Honors Chemistry: Guidelines for Writing Formal Laboratory Reports

Format (10 pts)

A formal laboratory report is a well-written and organized scientific paper. Sections include
introduction, materials, experimental procedure, data, calculations and analysis, questions, error and
conclusion. The report must be typed in 12 pt Times Roman or 11 pt Arial fonts except for recorded
laboratory data and possible calculations (5 pts). Chemical name and formulas will be written correctly
with roman numerals, copper (II) nitrate, and/or subscripts, Cu(NO3)2 and H2O (5 pts). Modifications to
the sections may occur depending on laboratory type.

Header (5 pts)

The title should include a laboratory title (1 pt), your FULL name (first and last) (1 pt) and those in your
laboratory group (1 pt), class period (1 pt) and the date of the laboratory was performed (1 pt).

Introduction (5 pts)

This is a short summary of what is to be achieved during the
experiment (3 pts). The laboratory technique should be described (2

Materials (10 pts)

Create a table listing chemicals used in the laboratory (2 pts). Include in the table the chemical name (2
pts), chemical formula (2 pts) and safety precautions (2 pts). Refer to Safety Data Sheet (SDS) at
www.flinnsci.com. If there are any additional or removal of equipment during the laboratory, then list
these modifications (2 pts). Do not list the original laboratory sheet materials, only the materials
necessary for laboratory modifications (2 pts).

Experimental Procedure (10 pts)

Write procedure changes if different from the original laboratory procedure (5 pts). For example, a
reaction spot plate was unavailable; therefore a well plate was substituted in its place. Do not write the
original procedure (5 pts).

Data, Calculations & Analysis (30 pts)

Data collected during the laboratory experiment should be included as is (10 pts). Data collection
should be organized and written neatly. Unless, there is a need to cross-out portions of data during the
laboratory. Collected data and/or graphs will be included as appendices to the laboratory i.e. attached
to the back of the typed laboratory.

Each new data table and/or graph should be included in the typed portion of the laboratory and labeled
appropriately (10 pts). Sample calculations should be provided with a correct equation, work and units
(10 pts). Microsoft Word has a program called Equation Editor. Click on “INSERT” tab to find equation
editor. If you do not use the equation editor, write the sample calculations neatly in black ink. If
calculations are repetitive, then provide only final answers in a table or graph.


Evidence: scientific data used Does not provide evidence. Refer to Claim. or Provides reasoning that links the Provides reasoning that links principles to show why data only provides reasoning that does claim and evidence. scientific principles. arrange them logically to support support the claim. provides evidence that does not insufficient evidence to support sufficient evidence to support the support the claim. the claim. but may not use data and highlights the tentative of the data and tentative nature only irrelevant examples. second (you). evidence and/or includes some quantitative) to the claim. sufficient scientific principle. Evidence. the claim. Repeats the evidence (qualitative and count as evidence to support not link evidence to the claim. and Reasoning Rubric to write the conclusion. inferences to explain reasoning. and Reasoning Rubri Component Level 1 (0 points) Level 2 (2 points) Level 3 (4 points) Claim: a statement that Does not make a claim. claim. Explanation paragraph: Does not use complete sentences or Uses complete sentences and Uses complete sentences in a complete sentences. Limitations and sources of Does not attempt to discuss Attempts to demonstrate the Demonstrates the limits of the error: demonstrates the limits limitations and error or provides limits of the data. or only Provides appropriate. Claim. |?????| ??????? ????? = ???????? ????? × 100 % (5pts) Conclusion (20 pts) The conclusion should be written as a concise. Reasoning: Using Scientific Does not provide reasoning. inappropriate evidence. (5 pts) The error analysis should include the percent error or percent yield equation when possible. Honors Chemistry: Guidelines for Writing Formal Laboratory Reports Error (10 pts) A written comparison between your results and known results should be completed. There should be no use of first (I. appropriate evidence. or makes Makes an accurate but incomplete Makes an accurate and complete responds to the question asked an inaccurate claim. but is not Includes appropriate and sufficient. It should be no longer than ten sentences. The conclusion will minimize findings. but Provides appropriate and to support the claim. our). or the problem posed. contain no empty findings. Refer to textbook pages 64-65 for more information. we. Evidence. logical attempt to arrange them logically demonstrates an attempt to logical order to explain and flow. and be direct. nature of the conclusions. third (they) person pronouns. the claim. scientific conclusion. claim. my. clearly links data and to support the claim. of the conclusions. May include some claim. 2 .

3 . Honors Chemistry: Guidelines for Writing Formal Laboratory Reports General Conclusion Guidelines:  Questions: answer questions  Data/Observations: reason for evidence both qualitative and quantitative  Limitations: percent error/reason for error Use this amazing graphic organizer if you need help writing the conclusion.

“No”. A Must. then include percentage error values to justify reasons for error. without starting the paragraph with “Yes”. the Procedure! Explain the results of the laboratory. Important Statement! This section provides the experimental and actual empirical formulas.Honors Chemistry: Guidelines for Writing Formal Laboratory Reports Sample Conclusions & Comments: Great Start! Introductory sentence makes a claim as to whether the question was answered. Reasons for error explain in calculations. How can there be error in calculations if data has been mathematical checked? Do Not Repeat. Limitations and Correctly Formatted Chemical Formulas! If you discuss the limitations (error) of the laboratory. 4 . or “In this lab”. Procedural steps are not necessary unless equipment or procedure has be modified to improve or correct laboratory or to fix a possible problem. Do Not Be Vague! Vague statement verifying error in the laboratory.