Lab Report for Chemistry II- Formal Report

Lab Report for Chemistry II

CHM2046L – The Formal Laboratory Report   For the past few weeks you have been writing through the experimental process and have begun to examine how scientists communicate their findings through formal journal articles.  You will experience formal writing first hand by creating a lab report.  The formal report uses a format that is common when submitting an article to a chemistry journal for publication. As the following pages show, there is a strict set of guidelines  to follow. Additionally these were largely based on Author guidelines of professional journals. Consequently a large portion of your grade will be based on how well you follow the guidelines. Each student will write their own lab report.   There is a big difference between the information you write in your lab notebook and what you should present in a paper for publication in a scientific journal.

Further Description

In essence, the formal laboratory report intends to do three things:   1) Set the background necessary so that the reader can appreciate and understand the chemistry you report 2) Discuss the details of what you did and the implications of your work 3) Lead the reader through the work in such a way that they come to the same concluding points that you did   When the readers finish with your paper, they should not have to go back and try to decide for themselves what you did. The writer will do the interpretation of the data , not the reader.  You should take care to make sure that the material is presented in a concise logical way. Make sure that your sentences do not have too many dependent clauses. Also overly complicated sentences make the logic of an argument difficult to follow.

Choose a paragraph structure which focuses the attention of the reader on the development of the ideas.   To become familiar with elements of the format described below, you can look at papers in journals such as Journal of the American Chemical Society, Journal of Organic Chemistry, Journal of Hazardous Materials, and Journal of Physical Chemistry B. 1Substantially adapted by Arnold E. Sikkema from Rexford E. Adelberger, “On Preparing A Manuscript For Publication”, Journal of Undergraduate Research in Physics, 8 (1989), 1-3. And by John Zwart & Arnold Sikkema “Formal Laboratory Report Materials” presented at the 127th AAPT National Meeting, Madison, WI, August 2003 Guidelines modified from Journal of American Chemical Society and Journal of Hazardous Materials

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