Document Type


Publication Date



Scientific success in the field of chemistry depends upon the mastery of a wide range of soft skills, most notably scientific writing and speaking. However, training for scientific communication is typically limited at the undergraduate level, where students struggle to express themselves in a clear and logical manner. The underlying issue is deeper than basic technical skills; rather, it is a problem of students’ unawareness of a fundamental and strategic framework for writing and speaking with a purpose. The methodology has been implemented for individual mentorship and in our regional summer research program to deliver a blueprint of thought and reasoning that endows students with the confidence and skills to become more effective communicators. Our didactic process intertwines undergraduate research with the scientific method and is partitioned into six steps, referred to as “phases”, to allow for focused and deep thinking on the essential components of the scientific method. The phases are designed to challenge the student in their zone of proximal development so they learn to extract and ultimately comprehend the elements of the scientific method through focused written and oral assignments. Students then compile their newly acquired knowledge to create a compelling and logical story, using their persuasive written and oral presentations to complete a research proposal, final report, and formal 20 min presentation. We find that such an approach delivers the necessary guidance to promote the logical framework that improves writing and speaking skills. Over the past decade, we have witnessed both qualitative and quantitative gains in the students’ confidence in their abilities and skills (developed by this process), preparing them for future careers as young scientists.


© 2022 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society and Division of Chemical Education, Inc.

Publication Title

Journal of Chemical Education





To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.