Tips for Writing Lab Reports Lab reports should be stand-alone documents. You should not staple the lab handout to your lab report. Lab reports should be typed. Calculations may be handwritten as long as they are very neat. Sample calculations should be shown on the lab report. However, they should not look like scratchwork…
Components of a Lab Report • Title • Purpose/Objective • Background Information • Materials • Procedure • Include information on how your procedure may have differed from the one given. • Data and Calculations • Data tables • Calculations (neatly copied) • Graphs (neatly drawn, with a best fit line) • Percent error calculation
Components of a Lab Report • Analysis • Any targeted questions should be answered in complete sentences. • Detailed error analysis. What specifically may have affected your results, and HOW? • Conclusion • An overall summary of the lab – the purpose, a quick review of the procedure, the general findings, and an evaluation of the results.
A Couple Error Analysis Formulas • Percent error: used to determine how close your experimental value matches the accepted value (i.e. the one given in class) • Percent yield: used to determine how much product was formed in a chemical reaction % error = | accepted value – experimental value | x 100 accepted value % yield = actual (experimental) amount x 100 theoretical (calculated) amount