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July 17, 2019, 11:05:29 am

Author Topic: What tense should a prac report be written in?  (Read 423 times)  Share 

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hipeeps

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What tense should a prac report be written in?
« on: September 10, 2018, 10:28:18 pm »
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I remember using past tense for a chemistry practical report, I assume it's also the same protocol for a physics one...?
Why past tense though?

insanipi

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Re: What tense should a prac report be written in?
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2018, 10:34:22 pm »
+2
I remember using past tense for a chemistry practical report, I assume it's also the same protocol for a physics one...?
Why past tense though?
Lab reports are usually written in third-person past tense (so no I/We/Us etc)
I don't know why it is used apart from making the report impersonal and objective. Appears to be a standard of sorts, I believe. :)

hipeeps

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Re: What tense should a prac report be written in?
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2018, 10:39:41 pm »
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Lab reports are usually written in third-person past tense (so no I/We/Us etc)
I don't know why it is used apart from making the report impersonal and objective. Appears to be a standard of sorts, I believe. :)
Wow, quick reply!  Thanks :p
Third person obviously makes sense, but past tense in a practical report, especially the methodology just seems unnecessary.

Bri MT

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Re: What tense should a prac report be written in?
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2018, 10:46:03 pm »
+2
Lab reports are usually written in third-person past tense (so no I/We/Us etc)
I don't know why it is used apart from making the report impersonal and objective. Appears to be a standard of sorts, I believe. :)

From my understanding, it's about being impersonal and objective. The more objective it is, the less likely it is to be influenced by bias - from both the writer and the reader.   If you absolutely must refer to yourself for the sake of clarity use "the experimenter" (again, to keep that objectivity) but you shouldn't have to do this.

Past tense is the most clear and accurate, because when you're writing this up, it did occur in the past

There's actually some interesting debate about how scientific writing is generally passive "eg. the beaker was washed   rather than ____ washed the beaker" because passive tense aids the scientific ideal of being objective /but/ can hinder the goal of having clarity. To be on the safe side, stay passive
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hipeeps

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Re: What tense should a prac report be written in?
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2018, 10:58:03 pm »
+1
From my understanding, it's about being impersonal and objective. The more objective it is, the less likely it is to be influenced by bias - from both the writer and the reader.   If you absolutely must refer to yourself for the sake of clarity use "the experimenter" (again, to keep that objectivity) but you shouldn't have to do this.

Past tense is the most clear and accurate, because when you're writing this up, it did occur in the past

There's actually some interesting debate about how scientific writing is generally passive "eg. the beaker was washed   rather than ____ washed the beaker" because passive tense aids the scientific ideal of being objective /but/ can hinder the goal of having clarity. To be on the safe side, stay passive

Interesting..., Writing up the prac report I now realise that past tense is actually pretty useful for the discussion part.  Maybe that answers why

Present tense.

What? explain please :)

Mod edit: merged posts :) for future reference, you can put multiple quotes into a single post! :)
« Last Edit: September 10, 2018, 11:03:35 pm by insanipi »

Bri MT

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Re: What tense should a prac report be written in?
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2018, 07:01:29 am »
+1
This resource may help address remaining confusion:
https://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/Pages/vce/adviceforteachers/physics/si_scientific_posters.aspx

(Basically use past tense except for when it wouldn't make sense to)
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