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Chemistry 131, Phayre: Drug Essay Assignment

This guide is created for Allison Phayre's Chemistry 131 class.

Drug Essay Assignment, Fall 2013

CHEM 131 Drug Essay Assignment—50 pts


Pick a drug of your choosing and write a three page paper summarizing TWO peer reviewed journal articles about the drug.  You should look for papers that discuss its chemical structure, how it acts in the body (chemical reactions) and its medical relevance (how does it correct a medical problem).  You must use as a reference and discuss at least (2) peer-reviewed scientific journal articles describing recent research (within the past twenty years) on this drug

Your essay should meet the following criteria:

·        No more than double-spaced, 12 pt font (Times New Roman or similar); 1” margins

·        Appropriate citation format per ACS Style Guidelines: http://chemistry.library.wisc.edu/writing/acs-style-guidelines.html#print-editions

·        No plagiarism (from points lost à to an appointment with the VP, depending on severity)

·        No Wikipedia or website references except by permission of instructor

·        Journal articles cited in paper attached in hard copy or PDFs to submitted essay

·        References page

Essay will be due November 1st, by 11:59 PM (Canvas submission ONLY) or in class (1:00 PM) for hard copy submission.


Your paper should include the following sections:


Summary: Label the summary section ‘Summary’. The summary should be a short version of the articles.  It should be four or five paragraphs.

Responses:  Label this section ‘Response’. This should be at least seven well-developed paragraphs. In a response you provide the reader with your informed thoughts. You should consider one or two of the following in your response. The two bolded questions are MANDATORY for the Response:

What do you find interesting about the articles?  What made you select these articles?

How does it relate to other things that you have learnt in this class or other classes or your textbook?

How does it relate to other things that you have read or seen in the news?

Do you have a particular interest in this drug? Why?

What does it make you think about?

Is the drug useful? Explain, with particular focus on its chemical reaction with the body.

Does it worry you?  Why?

Do you think the articles do a good job explaining what the drug does?  Explain why you feel that way.

Does this relate to your future? Are you interested in this sort of research?

If the article is about the hazards of the drug, discuss what makes it a hazard (rare event, disastrous interactions with other biological processes, etc.)

You MUST include copies of the original articles:  This is important because I cannot grade your work without it. PLEASE submit the reference articles as hard copies or PDFs only!


What is Plagiarism?

If you are not certain what constitutes plagiarism, please check out the following online tutorials: http://www.plagiarism.org/plag_article_educational_tips_on_plagiarism_prevention.html


How Do I Find a Peer-Reviewed Journal Article?

For assistance with using the library to find appropriate journal articles (what is a peer-reviewed scientific journal?), please see the LibGuide created for this course’s enzyme essay assignment: http://libguides.olympic.edu/chem131phayre

Librarians are also available for appointments and via online chat to help guide you to finding an appropriate article.

How I Do I Write a Scientific Essay?

If you are nervous about writing a scientific essay, please be aware that your tuition money supports a valuable resource for writing: the Writing Center!  Located in HSS 312, the Writing Center has writing tutors on staff and they are available online, on a drop-in basis, and by appointment.  Please call at 475-7318. 

You can also check out this good online tutorial for writing a scientific essay: http://www.biology.ed.ac.uk/archive/jdeacon/writing/essays.htm

This website shows you how to format citations properly for scientific essays:


Subject Guide