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Organic Chemistry As a Second Language 4th Edition First Semester Topics by David Klein | PDF Free Download.
Is organic chemistry really as tough as everyone says it is? The answer is yes and no. Yes, because you will spend more time on organic chemistry than you would spend in a course on underwater basket weaving. And no, because those who say it’s so tough to have studied inefficiently.
Ask around, and you will find that most students think of organic chemistry as a memorization game.
This is not true! Former organic chemistry students perpetuate the false rumor that organic chemistry is the toughest class on campus because it makes them feel better about the poor grades that they received.
If it’s not about memorizing, then what is it? To answer this question, let’s compare organic chemistry to a movie.
Picture in your mind a movie where the plot changes every second. If you’re in a movie theatre watching a movie like that, you can’t leave even for a second because you would miss something important to the plot.
So you try your hardest to wait until the movie is over before going to the bathroom. Sounds familiar? Organic chemistry is very much the same.
It is one long story, and the story actually makes sense if you pay attention. The plot constantly develops, and everything ties into the plot.
If your attention wanders for too long, you could easily get lost. You probably know at least one person who has seen one movie more than five times and can quote every line by heart. How can this person do that? It’s not because he or she tried to memorize the movie.
The first time you watch a movie, you learn the plot. After the second time, you understand why individual scenes are necessary to develop the plot. After the third time, you understand why the dialogue was necessary to develop each scene.
After the fourth time, you are quoting many of the lines by heart. Never at any time did you make an effort to memorize the lines. You know them because they make sense in the grand scheme of the plot.
If I were to give you a screenplay for a movie and ask you to memorize as much as you can in 10 hours, you would probably not get very far into it. If instead, I put you in a room for 10 hours and played the same movie over again five times, you would know most of the movie by heart, without even trying.
You would know everyone’s names, the order of the scenes, much of the dialogue, and so on. Organic chemistry is exactly the same. It’s not about memorization. It’s all about making sense of the plot, the scenes, and the individual concepts that make up our story.
Of course, you will need to remember all of the terminologies, but with enough practice, the terminology will become second nature to you. So here’s a brief preview of the plot.
The first half of our story builds up to reactions, and we learn about the characteristics of molecules that help us understand reactions. We begin by looking at atoms, the building blocks of molecules, and what happens when they combine to form bonds.
We focus on special bonds between certain atoms, and we see how the nature of bonds can affect the shape and stability of molecules. Then, we need a vocabulary to start talking about molecules, so we learn how to draw and name molecules.
We see how molecules move around in space, and we explore the relationships between similar types of molecules. At this point, we know the important characteristics of molecules, and we are ready to use our knowledge to explore reactions.
Reactions take up the rest of the course, and they are typically broken down into chapters based on categories. Within each of these chapters, there is actually a subplot that fits into the grand story.
This book will help you study more efficiently so that you can avoid wasting countless hours. It will point out the major scenes in the plot of organic chemistry. The book will review the critical principles and explain why they are relevant to the rest of the course.
In each section, you will be given the tools to better understand your textbook and lectures, as well as plenty of opportunities to practice the key skills that you will need to solve problems on exams. In other words, you will learn the language of organic chemistry.
This book cannot replace your textbook, your lectures, or other forms of studying. This book is not the Cliff Notes of Organic Chemistry.
It focuses on the basic concepts that will empower you to do well if you go to lectures and study in addition to using this book. To best use this book, you need to know how to study in this course.
Although these two aspects are completely different, instructors will typically gauge your understanding of the principles by testing your ability to solve problems. So you must master both aspects of the course.
The principles are in your lecture notes, but you must discover how to solve problems. Most students have a difficult time with this task. In this book, we explore some step-by-step processes for analyzing problems.
There is a very simple habit that you must form immediately: learn to ask the right questions. If you go to a doctor with a pain in your stomach, you will get a series of questions: How long have you had the pain? Where is the pain? Does it come and go, or is it constant?
What was the last thing you ate? and so on. The doctor is doing two very important and very different things: 1) asking the right questions, and 2) arriving at a diagnosis based on the answers to those questions.
Let’s imagine that you want to sue McDonald’s because you spilled hot coffee in your lap. You go to an attorney who asks you a series of questions.
Once again, the lawyer is doing two very important and very different things: 1) asking the right questions, and 2) formulating an opinion base on the answers to those questions. Once again, the first step is asking questions.
In fact, in any profession or trade, the first step of diagnosing a problem is always to ask questions. The same is true with solving problems in this course. Unfortunately, you are expected to learn how to do this on your own.
In this book, we will look at some common types of problems and we will see what questions you should be asking in those circumstances.
More importantly, we will also be developing skills that will allow you to figure out what questions you should be asking for a problem that you have never seen before.
Many students freak out on exams when they see a problem that they can’t do. If you could hear what was going on in their minds, it would sound something like this: “I can’t do it … I’m gonna flunk.” These thoughts are counterproductive and a waste of precious time.
Remember that when all else fails, there is always one question that you can ask yourself: “What questions should I be asking right now?” The only way to truly master problem-solving is to practice problems every day, consistently.
You will never learn how to solve problems by just reading a book. You must try, and fail, and try again. You must learn from your mistakes. You must get frustrated when you can’t solve the problem. That’s the learning process.
Whenever you encounter an exercise in this book, pick up a pencil and work on it. Don’t skip over the problems! They are designed to foster the skills necessary for problem-solving. The worst thing you can do is to read the solutions and think that you now know how to solve problems.
It doesn’t work that way. If you want an A, you will need to sweat a little (no pain, no gain). And that doesn’t mean that you should spend day and night memorizing. Students who focus on memorizing will experience the pain, but few of them will get an A.
The simple formula: Review the principles until you understand how each of them fits into the plot; then focus all of your remaining time on solving problems. Don’t worry.
The course is not that bad if you approach it with the right attitude. This book will act as a road map for your studying efforts.
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