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 handout. • 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.