North Central College Chemistry Department

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Your laboratory notebook book is a record of all your observations, data and calculations from your work in the lab. In the real world, laboratory notebooks are taken very seriously. Scientists in governmental, educational and industrial labs are expected to maintain legible, thorough laboratory notebooks which document their work. A well written laboratory notebook will enable a company to protect possible patent rights and prevent wasting energy from repeating work previously done. The laboratory notebook will protect the institution and individual scientist in any scientific misconduct or fraud cases.

Faculty evaluation of your laboratory performance will be based upon reading your laboratory record book and write-up rather than upon observing you directly in the laboratory. Therefore, your reports must be designed to document your technique as well as your results in carrying out a laboratory procedure. The following guidelines have been designed to enable you to communicate effectively through your laboratory record book.


1. To understand chemistry by "doing" chemistry

2. To critically evaluate data

3. To develop good laboratory techniques

4. To learn chemical safety

GENERAL GUIDELINES 1. Always bring your laboratory notebook to each laboratory session

2. Label the front cover with your name, course number and lab section.

3. Maintain a table of contents on the first two pages. All previously used lab notebooks must be equipped with a TAB allowing the notebook to be opened to the table of contents corresponding to this course.

4. Number the right hand pages and make your entries on these pages only. No data entry should be done on the left hand side of the page. You may place graphs on the left hand side of the page.

5. All data, observations and calculations must be recorded directly into the lab book in ink.

6. If a mistake has been made, draw a single line through the entry and note the correction. Never completely delete any entry from a laboratory record book by erasing, using liquid paper, or by removing pages.

7. You are expected to take the time to write neatly and legibly.

8. Word-processed work must be in written in Arial, 12 point font (except when symbol font is needed for Greek Characters).


Your write-up will consist of two parts. The Date, Title, Objective and Methods & Data sections will be recorded in your laboratory before and during the laboratory session. This will be graded as you leave the lab. You will also to submit a carbon copy of all pages of the laboratory write-up as you leave the laboratory. The Date, Title, Objective(s), Results & Analysis, Discussion, Conclusion, and Questions sections will be handed in as a word processed paper. This paper will be combined with the carbon copies you submitted as you left the laboratory and your pre-laboratory assignment that was submitted as you entered the laboratory. The following gives you details of what should be included in each section.

To be included in the laboratory record book:

To be handed in on paper as a word processed document (Note: All graphs

should be made using a spreadsheet such as Excel. You may neatly hand-write

equations and calculations):