Lab Report Guidelines

Lab Report Guidelines
RHS Science Dept.
PreAP Sciences
The Pre-Lab
• Before most lab activities, you will be expected
to have a written pre-lab ready. The pre-lab lets
me know that you have read and understood the
lab to be done, and are familiar with all safety
procedures. Here’s how to write it:
• In your lab notebook, write the title of the lab
(given by your text or the teacher) centered at
the top of the page.
• Label and write each of the following sections in
this order:
I. Abstract
An Abstract summarizes four essential
aspects of the report:
- The purpose of the experiment
(sometimes expressed as the purpose of
the report).
- Key findings.
- Significance
- Major conclusions
I. Abstract
• Write this section last! This section briefly
outlines what you did and what your
results were, but does not go into detail.
(For details, the reader will read the rest of
the report.) Use present tense when telling
what conclusions can be drawn from the
results. This section may or may not be
required. Please ask your teacher.
Abstract (example)
• In this lab we demonstrated chemical equilibrium
(how reactions reach a balance between
reactants and products) of chemical systems. In
the first reaction we mixed FeCl3 (ironIII chloride)
and KSCN (potassium thiocyanate) and then
stressed the system using HCl (hydrochloric
acid) and NaOH (sodium hydroxide). Adding
HCL stressed the reectants (sic), which caused
the system to shift to the right and make more of
the products. It’s kind of like a see-saw because
if something is added to one side, the other side
has to adjust in order for it to work.
II. Objectives / III. Materials
• Objectives will be listed in the lab handout;
usually two or three sentences relating to the
purpose of the lab. Copy them into the lab-book.
• For Materials, list any lab equipment,
specimens, and chemicals used in the lab. You
should read the entire lab description in the book
in order to find out what materials will be
needed. These are also USUALLY listed on the
lab handout.
IV. Data
• Include any data tables you will need,
along with space for observations and
calculations. You should also include any
specific questions from the lab text with
space in between them so you can answer
them during and/or after the lab.
* After you finish this section, you are
ready for the actual lab procedure.
V. Data Processing
• This section will contain any graphs that
are created and calculations.
• Remember to make you graphs LARGE
enough to use! This section may take
more than one page.
VI. Analysis
• Answer the questions provided on the lab
• Write in complete sentences
• Show any calculations performed in order
to answer a specific question
• Please “space” between answers.
Important Points
• When doing the pre-lab write-up, DO NOT write
on the left side of a page. That side is your
“work area” during lab – a place to write
equations, perform calculation, jot notes, etc.
• Use only blue or black ink for labs! No other
colors, glitter, “gel” inks, etc.
• If you make a mistake, cross out with a single,
dark line and continue.
• Remember, you can use your lab book on
exams. Make it as neat as possible! Points will
be deducted for sloppy work.