Useful Sites Regarding Writing Requirements

The Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of Writing

Link to PDF file regarding University Writing Requirements. Contains:

  • Information on freshman writing
  • Information on Writing Intensive courses
  • Links to useful websites

Online Writing Center:

All of the Advanced Chemistry Labs are Writing Intensive (Chem 4094, 4111, 4311, 4511, 4711 and 5223)

Writing Intensive Lab TA in Chemistry: John Lewin


Useful links for Chemistry Students:

U of MN Science & Engineering Library

Chemistry General Aspects
Analytical Chemistry
Inorganic Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
Physical Chemistry
Polymer Chemistry

ACS Style Guide - Writing a Scientific Paper

Drawing Structures

Periodic Table of the Elements

The Best FREE Reference Web Sites

Measure For Measure (conversions)

Summer Research Experiences/Internships


Honors Thesis

All levels of honors graduation (cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude) require you to prepare and present orally to a three-member faculty committee a written thesis based upon original research work under the direction of a member of the faculty of chemistry. This report must be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies and the three member faculty committee.

Thesis-Ask your advisor to show you the thesis of former students in your lab. This should give you an idea of the layout and style to be used. You will not be expected to create a document as long as the typical masters or doctoral thesis. The link below will show you a PDF file of a well done undergraduate thesis.
Final Thesis Document

Three Member Faculty Committee-Besides your research advisor, select two other faculty members in consultation with your reserach advisor. At least two of the three members need to be faculty members of the Chemistry Department.

Deadline-The thesis and the thesis approval form are due in the honors office the last week of classes each term. You can still get your honors after this point but it will not get posted to your diploma and you will need to pay for a new diploma with the honors notation.

Tips For Effective Poster Presentations

Through the process of trial and error, scientific societies and veteran poster presenters have come up with the following rules of thumb for effective poster presentations.

1. Prepare a banner in very large type containing a descriptive title, the authors, and their affiliations. This banner should be situated high up on the poster so it can be seen above people's heads from a distance of 15 to 20 feet.

2. Bracket the poster with an introduction at the beginning and a list of conclusions at the end. Remember that many people will read only these two parts of your poster.

3. Make the flow of information in a poster explicit with the use of inch-high numerals. The flow of information should be organized in columns running down the poster, not in rows running across it.

4. The poster should be self-explanatory, so that its main points will be communicated even if you are not there. But don't load it down with large amounts of methodological detail or lists of references. Curious observers can ask you about these things directly.

5. Each illustration should have a prominent headline containing its take-home message in just a few words. The text below the illustrations should be in smaller type and should contain far more information than the typical figure legend. Only the most interested readers will spend time with this text.

6. Prepare a presentation of no more than five minutes (preferably two to four minutes) to walk interested parties quickly through your poster.

7. Make the poster well in advance and practice it with your colleagues, much as you would practice an oral presentation.

8. Taking into account Murphy's Law, bring extra push pins (not thumbtacks) with you to the meeting. And consider making up two complete copies of the poster. Mail one copy ahead or send it with a friend.

9. At the poster session, let people peruse you poster for 30 seconds or a minute before approaching them to ask if you may lead them through it. But don't be shy about introducing yourself, since the opportunity to meet people is one of the major advantages of poster sessions.

10. If you have a preprint of a article already prepared, consider having a supply ready at the poster session to hand out to people who are especially interested. If not, take down names and addresses and offer to send the preprint when it is ready.