how to write a chemistry lab report: its introduction



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how to write a chemistry lab report: its introduction

Laboratory reports are one of the essential parts of all laboratory courses as well as usually an important part of the student’s grade in the university. If the university instructor gives you an outline on how to write a chemistry lab report, it is very important to write based on what he or she has given you. Some instructors require that steps on how to write a chemistry lab report be included in a laboratory notebook while other instructors might request a separate report book on how to write a chemistry lab report.

How to write a chemistry lab report can be a simple as well as very difficult task for any student at a point in time while they are studying but once any of the students follows the outline that was established solely for the purpose of understanding how to write a chemistry lab report¸ it is certain that such student can easily write any laboratory report without any problem. Furthermore, it is very important for anybody who wants to write a lab report to know what it entails. Therefore, a lab report can be described in short sentence as any report that explains the below points:

Just like in any other reports, learning how to write a chemistry lab report has some format that must be followed adequately and used accordingly unless otherwise specified so as to achieve the aim of a proper and understandable laboratory report. Below is the standard format used in the learning process of how to write a chemistry lab report:

  • What was done in an experiment
  • What the student have learned while performing the experiment
  • What the result of such experiment mean
  • Abstract - the abstract on how to write a chemistry lab report for any experiment can be defined as a brief summary or summation of any experimental work done. This summation should not exceed 200 words, but must clearly state and explain in a concise fashion, the sole purpose of such experiment, how that experiment was carried out, and the results that were obtained. Finally, any conclusion or conclusions obtained while performing the experiment can as well be summarized on the abstract page
  • Title page - of course, another important but not too necessary page in a chemistry lab report is the title page. This is the reason one must read carefully and as well understand the instructions given by the instructor before proceeding with any report. If your instructor wants a title page, then add it else it is not a must. The title page is a page long information about the title of your experiment, your name as well as the names of any lab assistant or partners, the date the lab was performed or the date the report was submitted, and lastly your instructor's name
  • Introduction or purpose - normally, the Introduction to how to write a chemistry lab report is the paragraph that describes the purpose of the laboratory report. In just a sentence, the student states the hypothesis while sometimes introduction may contain background information which shortly summarizes how the experiment was carried out, it states the findings while the experiment was performed then it lists the ending of that investigation. Few questions to answer while writing the introduction on how to write a chemistry lab report are: why the experiment performed, what the knowledge already exists about this subject, and what the main aim of the experiment
  • Materials - the list of materials that were used in order to carry out the experiment must also be listed in how to write a chemistry lab report. Without excluding any part(s) of the used materials. In addition, it should be noted that manuals of any experiments fall under the material section. The equation of the reaction such as the structure and name of both the reactants and the products, the temperature of the experiment, and solvent used must also be included. Also, in case of more than type of reaction equation occurred during the experiment, it is important to state it in the report as well
  • Methods - describe all the steps taken (i.e. the procedures) during the experiment till it was completed in how to write a chemistry lab report. Endeavor to write in details the experimental steps in form of direction or instruction to some of your colleagues. This makes it easy for another student to be able to read, understand and carry out such experiment and obtain same or almost same values like you
  • Experimental section - this section of how to write a chemistry lab report explains and also describes all the methods used to create the experiment. The final product must first be included at the start of a paragraph, but in bold letters if known. Also, the amount in grams of the reactants must be added. Then, after a concise report of the experiment, all the results are given in this order: the amount of the end product (in grams), the name of the end product, the melting point of the end product with its known value, data on gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GCMS), and Infrared spectroscopy (IR) data

Data, calculations used, results and discussion and the conclusions

Data - numerical data gotten from the procedure which is normally is represented in the form of a table. Data comprises of what was recorded when the experiment was conducted

Calculations - it's a good idea to write out the formulas that were used while calculating in the experiment performed in the chemistry lab report. Also, units of calculation used during the experiment are included. This is a powerful tool as it helps to check whether or not you did the right thing and in cases where your answer has a wrong unit, you can definitely tell you have made an error along the way. You can even do the calculation using only the units instead of numbers to check if the units will cancel each other in the proper way to test if the method used is good

Results and discussion - the result and discussion sections of how to write a chemistry lab report are seldom combined together within the lab report. This section of the report has all the results from the experiment. When all of the results have been provided, they are analyzed so as to explain what the data contains. All the values used during the course of the experiment should be interpreted to determine the implications in terms of the student’s. Other things to include in how to write a chemistry lab report are any mistakes or errors in the experimental process that could have affected your data as well as how the experimental process could be revamped for any future experiments which could be carried out so as to further your data

Analysis - the analysis section of how to write a chemistry lab report consists of any calculations that were made based on those numbers used in the data of the experiment. This is where the student interprets the data and check whether the hypothesis will be accepted or the hypothesis will not be accepted. This is also a section where discussion of any mistakes that the student might have made during the experiment will the investigated so as to make the proper amendments. You may wish to describe the ways the study can be improved in how to write a chemistry lab report

Conclusions – in most cases, the conclusion is just a paragraph long section that add up what had happened in the experiment, whether the student’s hypothesis was accepted or rejected, and what it means. Conclusion tries to restate the aim of the experiment as well as the results in a concise way as possible so to avoid any irrelevancies

Figures and graphs - Graphs as well as figures should be labeled with a descriptive title. Axes on a graph are labeled, and also make sure to include units of each and all of the measurement. Each of the independent variables is on the horizontal axis while the vertical axis has all of the dependent variables

References - If the student’s experiment or research were based on someone else's work, there is a need for citations or references which must be in alphabetical order and in a list form. Include all references used in the experiment in this section of how to write a chemistry lab report and do not forget to cite all the laboratory manuals used while performing the experiment

Originally published Jul 04, 2017, updated Dec 30, 2020

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