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St. Bonaventure University

CHEM-431 & CHML-431

Spring 2021

Lab-specific information


Laboratory Notebook

Lab notebooks must have bound pages.  A basic composition notebook is a good, inexpensive choice.  You are expected to keep a thorough laboratory notebook of each experiment.  These notebooks will be checked at the end of the laboratory period when an experiment is completed. You will receive a grade based on clarity and completeness.


The objective of the laboratory notebook is to assist the student in developing the written communication skills needed to develop scientific recognition and recording in a laboratory environment.  Additional guidelines will be provided to assist the student in developing these writing skills


You are responsible for keeping a detailed and complete laboratory notebook of the work you do in lab. You are also responsible for bringing your laboratory notebook to each lab period.  Lab notebooks will be signed at the beginning of each laboratory during the semester to encourage you to keep your records up to date. 


Your lab notebook must contain:

  • Your Name

  • Experiment Title (including experiment number)

  • Date on every entry

  • Lab Partners

  • Objective/purpose

  • Chemicals and equipment (note health or safety hazards).

  • Method/experimental procedure

    • listed step by step (bullet or numbered steps) instructions on how experiment is to be performed

    • during the experiment note any changes made in the procedure (e.g. actual sample mass) in your notebook

  • Raw data (all data collected in lab with units) (e.g., weights, temperatures, volumes, all with units!)

  • Calculations (for example - the calculation of the molarity of a solution you made)

  • Results

  • Conclusions

Laboratory Reports

Lab write-ups are due the Saturday two weeks after the experiment is completed by 11:59 pm. Your lab report grade will be comprised of:

Lab reports are due one week after the experiment is completed at the beginning of the laboratory period. Unless otherwise noted, you will complete full lab reports following the standard scientific format that includes these sections. Refer to the provided grading rubric for laboratory reports.

Late lab reports will be given a 0. No exceptions. Lab reports not completed according to the academic honesty policy will be given a 0. No exceptions.

Laboratory Safety Rules

Safety in the laboratory is extremely important and will be taken very seriously.


I reserve the right to eject anyone from the laboratory for violating safety rules without opportunity to make up work.  The handout entitled “Safety and Laboratory Rules” must be read, understood, signed, and returned to the lab instructor before any work may begin. The safety rules and policies are for your (and everyone else's) safety. Any chemistry lab can be potentially dangerous.




Safety will be thoroughly discussed at the first lab meeting. Additionally, a copy of the safety rules is provided in your laboratory manual.  Eye protection must be worn at all times when in the chemistry laboratory. There will be no exceptions to this rule.


You must wear close-toed, close-heeled shoes in the lab. Long pants and long sleeves are encouraged.

General Laboratory Rules

The most important component of completing a laboratory successfully is your pre-lab preparation. You will make fewer mistakes if you have read and understood the lab write-up. In many cases you will need to figure out how to make up the necessary solutions before coming to the lab; there isn't enough time for these calculations during the lab. A half-hour of time spent before the lab may save you hours. Written objectives and procedures in your laboratory notebook will be checked at the start of each lab to help you to prepare.



  1. Read carefully and understand the lab write-up before coming to lab.

  2. If you don't understand something--ask. Labs are a lot of fun, if you are prepared.

  3. Look up all of the substances in the experiment in the Merck Index (or other suitable source) to determine if there are any health or safety hazards.

  4. Plan out your solution preparation scheme before coming to lab.

  5. Write everything down in your lab book.


In the lab

  1. Wear eye protection (goggles or glasses with side shields).

  2. Note the location of safety equipment, fire alarms, and exits.

  3. Be conscious of what others are doing around you.

  4. Clean up chemical spills immediately, especially in and around balances.

  5. Check with the instructor for disposal information on all chemicals and solutions. Unless stated otherwise collect all waste in labeled waste containers. Keep aqueous and non-aqueous waste separate.

  6. Check with the instructor for the proper procedure for washing spectrophotometer cuvettes and cells. Never wipe cell windows with paper towels.

  7. Work with concentrated acids or bases in the hoods only.

  8. Make up solutions in the wet lab, not in the instrument lab.

  9. Weigh out chemicals by difference or into small beakers. Don't use paper for weighing.

  10. Never place a pipet directly into a solvent or solution bottle. Pour just what you need into a small beaker and pipet from the beaker.

  11. Never return reagents to the bottle.

  12. Record everything in your lab notebooks.

Safety Rules
Gen Rules
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