A Short Guide to Writing About Chemistry

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 12/15/2009
  • Publisher: Pearson

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This writing guide, by the author of Pearsonrs"s best-sellingShort Guide to Writing about Biologyalong with two well-known chemists, teaches students to think as chemists and to express ideas clearly and concisely through their writing. Providing students with the tools they'll need to be successful writers,A Short Guide to Writing about Chemistryemphasizes writing as a way of examining, evaluating, and sharing ideas. The book teaches readers how to read critically, study, evaluate and report data, and how to communicate information clearly and logically. Students are also given detailed advice on locating, evaluating, and citing useful sources within the discipline; maintaining effective laboratory notebooks and writing laboratory reports; writing effective research proposals and reports; and communicating information to both professional and general audiences.

Table of Contents


Part I:   General Advice About Writing And Reading Chemistry

1.  Writing: A Threshold Skill  

What Do Chemists Write About And Why?

The Keys to Success

Ten Strategies for Preparing Your First Draft

Ten Strategies for Revising and Editing: Getting to Your Final Draft

Rules and Conventions: The Easy Stuff

The Essential Last Pass: Proofread

2.  General Advice on Reading and Note-Taking        

Why Read and What to Read

Effective Reading

Effective Note-Taking and Note-Organizing

Reading Data: Plumbing the Depths Of Figures And Tables

Reading Text: Summarize As You Go                                         

Plagiarism and Note-Taking 

Checklist for Reading and Note-Taking    

3.  Citing Sources and Listing References    

Citing Sources

Some Guidelines for Citing Sources In Chemistry

Preparing the References Section

A Sample References Page

Checklist for Citing Sources

Checklist for Preparing the References Section    

4.  Revising     

Why Revise?                             

Revising for Content

Revising for Clarity                    

Revising for Completeness         

Checklist for Revising

5.  Editing for Concision and ACS Style 

Editing for Gender Neutral Language

Editing for Concision

Editing for ACS Style: Some Guidelines

Abbreviations and Acronyms

Capitalization for Chemists



Chemistry Specific Conventions



Part II:  Guidelines for Specific Tasks

6.  Keeping Laboratory Notebooks

The Role of Laboratory Instruction


The Teaching Laboratory Notebook

The Research Laboratory Notebook

Checklist for Final Draft

7.  The Role of Lab Instruction

Writing Reports of Teaching Laboratory Experiments

Composition of the Report

Checklist for a Final Draft

8.  Writing Summaries and Critiques

Writing the First Draft

Writing the Summary

Writing the Critique

Concluding Thoughts

Checklists tor Summaries and Critiques

9.  Writing Essays and Review Papers 

Writing to Learn            

Why Bother?

Getting Started

Researching Your Topic

Developing a Thesis Statement

Writing the Paper



Citing Sources

Creating a Title

Revising and Editing

Checklist for Writing Essays and Review Papers

The Plagiarism Challenge

The Citing Sources Challenge

10.  Writing Research Reports The Nature of Scientific Research Components of a Research Report

Longer Reports

Publication of Research Results

Preparing a Manuscript as Though for Publication

Checklist for a Final Draft

11.  Writing Research Proposals 

The Research Proposal as Persuasive Writing

What Are Reviewers Looking For?

Researching Your Topic

What Makes a Good Research Topic?

Writing the Proposal                                          

Tightening the Logic

A Real Research Proposal 

Checklist for a Final Draft

12.  Answering Timed Essay Questions  

Basic Principles

Applying the Principles


The Writing Component of the Graduate Record Exam


Checklist for Answering Timed Essay Questions

Rewards Program

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