Chemistry Lab Notebook Requirements

Page Contents:

1. Chemistry Laboratory Notebook

2. Chemistry Laboratory Notebook Format (for labs)

3. Formal Lab Report Requirements

Chemistry Laboratory Notebook


            A laboratory notebook is used to explain laboratory procedures, record all laboratory data, show how calculations are made, discuss the results of an experiment, and to explain the theories involved.

            A record of laboratory work is an important document, which will show the quality of the laboratory work done.  As you record information in your notebook, keep in mind that someone who is unfamiliar with your work may be using this notebook to evaluate your laboratory experience in chemistry.  Your notebook may even be subpoenaed in a courtroom as evidence.  When you explain your work, list your data, calculate values, and answer questions, be sure that the meaning will be obvious to anyone who reads your notebook.


Lab Notebook Requirements

1. Use a permanently bound notebook (no spiral notebooks or pages that can be torn out – typically are called “Composition notebooks”).

2. Write your name and class on the front cover and inside the front cover

3. Use only the right hand pages.  You may use the left-hand pages for preliminary notes or for a quick graph or for rough data.  The left-hand pages will not be graded.

4. In ink, write “Table of Contents” at the top of the first two pages (right-hand page only).  This should be kept current as you proceed.  Each time you write up a lab, place the title and page number where the lab report begins in the Table of Contents. Labs not included in the Table of Contents will not be graded.

5. In ink, number all the right-hand pages on the lower right corner if they are not already numbered.

6. (See Lab Notebook Format on the next page) - All of the indicated sections must be completed in your lab notebook before the start of class on the lab day or you WILL NOT participate in the lab. You will use the time in class to finish the Pre-lab and will make an appointment to do the lab after school or will receive a zero for the lab.


---over---Lab Notebook Format


Chemistry Laboratory Notebook Format

Lab Title                                                                        Date of Experiment


Partner Name


Purpose: Explain, in your own words the purpose of this lab

 Background/Safety Concerns: Describe any background information a person would need to know to understand or perform this lab. Include all safety concerns relating to this lab

Pre-Lab Questions and Answers: (These are graded) Answers should clearly show your understanding of the lab and the concepts outlined within.

Procedure: This is your explanation of how you will perform the lab. For each lab you will read the “materials” and “procedure” written on your handout very carefully, you will then summarize them in this section. Pretend I am going to interview you before you can enter the lab area and my question will be “What are you going to do today?”. This section should explain the process you will use to complete the lab.

***Everything above this point is the “Pre-lab” and MUST BE COMPLETED BEFORE YOU ARE ALLOWED TO PERFORM THE LAB***

Data/Observations: Clearly record all data and observations collected during the lab, place that information in this section.

Post-Lab Questions and Answers: Answer the questions clearly and completely



Write a paragraph in RSVCP format that describes the results of the lab.

            -  Restate the purpose of the lab. 

            -  Verify conclusion by providing 3 or more results. This should include all 
numerical findings and their significance. 

            -  Provide a counterclaim by addressing specific experimental error and 
suggest possible experimental improvements. 

            -  Provide importance of the experimental process by providing a specific 
real-world application. 

Billings Senior High Science

Formal Lab Report Requirements


Introduction:  State the objective of the lab in your own words. 


Materials:  List all equipment and materials used to complete the experiment. 


Procedure:  Provide a brief summary of the procedure you used to perform the lab. 


Data and Results:  Include all observations, data, and calculations from the lab (in that order).  All data tables must be typed and constructed from your written work performed in the lab.  Be sure to include all units and the correct number of significant figures.  Show one example of each calculation performed. 


Conclusion:  This should always be the last thing on your report.  A conclusion is the summary of how the experimental data relates to the purpose of the lab.  Keywords (scientific words) should be used to help discuss what you have learned from the lab.  Discuss probable sources of error and suggest plausible ways to correct those errors.  The conclusion is worth the most points so use thoughtful scientific answers. 




  • MLA Heading:  Your first and last name, teacher’s name, course title, military style, and partner’s first and last name
  • At the top centered below the heading:  Experiment title

  • Font:  Normal font, ~12 pt. , and double-spaced
  • Margins:  1” on all sides
  • Page numbers in header:  Upper right-hand corner
  • Type your last name and page number




  • Use a consistent tense – it is best to use past tense
  • Avoid slang, contractions
  • Check your spelling and grammar and make sure you proofread the report
  • Make sure your report requirements are in the order:
    •  Introduction, Materials, Procedure, Data and Results, Conclusion

  • Have your report printed and ready at the beginning of the period the day it is due


No late reports will be accepted!