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For all chemists... independent investigation help! watch

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    Im doing the Salters OCR independent investigation - anyone else doing it? I have come up with the basic framework of my experiment. I am going to investigate the factors affecting the yield of salicylic acid. Some of my factors are going to be reflux time during esterification, and also trying different reactions to form the initial compound for esterification.

    First does anyone know of any other factors that might be worth my investigating...

    Second, does anyone know how I can apply IR spectroscopy as an analysis method, or IF I can.

    I know there are three ways of producing salicylic acid, but if there are more, please enlighten me...

    Im just a bit lost right now. Any help you can offer in my thought processes is highly appreciated.

    -Robbie.
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    You could try varying temperature/pressure or using different amounts of catalysts.
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    ooh, i did salters.

    not your investigation though, but might have a few general words of well intended advice (feel free to ignore!)

    - don't underestimate how much time prelim. investigations to work out concentrations/amounts etc. may take! this is especially true, if like me, you do something that doesn't really feature in the course/textbooks & you have to devise the method entirely yourself!

    - try & plan what you're going to do in each session.. we had about 5 weeks of lessons i think, but some people ended up wasting each short lesson, as they had no idea & just faffed!

    - fine line between doing enough practical work & over stretching yourself..

    - remember, they don't want earth shattering science - it's how you write up & evaluate that's key

    - try & type up results tables etc. as you go along & write neat, detailed, organised notes - makes it much easier later!

    - don't panic if something goes wrong, but do refer to it.. & remember how crucial your write up is - they can only mark you on what you give them!

    - if dealing with lots of stats then spreadsheets are useful & i then stuck them all in an appendix to show my workings for each result (with a general worked e.g. in the conclusion section)

    - don't underestimate how much time it will take to write up WELL.. yes, it was very 'cool' at my 6th form to not really bother much, but these people were slightly more concerned when it came to the synoptic exam, they knew their cwk was crap & they got scared. mine came close to ~17,000 words i think.

    HTH
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    My longest coursework ever was my AS chemistry investigation. Just broke 7,000 words. And that was supposedly a basic AS investigation, lol. You seem very like minded and accomplished. Out of interest, what did you investigate, what were your marks for it, and would you recommend it to others, as an interesting investigation?
 
 
 

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