CSUMB
ESSP 311L Organic Chemistry Laboratory
Dr. R. Rinehart

Important Laboratory Information

LAB NOTEBOOKS

A hardbound composition book in which the pages have been sequentially numbered is acceptable. Official research-type notebooks with prenumbered pages and tear-out carbon pages are not necessary, but are an acceptable alternative.
Looseleaf or spiral-bound notebooks are NOT acceptable.

Use of whiteout or ink eradicator is impermissible.
Draw a line through any material which is faulty.

You are not permitted to work from the lab text; hence you must have your notebook ready before undertaking an experiment. I will inspect it at the beginning of the lab session to verify that an acceptable protocol for the experiment has been entered, and may suggest changes.
ALL data and observations are to be recorded IN INK directly in the notebook.

A suggested NOTEBOOK  format is indicated below.

see additional information on lab notebooks by Dr. James Chickos at U Missouri St. Louis at
http://www.umsl.edu/~orglab/documents/notebook.htm 
flow chart sample by Daniel A. Strauss at San Jose State
http://www.chemistry.sjsu.edu/straus/EXPTF%20htms/EXPTF%20FlowDiagram.htm
    Lab bloopers by Dan Strauss at San Jose State
 http://www.chemistry.sjsu.edu/straus/Bloopers%20htms/BloopersMain.htm
funny -- and not so funny!
Keeping a notebook by Dan Strauss at San Jose State
 http://www.chemistry.sjsu.edu/straus/Course%20Materials/Handouts/Notebook.pdf
Recording observations by Dan Strauss at San Jose State
http://www.chemistry.sjsu.edu/straus/Course%20Materials/Handouts/RecordingObsv.htm
Proper grammar by Dan Strauss at San Jose State
http://www.chemistry.sjsu.edu/straus/Course%20Materials/Handouts/Grammar.htm
The Laboratory Notebook by Roberta W. Kleinman at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania
 http://www.lhup.edu/~rkleinma/Chem205/205Notebook.htm
Dr. Cal's Guide to Good Laboratory Practice
by Cal Chany at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center, Chicago
[site is at the University of Illinois at Chicago]
 has great information on organic lab notebooks, reports,and general principles
http://tigger.uic.edu/~magyar/Lab_Help/lghome.html

Page #
Date

Title Including Chapter # & Expt. #

PURPOSE:  A brief description of what you are trying to accomplish and why
Overall  EQUATION / REACTION:   To enable stoichiometry to be calculated as well as for better understanding of what’s happening.
PROCEDURE:  Written, not photocopied, in a way that you can actually work from it; not necessarily a verbatim transcript of what’s in the text. Need not be grammatically complete.  Include cleanup directions.  I recommend including a flow chart.
DATA & OBSERVATIONS:  times, quantities: mass, volume, temperatures, [ ], etc., hopefully recorded in some organized fashion.  Color & other obvious changes, deviations from established procedure, etc. should be noted.
 

LAB REPORTS 

Lab reports should be word-processed or written neatly in ink and are due by the dates indicated in the syllabus/ green sheet.  Proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation are essential. The following format should be used: 

Title including Chapter # and Experiment # 

Abstract   A brief statement of what was actually done. NOT the same as the purpose of the experiment.   Concisely inform the reader of the nature of the experiment and your salient findings in about 30 to 80 words [two to four sentences]. Strive for the middle ground between vague generalities and excessive specificity. Avoid the use of "I" [use of the passive voice is strongly recommended]. Although this section comes at the beginning of the report, it should be the last portion actually written.

 “The proper ways to prepare for, conduct, record, and write up laboratory experiments were explained to students. It was observed during the subsequent lab session after this explanation that only 11% of the students complied with these instructions. Those who did not experienced substantial reductions in grades.” 

See my list of web references on writing abstracts

Still more useful information on how to write a lab report

another great example of a report including abstract, introduction, procedures, results, and discussion is
An Estimate of the Molar Heat of Reaction for the Decomposition of Hydrogen Peroxide.
by Frank Schmidt at the University of Missouri-Columbia
http://www.chem.vt.edu/confchem/2004/a/heat.html


Procedure   (Cite a reference, e.g.  “Refer to Pavia et al., pp 55-57”.) It is NOT necessary to rewrite the entire procedure, but any deviations from that procedure as published should be noted. 

 

Results:  A paragraph or so summarizing the essentials of your data, with reference to the next sections.

Data    (preferably in tabular form if possible)  Cite literature reference values where appropriate. Not every item as shown below will necessarily be applicable. The Excel spreadsheets and resulting graphs may serve to fulfill the requirements of this section. 

REAGENT/COMPOUND

formula/structure

f.w.

mp, oC

bp, oC

sp.gr.

mL used

g used

moles used

benzoic acid

C6H5CO2H

122.12

122

---

---

---

1.22

0.010

methanol

CH3OH

32.04

---

65

0.787

10.0

7.87

0.246

conc. sulfuric acid

H2SO4

98.08

---

290

1.84

0.05

0.092

0.009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRODUCT OBTAINED

FORMULA

f.w.

appearance

odor

yield, g

%
yield

obs
 
bp, oC

lit
bp, oC

methyl benzoate

C6H5CO2CH3

136.15

colorless liquid

not bad

0.98

72.1

199-201

198-200

Calculations     e.g., how % yield was computed.   The Excel spreadsheets and resulting graphs may serve to fulfill the requirements of this section. 

Discussion   Show the reader the relationship of the results obtained to those expected in light of the theory, including whether the basic premise of the experiment was satisfied. List reasonable sources of error and their contribution to any deviations from the expected outcome. A final paragraph summing the overall results and discussion is desirable.

       The yield was kind of sucky because  the idiot at the next bench lent me a flask that was wet.”  <NOT recommended!>

                "The infrared spectrum confirmed the presence of the C=O stretch at 1695 cm-1 and the C-O stretch at 1050 cm-1, and a monosubstituted benzene ring was indicated by the strong peaks at 680 and 750 cm-1. Both aliphatic and aromatic C-H peaks were evident. These observations are all consistent with what would be expected from the proposed structure.
<much better>


References  [where appropriate] A list of texts, articles, web URLs, etc. used as sources of information in performing the experiment and/or writing the report.

© Ronald W. Rinehart, 2003