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CHEM 2101 & 2102 Spring 2022 Library Resources for Lab Assignments

Introduction & Outline

Welcome everyone!  I am your Chemistry Librarian, Kalen Keavey, and I have compiled this Library guide to assist you with finding resources to look up chemical information and literature to use in writing your lab assignments as part of your lab report writing workshop. This guide is a compilation of resources that can all be found in various places on the main Chemistry Library Guide.

The key objectives for this Library Guide are for you to:

1. Become familiar with, and easily use, tools to obtain information on chemicals using the Background Information section

2.  Obtain skills to find relevant scholarly articles that highlight existing research and experiments that have used the chemicals and processes you will be using in your labs using the Articles section

3.  Refresh your proficiency in paraphrasing requirements and methods in (you guessed it...) the Paraphrasing section

4.  Remember that there are existing resources to assist you with ACS citation

5. Know where to get help!

This guide will act as an outline for the session, you can follow along with any examples I provide or feel free to search for your own chemicals and topics. You may be required to login with your MyMRU login and password to access databases from off-campus.

--> Once you have gone through the guide, it would be very helpful if you could take a minute to answer the three quick questions in the feedback survey on the right side of the page (you can just type directly into the boxes on the survey).

Background Information

Before you start your labs you should be looking up the chemical properties of any chemicals you will be using, not only is it important to understand the chemical you are working with, it will also be very helpful when you need to write your lab report. 

Listed below are two places to start to look for chemical information, these are just starting points, click on the resource name above the video to search these resources yourself.  If you need more information or different descriptions, check out the Background Sources and Websites tabs of the main Chemistry Library Guide.

CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics Online




While you are working on your labs and lab reports you may find you need to look up terminology and/or definitions and dictionaries and encyclopedias are great resources to find this information.  You would find them on the Background Sources tab of the main Chemistry Library guide. 

Dictionaries are an excellent place to find basic definitions for your labs.  Try looking up the word elute in a dictionary listed on the Background Sources tab.

Encyclopedias are great places to find extended definitions, descriptions, processes, and history of chemicals. The Basic Chemistry and General Science Encyclopedia tabs on the left hand side of that page will be especially useful for finding this type of information.


In addition to basic definitions, chemical properties, and explanations, you will need to find scholarly articles to support your lab experiments and for use in the introduction and discussion sections of your lab reports.

Pub Chem and Scopus are helpful places to look for previous research involving the chemicals used in your labs; you can also try some of the other article databases listed on the Articles tab of the main Chemistry Library Guide.






--> If you can not find full-text of an article, submit an interlibrary loan request if the article is available electronically it can be in your email inbox within a few business days.


To avoid plagiarism when paraphrasing / summarising remember these five important points:

1) Your paraphrased text should be significantly different from the original (i.e. don't just change a few words here and there)

2) You must change the structure of the sentence or paragraph you are paraphrasing, not just the words.

3) If you use anyone else's words verbatim (word for word) you need to put quotation marks around it.Warning: Quotations are rarely used in the sciences

4) Use proper citation methods (in this case use ACS) to give credit for the idea's, opinions or theories you are presenting.

5) Check that you have preserved the original meaning of the text in your paraphrased version.

six steps to paraphrasing

  1. Read the text passage in the "Text to paraphrase" document linked below. 
  2. On a sheet of paper/new google doc summarize the important point of the text passage in your own words.  Do this in 2-3 sentences.
  3. Find a partner and exchange your paraphrases.  Check your partner’s paraphrase against the 3 aspects of plagiarism below and give them a check mark for each one they have achieved.

Checklist for Plagiarism

Is the paraphrased text significantly different from the original?

Does the paraphrased text change the structure, not just the words of the original text?

Does the paraphrased text correctly convey the meaning of the quotation?


Another important step in avoiding plagiarism is citation, to give credit to original sources of information and ensure your instructor can find your original information source. 

NOTE:  Your instructor has provided you with a document containing a course-specific citation resource and that should be your first stop for finding help with citation for this class.

If you would like more citation help, the MRU ACS Citation Guide can be a good additional resource when creating citations for your labs and assignments. 

If you require more help with ACS try the ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication website. 

Remember to be consistent (especially with your method of in-text citation).

Where to get help!

Questions about lab requirements, due dates, submission, or the science you encounter in this assignment contact your Lab Instructor!

Having difficulty finding information (either too much or too little), challenges with databases not working, or have questions about citation contact your Librarian!  

You can also get help by clicking on the MRU Library Ask Us chat popup on the lower right-hand side of each of the library webpages.

Chemistry Librarian

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Kalen Keavey

Phone: 403.440.8516
Office: EL4423O


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