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ERIC Number: EJ1159461
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Oct
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
A Project Provides an Opportunity: Multiple Drafts of an Introduction Require Students to Engage Deeply with the Literature
Slade, David J.; Miller, Justin S.
Journal of Chemical Education, v94 n10 p1458-1463 Oct 2017
A 10 week project in the organic chemistry laboratory provided the opportunity to require students to write four drafts of an introduction. Student understanding of what a good introduction entails was transformed by their fourth draft, as evidenced by higher citation counts and the inclusion of more and better figures, which reveals greater student engagement with the primary literature. In the initial implementation of the project, writing subsections of the final report throughout the semester had the unfortunate effect of creating loosely related but standalone assignments for students. Replacement of the subsection work with four drafts of the introduction section required students to re-examine their own work, respond to feedback, and investigate the primary literature in greater depth. Faculty grading time is now focused on requiring students to understand the background literature of the project deeply and to write a compelling introduction, as opposed to asking students to briefly engage the other subsections that make up a final report.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (DHHS); National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1R15CA15286901; DUE1044396