Format of Laboratory Reports
1. Title page and Abstract: The front page of the report should display the title of the experiment, your name, the name of any experimental partners, and the date on which the report is submitted, and a brief abstract. An abstract is typically 50 to 100 words, starting with the purpose of the study, then summarizing the main results of the study with the corresponding data included, and also stating any significant conclusions.
2. Introduction: This should start at the top of the second page. The introduction presents the theory and motivation of the experiment briefly. The object of the experiment should be clearly stated. Theoretical equation used in treating the data should be included in this section.
3. Experimental Method: The section provides a brief description (in your own words) of the experimental method used to obtain the data. Indicate any significant deviations from the prescribed procedures. Do not include detailed procedures copied from the laboratory manual. Include all equations needed to calculate the data from the experimental measurements (i.e. Calculations of concentration from absorbance, molar enthalpy from temperature change).
4. Results: The section on results should present experimental results in an orderly fashion using table and graphs. Tabulated output of data recorded in the laboratory notebook and/or hardcopy or graphic of tabular data obtained from the instrument or computer interfaced to the instrument. Be certain to include units and uncertainties for any measured values. Include sample calculations when appropriate (i.e. whenever a calculation was performed). Unless specifically requested, do not derive the equations but use references to indicate the source. Include a brief summary of the error analysis.
5. Discussion/Conclusion: This section should interpret the results in terms of the theory presented in the introduction and known molecular properties where possible — be certain to indicate whether the objective(s) of the experiment was accomplished. Compare results with literature values when possible (you may need to locate these values — they will not always be given to you). Answer all questions given additionally for some experiments, with each question clearly labeled. If appropriate, suggest modification to the experimental procedure that could improve the precision and/or error.
6. References: This section includes citations of all sources to which YOU referred, including this laboratory manual and/or other sources of literature values.