While every effort has been made to make sure this electronic syllabus is error-free, it is not official.
The definitive source of course information remains the original (paper) syllabus distributed in class.

Chemistry 332W

Analytical Chemistry

Dr. Jeremy Ramsey

Fall 2006


Course Description


The material presented in this course covers the basic principles of analytical chemistry, including calibration methods, measurement statistics, equilibrium, acid-base chemistry, and buffer systems.  Additionally, the course will cover an introduction to the major areas of chemical analysis (spectroscopy, separations, and electrochemistry).


This course will likely be different from the other courses that you will take in the Lycoming Chemistry department (or at Lycoming for that matter).  The material lends itself nicely to a more active method of learning.  By active, I mean that you will be doing instead of watching.  We will spend significant amounts of time working problems and discussing the material as opposed to the traditional lecture format.


Chemistry 332 is also a writing intensive course and will count toward your writing across the curriculum requirements.  The assignments will include a minimum of 10 pages of formal writing (research paper, instructions, statement of career goals) and 15 pages of informal writing (notebook entries and laboratory reports).


Philosophy of Instruction


Ultimately, the purpose of this course is for you to learn the fundamentals of analytical chemistry and to be exposed to the foundations of modern instrumental analysis.  In my opinion, grades are secondary to your understanding of the subject, and ideally, I am willing to present each of you with an A.  In reality, some students will be more/less motivated or be more/less inclined toward the material.  These differences will lead to differences in performance.  My goal is to see each student achieve mastery of the subject and I am dedicated to reaching this goal.  The motivation, however, must begin with you.  Please take advantage of your opportunities that you have and we will both achieve the goals that we have for the semester.





Meeting Times


                Lecture                   MWF                                     10:15-11:05 am                       215 Heim

                Laboratory            T                                             1:00-3:50 pm                          207 Heim

                                Th                                           2:00-4:50 pm                          207 Heim



Required Course Materials





This course utilizes a content management system (fancy name for a website) called Moodle.  You will be expected to check this website frequently for announcements, course information, and scheduling.  The web address for the site is











Examinations (4)



       Highest midterm score



       Middle midterm score



       Lowest midterm score



       Standardized final exam






Lab Reports and Performance



Writing Projects



       Career Intent



       Semester Paper Topic



       Semester Paper Draft



       Semester Paper Review



       Semester Paper Final








³ 90%                     A

80-89%                   B

70-79%                   C

60-69%                   D

£60%                      F





Although they will normally be announced, quizzes may be unannounced and can be given in either laboratory or lecture class periods.  The purpose of these quizzes is to provide you with an opportunity to determine where your deficiencies may be and to provide a “gentle” reminder of how important it is to stay current with the progress of the course.  As with the examinations, quizzes should be considered cumulative and may contain information from the laboratory or lecture portion of the course.


Lab Reports


Lab reports are due one week (7 days) following completion of the experiment, unless otherwise informed by the instructor.  Grades on late lab reports will be reduced by 10% plus 5% per calendar day beyond the due date.  The format of the reports will be covered prior to the first, active laboratory period.






In this course, homework assignments will not be collected, but it is strongly suggested that you attempt them.  The selected homework problems provide an indication of the topics that I think are important.  This makes solving them of utmost importance to your grade and your performance in the course will likely correlate with the amount of time spent solving problems.  Answers can be checked with the solutions manual (a copy will be on reserve in the library).  Because learning can be much more efficient through failure, I feel strongly that should be attempted individually before seeking help from others or checking the answer in the solutions manual.  Please feel free to stop by my office to discuss any difficulties you may have with any of the suggested problems.




Examinations will be given during laboratory sessions and will be administered on the following dates.  Because the material presented later in the class builds upon concepts presented earlier, all exams should be considered cumulative.  Changes to the exam schedule will be made only with unanimous consent of the class and must be made prior to September 8.


Examination 1

September 28

Examination 2

October 24

Examination 3

November 30

Final Examination



** The final examination time and date is established by the registrar.  It cannot be changed.


Office Hours


I like a more open format for office hours.  If you have questions, stop by when you have time.  I do tend to be busy (especially as I teach General Chemistry during the same semester) so you can always make an appointment.  I really like to spend time with my students (and it can get lonely sitting alone in my office), so feel free to drop by anytime to chat.  My door is (almost) always open.




Safe laboratory practices, including proper attire, will be expected at all times.  Long pants are required as well as closed toe shoes (no sandals).  Wearing contact lenses during laboratory session is strongly discouraged, but may be tolerated with prior approval.  You will not be permitted to begin any experimental procedures until all safety concerns have been addressed.  Repeated safety violations will cause a zero to be awarded for the experiment.


Writing Projects


The writing projects are designed to enrich not just your knowledge of chemistry, but also of the ubiquity of analytical measurement.  The major semester project will require you to write a research paper describing a topic in chemistry (or science) that involves analytical chemistry.  The paper should describe in detail the topic chosen, the methodology utilized for chemical analysis, and analysis of the results presented.  Part of the motivation for the project is to learn independently about something that you do not understand.  I would suggest that your search for a topic start with your text book.  What analytical techniques are interesting to you? 


A draft of the paper will be submitted and will be reviewed by a fellow student, the instructor (me!), and possibly, an outside reviewer.  This is meant to simulate the process used for the submittal of a manuscript to a professional journal.  Using the reviewer comments, you will revise the manuscript and resubmit it for a final project grade.  A number of smaller projects will also be required, including a statement of career intent and a set of activities involving descriptive or instructional writing.  A list of the projects and the grading scale is contained in the grading section.  The writing projects will involve a significant amount of library research.  I have made arrangements with the research staff at Snowden library to provide us with an overview of their facilities as well as to provide support during the research of our projects.  Likewise, the staff at the Academic Resource Center (ARC) is available to help you with your writing (Jane Keller x4392).  You should seriously consider beginning the library research NOW!.  Late assignments will be penalized 10% plus 5% from each day past the due date.



Paper Topics/Sources

September 22

First Draft

November 1

Draft Review

November 20

Final Draft

December 8






Laboratory Topic Schedule


The laboratory schedule presented here is tentative and can (will!) change during the semester.



Week Beginning

Laboratory Topic

August 28

Check-in, Excel

September 4

Calibration, Popcorn Statistics

September 11

Gravimetric Analysis

September 18

Gravimetric, Chloride Titration

September 25

Exam 1, NaOH Standard

October 2


October 9


October 16


October 23

Exam 2, LR

October 30


November 6


November 13

Spectrophotometric Aspirin

November 20

Thanksgiving Break

November 27

Exam 3, Separations

December 4

Separations, Check Out

December 11

Final Exam Week




Acid Base Experiments (AB)

Titration of Strong Acids

Titration of Weak Acids

Titration of Acid Mixtures

Titrimetric Analysis of Household Items


Laboratory Rotation (LR)

Titrimetric Determination of Calcium in Milk

Analysis of Food Dyes in Kool-Aid (Introduction to Spectrophotometry)

Potentiometric Analysis of salt on potato chips using a chloride ion selective electrode


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Last updated September 3, 2006.
The URL for this page is http://www.lycoming.edu/chemistrydept/fall2006/332syl.htm