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General Comments:
The single most important requirement for a laboratory report is clarity. Imagine that your
audience is one of your classmates who missed that experiment.
If you are using a word processor for your lab report, then use the spelling and grammar
checkers. The grammar check can be annoying because often technical sentences are wordy
and complex, but it will help you avoid using too many passive sentences. In general, passive
sentences are less understandable. However, grammar check will not assess clarity, and it will
ignore simple errors. (I do not doubt there are still mistakes in this document I have run it through
spelling and grammar checks.)
Many technical writers prefer to write sentences with passive verbs. A simple example: “The
spring constant k was found from the slope to be 3.02 N/m.” If you run this sentence through the
grammar check, it will tell you that “was found” is a verb in the passive voice. To change this to
an active voice you could write: “The spring constant k is the slope, 3.02 N/m.” Not every
sentence has to be in an active voice. What you want is a report that is readable.