Household Disinfectants


Lecture Writing Assignment: Investigative Report “Household Disinfectants

Schedule of lecture writing assignments submission

Type of the assignment Draft submission

If desired

Final submission
Investigative report 03/29 05/10

Note: additional help with drafts and editing is available during the office hours or by appointment. Draft and final submission deadlines are mandatory, and submissions will not be accepted after the dates indicated above. Please be aware that works submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.

Overview – the goal of the essay.

The goal of this assignment is to identify disinfectants you have in your household, learn about their chemical compositions and effectiveness in eliminating certain microorganisms, and determine whether or not you use it correctly. You should choose onedisinfectant to write about.

How to collect information.

Collect the relevant information first.

Choose one disinfectant most often used in your household. Read the container label carefully and note active and inactive ingredients of the product. Find out the name website of the manufacturer. Do the Google search of the product for additional information on possible uses and harmful effects of the product. The allowable source of information sites are listed in the “Sources of Information” section below.


Review different methods of controlling microorganisms’ growth. Your review should include answers to the following questions:

1. What methods of controlling microorganism growth are available today?

2. What is the difference between sterilization and disinfection?

3. What is the difference between disinfectants and antiseptics?


Before you start writing, investigate all household disinfectants you have at home.

1. Read the label and determine active ingredient(s) of each disinfectant.

2. Determine to which class of disinfectants this ingredient belongs.

3. What do you know about the action of this disinfectant? If you do not know anything, find out from your textbook or from the manufacturer website. The address of the manufacturer website. Is on the product’s label.

4. How do you use this disinfectant? Compare the way you use this disinfectant to the way it should be used according to manufacturers’ instructions. Do you overuse, underuse, or use it just the right way?

5. How effective is the use of disinfectants in your household?

6. Are there known adverse (damaging) effect of this disinfectant on humans?

Include answers to the questions above in your narrative.


Conclude about use/overuse of disinfectants in your household. What have you learned about the most effective way of using the disinfectant? Are you going to use this disinfectant(s) the same way you used it/them before?

Sources of information.

You should use at least five sources of information. Textbook may be one of them.

DONOT use Wikipedia as a source. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia written by readers and edited by other readers, and it may include wrong information or false claims. However, you can use this site to direct you to other sites. The most reliable sites are the sites of scientific societies (American Society for Microbiology, for example), government agencies (such as CDC, NCBI and so on), museums and educational institutions (colleges and medical schools). The easy way to remember which sites to use as a source of information is to research only those sites which domains are .org, .gov, or .edu. The exceptions are the manufacturer website and reputable publishers such as New York Times, Scientific American, National Geographic and such. Remember to include the full address (URL) of the page you used as a source of information, and information retrieval date.


The essay should be typed, single-spaced, 12 points font size, 3 pages of the text minimum excluding the title page and the reference page.Avoid direct quotes and explain ideas from a book/article in your own words. Remember, when you write about ideas from articles and books you are working with, you MUST include citation for these. Even if you explain in your own words what a particular writer has written about the topic of your essay, you MUST put the author’s name and the year of article/ chapter/book in parenthesis at the end of the sentence. Otherwise, you can put a number under which your reference is listed in the list of references in parenthesis after citation. In either case, the full list of cited references should be typed at the end of your essay under the title ”References”.

All citation should be in the APA format. Guidelines to the APA citation style can be found at… or on the Hostos Library website.

Please note, if any paragraph/sentence in your assay is cut and pasted from the Internet/copied directly from a book, your grade for the essay will be 0.

How your essay is graded

Category Excellent Good Poor Help!
Quality of information 50% 30% 10% 0 %
Bibliography 30 % 20% 10% 0 %
Organization/Format 10% 0.5 points 0 % 0 %
Grammar 10% 10% 5 % 0 %

Explanation of the rubrics table:

• Excellent quality of information means that your information is gathered from reliable sources (see “References” paragraph above).

• Excellent bibliography means that you included all citations’ references in the text and organized them in the “List of references” in the APA format.

• Excellent organization means that your essay has a clear introduction, narrative and conclusion.

• Excellent grammar means that your essay does not include glaring grammar mistakes. Good grammar means that your essay sentences are well structured and there are not many typos.

If you feel that your English skills need improvement, please seek help from the HALC Writing center: