Types of Lab Reports
Different types of lab reports are written for various situations. One such situation is an engineer must know the properties of three samples, so he sends the samples to the company's lab. A day later, he receives a slip of paper with his project's number on it and the results of the lab test. Since he already knows what procedures were used to test the samples, he does not require a formal report.
In school, instructors inform you of the data your lab reports should include. In industry, the amount of detail included in a lab report depends on who your readers are and how they will use the data. Most companies have strict requirements about the types of lab reports produced.
Internal Lab Reports
Internal lab reports are those written for use within a company. These reports are less formal than external reports because typically, the reader is a fellow employee who already knows the methodology and equipment used. Internal lab reports are result-oriented, that is, they present only the results of a test and don't necessarily have a specific format.
External Lab Reports
External lab reports are those written for use outside a company. These reports are more formal than internal reports because typically, the reader is a client who doesn't know the methodology or equipment used. External lab reports have a specific format, determined by the company, and include methodology, equipment and results sections. These reports are often confidential because a client pays for the report and, therefore, the data is theirs.