General Chemistry II First Writing Assignment

Write a paper convincing the instructor that one of the pieces under "Chemical Applications and Essays" is the most interesting piece. These are listed, with page numbers, just after the Table of Contents in your text book (p. xxiv).

Some general guidelines are available. Specific guidelines are given below. This is an argumentative paper and the logic must be readily apparent. I have included here two rough sketches or examples of some basic kinds of arguments that could be made. These are only examples, that may or may not be sound. Many other possibilities exist. The paper would include the concise argument (examples below) in the first paragraph. This argument should be written in such a way that if the premises are true, then the conclusion will be true. Writing it in this way will ensure that the logic is good. The body of the paper will then show that the premises are true. Remember to write at least one paragraph on each premise (P1 and P2 in the examples below). The last paragraph of the paper should state that since the premises are true and the logic is good, the conclusion must be true.


P1: If certain criteria [these are to be listed here] are met by [my choice] then [my choice] is the most interesting.
P2: Certain criteria [listed as before] are met by [my choice].
C: Therefore, [My choice] is the most interesting.

You would, of course, have to determine what you think the criteria should be before you can begin writing the paper. You must then justify your choices (support the first premise) and show that the criteria has been met (support the second premise). This verification of the two premises, which provide support for the conclusion, would constitute the body of the paper.


P1: If [My choice] has the greatest impact on life, then [My choice] should be the highest priority.
P2: [My choice] has the greatest impact on life.
C: Therefore, [My choice] should be the highest priority.

The use of "greatest impact on life" is only an example. There are many other possiblities (most economically sound, easiest to do, etc.).


Specific Guidelines:

  1. Required Argument Format

  2. Required Paper Format

  3. There is no length requirement. Keep it simple and to the point. Follow the example of the sample paper.

General Guidelines:

  1. This is an argumentative paper and the structure of the argument should be obvious. I do, however, expect the paper to be in normal sentence and paragraph form. Don't use outlines or write P1, P2, etc. in an attempt to make the argument more explicit.

  2. This is not a persuasive paper. Opinions and emotional pleas should not appear in this paper.

  3. Make sure all premises for the main argument and the conclusion are in the first paragraph. Don't introduce new premises that directly bear on the conclusion after the first paragraph.

  4. All the premises of the main argument must be explicitly stated in the first paragraph. That is, there will be no implicit premises in the main argument.