CHEM 311L: Physical Chemistry Laboratory

Reader requirements: A basic knowledge of undergraduate physical chemistry.

  1. Course Information
  2. Schedule
  3. Giving Feedback

Course Information

Instructor: Prof. Todd Woerner

Laboratory experiments designed to accompany CHEM 311: Physical Chemistry II.

Student Writing Assignment

What are students writing? A journal article.

For whom? Professionally invested science educators, lay readers with an interest in Undergrad science education.

Where would such writing typically be found? J. Chem Ed, J Phys Chem.

Why would someone usually read it? To learn something new about chemistry, or to review a topic learned in the past.


These are the course deadlines, as they pertain to the Duke Reader Project:

-Update with S 18 calendar dates once I receive them-


  • April 3rd, students send draft of Intro to readers
  • Arrange meeting no later than April 10th to discuss Intro

Full Draft:

  • April 19th, students send full draft of final paper, arrange meeting for feedback ASAP
  • (Optional) Meeting by April 23rd to go over presentation for Oral Report (on 24th), writing and PowerPoint
  • Final paper due April 26th

CHEM 311L Syllabus

-Update with 2018 syllabus once I receive-

Giving Feedback (general information that will apply to most courses):

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 (things for the volunteers for this specific course to consider when reading student’s work):

  • 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?