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Guide on How to Write an Excellent Chemistry Essay

In some sense, a college student writing a chemistry essay is a storyteller, who demonstrates an internal dialogue that led to a certain result. In other words, an essay accomplished for a chemistry course should comprise all the stages of the scientific method to communicate the scientific discovery to the scientific community. This chemistry essay writing guide will help you cover both of these aspects of essay writing.

Pick a Topic

Chemistry is a pretty wide area and there’s a huge ocean of possible opportunities for those required to conduct research for the class. Picking a topic for the chemistry essay is a daunting task and if you happen to choose the broad one, ensure to narrow it down to make more specific. A winning chemistry essay is written by choosing a topic that you have dozens of information on. This will enable you to craft a piece with total composure and command.

Looking for the hottest topics for a chemistry essay? The list of the suggested chemistry essay topics below reflects the juicy chemistry topics that are provided for both – the educators and college level investigators.

  • Reticular Chemistry: Properties, Construction and Precision Reactions of Frameworks. This chemistry is about linking molecular building blocks with the help of solid bonds in order to create open crystalline frameworks. The fields have significantly expanded the range of useful materials and chemical compounds.
  • Evolution of Technologies for 3D Bioprinting. The area of 3D printing is moving forwards rapidly, including the development of biomaterials for drug screening and therapeutic applications.
  • Heavy Metals as Contaminants of the Human Environment. The issue is highly important due to the potential hazards to the health of animals and humans.
  • The Periodic Law. The periodic law was created independently by Dmitri Mendeleev and Lothar Meyer in 1869. Bring something unknown to the surface.
  • Photo-redox Catalysis in Organic Chemistry. Use the paper to point out the significance of the synthetic applications of photo-induced electron transfer chemistry.
  • Pesticides & Herbicides: Toxicity, Disadvantages and Health Effects. Pick three or four pesticides and/or herbicides and discuss how testing of these compounds causes cancer.
  • The Impact of Greenhouse Gases. Talk about the exchange of energy between the sun and the global surface. Discuss its effect on flora and fauna, humans and atmosphere.
  • Chemistry in Beauty Industry. Provide in-depth research on the ingredients found in cosmetics, their benefits, and harm.
  • Acid Rain and the Effects on Plants. Imagine that you’ve had one in your neighborhood.
  • Why Plastic Never Helps Certain Foods Remain Fresh. Consider various sources to find more inspiration and answers why your favorite pizza isn’t that fresh in that plastic container.
  • Chemistry vs. Alchemy. Many students believe that chemistry is simply about mixing liquids up and experimenting with lab explosions. As a form of chemistry, Alchemy seems to be magical and mysterious due to the constant efforts of the researchers in the middle ages to turn a normal metal into gold.

Although choosing a captivating topic for the chemistry essay is quite challenging, impossible is nothing for the students passionate about the subject. When picking the issue that would become a good fit for the college essay, ensure to choose the topic that you can easily relate to the natural world.

Write an Introduction

In an opening paragraph, you’re required to cover the scientific background of the chosen topic. Start the section with the formulation of the research question and provide a larger picture of the research significance. Make sure to progress with a properly cited and concise review of the literature on work that has been performed in the field. Proceed to the literature review to demonstrate the importance of current research by expanding the understanding of the area of research. From this point, you have an opportunity to state more clearly the question your essay is addressing. End up the introduction with a hypothesis that includes the intention of your research.

Many researchers begin an introductory section with generic statements like: ‘Chemical reactions are the soul of the science. The greatest minds of all time have always known that they exist.’ Well, this may be true, but does it sounds interesting to your target readers? Why are the chemical reactions important in the area? What are the basic components that can be found in the reactions? Who was the first to reveal why the chemical reactions actually matter? Make sure to set the scene for your reader so that he/she knows why your research is crucial. At the same time, don’t be too bold with your statements, like ‘This substance kills all cancers’ cells’ (unless it’s true, then ensure to shout here and there about this fact!).

  • Don’t turn your chemistry essay intro into a mini-review. There are dozens of literature sources out there, but you as the science beginner are supposed to choose the issues that are most relevant to your topic and explain why.
  • Use a good hook for the essay. Tell your readers that ‘the Ancient Greeks suggested the first theories on the composition of the matter. The citizens of Ellada thought that the individual particles could make up the matter.’ Or, as an alternative, blow their minds with a statement that ‘glass is neither solid nor liquid since its molecules still flow, which is why it’s somewhere in-between.’
  • Start this part with highlighting questions and formulating a broader picture of the research significance. For instance, if your essay is based on the research dedicated to the antioxidant potential of extracts from basil herbs, start with a quick explanation of how basil is used in medicine and how important its antioxidants are, when the questions are about decreasing free radical chemistry in the body. Thus, your readers will understand the reason why the author selected basil extracts for the research.

Finally, a hypothesis should be provided with the primary intention of your research. You have to provide the topic sentence of the chemistry essay. In other words, a good thesis statement should include a…statement. After all, there’s a reason why it is called that way!

Tired of all the guides and never-ending instructions?
  • A good thesis statement is focused. Don’t make your readers feel confused about the purpose of your research.
    • Don’t write: ‘Pesticides can cause harmful effects over a human body.’
      This statement is too broad and leaves a bunch of questions unanswered. Are all pesticides bad? What are the harmful effects of the substances? Why should anyone care?
    • Do write: ‘Not only are pesticides hazardous to the environment, but they are also dangerous to human health since they have been linked to ADHD, cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease and serious birth defects.’
  • A solid thesis is based on a debatable topic.
    • Don’t write: ‘Modern chemistry was built upon a long history of alchemy.’ No one can provide arguments for or against the statement mentioned above. That’s just a fact.
    • Do write: ‘As a full-fledged science, modern chemistry emerged in 1661, when a clear distinction was made between alchemy and chemistry by Robert Boyle in ‘The Sceptical Chymist.’ This argument is well-debatable
  • A good thesis statement comprises claims that you’ll support later in the essay.
    • Don’t write: ‘Alchemy should be taught at high schools.’ This statement has no supporting claims. Why should students ever address it? What are the benefits of teaching alchemy?
    • Do write: ‘Newton was an alchemist, which means the theory of alchemy has historical significance. It turns out that English mathematician, theologian, and astronomer enjoyed alchemy as a hobby and tried for years to turn lead into gold.’ This statement includes some unbelievable and thought-provoking claims. Your target readers will wonder how the legendary physicist was influenced by alchemy and how you plan to defend your claims.

The Body: Results & Discussion

This part of the chemistry essay, usually the longest, describes the work you’ve done, as well as the results that you’ve come up with. While the key data described in the body of the chemistry essay usually varies between the chemical disciplines and universities, keep in mind that this part shouldn’t simply include a technical explanation of the procedures. Instead, the author provides the so-called narrative that is the logical continuation of the intro.

In the body section, you’ll explain the way in which the essay investigation is undertaken and the progress of the research that in the end will lead your audience to the final results. For instance, if you used the Beilstein test to analyze halide ions, the specific silver nitrate solution conditions shouldn’t be elaborated. Instead, the results of the Beilstein test should be described.

Check the following questions provided to help the chemistry essay authors shape their analysis properly:

  • Did your experiments work? Can you provide any explanations for this failure/success?
  • What fundamental are the chemical principles being proved or disproved by the results?
  • How were the shortcomings in the experiment overcome?
  • Are the results that you’ve obtained consistent with the previously conducted experiments?
  • What other experiments should be executed to prove/disprove the analysis?

The Investigation

The way in which the chemistry investigation is undertaken will depend mainly on whether the paper includes experimental work conducted by the author. When dealing with the non-experimental chemistry essays, you have to show how the data has been chosen. It is necessary to distinguish between the primary resources (i.e. original interviews, scientific publications, and personal communications) and the secondary sources (reviews, articles, and textbooks) in order to ensure how reliable each is. If you’re engaged in the experimental work, ensure to include sufficient information to enable an independent researcher to repeat the work if required. You have to make it clear which experiments you have designed and conducted yourself and which you’ve adapted, improved or altered from methods that exist.

The Experimental Section

This part is focused on the details of the chemistry experiment. It’s necessary to provide enough data so that your target audience could (if required) re-conduct the experiment and come up with similar results. Make sure to address the following when working on the Experimental section:

  • The data treatment (for instance, the computations or calculations utilized to create graphs).
  • The identification of the sources of materials and instruments used in the process (the ones that were bought from Fluka or synthesized within the laboratory). The author must mention the model and the manufacturer (for instance, V-730 UV-VIS Spectrophotometer by Jasco).

Develop the procedures in order to test the hypothesis, as well as analyze the experiments you’ve conducted. For instance: ‘When we added ammonium chloride to water, the temperature of water decreased from 26°C to 16 °C.’

The Concluding Section: A Few Chemistry Essay Tips from Our Experts

Use your concluding section to provide a short summary of the essay and inform your readers of important results. For instance: ‘According to the calculations that were shown by this investigation, the molar volumes of the salts decreased, when they were dissolved in water. The lab experiments proved that the volume of sodium chloride shrank by 21%, from 37,0 cm3/mol to 25 cm3/mol, while the volume of potassium chloride shrank by 19%, from 26 cm3/mol to 16,7 cm3/mol.’

Your conclusion should also assess the research with respect to the chemistry essay purpose. Also as a variant, you may combine this part with the discussion segment, which means the last paragraph of the Discussion may serve as a conclusion. In chemistry, you’re almost always are required to consider a range of the questions that remained unresolved and to suggest the target areas for future investigations. The importance of work provided should be re-emphasized as well.

The Use of Appropriate Language

In the case of the chemistry essay, the correct nomenclature and terminology must be used by the author in an effective and consistent manner:

  • Relevant chemical formulas: Ethane (C2H6), Methane (CH4), Propane (C3H8), Butane (C4H10). Etc.
  • Balanced equations: PhC2H5 + O2 = PhOH + CO2 + H2O.
  • Common abbreviations: eq: equation; min: minute(s); calcd: calculated; h: hour(s),etc.

The correctly arranged units for physical quantities are expected and the proper use of significant figures is a must.