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The major editable content on ChemPRIME is in the form of exemplars. Exemplars are subject-specific examples that illustrate the concepts presented in the main textbook. Anyone may add an exemplar by following the guidelines outlined in this page.


Creating an Exemplar: Summary

Each exemplar should be associated with a CoreChem page and should include the same concepts as its associated CoreChem page. The Collaborating with ChemPRIME section describes how the content and pedagogy of an exemplar can be planned and gives an example of an exemplar structured according to the recommended procedure.

Each exemplar should have a context that fits one of the ChemPRIME tracks:

When an exemplar is created, it should be associated and categorized under the appropriate track. See Category:Exemplar Tracks for the names of each category.

Here is a summary of how to code a new exemplar (more detailed information is available later in this section):

  1. Identify the relevant CoreChem topic in the blue Table of Contents and follow the link to a list of tracks. From this list, choose the track your exemplar best fits.

    A typical track list is similar to the one above, except that the pages listed have names that correspond to a specific topic, in addition to the general textbook ("CoreChem") page at the top. CoreChem pages are not exemplars; rather, they are conceptual models for exemplars. For example, the Proteins page lists the CoreChem and track pages relevant to proteins. An editor interested in the nature of proteins in foods would follow the Proteins in Foods link.

  2. Add your exemplar's title to the track page by clicking the edit tab and entering the title within double brackets, preceded by an asterisk to bullet the list. Make certain that the Table of Contents is included by adding its template with the corresponding chapter number at the top of the page. Scroll down, below the editing window, and click "Save page". You can also see a preview of your work by clicking "show preview".

    From the Proteins in Foods example, note that this track page contains a link to a specific exemplar, Umami in Foods. This list can be expanded by adding another bullet with the name of a possible exemplar. Note that this track page contains the Table of Contents, which is open to Chapter 8, the chapter containing information on proteins.

  3. The created exemplar's link will be red and is ready to be filled out. Follow the link, and at the top of the page, add the table of contents template, the relevant category ([[Category: Geology]], for example), {{DEFAULTSORT:ch#}}, where # is the same as in the ToC SideBar, and a link back to the base page (the one listing all the tracks).

    For example, look at the edit page (by clicking the edit tab) of Percent Yield: Synthetic Sweeteners. The table of contents template contains "ch3" because percent yield is a topic covered in chapter 3. The code reads {{ToC SideBar|ch3}}. Because the exemplar's focus on synthetic sweeteners is relevant to both foods and biology, both of these tracks are added as categories: [[Category:Foods]] and [[Category:Biology]]. Finally, {{DEFAULTSORT:ch3}} is added to tie the categories and chapter together.

Your exemplar can now be fleshed out with your own explanations and examples. You can edit in wikitext format or click Rich Editor to use a WYSIWIG editor. Remember to adhere to the Manual of Style when formatting and include a references section if applicable. Use the "show preview" and "save page" buttons at the bottom of the editing screen often.

An example of an exemplar created this way is Thermal Mass for Heat Storage. This exemplar explains how Trombe walls store and release heat, why heat capacity defines their quality, and how they can be used as a source of energy. The base topic page related to this exemplar is Heat Capacities, and the most relevant track is Heat Capacities in the Environment. The track page links to the specific exemplar page, and both have the ToC SideBar open to Chapter 15, the chapter that contains the CoreChem Heat Capacities page. Thermal Mass for Heat Storage links back to the base Heat Capacities page.

Exemplars are separate from the instructive material located in CoreChem space, based on the textbook by John W. Moore. Textbook pages are labeled with "CoreChem:" preceding the title of the page, such as in CoreChem:Enthalpy of Fusion and Enthalpy of Vaporization. Exemplars spanning multiple scientific fields can be created from singular topics in the book.

Names and Tracks

Exemplars should be named concisely and categorized into specific subject areas for easier organization. The title of the exemplar can simply refer to the topic used to explain the chemical concept; including the concept in the name is for clarification is also possible. For example, Water on Mars explains enthalpy of fusion and vaporization while referring to the various phases of water on Mars. Cross-Linking in Biology uses a more general title, as ambiguity allows for a larger scope of the exemplar.

It is preferred that when creating a specific exemplar page, you use the first method of naming (Water on Mars instead of Enthalpy of Fusion and Enthalpy of Vaporization in Physics), because ChemPRIME uses tracks to organize an exemplar tree rooted from on CoreChem textbok page.

The current Tracks list includes: Geology; Physics/Astronomy; Engineering; Everyday Products; Sports, Physiology and Health; Biological Science; Liberal Arts; Environment and Forensics. When creating an exemplar, match the chemical concept explained and the assisting subject field to the appropriate track. Using the previous example, Water on Mars is linked to on the Enthalpy of Fusion and Enthalpy of Vaporization in Physics track page.

Creating an Exemplar Step by Step

  1. Click on the Subchapter in the Table of Contents where you want to add the Exemplar.
  2. You will see the Tracks Page. Click on the Track where you’d like to add the Exemplar.
  3. If Exemplars already exist, skip step 4. Just add the name of your exemplar as a wiki link as explained in step 5 and continue from there.
  4. If no Exemplar currently exists, you’ll get the message: You have followed a link to a page that does not exist yet. To create the page, start typing in the box below (see the help page for more info). This is actually the best way to create a new page in a wiki.
  5. Type
{{ToC SideBar|chX}} 

replacing X with the chapter number that you’re working on. This activates a wiki “Template” which creates the sidebar menu (with the current chapter expanded) and places it on the page. This ensures easy navigation to other exemplars once in the exemplar you are working on.

  • Type the name of your new exemplar page as a “wiki link”, so the page might look like this:
{{ToC SideBar|ch1}}

[[Density of Fat and Muscle]]

This creates a link to a new page entitled “Density of Fat and Muscle”.

Note: in some cases it’s useful to create an alias for a page, so that the displayed name may be different (usually longer) than the page name. This is done by adding a pipe (|, uppercase \ key): The text before the pipe is the page name; the text following the pipe is what will appear on the screen.

[[Density of Fat and Muscle|Density of Fat and Muscle: Fitness Testing]]
  • Check how the page will appear by scrolling to the bottom of the main screen (rightmost scroll bar) and clicking on Show preview. When the page expands, it shows the final appearance at the top, and the wiki text at the bottom.

If the page looks ok, scroll to the bottom and click on Save page. Nothing is changed permanently until you do this, so you can always Cancel if things have gone awry.

  • After you Save page, click on the link that you created. Once again, you’ll get the message: You have followed a link to a page that does not exist yet. To create the page, start typing in the box below (see the help page for more info).
  • Now you can start typing your actual exemplar, or you can paste in content from the corresponding CoreChem page and begin editing. For typing and editing you can click on Rich editor at the top of the page and use the WYSIWYG editor, but if you are copying text that includes wiki code you need to use the standard wiki editor, not the Rich editor (because the latter copies plain text without formatting). Wiki syntax is a combination of modified HTML, LaTeX, and other markup languages, but there are many sources of information on editing it. Basic information is covered at Help:Syntax.
Note: it's not necessary, but to be helpful to readers, you might copy and insert a line like this:
<P ALIGN="RIGHT"><FONT SIZE="2">''back to'' [['''''Tracks Page Name''''']]</FONT></P>

This replaces Tracks Page Name with the actual name of the Tracks page (with Biology, Geology, etc.) where your exemplar is linked. This "breadcrumb" will help users navigate back to the Tracks Page.

  • A good way to learn is to open a new ChemPRIME window, choose a page that is similar to what you want to create (for example, the corresponding CoreChem page), and click the "Edit" tab to view the wiki text. Then copy and paste the page into your new blank page as a starting point. This also helps guarantee that your exemplar will cover the same concepts as "CoreChem", which is what we want.



Most exemplars refer to one or more real-life examples of a chemical topic, such as a compound's occurrence in industry of natural life. The introduction should initially focus on this example and eventually explain how the chemical topic relates to it. Introductions should be generally brief while highlighting the most interesting and relevant facets of the particular example.


A conceptual section constitutes the main body of the exemplar. This section contains the bulk of teaching and explanation on the exemplar's topic, similar to the associated CoreChem (main textbook) page. These conceptual sections can be based largely word-for-word off of the CoreChem page, but should incorporate the exemplar's specific topic as well. The Food Energy in a Marshmallow explains how to calculate the energy change of a reaction using standard heats of reactions, but centers this explanation around the metabolism of sucrose and other chemicals in a marshmallow.

Different concepts should be sectioned off from each other throughout the page by section headers, which are created by flanking a title by equals signs. Larger "sections" are flanked by two equals signs (==Section title==), while "subsections" underneath these sections are flanked by three (===Subsection title===).

The Food Energy in a Marshmallow is again a good example of sectioning off concepts with this formatting; looking at the edit page may also help.


Worked out examples can be included throughout the exemplar in order to reinforce concept sections; alternatively, they can be placed at the end of the exemplar to provide a summary of the page as a whole. Most examples are not open-ended; that is, they usually ask questions that require a conceptual or mathematical response, and the answer is given in a separate section after the question.

Generally, examples are set apart from conceptual sections by one of two ways:

  • With a subsection using three equals signs (===) on either side of the section title; in this case,===Example=== or ===Example #===
  • With a bar line using four hyphens (----)

Each example should immediately be followed by a diving bar line (----), and then the word ANSWER in bold. This answer section then solves the problem for the student. If the problem was mathematical, step-by-step calculations should be shown. If the example was more conceptual, the answer should give the solution clearly in relation to established chemical concepts, and perhaps explain why some common incorrect answers are in fact wrong. The example towards the end of Umami and Proteins is non-mathematical and requires conceptual understanding of cations; it corrects potentially incorrect answers by explaining why akali metal cations larger than K+ are impractical solutions.

As an example, Radioactive Series in Astronomy covers the two main concepts of a radioactive R-process and a radioactive S-process. Each is given its own section (==), and each contains an example subsection (===) that immediately follows the relative conceptual section. The examples are not numbered, but it is assumed that each one corresponds to the previous conceptual section.

Transmutation and Radioactivity in Astronomy is set up slightly differently; after the entire conceptual section, two examples are given and numbered to differentiate from each other. They are separated by bar lines created by four hyphens (----).

Note that these examples are very mathematically oriented; examples that ask for definition or understanding of chemical concepts in a more open-ended manner are certainly encouraged.


Images are often necessary to highlight the unique subject of your exemplar and may be added throughout the page. Keep in mind that the ToC SideBar may get in the way of some images on the top of the article and prevent right alignment. This is not an issue if the exemplar is meant to be viewed on ChemPaths site.

To upload an image for use in an exemplar, see the Help: Images page.

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