Department of Chemistry, NUS
Checklist for Formal Laboratory Reports
Use the same as the title of the experiment. Title Write name (same as the name on the class list), email, group, fumehood number and date clearly at the top of the front page. Summarize the laboratory report. Include a general description of the – scientific problem Abstract – experimental approach (in a general way) – key findings (including important numerical results) – conclusions Brief. Do not exceed the word limit (if applicable). Presents the scientific problem specific to the experiment. Explain the relevant theoretical background specific to the experiment. Include reaction equations (if necessary). Introduction State the objective or purpose clearly. States the hypotheses clearly. Logical and relevant. Concise. Use paragraphs rather than point form. State the purity of the chemicals and the brand name and model of instruments used (if applicable). Experimental Procedure Describe what was actually done rather than simply copying from the laboratory manual. Show an appropriate amount of details (those that would affect the chemistry of the experiment). State the actual amount of chemicals used. Present all necessary data. Data Treatment and Analysis Show detailed calculations for all the values (one sample calculation for repeated procedures). Present all the necessary tables and figures.
Department of Chemistry, NUS Include units for all values. Use correct number of significant figures. Summarize the key results from the Data Treatment and Analysis section. For physical and analytical chemistry experiments, evaluates the quality of the data and the reliability of the results (based on the linearity of graphs, errors of regression, etc.). For yield of product in a synthetic experiment, show the actual weight, percentage yield, and evaluate the quality of the product (colour, state, theoretical and Results and Discussion experimental melting point, etc.). Use quantitative rather than qualitative descriptions whenever possible. (e.g. “value A is 4% higher than value B”, rather than “Value A is slightly higher than value B”.) Interprets the reliable results. Give reasonable explanations if the results turn out to be unreliable. Explains the results and their scientific significance specific to the experiment. Relates the results to the problem and the hypotheses mentioned in the Introduction. Conclusions References Appendices Summarize the main results of the experiments. Explicit and conclusive. Cite only references from the reliable sources. Include the original datasheets, detailed calculations and graphs which are not shown in the main text.
Use present tense for the Abstract section. For the other sections, use past tense for procedure conducted, observations and Style findings. Use present tense only for general knowledge/facts and common properties. Avoid first person. Use passive voice. Times New Roman, font 12. Font, Line Spacing and Margin 1.5 line spacing. 1 inch margin on all sides. Consistent throughout the whole report. 2
Department of Chemistry, NUS Numbered according to the sequence mentioned in the text starting from 1. Separate numbering for tables, figures and schemes. Captions describe the key information in the tables, figures and schemes. Tables, Figures and Schemes Captions appear above tables and below figures and schemes. Tables, figures and schemes should follow the text paragraph in which it is mentioned for the first time. Proper labeled axes with units. Numbers or letters easy to read. Do not use shades or grid lines. References Follow the ACS style for references. (See below)
ACS Reference Style
With numerical reference citations, start with 1 and number consecutively throughout the paper, including references in text and those in tables, figures, and other nontext components. If a reference is repeated, do not give it a new number; use the original reference number.
References: Northern Illinois University. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry HomePage. http://www.chembio.niu.edu (accessed Nov 7, 2004).
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