How To Be A Better Lab Conclusion Writer

Here are a few tips to help you…

  1.  The conclusion is a “stand alone” document, meaning that it needs to be complete without the rest of the lab.  You must state facts, from your lab, and not hint at them.  You shouldn’t say “I measured my percent composition by mass of water”, rather you should say my measured percent comp by mass of water WAS 36.9%.  State the fact, don’t tell a nice story.
  2. You measure as accurately as possible, you don’t get to say “ABOUT”.  It’s never “about” 1.32 grams, it either is, or it isn’t.  Be crystal clear in your statements, no vague, wishy-washy sentences.
  3. Do not tell about what buttons you press on the calculator.  State, my MV was this, my AV was that, my %error was therefore ___ percent.  Make sure your percent error has a sign, positive or negative.
  4. If your percent error for mass of evaporated water in the CuSO4 lab was positive, that means you evaporated too much water, more than possible.  That’s scale error.  You can’t say maybe you didn’t heat it long enough, implying that not all of the water evaporated.  THINK.
  5. 3 is not 3.00 grams.  What you write and what is the truth are not always the same.  We go to a lot of trouble to get more SF, don’t just give them away.  3 grams is not 3.0 grams, nor is it 3.00 grams, or even 3.000 grams.  Be accurate at all times.
  6. The lab report conclusion could end with “I love chem, the end.” because it’s cute, and helps keep you in the right mind set.  Why omit this?
  7. You could be more careful with staples.  More than a few labs come stapled backwards, or with a barely hanging on staple.
  8. Some of the reports have numbers that ARE NOT NUMBERS.  Sevens do not need a cross hatch line.  Ones are just lines going UP and DOWN, not slash marks.  Write numbers like this please:Everything else, all other “styles” are annoying to decipher.  You can be cool, your lab reports cannot be cool.
  9. Put your name on the cover, with your class period.  Please use periods 2, 4, 7 or 8 ONLY.  No one has lab sixth or ninth period.  I only have 4 gradebook periods, 2, 4, 7 and 8.  Those are the choices.  When you omit the period, I have to find you in the gradebook and that is a pain in the neck.
  10. Only say what is true, do not guess.  Do not leave blanks, do not make stuff up that is not from your data, and above all else, stay the heck off of the internet.

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About the Author: charlie