OC logo


Skip to main content

CHEM 137: Research Article Analysis



Guidelines for Writing Project – Part 2

Application of the Scientific Method:

Research Article Analysis

(50 Points)


               During our session at the OC Library, you will learn to search the databases for a scientific research article from a peer-reviewed journal that is related to the topic that you proposed in Part 1 of this assignment.  Your article MUST be from a peer-reviewed journal and MUST report original research (no meta-analyses).  You should leave the library session with a copy of a suitable research article, or having submitted an Inter-Library Loan Request to receive a suitable article from another institution within a week or so.


Your paper should be in essay form, with a target audience of first-year chemistry students like yourself.  The guidelines below are to help you construct your essay so that you include all necessary information.  Your grade will be based on (1) quality and depth of thought of your analysis (evidence of careful reading and understanding) – 40 points, and (2) writing quality and mechanics (paragraph and sentence construction, grammar, spelling, etc.) – 10 points.  

à Please double space your paper and use size 11 font.  

à A copy of your scientific research article must be attached to your paper.

à  Please attach this guideline/rubric for grading purposes.

à  The title of Part 2 should be in the format

“Synopsis of your proposal from Part 1” vs. “Title of the research article you are analyzing”


Your introduction should include the following information:  A brief description of the research and the researchers (Who are they?  What are their affiliations and backgrounds?  What gives them credibility for doing research in this field?).


In subsequent paragraphs, you should:

Explain the hypothesis of the researchers and, insofar as is possible, what led to this particular piece of research.  Describe in detail the methods used to test the hypothesis, and the results of the research.


If applicable, describe how the methods employed in this research differ from those you proposed to use in your research project (Part 1 of this assignment).  If unrelated to your project, what details of the method would you never have thought of if you had to come up with a method to test this hypothesis?


Point out and discuss the steps of the scientific method followed by the researchers. 


Offer a critique of this research (shortcomings in methods or analysis, reasonableness of conclusions based on results obtained, reliability of research, overall quality, etc.).  Discuss whether or not you consider this a useful piece of research.  If so, for whom?   If not, why not? 


Determine who sponsored the research; is there any possibility of conflict of interest?  Discuss what  new question this research uncovered that could be answered by further research.






Grading Category

Points/ Criteria

Points Earned


Quality & Depth of Analysis

(40 points)

10 pts –  Good Introduction; Hypothesis & Methods clearly explained  



10 pts –  Steps of Scientific Method clearly described



10 pts –  Critique is thoughtful and in-depth




10 pts –  Other related topics discussed




______  Intro/Hypothesis/Methods



______   Scientific Method




_______  Evidence of critical thinking




_______ Evidence of careful reading and understanding


Writing quality

(10 points)

5 pts  -  No spelling, grammatical, punctuation errors (-1/2 to -1 pt each)

Double-spaced = 1 pt!


5 pts -  Good sentence & paragraph construction (-1/2 to -1  pt each instance)




_______ Mechanics



______ Style