Writing a laboratory report. Why write a laboratory report? Scientists perform experiments to find out answers to their questions. When their experiments are completed, a report is written to tell others about their work. It is important that these reports are written using the correct format, in order to ensure that all the important information is included. To help you write your laboratory reports correctly, follow the guidelines given on this page. One or two short sentences that describe the reason for doing the experiment. It will often begin with: To find out … To investigate … To compare … To make … All practical reports should include your name, your partner’s name, the date and the title of the experiment. Name: Alexander Leach Soluble or insoluble? Date: 11/3/09 Aim: To investigate the solubility of a range of substances. Materials & Methods: As per textbook p35 (Nardelli, 2004). Results: Substance mixed with water Salt Sugar Flour Coffee Sand Clear or cloudy? clear clear cloudy clear cloudy/clear (initially cloudy, but settled on bottom over time) clear cloudy Solution (soluble) or suspension (insoluble) solution solution suspension solution suspension Partner: James Stewart A list of all the chemicals & equipment used, together with the set of steps you followed to do the experiment, including any special safety precautions. The method needs to be clear enough so that anyone reading the report would be able to repeat your experiment. If you are exactly repeating a published method, you may be able to cite the source rather than write out the full method Measurements and observations made during the experiment. These are often recorded in a table or on a graph. Copper sulfate Copper carbonate solution suspension Discussion: 1. What your results show and a possible explanation of them. Any difficulties you had or ideas for improving the experiment may also be written in this section. Salt, sugar, coffee and copper sulfate all dissolved in water. You can tell if a substance has dissolved by looking at the mixture. If it is cloudy or there is sediment on the bottom, then the substance has not dissolved. If the mixture is clear then it has dissolved. Mixtures of flour, sand and copper carbonate could all be separated by filtration. 2. 3. A short statement describing what you found out. The conclusion relates back to the aim. Conclusion: We investigated the solubility of several substances in water, and found that salt, sugar, coffee and copper sulfate were all soluble. Flour, sand and copper carbonate were all insoluble in water. If a substance dissolves in water the mixture will be clear. If a substance does not dissolve in water it will form a cloudy suspension, and may eventually settle to the bottom. Reference: Nardelli, D. (2004). Science Alive 1. Brisbane: John Wiley & Sons. If you use material or information that is directly based on the work of another writer, then you should always make reference to it.