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Chemistry Research Paper Writing Guide

Scientific investigation depends as much on the development of brand-new and ground-breaking ideas as it does on your ability to properly communicate those ideas within the target community. This chemistry research paper guide will provide you with the basic foundation needed to craft a winning research paper in the field of chemistry.
The key goal of a chemistry research paper is not to simply communicate the work that has been done to explain this or that scientific process. Instead, you become a real narrator, articulating internal prose that resulted in the ultimate findings. In other words, a research project accomplished for a chemistry class explicate each step of the scientific method.
When it comes to chemistry, the research paper is the most important project that includes the bulk of primary literature of the field. The paper serves as a tool that the author is free to use to communicate original research performed in the lab, scrupulously documenting the results.

A Good Chemistry Research Paper Has a Hook

A wisely chosen topic will ensure your chemistry research paper is highly readable. For instance, if your project covers an emerging research topic like “Ebola Virus,” or any other issue that affects millions of people, it’ll definitely hook your reader’s attention.

The other elements that can attract more people to your research paper can include a novel method or a human interest angle.

According to “Hooking the Reader: A Corpus Study of Evaluative that in Abstracts” by Ken Hyland from the University of East Anglia, having an engaging title is a must-have for a paper to stand out. With dozens of research papers in the field of chemistry, an appealing title is crucial. The shorter it is, the better. Besides, the chosen topic should appeal to a wide readership and always be effective, simple and properly reproduce the content of the project. If the author is required to submit his/her paper to a chemistry journal, it is important to keep away from the terms such as Device, Application, Fabrication or Synthesis since they suggest the project is highly specialized in its nature. Moreover, it is recommended to void the descriptive words like investigation, demonstration or study because they tend to undermine the uniqueness of your research. Likewise, don’t use the adjectives like highly efficient, green, significant enhancement, facile unless you’ve come up with the major finding that can unconditionally support the claim.

Telling a good story means to draw your target readers into the research you’ve conducted. Once they find themselves curious about how the paper starts, they will be eager to learn what happens in the end.

The Introduction

The introductory section is slightly different from a short abstract. It is used to provide the readers with the background to the chemistry research and, what is more, why it is important in the context. What are the critical questions that your project address? Why should your audience be interested?

As you see, it’s important to start the chemistry research paper with the powerful opening paragraphs that comprise some hooking content. The problem here is that once the author starts, he/she forgets to keep the rest of the project as interesting as the introduction. However, you have to include good hooks in both – your introduction and the final part of the research paper.
To get a better idea of what would be the best hook to attract your readers and keep them interested from A to Z, it’s recommended to know the purposes and the structure of the research paper introduction. Here are some hints for writing attention-grabbing intros. You just have to follow them carefully:

  • Describe the problem;
  • Based on a true story;
  • Vividly interpret your issue;
  • The scenario when you, at the author, are supposed to make up a story in order to explain a particular problem;
  • Flashback;
  • Opening fact, joke or statistic may become an excellent hook. Feel free even to quote a poem, if possible.

There are dozens of possible hooks that can be found in the area of chemistry. Try to choose what suits you best:

  • Gallium is a metal that on the palm of the hand at 29.76C.
  • The Zika virus is spread by mosquito bites and female-to-male sex.
  • Teeth, bones, and pearl will dissolve in vinegar since it contains weak acetic acid.
  • If you expose a glass of water to space, it is not going to freeze. It will actually boil. Soon, the water vapor would turn into ice.
  • The Red Planet, i.e., Mars is actually red because there’s iron oxide found on the surface.
  • It is known that Dmitri Mendeleev had long hair and a long beard. The scientist would trim his hair once every year.
  • Even though it was virtually impossible to find females alchemists in the Middle Ages, the first woman in the field is known as Mary the Jewess. The lady alchemist practiced in 200 AD; however, even nowadays the chemists apply some of the advances related to the distillation and heating of elements that Mary invented.

Despite the nature of the hook that you’ve included, your chemistry research paper should be written in formal language, which means no jargon or slang is ever allowed in the scientific community. There are times when academic writing may include jargon or slang if they provide some good hooks. Don’t change the original text of your hook even if there’s the informal language in it.

The Body

Here’s where you explain, prove, or/and support your research paper’s thesis statement or claim with solid evidence. When integrating evidence (usually quotes, but it can also be common sense examples, statistics, and figures) to your chemistry research paper, ensure to do that smoothly. Your readers should be provided with an opportunity to easily move from your words to the evidence without experiencing any logical obstacles.

Tired of all the guides and never-ending instructions?

If you find introducing quotes appropriate here or there in the body of the research paper, always provide the source for each quote. There are some terms you’re free to use in order to introduce the quoted material: confirms, asserts, explains, makes clear, comments, believes, indicates, claims, declares, defines, proposes and so on. However, keep in mind that they are not interchangeable. Pick the terms based on the context/meaning. For instance: All of us know that the famous chemist saw the pattern of the periodic table in a dream because, as Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev writes in his diary, “I saw in a dream a table where all the elements fell into place as required. Awakening, I immediately wrote it down on a piece of paper.”
Explain why the evidence provided is crucial to your argument. No matter how good it is, it won’t help your argument much if your target audience has not the slightest idea of why it is important. Make sure to ask yourself: is what way this evidence proves the point that you’re making in this paragraph or your chemistry research project as a whole?
This segment, usually the longest, contains the work that you’ve performed and the results that you’ve obtained. Take into consideration a few questions provided to help you shape the analysis:

  • Did the chemistry experiment work? What kind of explanations can you give for the experiment failure or success?
  • How have you handled the problems of the initial strategy?
  • Do your experiment results demonstrate any key chemical principles?
  • Can you state that the results that you have obtained are consistent with the ones that were previously reported?
  • Do you think any extra experiments should be performed to disprove/prove the analysis?

The development of the field of chemistry that we know today occurred in the XIX century, in Germany. Consequently, before the 1950’s most of the prominent advances in the area were communicated in German. Since the chemistry books, papers and letters written in the past reflect this history, chemistry is always written in the third person passive voice. It is important to avoid pronouns such as ‘us’, ‘I’ and ‘we’ when writing a chemistry research paper.

  • Don’t write: We often use the formation of a precipitate to confirm the presence of specific ions in solution. For instance, to confirm the presence of chloride ions, we add silver ions to form silver chloride precipitate.
  • Do write: Formation of a precipitate is often used to confirm the presence of specific ions in solution. For example, to confirm the presence of chloride ions, silver ions are added to form silver chloride precipitate.

The Conclusion: a Few Ideas from Our Writers

What is a conclusion for a chemistry research paper? First of all, it is the last segment of your project or the last paragraph in any other type of assignment.

A concluding section is like the final chord in your own song. It gives your readers a feeling that the paper is arranged and completed properly. You want your target listeners to feel that you supported each claim you’ve made in your thesis. In some ways, this part if similar to your introduction. You’re required to restate your thesis statement and sum up the key points of evidence.

Even though an effective conclusion requires you to remain succinct and clear, it doesn’t have to lack a compelling narrative. Check some of the chemistry research paper tips & strategies to go far beyond simply summarizing the main points of your project:

  • If your chemistry research paper is dedicated to a contemporary problem, it is important to warn your target audience about the possible consequences of not attending to it.
  • Cite a relevant expert viewpoint already mentioned in your project to lend authority to the results you have obtained.
  • Get back to the quotation, the example or the anecdote that you’ve provided in the intro. However, provide further insight resulting from your findings; make use of your interpretation of results in order to reorganize it in a new manner.
  • Provide an explanation of the consequences of your research to prove how urgent it is to seek changes.
  • If your research paper requirements encourage students to give any personal reflections, feel free to provide your conclusion with a relevant story taken from your personal experiences.
  • Restate a key fact or statistics in order to stress the ultimate point of your project.
  • Sketch the so-called never-to-be-forgotten message in the form of a solid statement that you want your audience to remember about your piece.

Highlight any possible opportunities for future research if you haven’t already specified those before in the discussion section of your assignment. Indicating the need for future research in the field of chemistry convinces your reader that you have an in-depth awareness of the research issues.

Citations

It is required that the citations in your chemistry research paper should be written in ACS (American Chemical Society) format. Different disciplines and journals have different requirements for using endnotes versus footnotes. However, you have to always annotate the notes with superscripts. Most of the references that the chemistry research papers’ authors tend to cite are the journal communications/articles. Take a look at the example of the format for a journal article:

1st author last, first initials; 2nd author last, first initials; etc. Journal Abbreviation year, volume, the number of the first page–the number of the last page.

Consider the style and the punctuation of every segment. The numbers of the pages should be provided with the en-dash between the numbers and not with a hyphen(– but not -).

For instance: Logwood, D. R.; Carpenter, S. T. J. Am. Chem. Soc.2017, 98, 8827–8835.

To find more information, ensure to consult the American Chemical Society Style Guide through the website of ACS Publications.