Formal Lab Writeup Guidelines - Chemistry 1330H Formal Lab...

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Chemistry 1330H Formal Lab Report for Special Projects Adapted from IUPUI and edited by Prof. S. W. Keller FORMAL LAB REPORT, General One of my goals for the semester is for you to become a chemist—even if only for 15 weeks. To that end, I want you to experience as many experiences that are authentic to the life of a chemist. One of those is formally writing up research results. It is your chance to demonstrate how well you understand the experiment and the chemical principles involved, and to do it in a way that professional chemists do. A formal report is different than a term paper. It should be written in a scientific style, which is not the same style used for English or philosophy papers. The keys to effective technical writing are organization, brevity, clarity, and an appreciation of the needs of the reader. You must write clearly and be thorough, but concise. Do not ramble. The best way to avoid rambling is to first prepare an outline of the report and stick to it. Always use complete sentences. Bulleted lists are okay in a lab notebook but are unacceptable in a formal report . Formal reports must be typed. Use 1.5 line spacing, 1-inch margins, 12 pt font and 8.5x11 inch paper. Only use third person, past tense. Also, proofread well. The general structure of a formal lab report follows that of a scientific paper. It is: Title and Author (s) Abstract Introduction Experimental Information Results and Discussion Conclusions References You should always defer to the instructions given to you by your course. Presented here are general guidelines for writing formal lab reports and scientific papers in Chem 1330H. Before writing your first report, I encourage you to visit the library (or ACS Website) and examine several journal articles. Pay close attention to the style of the prose and the contents of each particular section. Several common journals to investigate are: The Journal of the American Chemical Society Inorganic Chemistry Biochemistry While the collecting of data is necessarily a joint effort, formal reports must be individually written . Lost data or the inability to print reports is not acceptable excuses for incomplete or missing reports.
I. FORMAL LAB REPORT - Title and Author(s) State the title of the experiment, your name, the date and your laboratory section number, if applicable. Also state the name of your lab partner(s). This information should be at the top of the first page. II. FORMAL LAB REPORT - Abstract The Abstract is a one paragraph summary of the experiment…what you did and what you got. It should be concise and contain both what your experiment was and what your main conclusion was. III. FORMAL LAB REPORT – Introduction The Introduction states the purpose of the study and introduces the reader with new ideas and topics. It also provides any background necessary to acquaint the reader with the problem being addressed, as well as providing the reader with references to previous relevant work. Also, in

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