REPORTS WRITING GUIDELINES Chem 377 REPORTS
A) Data and Results Experimental data become useful to other workers when it is
communicated. Writing of reports occupies a considerable portion of time of any professional chemist, whether industrial or academic. Therefore, it is essential to develop good skills in writing reports. The heart of scientific inquiry is the process of obtaining data in the lab, and the clear communication of this data in the results section of a paper is arguably the most important part of scientific writing. This is the focus of Chem 377 report writing. B) THE READER In the preparation of a report it is important to bear the intended reader in mind. The report should be written at a level that is understandable to the reader but at the same time does not insult his/her intelligence. Reports prepared for this course should be directed at a colleague, i.e., a fellow student in chemistry, with knowledge of basic principles at the U2 level, who has not encountered the experiment. C) THE FORMAT The reports should be word-processed (double-space) and printed on standard size loose-leaf paper using only one side that will appear as the right hand page when the report is presented to the marker. Each page must be numbered for handy reference. Reports written in this manner are easy to
” or “Solutions were prepared. It should be written in the PAST TENSE and be impersonal. developed after the experimental data have been processed. should NOT be used nor should “one’. It is essential that reports are edited and formatted
appropriately for a upper year University level course... The report should follow the conventions of an industrial report.g. Symbols or numerals should NOT appear at the beginning of a sentence. isn’t. such as I.”. The report should reflect a careful assessment of the basic aims of the experiment and the extent to which these have been achieved by the results that emerge from the data. A short industrial report required in Chem 377 course contains two sections: RESULTS REFERENCES
. Contractions such as are’nt. are not used in formal papers. you. we.. etc. The final report should be reread before it is submitted with special attention to how closely it adheres to the original aim. as in “one may deduce..” etc.. To aid the preparation of the report should begin with a brief overview of the purpose or aim of the experiment. A good report is CONCISE and to the point without being so abbreviated that the arguments become
incomprehensible. e. be used. “The sample was analyzed. etc.read and leave sufficient space for the reader to make comments and suggestions. Personal pronouns.
with different headings. form an integral and continuous part of the report there is no need to start a new page when a new heading appears. Since the various sections.
.These sections of the report should have proper headings and subheadings according to the following format: HEADING SUBHEADING Sub-subheading Sub-sub-subheading etc.
The experimental data and relevant calculations should follow. The explanation should then be followed with a clear example. a sample calculation. A dimensional analysis must be done. but especially in writing the discussion of results. The reader should be informed. using explanatory sentences.TITLE EVERY report begins with a title that should appear not only on the front page taken from the laboratory manual but also on the first page of the main body. made in the treatment of data should be clearly specified. Trivial examples. These are indispensable to an assessment of the student’s understanding of the experiment and to detection of possible errors in the calculations. The sample calculation must include the equation being used and clearly show the values being substituted into the equation as well as the final calculated result. Equations should be numbered. The final results should be presented with a number of significant digits consistent with the error analysis. so that digressions are kept to minimum. how the raw data obtained in the laboratory were transformed into the desired results. The presentation should be developed in a logical sequence. In the preparation of the report the theme of this title should be kept in mind constantly.. The Assumptions
. i.e. unnecessary repetition and overgenerous spacing in the layout should be avoided. RESULTS This main section of the industrial report should start with a short explanation of the goal of the experiment. It should be an accurate summary of the theme.
.f. This can be achieved by heading each table with a descriptive. The sample calculations should show clearly how the error estimates are propagated to yield the uncertainty in the final result. An attempt should be made to identify and assess the importance of the main sources of error.I. pertinent data should be selected and presented together with derived information in carefully planned tables and graphs or figures. Additional information that cannot be included in the title may be added immediately below the title. Each column in a table should have an appropriate heading with proper units. Units (c. It is not necessary to transcribe all of the data from the data sheet that already accompanies the report (as an appendix). "The retention times of the organic compounds studied are listed in Table 2". It is of great importance to identify the source of all information used in the report that was not determined experimentally by the student. Tables and figures are separate entities so that the reader must be directed to them with appropriate statements in the text. A full description of error analysis is given in the laboratory handout “Summary of Mathematical Treatment of Experimental Data”. TABLE A table may be considered properly presented only when it is intelligible to the reader without the need for reference to the text. error estimates must be presented together with a brief indication as to how the estimates were made. e. Instead.g. When the sample calculations have been completed a summary of results can be given in tables and figures. Significant figures 5
.intermediate results should be given with one extra significant digit. To this end. All tables and figures should be numbered. self-explanatory title. The proper use of references for such purposes is essential. Accepted S. Appendix I) should be used at all times.
The number of tables should be kept to a minimum in keeping with a concise presentation of data. Although it may be desirable to use expanded versions of certain graphs during the preparation of the report to facilitate extrapolations or interpolations. When appropriate this is achieved most effectively by including
. the graphs included in the report should be combined on one figure for illustrative purposes. The preparation of the figure should be such that the labels are clearly visible in the report in its presented form. This can be avoided by leaving a sufficient margin on the left hand side. with appropriate units.. The points on a given line or curve should be clearly identified by one type of symbol and a legend should be given on the figure to identify the symbols. The ordinate and abscissa scales should be properly identified. i. with error limits and experimental conditions. i.. of table should contain new data. It should be kept in mind that a portion of the side of the figure may be obscured in the assembled form of the report. Each column. each figure should be planned so as to facilitate direct comparison of the results. FIGURE It is accepted practice to use the abscissa (x-axis) scale for the independent variable (under control of the experimenter) and the ordinate (y-axis) scale for the dependent variable.e. the number of separate figures used should be kept to a minimum. These guidelines are illustrated in Fig.used in the presentation of the data should be consistent with the error analysis. 1. or row.
The Results section should include a summary of final derived values. data that do not simply represent a mathematical operation on or a combination of data in one or more other columns. Again. Only the graph(s) and the legend should appear inside the boundary of the figure.e.
References to books should give the name(s). These references refer to specific information in the literature as distinct from a bibliography that gives sources for general reading on a topic. The report should be concluded with a list of references to the literature used in the preparation of the report. are generally available on a loan basis from the Physical Sciences and Engineering Library. For example. "In correlating the measurements previously reported (1) it was found . the title of the book.". volume number. as well as original literature is strongly encouraged. The use of reference books such as the CRC Handbook. edition (if
. Lange. of author(s). referred to in the laboratory notes.
REFERENCES Reference to other sources is generally made by inserting numerals in the text and listing the corresponding reference at the conclusion of the report. International Critical Tables..comparison with literature values. with initials. Copies of papers in the original literature. part number. page number.. either in a Table or in a Figure.
p. 3rd ed. Anal. Pontius. Pungor E. 2. In particular. place of publication. Vol. Similarly plagiarism. To facilitate preparations of reports.. outlined in the "Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures".e.. Acta (47).more than one published). Pt. date of publication. 291. 1. a checklist form is available on the course’s WebCt site. Interscience. 1969. with initials. 895.B. first page number. A. copying substantial sections from notes or references and presenting these without making reference to the source so that it is ostensibly original work. filled out and included in the Appendix. students may consult with instructors (during their office hours) for advice during the preparation of a report or when making the calculations. will be instituted. title of the journal (appropriately abbreviated). References to papers should give name(s) of author(s). and Toth K.). name of publisher. volume. Geddes and R.
.. respectively (e. 1960. especially in the calculations.. Appropriate procedures. is highly unethical. It should be remembered that the reports are analogous to examinations and copying from the reports of other students is a serious offence.)
WARNING: The reports must be prepared individually although it is permissible to seek aid and advice. respectively (e.g. It should be printed. New York. Chim. and year. if occasion warrants.g..L.
"Determination of Diffusivity". i.
Preparation for oral discussion The physical meaning of the results is understood. All graphs and tables have numbers. Error analysis is performed. The bibliography is appropriately listed and quoted. The assumptions of the theory (equations) used are clear. Date of the experiment 3. proper titles and units. The Excel file with calculations has been e-mailed to the marker or a floppy disk is submitted together with the report. Suggestions for future improvements of the experimental set-up or the experiment design can be discussed. Excel functions are not re-calculated. Failure to submit the file results in 0/10 points for the quality of data. The report is word-processed (font 11 or 12. A table with summary of results is included together with the literature value(s). The report starts with the title page containing: 1. Title of the experiment 2. Names of student that wrote the report together with e-mail address. Equations are numbered. double-spaced). All questions from the manual can be answered.Checklist for the Analytical Chemistry Reports CHEM 377
(to be filled out and attached to the report) The original data sheet is attached. 2/9/2006
. The copy of the report is kept by author. variables explained. All results have units and are expressed with proper number of significant digits. Sample calculations are included. The variables contributing to the final error are identified. spell and grammar checked. Pages of the report are numbered. The references to all literature values and quotations are given.
radiant flux electric charge electric potential capacitance electric resistance electric conductance magnetic flux magnetic flux density inductance luminous flux Name hertz newton pascal joule watt coulomb volt farad ohm siemens weber tesla henry lumen Symbol Hz N Pa J W C V F S Wb T H lm Base Units s-1 m·kg·s-2 m-1·kg·s-2 m2·kg·s-2 m2·kg·s-3 A·s m2·kg·s-3·A-1 m-2·kg-1·s4·A2 m2·kg·s-3·A-2 J·C -1 C·V -1 V·A -1 N·m-2 N·m J·s-1 Other Units
m-2·kg -1·s 3·A2 A·V -1= -1 m2·kg·s-2·A-1 kg·s-2·A-1 m2·kg·s-2·A-2 cd·sr V·s Wb·m-2 Wb·A -1
. work. heat power.APPENDIX RECOMMENDED METRIC UNITS  SI BASE UNITS Quantity length mass time electric current temperature amount of substance luminous intensity Name metre kilogram second ampere kelvin mole candela Symbol m kg s A K mol Cd
DERIVED UNITS WITH SPECIAL NAMES Quantity frequency force pressure. modulus energy. stress.
UNITS NOT RECOMMENDED FOR USE Name erg dyne poise stokes gauss oersted maxwell stilb phot Symbol erg dyn P St Gs. On the other hand. hour and day are approved for use with the SI.400 s Notes The min.G Oe Mx sb ph Value in SI Units 10-7 J 10-5 N 0. complex compound units such as reaction rate constants should use the second.illuminance
OTHER UNITS APPROVED FOR USE Name Minute Hour Day Symbol min h d Value 60 s 3600 s 86. but the "second is the preferred unit of time.800 rad /648. descriptive information may use the other time units e. it is accepted that paper machine speeds are expressed in terms of metres per minute.. In particular.15
/180 rad /10.577 A·m-1 10-8 Wb 10-4 cd·m-2 10-4 lx 11
. and should be used whenever it is not unreasonable to do so.1 Pa·s 10-4 m-2·s 10-4 T 79.g.
litre Celsius temperature angular: degree minute second
l or l
SOME EXAMPLES OF DERIVED UNITS Quantity area volume angular acceleration velocity acceleration volume flow rate wave number m·s-1 m·s-2 m3·s-1 m-1 thermal conductivity heat flux density current density magnetic strength radioactive activity density specific volume angular momentum luminance elastic modulus viscosity kinematic viscosity surface tension molar energy s-1 kg·m-3 m3·kg-1 kg·m2·s-1 W·m-2 Pa Pa·s m2·s-1 N·m-1 J·mol-1 electric filed strength electric charge density momentum irradiance radiant intensity concentration molar concentration molal concentration surface energy V·m-1 C·m-3 N·s or kg·m·s-1 W·m-2 W·sr-1 mol·m-3 mol·dm-3 mol·kg-1 J·m-2 W·(m·K)-1 W·m-2 A·m-2 field A·m-1 Expression Quantity m2 m3 rad·s -2 specific entropy entropy specific heat capacity Expression J·(kg·K)-1 J·K-1 J·(kg·K)-1
g.. 19931994. e. Compound prefixes should not be used. not kg. use nm. 74th ed.g. not mm. “CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics”.
REFERENCE 1. 2. e. use mg. CRC Press. 02/01/2013
.. Names of multiples and submultiples of the unit of mass are formed by attaching prefixes to the word "gram".SI PREFIXES Factor 1012 109 106 103 102 10 10-1 10-2 10-3 10-6 10-9 10-12 10-15 10-18 Prefix tera giga mega kilo hecto deca deci centi milli micro nano pico femto atto Symbol T G M k h da d c m n p f a