Appendix I

The Formal Report

Course Support
Lab Contents



An abstract is a brief summary of the objectives, method and results of the report. Abstracts are published separately from the main report. Abstracts are usually available through the Internet for easy searching (the complete published report is often much less accessible). An abstract is used by the reader to gain a complete overview of the report and its findings to determine if the published report might be of interest. If the reader believes that the report will be useful, the reader orders the article from the publisher.

PhysLab Specifications

The abstract, part of the Cover Page, must be less than 100 words in length. The abstract may not contain any diagrams or pictures. If a final result was part of the report (as a specific or overall value), then it must also be clearly stated in the abstract with an uncertainty. All symbols used in the abstract must be defined in the abstract. The "two sig fig rule"; for uncertainties will be observed when quoting values.

Expected Practice

The specific objective of your report will be answered unambiguously (clearly and definitively). A value with an appropriate uncertainty will be stated. The specific procedure used to satisfy this objective will be referenced. Appropriate units will be included with values quoted.