This section of your Lab Report must include enough information so that someone else can follow the directions in order to replicate the experiment and get the same results. DO NOT write sentences. DO write a list of all equipment and reagents that are required to perform the experiment. Example: think about our melting ice in water experiment. In this section you will describe the hazards of each chemical reagent you use, or produce, during the experiment (you may need to refer to the MSDS sheets). Also write down any special precautions or safety equipment needed, for example, gloves, fume cupboard (fume hood). If the equipment you are using is of the type found in any chemistry laboratory, you do not need to explain how to set up the equipment. If you have designed and built your own equipment, you will need to explain how to construct the equipment. Any written instructions you provide in this section should be in numbered point form, or presented as a set up of steps to be followed.
Step 1: Clean and dry a 50 mL beaker. Step 2: Add 10 mL of liquid water to the beaker. Step 3: Position the thermometer in the water 3 mm above the bottom of the beaker and secure it in place using the clamp on the retort stand. Each step in the method or procedure will start with a verb (a doing-word or action-word). Results are presented first, followed by the Discussion. Describe what happened during the experiment in the results section. When measuring physical or chemical quantities, use the appropriate number of significant figures when you record these measurements in your results. 5.5 mL ± 0.5 mL (the volume is definitely known to be between 5.0 and 6.0 mL, but there is some uncertainty about the exact volume) Do tabulate the data wherever possible. Do include graphs wherever possible. In the Discussion section section you need to analyse your results.
In particular, you need to discuss the reliability of your results. What type of errors are associated with this experiment, how do they effect the results of the experiment? You may be required to calculate the errors. Are there problems with the method used? What are the problems? If you have drawn a graph, you will describe any trend that it shows. If you have performed any calculations, you will need to discuss the meaning of these calculations. You may be required to have a separate heading for the conclusion. If you are not required to have a separate heading for the conclusion, then your discussion above will end with the concluding statement or paragraph. Read your Introduction and/or Aim section, do the results of your experiment support the stated aim? The melting ice in water example raises lots of possibilities for future investigations. What would happen if you changed the substance, for example, used ethanol-ice and liquid ethanol, would you get the same results?
What would happen if you added a soluble substance, such as sodium chloride, to the ice and water, would you get the same results? What would happen if you added an insoluble substance, such as vegetable oil, to the ice and water, would you get the same results? What would happen if you added added ice to boiling water, would you get the same results? I’m sure you will be able to think of even more possible questions to be investigated. The source of any information you have used (actually cited) in your Lab Report must be written down in the reference section. This enables someone who is interested in your experiment to look up the information for themselves. Similarly, if you have copied any diagrams you will need to reference those. There is more than one way to cite and reference sources. You teacher will provide you with the details of how you are to cite and reference sources in your Lab Report.
If this is a major assessible project, then, when you are satisfied that your Lab Report fulfills all the requirements, make a copy of the completed Lab Report before you submit it and keep the copy in a safe place! Why should you make a copy? Because it takes a long time to write a good Lab Report. If the original is, for any reason, misplaced, you will always have the copy to re-submit! The best example of why you should make a copy comes from the world of Mathematics (Number Theory). 2 , but, that the proof was too large to fit in the margin. If Fermat had kept a copy of the proof and published it, Mathematicians could have devoted more than 350 years to other useful research, and who knows how far advanced mathematics would be now! What would you like to do now? Would like to: – play a writing lab reports game? Different courses have different requirements for the presentation of Lab Reports. Your teacher will provide you with the details of what is expected from you in your Lab Reports. Read these instructions carefully BEFORE you begin to write your Lab Report! If you do not understand an instruction, ask your teacher to explain it to you. The discussion in the AUS-e-TUTE tutorial is about the features that will be common to ALL Lab Reports. You can read more about this discovery in the December 2011 AUS-e-NEWS. You can search this site using a key term or a concept to find tutorials, tests, exams and learning activities (games). AUS-e-TUTE’s free quarterly newsletter, AUS-e-NEWS. December, March, June, and September. The quickest way to find the definition of a term is to ask Chris, the AUS-e-TUTE Chemist. AUS-e-TUTE tutorial topic page.