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Details to keep in mind for lab reports:
â€¢Lab reports should be written completely in the past tense.
â€¢Text:o Font: 12 pts, Times New Roman; Line spacing: 1.5
â€¢Not longer than 5 pages (not including Title page, Table of contents and References)
â€¢Bulleted lists are only acceptable in the procedure section; everything else should be complete sentences and paragraphs.
â€¢Check required calculations and discussion questions from the lab manual.
â€¢Check the rubric once more before you turn in your report if it is provided
â€¢Correct use of significant figures
â€¢Proper use of terms and explanation of laboratory techniques
â€¢Proper grammar and spelling
â€¢Please number the report pages
1) TITLE PAGE
At the top of the first page
â€¢Title of the experiment (e.g. Density, or Determination of the Composition of a Mixture)
â€¢Your name, and names of all group members
â€¢Group number, Course and Section number (CH-200, Section â€¦..)
â€¢Date on which the experiment was conducted
2) TABLE OF CONTENTS
The table of contents lists the main sections (headings) of the report, and the page on which each begins.
The abstract goes at the very beginning of the report. It is a condensed version of your whole report; 4-8 sentences and it may repeat exactly what is written in the report; include the purpose of experiment, a brief description of experiment, and the main results/discussion/conclusions.
The introduction explains the purpose of the experiment and provides background information about the chemistry and general experimental strategy.
â€¢Purpose or objective: one or two sentences about what you were trying to accomplish in the lab
â€¢Background and theory: o Information from previous researches. Cited information should include the source. o Explanations of theories
o Explain chemical reactions or properties relevant to the experiment o Include any relevant equations (e.g., density, enthalpy, etc.) o Include any balanced chemical reactions used in the experiment
â€¢Based on the background and theory, briefly explain how your experimental approach will give you the information necessary to solve the problem.
â€¢State your hypothesis that was tested in the experiment.
Dr. Serdar OZTURK
5) MATERIALS AND EXPERIMENTAL METHODS
The procedure may be written in paragraphs or as a numbered or bulleted list.
â€¢In the procedure, make sure to include: o Proper names of equipments and the descriptions or illustrations of any complex equipment set-ups o Approximate amounts of chemicals used o Approximate times of reaction steps (if relevant) o How many times you repeated any steps
â€¢There should be enough detail in the procedure section so that someone else could repeat your work in the lab.
The results section is mainly composed of organized data tables and calculations, with a small amount of text to explain them.
â€¢Report the important raw data (measurements; (weights, temperature, etc.) obtained in lab.One or more tables usually work well for this.Also describe any qualitative observations (colors, smells, spills, etc.)
â€¢Show and explain the calculations used to obtain the final results.Include all steps from measured values to final values, and explain (in words) what you are doing in each step.(For example, show how you used measured mass and volume values to calculate density.)One example calculation may be shown for each step. Pay attention to the significant numbers, units, and consistent way of notation. Properly formatted graphs should be included in this section.
â€¢Report the final results obtained from your calculations.This is generally done best with one table of results.The final results are the ones that address the main purpose of the experiment.
â€¢Perform error analysis (refer to lab manual/handouts). Show calculations to find percent difference and percent error, if relevant.It should be clear where the numbers going into these equations came fromâ€”it helps to first show the equations in words, then sub in the numbers.
â€¢Remember to answer the questions from the lab manual.
â€¢Remember to use figure and table captions when it is needed.
The discussion section is usually the largest part of the report.It contains your analysis of the procedure, results, and error.This is your chance to show that you have a thorough understanding of the experiment.
â€¢Begin with a brief summary of what was done and the major results (in text, just a few sentences).
â€¢Compare actual results with expected results.
â€¢Analyze experimental error. Discuss what errors did (or may have) happened (Quantitative and Qualitative)?in the experiment, and explain how each would have affected the final results.
o Discuss how accurate and precise your results were, using the percent difference and percent error numbers that you calculated in the Results section. Relate the obtained value to the literature value whenever possible (always include the source of the information.). Wikipedia is not acceptable.
â€¢Assess whether your hypothesis was correct or not, backing up your statements with actual results.
â€¢Discuss any modifications to your procedure that would have produced better results, and explain why.
One paragraph, summarizing the major conclusions of the report.The conclusion is similar to the abstract, but shorter.
â€¢Restate the purpose of the experiment, the major results, error analysis, and major conclusions from the discussion.
â€¢Do not introduce any new ideas or information in the conclusion; it should be a summary of things you have already written.
â€¢Make suggestions that you would include if you were to do the experiment again.
Every report should have references.
â€¢Cite each reference that you used in the text where you used it, with a number in parentheses after the sentence. ÃŸ like this
â€¢At the end of the report, there should be a numbered list of reference information.Each number should include the author, title, page number, and URL (if relevant) of the information you used.
â€¢Appropriate references are the textbook, lab manual, lab notes (include instructor name and date), other textbooks or scientific web sites (not Wikipedia!).
â€¢Use ACS Style as a guide. Here are some examples:
1.Book: Anastas, P. T.; Warner, J. C. Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice; Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1998.
2.Book or Encyclopedia Chapter: Stepl, B. A.; George, K. F. Antifreezes and Deicing Fluids. In KirkOthmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology; 4th Ed. Howe-Grant, M., Ed. Wiley-Interscience: New York, 1992; Vol. 3, pp 347-367