This section summarizes a few common mistakes that students make in their lab reports. Learn to avoid these!
1. Do not use nouns adjectives:
• BAD: ATP formation; reaction product
• GOOD: formation of ATP; product of the reaction
2. “This” or “That” must always be followed by a noun so that its reference is explicit.
• BAD: This leads us to conclude…
• GOOD: This observation leads us to conclude….
3. Describe experimental results in the past tense.
• BAD: Addition of water gives the product.
• GOOD: Addition of water gave the product.
Spectroscopy is the technique.
The data we collect is a spectrum (singular), and the plural form is spectra.
• BAD: “IR spectroscopy showed…”
• GOOD: “The IR spectrum of the product showed….”
The past tense of “to filter” is “filtered” not “filtrated.”
“Filtrate” is technically a verb, but chemists only use it as the noun corresponding to the liquid collected from a filtration.
• BAD: “The product was vacuum filtrated…”
• GOOD: “The product was vacuum filtered….”