John Leyba In Chemistry

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Writing is not the first thing that comes to mind when the word chemistry comes appears. With the subject of chemistry, people usually think of cool experiments such as making toxic chemicals and blowing things up; however, writing plays a very vital part as a chemist. Dr. John Leyba, the chemistry and biochemistry department head and professor at the University of North Georgia (UNG), was able to give an insight of writing in the world of chemistry. Earning a Bachelor of Science in Truman State University and a Ph.D. in Nuclear Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Leyba was able to provide a plethora of experience in writing from both school and work during the conversation. After speaking with Dr. Leyba, it was made …show more content…
For example, the expectations in writing abilities are very different when comparing a high school student and a student in graduate school. High school and undergraduate students are expected to write lab reports, whereas graduate students write a dissertation or a thesis. The expectations between the two are greatly different, but Dr. Leyba says that as students progress through school, the writings will eventually “cultivate into longer papers . . . to learn as you go along, kind of like training and building up your stamina”. Students go to school to learn and to add additional layers to the foundation built over years. Here at UNG, the expectations of writings are just simply lab reports and other forms of papers, but in graduate studies, the expectations are much greater. Dr. Leyba explained that even in chemistry, a student is expected to produce a journal article, and also a thesis or a dissertation. A dissertation can span up to couple of hundreds of pages, and is reviewed by a board of committees who then guide the student through writing the final copy of the dissertation. Dr. Leyba was able to show me a previous student’s dissertation, and it seemed as if it was a textbook due to its size. In school, the writings are purely educational as students learn with each report they write, so that in the future they will have the proper techniques needed in higher …show more content…
Even though chemistry is highly math based, I know that I must be able to convey my findings into words that flow ever effortlessly, while also being concise and accurate. Dr. Leyba included that since the scientific world is solely fact based, it is important that the writings and the meanings are to the point. I realize that I must pay attention to the details in all the things I do and learn in both class and lab, so that I can clearly present the information accurately. Another thing that Dr. Leyba mentioned was that “sometimes a student may not say what they mean”, implicating that the student may have gone off topic, or was not concise with their findings. As I progress through the many years of college ahead of me, I realize I have to think, with each word I write I must make perfect sense to my audience, so that they can understand and be able to reiterate whatever I

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