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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 2 Issue 2 (1997), S1430-4171(97)02117-1

An Essay Assignment for Organic Chemistry Courses

Robert B. Grossman

Department of Chemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0055

Published online: 26 June 1997

Abstract. An essay assignment suitable for large introductory organic chemistry courses is described. Students were asked to write four-to five-page essays about any organic compound of their choosing that was in the news recently, was used widely, or had some social significance. The assignment was designed to stimulate student interest in the role of organic chemistry in their lives, to help them make connections between classroom information and the "real world", to have them practice their writing skills, to teach them to use the library and other sources of scientific information, and to help them improve their grades by evaluating them with an instrument other than an exam. Techniques used by the instructor to manage the burden of grading a large number of essays are described.

Key Words: In the Classroom; organic; philosophy/curriculum; teaching techniques; writing

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (41 KB )

Issue date: June 26, 1997

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