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What are some things to talk about in the introduction to a lab report? it is the mystery powder lab, and i do not know what to write in the introduction. i would like it to be long considering the whole lab write-up needs to be 8 pages.

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mlsiasebs eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The purpose of the introduction section in a lab report is to give the reader an overview of both the theories/concepts to be covered as well as some general information about the experiment to be done. 

An introduction should start with the hypothesis/purpose of the experiment.  Make sure the hypothesis is specific in what you think you will find (i.e. "Determine the concentration of HCl in the unknown solution." instead of "Find the concentration of acid.")  The predicted outcome of the experiment should be based on theoretical information and not on experimental data, even if you are writing the introduction after completing the experiment.  Then, explain the scientific concepts that are relevant to the experiment.  Give any applicable chemical reactions or mathematical formulas that will be important in the experiment.  Next, explain how the experiment will help you prove or disprove your hypothesis.  Using the theoretical information about the topic, provide support for your hypothesis.

A couple of other tips

  • Have someone who hasn't done the experiment read your introduction to see if they can figure out what you are doing and why.
  • Reference any sources you use for your theoretical information for both paraphrased and quoted information.


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