Lab Report Essentials Guide
Lab Report Essentials
it would be a single page that states:
The title of the experiment.
Your name and the names of any lab partners.
Your instructor’s name.
The date the lab was performed or the date the report was submitted.
The title says what you did. It should be brief (aim for ten words or less) and describe the main point of the experiment or investigation. An example of a title would be: “Effects of Ultraviolet Light on Borax Crystal Growth Rate”. If you can, begin your title using a keyword rather than an article like ‘The’ or ‘A’.
Introduction / Purpose
Usually, the introduction is one paragraph that explains the objectives or purpose of the lab. In one sentence, state the hypothesis. Sometimes an introduction may contain background information, briefly summarize how the experiment was performed, state the findings of the experiment, and list the conclusions of the investigation. Even if you don’t write a whole introduction, you need to state the purpose of the experiment, or why you did it. This would be where you state your hypothesis.
List everything needed to complete your experiment.
Describe the steps you completed during your investigation. This is your procedure. Be sufficiently detailed that anyone could read this section and duplicate your experiment. Write it as if you were giving directions for someone else to do the lab. It may be helpful to provide a figure to diagram your experimental setup.
Numerical data obtained from your procedure usually is presented as a table. Data encompasses what you recorded when you conducted the experiment. It’s just the facts, not an interpretation of what they mean.
include the page from your lab manual
Describe in words what the data means. Sometimes the Results section is combined with the Discussion (Results & Discussion).
Discussion or Analysis
The Data section contains numbers. The Analysis section contains any calculations you made based on those numbers. This is where you interpret the data and determine whether or not a hypothesis was accepted. This is also where you would discuss any mistakes you might have made while conducting the investigation. You may wish to describe ways the study might have been improved.
Most of the time the conclusion is a single paragraph that sums up what happened in the experiment, whether your hypothesis was accepted or rejected, and what this means.
Figures and Graphs
Graphs and figures must both be labeled with a descriptive title. Label the axes on a graph, being sure to include units of measurement.
If your research was based on someone else’s work or if you cited facts that require documentation, then you should list these references.
A laboratory balance is used to obtain mass. Types of balances commonly used in the chemistry laboratory are the platform, triple-beam, top-loading, and analytical. All are capable of measuring 100 g or above and weigh to a precision of 0.1 or 0.01 g, 0.01 or 0.001 g, 0.01 or 0.001 g, and 0.0001 g in the order of the types of balances. The magnitude of mass and the precision desired to determine the choice of the type of balance.
The degree of precision in weighing depends not only on the refinement to which the balance is made but on personal skillfulness as well. Weighing an object repeatedly, in the same manner, may give values that significantly deviate from one another, and this lowers the degree of precision inherent to the balance used. The mean or average over a number of trials is considered an accepted value. The deviation between the largest and the smallest values is taken as the uncertainty range.