Ch 407 Seminar

Spring 2014

Instructor: Dr. Arlene Courtney, DSC 214
Office Hours: M 9-11; W 9-11, W 1-2 (other limited hours by appointment)

Coghill & Garson, "The ACS Style Guide"

Course Description: Each student will prepare and present a public seminar on an approved chemistry or forensic science topic

Course Schedule

Date Topic   Assignments
3/31 Introduction to the Project   Seminar Review Sheet
4/07 Targetting the Audience   Topic Description Due
4/14 Seminar Structure/Strategy  

Seminar Draft Outline Due

4/21 Introduction to Visual Aids    

Preparing Slides

Electronic Abstract Form (due to instructor in electronic form)
5/05 Preparing Slides  

Formalized Outline Due to Instructor

5/12 Delivering the Seminar  

Annotated Bibliography Due


5/19 Murphy's Law  

Seminar Draft Slides Completed

This means your seminar is ready to be presented in a dress rehearsal




Week of 5/19 Dress Rehearsals (schedule to be published)
5/29 (Thurs)

Academic Excellence Day

The Presentation of Seminars

Week of 6/03

Chemistry Exit Exam (schedule to be determined) - You will not receive a grade in Ch 407 until you have taken the exit exam which is a graduation requirement.


Grading Scale
Seminar Presentation 200 pts


A: 276-300
B: 246-264
C: 216-234
D: 186-204
F: Below 180


Other Assignments:

  • Draft Outline (5 pts)
  • Electronic Abstract (30 pts)
  • Formal Outline (10 pts)
  • Chemical Abstracts Search (15 pts)
  • Annotated Bibliography (20 pts)
  • Draft Slides (20 pts)
100 pts


300 pts


Seminar Requirements

  • The main objective of this class is for you to develop a topic of current interest, do a complete literature search, and prepare and deliver a public seminar on this topic. All seminars will be delivered on Thursday May 30 during Academic Excellence Day. There will be no exceptions. The seminar will be graded by a panel of judges.
  • The seminar MUST be 30 minutes in length to pass this course. You will have 30-35 minutes for your presentation followed by a 5-10 minute question period.
  • Your literature search must involve a Chemical Abstracts and on-line database search. You will prepare an annotated bibliography of all the sources that you use in preparing your seminar. You MUST have journal articles among your references. More details about the annotated bibliography will be available via the Moodle class site. The annotated bibliography is to be printed and copies distributed during your seminar.
  • If you do not have at least two references from primary literature sources such as peer reviewed scientific journals (remember that definition from Ch 350?), your topic is not acceptable for use as a seminar topic. You may use internet resources, but they may NOT comprise the bulk of your references.
  • Your seminar will be done using Powerpoint as your visual aid tool. You may do a demonstration if it is appropriate to your topic. You may also insert video into your presentation if it is directly needed to clarify some point you need to make during your seminar. Video clips in which someone else is delivering the spoken content must be limited to 2 minutes or less. A clip may be longer if you are doing a voice over during the showing of the video..
  • This seminar is a formal presentation. You will dress in a professional manner to present your seminar which means a dress, skirt or suit for women and a tie and sport coat or suit for men. You might as well get used to this type of attire as it is what is expected of you when you go to a job interview!
  • Everyone will give a draft presentation of their seminars. Your draft presentation will likely not be during the normal class period. Please make time in your schedule for the dress rehearsals. You must attend at least two dress rehearsals other than your own. From past experience, the more you support each other, the better your seminars will be.

Other Course Requirements

  • You have several other assignments that are required. The electronic abstract is the description of your seminar that will be published in the Academic Excellence Day Proceedings volume. All assignments MUST be turned in on the date due. Failure to turn in the assignment on time will result in receiving a zero for that assignment. DO NOT EVEN ASK for extensions. Assignments will be turned in electronically via the Moodle site. Once the upload period is expired, Moodle will no longer allow you to upload an assignment.
  • If you faithfully complete your assignments, you will stay on schedule and have a seminar to present on the presentation day!
  • You must take the chemistry exit exam, a chemistry graduation requirement, to receive a grade in Ch 407. This exam will be administered outside the normal class time during "dead" week.

Direct suggestions, comments, and questions about this page to Arlene Courtney,

Last Modified March 28, 2014