Even though it is an important aspect of student life, writing chemistry lab reports can be difficult. They are an integral part of the course and are usually an important part of your degree. Some teachers require a lab report to be included in a lab notebook while others require a separate report. Here is a lab report format to use if you are unsure of how to write a perfect chemistry lab report.
Standardization of the method is the key to scientific communication. Journal editors, manuscript reviewers, and journal readers interested in the results of a research article expect certain things to be in the manuscript and in a certain order. Much like sloppy-looking paper, a paper that doesn’t match the expected style will look bad on the author, no matter how good it is.
1) The thesis must be written in a passive voice. Sometimes, but rarely, it is appropriate to use “we” to describe the intent of the authors. It usually depends on the subject of the sentence.
2) In general, use the past tense (eg what has been or has been done). However, use the present tense to describe the properties of molecules or organisms because they always have those properties.
3) Unless otherwise specified, assume the reader of your lab report is your fellow, the average chemistry student, not the chemistry teacher. Therefore, everything should be explained as if the reader knows a bit about chemistry but is not an expert on the subject of the article. The reader has no idea what you are doing or why you are having your experience. Think about what you, the reader, want to know about the topic.
4) Avoid repetitions in the language. Don’t try to start every sentence with the same structure and the same words.
5) Do not use quotes. Unlike human studies or literary works, quotes are rarely found in scientific articles. However, it is appropriate to paraphrase other authors.
6) Explanation of technical terms.
7) Define abbreviations.
8) Put a space between a number and a unit.
9) Do not start a sentence with a number, “Form 1”, “Table 1”, etc.
10) There are three ways to refer to a leaf in the text.
The title reflects the focus and content of the work. It tells the reader what the newspaper is about and prompts the reader to keep reading. Therefore, it is not uncommon for the title to include the main results or conclusions of the experiment. Examples are given below. The title should be on a separate page (title page), left justified at the top of the page, in bold type. Note that in some magazines the title font size is 2 points larger than the text (eg 14 points if the rest of the work is in a standard 12 point font). However, this is not standardized and you should check with your teacher which format you want to follow.
An abstract is a one-paragraph summary of an article written in the present tense. The summary being the only part of the work entered in the article databases, it must be autonomous and can be separated from the work. The first three sentences of the summary are intended to briefly introduce the reader to the problem under consideration. Next, the scientific approach, the most important findings and the primary significance of the findings should be presented. An abstract typically consists of 150-200 words (less for short articles). This section is usually written after the body of the article. Because the abstract is separate from the work, all abbreviations must be written or identified and all full references must be given.
The introduction is intended to present the scientific problem to the reader. Explain to the reader why the experiment was carried out, how it was set up and, if applicable, what was found. Relevant literature should be included and will help the reader understand the context of your study. A good rule of thumb is to start with the most general topic and work your way up to the specific topic. Here is a general overview of an introduction:
The experimental part of your article should be a logical and coherent representation of the experiments performed. This section should be complete enough for a qualified scientist to retrieve your report and repeat your experiment. The experimental part of the laboratory report is more concise than the corresponding part of the laboratory notebook. It should not be a step-by-step process for activities performed during laboratory time.
The first paragraph of the experimental section contains information on the main chemicals used in the process. If chemicals are used as supplied, there will usually be a notice and other details that are not normally required. You will provide the name of the supplier of the chemical and the purity of the substance if the chemical is difficult to find, if it is of particular purity, or if there is only one supplier. Do not provide batch numbers. If a raw material is made by a literary process, indicate in the first paragraph and indicate the process. If the connections are to be cleaned or dried, they are also described here.
The first paragraph also often lists the tools used to describe new composites. All tools and equipment should be identified, including the device model number and manufacturer name (serial numbers not included). If the spectroscopic or physical method is the subject of the report, it is described in a separate subsection. You don’t have to write the experience that way.
For common techniques, reference should be made to laboratory manuals. However, if a previously published action has been changed, it will be mentioned and only the changes made will be taken into account. If it is yours, describe the procedure with key points, including important details for repeating the experiment. This could include the type and size of your HPLC column, buffers, or chemical concentrations.
The results are clearly displayed and summarized in the results area. Raw data is not presented here. For example, the calculated average concentration of the solution should be included, but not the original absorbance values collected by the spectrophotometer; It is best to leave this information in your lab notebook.
Graphs and tables often make it easier to interpret and understand data. The graphic is shown in the work for illustrative purposes. In general, a graph or table is an adequate representation of data when it has more than 2 or 3 numbers. Data presented in graph or table form should be indicated but not repeated verbatim in the text, as this contradicts the purpose of the graph.
In the results section, comparable values from the literature are also given for the properties determined and/or calculated in the article. Note that digital data trends are acceptable. However, the interpretation of the trend should be kept for the discussion part.
Remember, don’t just report your results numerically. The results section should contain a description of your results. This narrative can be a description of the data (e.g. the end results (not a detailed description of everything you did). The reader wants to know what you did, how you did it, what problems you had encountered, and ultimately your results. Each of these topics should be covered in a clear and concise manner in the results section.
This is the section where the results are interpreted. This section of the document is similar to the discussion. You must present your statements, convince the reader of the credibility of your statements and justify your beliefs. First, assess your data. Do you have good, average, horrible, or inexplicable dates? Evaluate your results by comparing them to other literary or previous values. Explain what results should have been obtained and whether you received these expected values. Note that even if the desired results are not achieved, you will not fail. The unexpected results are often the most interesting. Maybe your assumption is wrong. Why this? What new hypothesis do your data suggest? If you think your results are unreliable, you must give a reason. Use statistical analysis or chemical principles to back up your claims. Was there a systematic error? Is the problem related to the limitations of your device? Does your data look the same in standard deviation? Evaluate the statistical significance of your data (click here to check the statistical treatment of the data). After validating your data, you must interpret your results; Include what you think your results mean. How do your results help us understand the scientific problem? What do your results mean in the context of all of chemistry or science? How do your results relate to the concepts described in the introduction? Don’t assume that your experiment was unsuccessful or successful. You must use logical arguments and evidence to demonstrate the value of your study to the reader.
The conclusions you wrote down in your lab notebook are a good starting point for organizing your thoughts. The discussion portion of your article is organized the same way as the conclusion section of your notebook, and it may be a good idea to review it now (click here to review the conclusions in your lab notebook).
The conclusions section is usually a one-paragraph summary of your lab report. Here you summarize the goal (s) of your experiment, indicate whether you achieved that goal, and briefly describe the implications of your study. Note that in some sub-disciplines of chemistry it is acceptable to combine discussion and closing sections. Check your class schedule or check with your teacher for the specific format to use in your classroom.
In the Acknowledgments section, thank everyone who has helped you a lot with a project or manuscript. For example, you can thank your laboratory partners if they are not the authors of the article or if they were involved in the design of the experiment or the preparation of the chemistry lab report.
Most of the ideas presented in your article are likely not exclusive to you. Therefore, if necessary, you should cite the work of others. However, you don’t need to quote any information that is known or that is solely your idea. The References section is a compilation of all citations from the article. It is not a bibliography and should therefore not list any sources that are not directly referred to in the text.
The format of the bibliography varies from journal to journal. For your chemistry laboratory reports, you should follow the standard ACS guidelines outlined in the ACS Style Guide and the Journal of the American Chemical Society, JACS (all examples in this booklet follow JACS format). If your instructor asks you to adhere to a particular journal format, search for articles in that journal or see the journal’s Help for Authors.
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