Each year CHEM 331 has three to four (or sometimes five) experiments.    Each successive experiment places an increasing amount of the planning and scheduling of the experiment on the individual student.   The experiments are varied each year at the discretion of the instructor.  A “typical” sequence of experiments might be the following:

  1. Titration of old organolithium and Grignard reagents found in the teaching lab and elsewhere
  2. Use of multiple organometallic reagents in the synthesis of an organic compound
  3. Synthesis of interesting main group compound or materials
  4. Synthesis of transition metal complexes
  5. Independent project

Grade for the course are based on performance and on laboratory reports.   The reports are to be written up in the exact style of an article contributed to the Journal of the American Chemical Society, and ACS templates must be used during document creation.  The reports are not equally weighted-earlier reports are worth fewer reports so as not to allow students to “learn writing” and not lose too much credit in the “learning process”.  A representative grading scheme is shown below.

Category Lab 1 Point Value Lab 2 Point Value Lab 3 Point Value Lab 4 Point Value*
Abstract & TOC Entry 5 15 20 20
Introduction 5 15 20 20
Experimental 50 70 100 100
Results and Discussion 50 80 110 110
Yellow Pages & Spectra 10 10 20 20
Style** 10 20 30 30
Lab Performance*** 20 40 50 50
Total 150 250 350 350

*Number of projects may vary each year
**Style represents sentence structure, grammar, format, and readability of report
***Lab performance represents an assessment of your preparedness and use of time in lab.  Excess idle time and time spent in lab researching and not doing lab work is undesired.

The ACS Style Guide is a marvelous “must have” for any practicing chemist who ever has to write up their work.  CHEM 331 students are required to write reports in the ACS publication Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS) format, and must adhere to the ACS Style guide.

The templates required for CHEM 331 reports can be found at the pubs.acs.org web site for the JACS here.