CHEM 420: Advanced Laboratory Techniques

Reader requirements: Bachelor’s in Chemistry and professional chemical laboratory experience.

  1. Course Information
  2. Schedule
  3. Giving Feedback

Course Information

Instructor: Prof. Chris Roy

Synthesis of less common substances by techniques such as high or low pressure, high or low temperature, and/or inert atmospheres. Characterization of products from measurements such as electrical conductance, optical rotation, ultraviolet-visible spectra, infrared spectra, and/or mass spectra.

Student Writing Assignment

What are students writing? Journal article.
For whom? Experts in biochemistry, synthetic organic chemistry, and medicinal chemistry (pharmacology).
Where would such writing typically be found? A professional periodical such as JACS.
Why would someone usually read it? To keep up with basic research in the field, learn about what others are doing that is related to their own research.

See examples of reader bios for this course


Student – Reader Interactions

Student projects begin after Spring break. (More details coming.)

Link to full Syllabus:

Giving Feedback

Giving feedback is the activity around which the entire project is designed. You may have considerable professional experience giving feedback on writing — whether to colleagues, employees, or other contexts — or perhaps this is an fairly novel experience. Given the aims and nature of the Reader Project, we are hoping that our volunteers engage with student writing in a particular way–one that is quite different from what is conventionally done in other contexts.

The primary aim of the project is to help students really understand what it means to write for readers, rather than as a school assignment. Think about the following when you give feedback, whether in writing or in real time:

  • Respond as a reader rather than as an editor. (They can get basic editorial help from others.) Focus on sharing your reactions to the draft as a user of such writing. What are you thinking as you read? More

Instructor’s response questions:

  • Does the student clearly place his/her research in context?
  • Does the student use charts/graphs/illustrations clearly to demonstrate the setup and outcomes?
  • Does the Discussion offer a compelling and clear explanation of the project?