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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 11 Issue 1 (2006) pp 29-32

Writing Abstracts Provides General Chemistry Laboratory Students with an Introduction to Scientific Writing

Michelle Mac

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC 29424,
Received July 5, 2005. Accepted December 16, 2005.

Published online: 12 January 2006

Abstract. In a scientific community that is constantly expanding, the ability to communicate scientific results clearly and concisely is an essential skill. Unfortunately, many students graduate with a deficiency in these skills. By introducing a writing component into the undergraduate general chemistry laboratory course this deficiency is addressed without sacrificing basic problem solving and critical thinking skills. These writing assignments are in the form of a scientific abstract and have been constructed to gradually introduce the student to scientific writing. By having the students write abstracts that report the results of experiments done in the laboratory, we have encouraged them to take ownership of the material while simultaneously providing them with the scientific communication skills that they need to succeed in the workplace.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; general chemistry; laboratory courses; writing within the discipline; writing across the curriculum

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (202 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:


Supporting Materials:

A sample abstract and the abstract guidelines provided to students are provided in a Zip file (110 KB).


Issue date: February 1, 2006

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