Lab report example chemistry

This example uses APA 6 format. Please ask your instructor what format they prefer. Materials and Methods. May also be called “Procedure”. Be.
Table of contents

It should contain these four elements:. This section tells the reader why you did the experiment. Include background information that suggest why the topic is of interest and related findings. It should contain the following:. This section should describe all experimental procedures in enough detail so that someone else could repeat the experiment. Some guidelines to follow:. Effective results sections include:.

The discussion section should explain to the reader the significance of the results and give a detailed account of what happened in the experiment. Evaluate what happened, based on the hypothesis and purpose of the experiment. If the results contained errors, analyze the reasons for the errors. The discussion should contain:. A brief summary of what was done, how, the results and your conclusions of the experiment.

Similar to the Abstract. A listing of published works you cited in the text of your paper listed by author or however the citation style you are using requires the citation to be listed.

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Chemistry Laboratory Report Writing (Week 1)

If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results. Chemistry Lab Resources for CHM 1XX and 2XX Labs : Parts of a lab report Here you can find tips about organizing your lab notebook, how to effectively create graphs and table for lab reports, places to locate protocols and property information, and how to properly cite resources. Although raw data is included in this section, do not bother to include trivial things such as the mass of glassware, the separate pieces of equipment in a standard apparatus, or simple calculations.

Include observations only if relevant to the experiment. Summarize the pertinent data you have collected. Use tables and graphs as necessary for clarity eg. Tables and other figures should be numbered and appropriately titled. The purpose of the discussion is to interpret, compare, and contrast the results. Interpret the data and draw conclusions. Conclusions should be based on the evidence presented.


  1. The lab report should be broken into the following sections:.
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Also, general theory may be included here if it is relevant to the results being discussed. But, be brief! This section must be written with great care. Answer such questions as: Is the product pure? How do you know? Spectra should be fully analyzed. Is the yield high or low? If it is low, why? What new hypothesis do your data suggest? If you feel that your results are not reliable, you need to explain why. Use statistical analysis or chemical principles to support your claims.

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Was there a systematic error? Is the error due to the limitations of your apparatus? Does your data look the same to within a standard deviation? Evaluate the statistical significance of your data click here to review the statistical treatment of data. After validating your data, you should interpret your results; state what you believe your results mean. How do your results help us understand the scientific problem? What do your results mean in the context of the bigger picture of chemistry, or of science?

How do your results relate to the concepts outlined in the introduction? Do not assume that your experiment failed or was successful. You need to prove to the reader, with logical arguments and supporting evidence, the value of your study. The conclusions that you wrote in your laboratory notebook are a good starting point from which to organize your thoughts.

The Conclusions section is typically a one-paragraph summary of your laboratory report. Here you summarize the goal s of your experiment, state whether you reached that goal, and describe briefly the implications of your study.

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Note that in some chemistry sub-disciplines it is acceptable to combine the Discussion and Conclusions sections. Consult your course syllabus or check with your instructor on the specific format to be used in your class. The Acknowledgements section is where you thank anyone who helped you significantly with the project or with the manuscript. You might also include funding sources such as a Truman State University summer scholarship or a National Institutes of Health grant.

Most of the ideas presented in your paper are probably not exclusively yours. However, you do not need to cite information that is common knowledge or is exclusively your idea. The References section is a compilation of all citations made within the paper. It is not a bibliography and therefore should not list sources that are not directly referred to in the text. The format of references varies amongst journals. Journal articles are the primary source found in laboratory reports.

An example is given below.


  1. Lab Report Format.
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The journal title is abbreviated click here for a list of the ACS abbreviations for common journals. Also, the year and the comma after the year are in bold. Lastly, the reference has inclusive pagination first and last pages are given. Books should be cited in the following manner:. Computer Programs. Citations for computer programs vary. If a person in academia wrote the program, there is often a journal-article source. In other cases, the program is simply distributed by a company. Journal articles are much preferred over websites. Websites are dynamic and are usually not peer reviewed.

One of the only instances when a website is an acceptable reference is when it is referring to a database however, an article is usually associated with the creation of the database. If you must use a website, the reference should include a title for the site, the author s , year of last update and URL.

It is unacceptable to use a website as a reference for scientific data or explanations of chemical processes. Tables, schemes and figures are all concise ways to convey your message. As you prepare these items for your report, remember to think of your reader. You want them to derive the maximum amount of information with the minimum amount of work. A table is a way to summarize data or ideas in a coherent, grid-like fashion. This is not simply output from a spreadsheet!

You should prepare the table in a word-processor so that its formatting matches the rest of your report. In general, tables have no more than ten rows and columns to avoid overwhelming the reader. One common exception is in review articles such as in Chemical Reviews where an author is attempting to summarize results from an entire field. Another common exception is in the reporting of X-ray crystallography data.

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These tables have their own special formatting rules, and will not be discussed here. Tables, schemes and figures are labeled separately, with Arabic numbers, in the order they are referred to in the paper. Tables have a table caption, which in some journals appears above the table, while in others it appears below. In either case, the table caption is always on the same page as the table.

All column or row headings should have clear subtitles and units if needed usually in parentheses.

How to Write a Formal Lab Report