bungee cord has a variety of uses, including strapping down loads during transit and in the recreational activities of ‘bungee jumping’ and sailing. The elastic behaviour of bungee cord is quite complex, as it exhibits creep and visco-elastic properties.

The aim of this experiment was to determine how the elastic behaviour of a piece of bungee cord varied with applied load.

The objectives of the experiment were:

  1. To apply increasing load to a piece of bungee cord and measure the deflection.
  2. To examine the relationship between spring constant and applied load.
  3. To calculate the natural frequency from spring constant values, at various loads.
  4. To compare an experimental value of natural frequency with a predicted value.

Adapted from Beagles et al. (no date)