Lab Report Guide

Revised Format for Chemistry 425 Lab Reports

Section I: Cover Page
List your name, title of the experiment, the experiment number, date(s) performed and date submitted, identification number of the unknown, and the experimental unknown concentration (with units).

Section II: Introduction
Give a brief statement of the problem or experiment. State: a) the parameter to be determined; b) the method to be used; c) the basic principle of the method.

Section III: Experimental

  1. Reference the procedure (contained in the handout) but omit procedural details unless they differ from those given in the handout.
  2. List data. Use tables when appropriate. (Under normal circumstances, data sharing is not allowed. If data is shared with the consent of the instructor, give the name of the lab partner(s) with whom data is shared).
  3. Provide treatment of data, graphs, sample calculations, and so forth.
NOTE: In this section, sufficient information should be provided so that the significance, as well as the eventual use, of the data should be clear to a knowledgeable reader who has not read the experimental procedure. A good two-step test is: 1) Do the plots and tables stand alone? Are all units included? Do the titles clearly state the data contained? (For useful models, scan issues of Analytical Chemistry). 2) Does the text adequately explain the data and calculations while highlighting the especially important values?

Section IV: Results and Discussion
Report what you have learned (for example, the concentration of the analyte in the unknown sample). Remember to identify the unknown sample by its number or letter. Provide any necessary interpretation of your results, such as: comparisons with literature values or expected results; factors relating to accuracy and precision; sources of error; unusual aspects encountered and their possible effects on results; and, th e advantages and disadvantages (or limitations) of the general technique (but not the specific instrument).. You might also suggest ideas for further work.

Section V: Conclusion
State your final determination(s) reached from your results and discussion. No new material should be presented in the Conclusion.

Section VI: Appendix
Include answers to the specific questions and exercises posed in the handout and given by the TA.