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Investigate the Properties of Ionic and Covalent substances

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Title: To Investigate the Properties of Ionic and Covalent substances Introduction: Certain properties of compounds, such as polar and non- polar solvents, melting point and conductivity of electricity, can be used to distinguish between Ionic and Covalent substances. Aim: To determine whether common laboratory substances are ionic or covalent in nature. Apparatus/Materials: Sodium Chloride Test Tubes Sucrose Glass Rods Naphthalene Beaker (2- 100cm3) ...read more.


This was repeated with the other salts. Method(2): Solubility of Substances Two spatulas fall of sodium chloride was poured into breakers 1 with water and oe with ethanol. Solution was mixed and was held for conductivity test same was done for other salts. Method(3): Conductivity Electrodes were connected to connecting wires and were placed into the solutions/ mixtures and connected to batteries and each solution was examined for conductivity. ...read more.


No Yes No No Conductivity of solution in ethanol No No No No Yes Discussion: Ionic compounds are very hard and brittle. Covalent compounds have a lower melting and boiling points, are not a conductors of electricity and are not soluble in water. Covalent bonds are when two molecules share one or more election, does not create ions. Ionic bonding is when electrons are given to another molecule. Conclusion: Common laboratory substances are both ionic and covalent in nature. ...read more.

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Response to the question

Overall an okay investigation, with the in depth analysis required for A level missing. The conclusion is not adequate because the candidate states that common laboratory substances are both ionic and covalent whilst the results the candidate has obtained are ...

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Response to the question

Overall an okay investigation, with the in depth analysis required for A level missing. The conclusion is not adequate because the candidate states that common laboratory substances are both ionic and covalent whilst the results the candidate has obtained are not analysed properly to make this assumption. For example NaCl is purely ionic, not both as the candidate assumes, so to improve their conclusion on substances and their results, the candidate should strive to understand the properties of ionic and covalent substances properly so editing their results, and then make a conclusion that takes into account a valid analysis of their results, and if the results are wrong, what might have gone wrong throughout their experiments. Making assumptions is a bad thing because then the candidate does not know when their results are actually wrong, and so will not learn from this.

Level of analysis

In the introduction, rather than stating properties that can distinguish between compounds the candidate should explain how they can do this and what they would be expecting from an ionic and covalent compound. This is so the candidate knows what to look for as properties in an ionic and covalent compound before they start the experiment, and this would mean that they could correctly analyse their results. A prediction should also be made about each substance based on solid scientific evidence they have researched so the candidate will know when their experiment is wrong. The methods are only explained shortly and some candidates would run into problems with the experiments if they were reading these as they do not explain any safety measures or things that may go wrong with the experiments. The method should set out to explain exactly what the candidate is going to do and how they will avoid bias or confounding factors in the experiment. The discussion sets out some of the points of covalent and ionic substances showing that the candidate does possess some base knowledge of the substances. They could improve by actually relating this information to the results they have received.

Quality of writing

The candidate uses too many commas in the introduction so the writing appears interrupted and stilted. One spelling mistake of 'yea' in the table. Otherwise, spelling, grammar and punctuation appear fine. The tone of the piece is not correct as it presented shorthand, not in an essay format, and does not expand on main scientific points.

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Reviewed by skatealexia 08/07/2012

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