A Manual of Qualitative Chemical Analysis (Classic Reprint)by McGregory McGregory
An examination of most of the works on the subject of qualitative analysis will show that they belong in one of two general classes which may be described as follows: first, the exhaustive treatise, of which such a work as that of Fresenius will serve as an example; second, the abbreviated treatise, often
Excerpt from A Manual of Qualitative Chemical Analysis
An examination of most of the works on the subject of qualitative analysis will show that they belong in one of two general classes which may be described as follows: first, the exhaustive treatise, of which such a work as that of Fresenius will serve as an example; second, the abbreviated treatise, often very much abbreviated, in which the author attempts to cover the whole work in a few lessons.
For graduate students, or for the better class of beginners who are able to devote the most of their time to the study, books of the first class may be invaluable. But the great majority of the students in our colleges do not become chemists. They study analytical chemistry at the most but a short time, and what they acquire is, and should be, to a considerable extent, of disciplinary value to them. To the great majority of our students, therefore, the exhaustive treatise, especially at the beginning of their course, is a means of confusion rather than an intelligent guide.
The second class of text-books is also likely to fail with the average student, since it teaches him to analyze an unknown substance in such a purely mechanical way that the actual knowledge of the subject acquired is small, and the disciplinary value of the work becomes a minimum.
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