Organic Chemistry II  | Lecture | Laboratory
Organic Chemistry 
The Laboratory Notebook

You are required to keep a laboratory notebook for all experiments done throughout the semester using the guidelines provided below. The notebook will be assessed weekly throughout the semester.  The guidelines for keeping a laboratory notebook, given below, should be used to keep your notebook.  These guidelines mimic those used for preparing a technical manuscript for publication in a scientific journal.  Notebooks must be checked, dated and initialled by the lab instructor before students leave the lab at the end of each lab period.  Students who do not bring a notebook to lab will receive a zero for that week's notebook grade. 

General Guidelines

Detailed Guidelines (Notebook Rubric)
Laboratory experiments should be recorded in the notebook, divided up into seven sections:
Each experiment should be given a concise, relevant title. Use the titles given in the syllabus for the course.  The title of the experiment, along with your name and the date should be written at the top of each page in the notebook that contains data or information related to that experiment. 
The introduction is a brief scientific objective or explanation of the experiment.  Often, a graphical representation of the experiment being carried may be used.  If the experiment involves the synthesis of a compound, this section must include a reagent table (the amounts of each reagent being used, their molecular weights and any other pertinent physical data on these chemicals (i.e.; densities, boiling points, melting points, etc.) in tabular form (i.e., a data table), a reaction scheme and a reaction mechanism.  This must be done before coming to the lab. 
The methods or procedure is a record of what was done during the experiment.  This is a description of what was actually done and is not a copy of the procedure written in the lab manual.  The procedure should be recorded as you are conducting the experiment and should include enough information that someone else could repeat the experiment using only your notebook (or references cited in your notebook).  The procedure can be written in standard text or using a flow chart method.  Be sure to include any deviations from procedures outlined in the lab manual. This must be done during the lab (not before) and directly in the notebook (not on other paper and then copie over). 
Yields, spectral data, calculations and any other data describing the outcome of the experiment are reported in the results section of the lab notebook.  Tables or figures are often excellent ways to clearly and thoroughly present experimental results.  Results must be recorded during the lab directly in the lab notebook.  Interpretation of the results is reserved for the discussion section. 
Interpretation of the results is recorded in the discussion section of the laboratory notebook.  The discussion section is the most important part of the experimental report since it is in this section that you demonstrate your understanding of the experiment.  The experimental results are discussed in relation to how these results specifically illustrate the scientific purpose or hypothesis of the experiment. The discussion is completed after the experiment is completely done and should be done outside of the lab period.
The reference section of the notebook is a bibliography of the experiment.  It should include all reference sources used for conducting the experiment.  Standard bibliographical form should be used when preparing this section of the notebook.  See laboratory resources for references on a variety of topics related to the experiments that will be done during the semester.