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Help with first ever lab report.

  1. Sep 30, 2007 #1
    Hello PF ;-).

    I am writing my first lab report as I type and I need some help with the formatting. It's not a big deal but I lean on the side of being a perfectionist. I have a section at the front of my report titled 'Raw Data' and the data we collected in the lab is there. The next section is results... I am in the process of writing this now. This is for a chemistry ish course (behaviour of solids & fluids).

    We had to determine the density of few substances. For the liquids the lab manual states that they want me to 'compare the experimental density of isopropanol with that found in the literature'. I have a copy of Perry's Chem Eng Handbook so I have the data, the problem is where do I fulfill this part of the lab assignment? Should it go in the results section along with the calculations? My gut feeling is no it should not, implications/discussion of/about the experiment should not go in the results section. Just the calculations and info as to how these calculations were derived.

    Another question I am asked to answer is something along the lines of : 'When you add salt to water you don't change the volume unless you reach the critical concentration, because the na+ and Cl- ions fit between the H2O molecules. Using the experimental density of the NaCl solution, calculated the mass fraction and mol %..." Again.. where does this go in my report?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 30, 2007 #2
    Why don't you create a section called "Lab questions" or "Questions & answers" and put the questions and answers there?
  4. Sep 30, 2007 #3
    "For the liquids the lab manual states that they want me to 'compare the experimental density of isopropanol with that found in the literature'. "

    I'd put it that part in with the discussion. It's up to you how you organise it, I do my discussion after results, so i can, well, discuss the results. Part of your discussion is going to be about how the experimental data compares with accepted values: you should already know whether or not you need to expand on this by talking about possible reasons for the deviation between values etc.
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