Beginning Organic Chemistry (BOC)
2. Hints for Learning Organic Chemistry.
d. Aids for Learning Organic Chemistry.
Return to BOC Index.
Organic chemistry may well be one of the most difficult courses that you ever have to take. It is very important, therefore, that you start right. Following are some tips which you can use to organize your learning.
There are at least three major ways in which organic reactions can be characterized, understood and learned:
I strongly suggest that you initiate a method of indexing organic reactions using all three of these approaches. You may choose to do this on 3 by 5 cards or on 3-hole paper or by some other method. Whatever you choose to use please keep it up to date and review from it often. I suggest that without these indexes you will have a very tough time learning the material in this course.
Of all the tools that you can use this one will provide you with the greatest return. Even making up the indexes has the benefit of writing the processes, helping you catagorize and learn them.
The following is an incomplete index for primary alcohols and is only to illustrate the idea of a functional group reactant index.
The following is an incomplete index for primary alcohols and is only to illustrate the idea of a synthesis index.
Have a separate sheet for each reaction mechanism. Indicate all steps in the mechanism using curved (curly) arrows to indicate electron movement. Keep each step simple so as not to confuse yourself at a later date when it comes to reviewing the mechanism. Make sure that all steric, stereochemical and electronic requirements are indicated in the reactants and products of each step, use the "General Observations" to avoid making the mechanism diagram too complicated or cluttered.
The following is an incomplete mechanism sheet for the SN2 reaction of primary haloalkanes and is only to illustrate the idea of a mechanism index.
I cannot emphasize the importance of using these tools throughout your
organic chemistry course.
Date created: 2005 06 10.