About this picture ...

Home
Instructor
Getting Help
Syllabus
Schedule
Materials
Resources
CHEM 1810 (Lab)UVA Home


Chemical Principles Laboratory (CHEM 181L)
 


Peer Critiques


An important part of science involves critical evaluation of others' work. Scientists often need to carefully evaluate an author's arguments and decide whether the science is "good," i.e. is the hypothesis carefully constructed, does the experiment support the hypothesis, is the experiment reproducible, are the assumptions/limitations of the study explored, are alternate/contrary ideas presented and discussed? In order to give a fair critique, it is necessary to approach this task with an open mind, setting aside any assumptions, biases, and expectations you may have about the subject.

Two peer critiques will be conducted throughout the semester, both based on your classmates' Research Reports. The purpose of the critiques is to give you an opportunity to critically evaluate a peer's work and to get feedback on your own. The goal is to give and receive feedback which is constructive and which aids in improving each other's science.

Each critique will be worth 15 points, with the sum of them accounting for 6% of your final course grade. The critiques will be completed in laboratory.

Your critique should answer the following questions (3 points):

1. What is the title of the Research Report, and who is its author?
2. What is the key topic/question (or hypothesis) discussed in the Report?
3. What reasons does the author give for why the topic is important?

Your critique should also comment on the following (please be specific by providing the whys and why-nots along with examples):

Critique 1 (pdf)

1. Look over the author's Introduction. Does the Introduction place the work in the "bigger picture?" Does it mention the significance of the current work? Is it clear what the author is trying to show? Is there too much extraneous information? (4 points)
2. List three things which were done well in the report. (4 points)
3. Suggest two things which might be improved upon in the report. (4 points)

Critique 2 (pdf)

1. Look over the author's Results and Discussion. Is the data clearly reported? Is the analysis of the results thorough and complete? Is the "take home" message clearly stated? Is there too much extraneous information?(4 points)
2. List three things which were done well in the report. (4 points)
3. Suggest two things which might be improved upon in the report. (4 points)

Note: The critique should be in prose form; do not simply write "quick responses" to the questions/statements above. Although not specifically defined in the point breakdown, poor grammar and spelling will adversely influence your final grade.

© 2004-2013 Michael Palmer