Deadlines & Logistics
How to Keep a Notebook
Notebooks: Deadlines and Logistics
A notebook will be supplied to you before the first laboratory period. Write your name, the name of your TA, and your lab section on the cover of your notebook. Keep the first few pages of your notebook blank for use as a Table of Contents. You should also number subsequent pages after the Table of Contents. All notebook entries must be in ink and clearly dated. No entry is ever erased or obliterated by pen or "White Out". Changes are made by drawing a single line through an entry in such a way that it can still be read and placing the new entry nearby. If it is a primary datum that is changed, a brief explanation of the change should be entered (e.g., "balance drifted" or "reading error"). No explanation is necessary if a calculation or discussion is changed; the section to be deleted is simply removed by drawing a neat "x" through it.
Notebooks: What Happens When
Before lab lecture, complete sections 1 through 4 of your lab write-up (as described starting on page 9 of your lab manual) in your lab notebook. Also, complete the assigned prelab problems for the week's experiment on the sheet(s) provided in the lab manual. You must turn in your prelab problems before the lab lecture begins each week.
Before beginning experimental work, your TA will initial your notebook and make point deductions if the prelab is missing or incomplete. The prelab procedure and problems will be graded, but more importantly, you will not be allowed to start lab until they have been checked by your TA. Consult the laboratory manual for prelab reading and problems.
Before leaving the laboratory, you must have your TA check that your notebook contains all the data and observations necessary for the successful completion of the lab write-up. He or she will initial your notebook, and if items are missing, your TA or faculty instructor will decide how the missing work is to be completed. Barring major disasters, you will have time to do all the needed work during your regular lab period, especially if you come to lab prepared and stay organized during the lab period.
Shortly after the lab, you should look at your results, complete any calculations and complete either your data sheet or formal report. When your data sheet is complete, tear out the appropriate pages from the lab manual, staple them together, and turn in to the appropriate TA slot on the third floor of Steele Hall. On weeks when a formal report is assigned, you have one week to complete the report and should bring your final copy to lab lecture the following week to turn in.
Roughly two days after lab, drop off your data sheets in the appropriate slot outside the laboratory. The deadlines for lab write-ups are given below:
Your data sheets will be examined and graded by your TA to evaluate your procedure, data, graphs, answers to questions posed in the manual, and a discussion of errors and uncertainties, when appropriate. Your formal reports will be examined and graded by your TA to evaluate your procedure, theory section, data, presentation of results, including graphs, answers to questions posed in the manual, a concluding disucssion and a discussion of errors and uncertainties, when appropriate.
Specific point credit distributions will vary from experiment to experiment, but emphasis will be placed on the accuracy of your final results in those experiments which are quantitative in nature. Grade deductions will be made for late notebooks (see below).
When you return to lab the following week, your TA will return your graded prelab problems and data sheet and you will show your TA your notebook with a completed prelab procedure for that week's experiment (see Before lab lecture..., above).
Late Report Policy
Deductions of 20 to 50% of the total possible points will be made for late lab write-ups. Data sheets/reports turned in 8 or more days late will receive a zero and will not be graded. The bottom line is simple: do not turn in your lab reports late! It will severely and needlessly affect your final lab score. Also, if you receive three zeros during the term, you will automatically fail the course. The following situations (at least) will result in a zero for a particular lab experiment: not showing up for lab, not submitting your write-up within 7 days, or not coming prepared for lab and being told to leave. The late deductions are summarized below:
1 day late: 20% deduction
2 days late: 30% deduction
3 days late: 35% deduction
4 days late: 40% deduction
5-7 days late: 50% deduction
8 (or more) days late: write-up will not be graded and will be given a zero
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