Preparing BRIEF NOTES
from the printed text.
What are Brief Notes?
The purpose of having brief notes is to serve as reminders of experimental steps. In other words, you are expected to know the lab well enough that you can almost do it from memory, but the brief notes are your reminders. The reminders help you so that you don’t skip a step.
You will be asked questions throughout the experiment to determine whether you have prepared adequately. Your responses may be included as a part of your grade for some labs.
By the way, here is a peculiar tidbit from behavioral psychology. When people work from a list, they usually go to the top of the list and read down to where they left off. That wastes a lot of time and introduces errors.
The best way to format your brief notes is to have a box or open parentheses before each statement, and check it off as you do it. Then your eyes are drawn to the last check mark.
Now read the above again, two or three times until you get every important point.
If you are reading this now, did you do what grandpa said? If so, good for you, if not you’re bad. Go back and read it like I told you.
OK, let’s get started...
When you write brief notes, you should capture the essence of the step and make it as short as possible. Don’t worry about grammar or complete sentences, just get the memory jogger part of each step.
To illustrate, I have prepared brief notes for Part J of the MEGALAB. The only complete sentence here is the statement that comes from the Chemical Reactions Handout. It is intended to maintain focus on what you are trying to learn from this experimentation.
Part J: Carbonates and bicarbonates react with most acids to produce carbon dioxide, water, and a salt of the acid. (7d)
...and your brief notes might look like~
( ) 18 x 150 TT @45 degrees mouth up on stand
( ) 13 x 100 TT w/3 mL limewater 4 d phenol red
( ) 5 mL 3M HCl then 3 marble chips - use delivery tube
( ) Bubble gas --> sm tube Watch & record
( ) DISPOSAL: beaker labeled PART J disposal.