Reading, Writing, and Peer Review: Engaging With Chemical Literature in a 200-Level Analytical Chemistry Course
The 200-level analytical chemistry course has been one of the few science courses designated as writing intensive (WI) in the Oberlin College curriculum. In this course, students develop their chemistry writing skills in tandem with their ability to find, read, evaluate, and understand the intellectual relationship of two research articles reporting current advances in analytical chemistry. This exercise includes learning the process of subject and cited reference searching in scholarly databases, peer review of the first draft of a paper examining the two articles, followed by revision, self-reflection and a final paper, all in the context of learning to communicate research findings and understand conventions of science writing. A portion of the exercise takes place in the science library computer lab with instruction from the science librarian. In a related guided inquiry exercise, students in each lab section work together to compare and evaluate specific aspects of three additional journal articles. Professional reading, group discussion, and the writing component of the class have been found to help develop student understanding of analytical techniques while strengthening abilities as scientific writers. This chapter describes the rationale and objectives of the literature review and writing assignments, as well as informal evaluation of the efficacy of the exercises.
Ricker, Alison S., and Rebecca J. Whelan. 2016. "Reading, Writing, and Peer Review: Engaging With Chemical Literature in a 200-Level Analytical Chemistry Course." In Integrating Information Literacy into the Chemistry Curriculum, edited by Charity Flener Lovitt et al. ACS Symposium Series 1232: 157-168.
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