Guidelines for Writing a Chemistry Essay

Scientific discovery relies as much on the development of novel ideas as it does on the capacity of the scientist to communicate the ideas to the public and within the scientific community. Even the most important discoveries in science can be set back if the outcomes are not circulated in a concise and accurate manner. Understanding the importance of scientific communication in chemistry, the current article seeks to provide a foundation for organizing and writing a clear chemistry research paper. The recommendations are based on the understanding that the main goal of a scientific paper, whether in chemistry or physics is not just the articulation or the work that has been carried out, but also to provide an explanation of the scientific process behind the research. In some sense, the person writing a chemistry paper is a storyteller, who narrates an internal dialogue that led to the ultimate result. In other words, a paper written for a course in chemistry should consider all the steps of the scientific method.

Writing the Chemistry Research Paper

In general, research papers in chemistry can be separated into four sections, which will allow the reader to follow the progress that the writer seeks to convey. The various sections can be loosely associated with five steps of the scientific method, and include an:

  • Introduction
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and
  • Experimental sections

In the introduction section, the writer considers the first three steps of the scientific method. This starts with the formulation of the research question and painting a larger picture of the significance of the research to academic and intellectual discourse. The introduction should then progress with a concise and rigorously cited review of literature on work that has been done in the area. The review of literature further demonstrates the significance of the current research by expanding the understanding of the research area. From the literature review, the writer can then state more explicitly the question the paper is addressing. The introduction ends with the writer stating a hypothesis, in which the intention of the research is stated. The remaining components of the chemistry dissertation serve to outline and discuss data that supports or refutes the hypothesis.

In the results and discussion section, which is usually the longest in the chemistry paper, the writer describes the work that has been done for the study and the outcomes of that work. Though the nature of data presented in the results section differs from one chemistry discipline to the next, it is important to reiterate that this section ought not to be just a mere description of procedures. Rather the results section of the chemistry term paper comprises a narrative that grows from the introduction, illustrating the research progress leading to the final results. Analysis of the results considers what worked, what failed, and the implications of the findings. The writer should also consider the findings in the context of the literature reviewed in the previous section, and make recommendations for experiments that can be conducted to test the results.

In the conclusion section, the writer provides a summary of the main purpose of the paper, and ascertains whether the initial hypothesis was confirmed or denied. The significance of the work presented in the essay should also be re-emphasized in the conclusion, and direction for future work considered.

The last section of the chemistry thesis is often separate from the narrative element of the paper, and can sometimes appear in a separate document referred to as “Supplemental Information”. This section comprises the raw data and in-depth experimental procedures supporting the discussion and results sections of the paper.

Important Conventions of Writing a Chemistry Thesis

Like all scientific papers, chemistry papers require you to observe certain conventions. For instance, since the style conventions of a chemistry papers reflects the history of the discipline, papers are always written in their person passive voice. In other words, pronouns like “we,” “I,” and “us” ought not to be used. Writing chemistry papers should also be made as succinct as possible, while also describing phenomenon and chemical processes. Avoid flowery language, and opt for a clear analysis.

In summary, writing a chemistry essay requires a concise and clear approach to writing and should follow particular structuring when organizing the paper.

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