CHM151Y – The Sections of a Formal Lab Report
The title of the report should be descriptive but concise. Do not include experimental data or
long chemical names. The title should catch the reader’s attention and orient them to the purpose of the
An abstract is a brief summary of the most important findings of a scientific experiment. It allows
the reader to survey the contents of a paper or lab report quickly, and to decide whether to keep
reading. It should clearly identify the purpose and main results of an experiment, and should be clear,
concise, and self-contained. An abstract should be between 100 and 200 words in length and, for
CHM151Y, should be one single paragraph.
The introduction section of a lab report explains the experiment and provides the reader with
relevant background information for the experiment. In some cases, an introduction will include both
theoretical and practical background information. For CHM151Y, it should be between 250 and 500
words in length.
The experimental section describes the practical details of the experiment without reporting or
interpreting experimental results (save this for the next section). This section should include a
description of the experiment that is sufficient in detail such that another scientist could reproduce your
results but not so detailed as to provide unnecessary information. Since this is written for people in the
field we assume certain knowledge (i.e. we assume the reader knows what a Pasteur pipette is). The
experimental section should not be copied from the laboratory manual.
Results and Discussion:
The results of the experiment (i.e. experimental data) should be reported before the discussion
in a neat, easy