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General Laboratory Instructions

Students who are repeating this course must attend laboratory and must inform both lecture and laboratory instructors that they are repeating.

Students with disabilities who are taking this course and who need disability-related accommodations are encouraged to speak with their Lecturer and Instructor about their needs. The Coordinator of the Learning and Teaching Center and the Coordinator of Services for Persons with Disabilities are available in Clapp Library to assist students in arranging these accommodations.

Any student who suspects that she is pregnant should have a confidential talk with her Instructor.

A student who misses a scheduled lab due to illness has the responsibility to contact her Instructor as soon as possible. It may be possible to make up the lab during another scheduled lab period. It is the student's responsibility to contact the Instructor teaching the desired laboratory section for permission to do the lab.

To pass the course, students must complete every lab.


Laboratory Notebooks/Electronic Notebooks

The one essential tool for any laboratory worker in any field is the laboratory notebook, whether it's a bound paper notebook or an electronic notebook. Its main purpose is to record observations, variations in procedures, experimental results, conclusions and supplementary information from texts, handbooks, and other printed sources. References must be given fully and clearly to any such sources to which you are indebted. Laboratory records must be kept in ink. If using an electronic notebook, please make note of any corrections by using the strikethrough feature and not deleting any text. Never attempt to remove pages from the notebook nor to erase any entries. Simply cross out neatly any entry you wish to delete and give the page reference for the correction or type in the correction.

You will have plenty of room in the notebook for all that you will need to include for the semester's work and will find that the notebook is far more useful to you if you do not crowd the pages unduly. You do not need to worry about crowded pages if you are using an electronic notebook. Type as much as you like to communicate the chemistry you are performing in lab.

Please check with your Instructor for specific instructions on how you should keep a notebook and whether it will be electronic or paper.

Here are some general rules for your paper notebook that should always be followed:

1. Label the notebook on the outside and inside the front cover with your name, college address, course number and laboratory section.

2. Before coming to the laboratory for the first time, number all pages of the notebook consecutively with the numbers in the upper right and left-hand corners.

3. Leave the first one or two pages blank for a Table of Contents which you must keep up to date each week.

Here are some general rules whether you are using a paper notebook or an electronic notebook:

1. In general, each section of your notebook, ie--Introduction, Experimental Work, and Conclusion for example, should be easy to find with clear headings at the beginning of each section. Answers to all questions and assigned exercises should be given in your Results section.

2. Since you will be working on more than one experiment at a time and will be continuing with a given experiment for more than one week, it is essential that you come to the laboratory with a schedule of operations planned in advance, and with all Tables of Physical Constants (TPCs), equations, etc. completed. Tables for the recording of observations should be clearly and neatly set-up in advance.

3. A vital component of data interpretation and discussion of results is error analysis. Always remember to include any errors that could have significantly impacted the outcome of your experiments. Follow this link for more information on experimental error.

7. You will be expected to submit the completed notebook according to the deadlines set up by your instructor.

Again, at the first laboratory meeting, your instructor will give further instructions about laboratory write-ups and appropriate notebook format for either paper or electronic notebooks.