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.
449: Chemistry Research Methods
Syllabus for Spring 2002
Instructor: Chriss E. McDonald Office: 233 Heim
Phone: 4186 (433-4493 home, call anytime) E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meeting Time: Wednesday, 4:30 – 5:30 in Heim 234
Course Description: This course focuses on the nature and practice of chemistry. Students will conduct research into a particular chemical problem with a faculty research advisor and will discuss their research at a weekly seminar. A report on their research will be written.
Text: The ACS Style Guide: A Manual for Authors and Editors, 2nd ed.; Dodd, J. S., Ed.; American Chemical Society: Washington, D.C., 1997.
Final Paper 25%
Resume, Cover Letter
and Research Summary 5%
Paper drafts and practice talks 5%
Effort in Lab and Library Research 25%
Notebook and Spectra 5%
Laboratory Technique 10%
Attendance: The student will pursue a research project under the direction of a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry. The student is expected to commit an average of 12 hours per week to the research project. This time will be divided between laboratory work and time spent reading the literature and planning the laboratory work. Attendance at the weekly seminar is mandatory and each unexcused absence will result in a 5% reduction of the final grade. A maximum of one excused absence (must be documented by a note from physician, Dean, etc.) will be granted.
Literature Search and Literature Review: We will explore methods for searching the chemical literature. The student will search the primary chemical literature for articles pertinent to his or her research topic. These articles will form the basis of a literature review that will be written and ultimately included in the final research paper.
Research Presentations: The student will present an overview of the project at the first presentation of the semester. At subsequent meetings, the student will report on the progress made on the project since the previous meeting. Although these presentations will be somewhat informal, the student is expected to discuss the research in an appropriate manner (the student should be well-prepared, knowledgeable about the project, able to describe the work in a professional manner, and able to answer student and faculty questions regarding the project, etc.). Presentations will be the subject of peer-review.
The student will be evaluated on the mastery of techniques relevant
to the project.
Included in this category are the skills necessary for the maintenance
of laboratory equipment, laboratory hygiene, and safety.
Effort in laboratory and library
research: This takes the form of the student's commitment to the
research project with regard to both the time and thought dedicated to the
research. This includes
evaluation of the student's comprehension of the project and intellectual
input as determined by discussions with the research advisor regarding the
status of the project.
The student will maintain an accurate and detailed laboratory notebook
(hard-bound, all entries made in ink) and an organized file of spectral data.
The notebook and the spectral data will be turned in to the research
advisor at the end of the semester.
The student will present her research in the form of a chemistry
colloquium near the end of the semester.
This will utilize Power Point. A
practice talk will be given to the class at least 2 days before the
The student will prepare a
written report on the research project.
The report will
be written in standard ACS style (refer to
papers published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society) and will
include a brief abstract, an introduction, background material (literature
review), results and discussion, conclusions,
an experimental section, and references.
We will address the particulars of each section in class.
Drafts of the sections will be due throughout the semester.
Tentative Course Schedule:
1/9 Project overview, literature search background
1/16 Literature Search: STNWeb topical searches Discuss project with research advisor.
By appointment (after 5 pm) Choose search terms. Chp 32, Organic
1/23 Literature Search: Substructure searches on STNWeb Choose substructures to be searched
By appointment (after 5 pm) in consultation with research advisor
1/30 Discussion: Writing an introduction / literature review Read Chapter 1 in text
Citing references. Using IsisDraw Refer to Chapter 6 for info on
2/6 Writing the Research Summary, Resume,
and Cover Letter. Peer review of intro/lit review
Due: 1st draft of introduction / literature review (2/8)
2/13 Discussion: Writing the experimental section Chp. 8, pp 265-268
* Bring notebook and spectra
Due: Resume, cover letter, research
2/20 Workshop: Writing the experimental section Refer to Chapters 5, 7, and 8 for info. * Bring notebook and spectra on how to properly use/present numbers, chemical
Due: 2nd draft of introduction/literature review (2/22) names, and symbols.
3/6 Due: 1st draft of sample experimentals (3/8)
3/13 Writing the Results and Discussion Section Refer to Chapters 3 and 4 (grammar, punctuation, etc.)
3/20 Preparing for a Poster Presentation, Read Chapter 2 pp 27-38
PowerPoint Refer to Chapter 9 for info
Due: 2nd draft of experimentals (3/22) on how to properly include
illustrations and tables.
3/27 Writing an Abstract, Organization of a colloquium Chp. 1 pp 18-20
talk Due: poster images (3/26)
4/3 Due: Finished poster presentation (4/3)
Peer review of posters
4/10 Due: Practice talks, your colloquia (Tom, Tara)
(probably do by appointment)
4/17 Due: Your colloquia (Mike, Jeff)
Due: draft of final paper (4/19)
4/26 Due: final paper
*I'll be happy to review a draft of your R and D section at your convenience (not required until draft of final paper on 4/19 though).
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