Organic Chemistry 8th Edition
Learning Through Understanding
The best way to master organic chemistry is to develop an intuitive understanding of basic principles, then understand how to apply those principles to new and increasingly complex situations.
The learning of organic chemistry is analogous to putting together a complex jigsaw puzzle and at least two distinct approaches can be imagined. The first approach, reflecting the way many students unfortunately approach their first organic chemistry class, is to memorize each new piece of the puzzle individually, with no context, and then try to blindly guess where it is to be placed by trial-and-error. We can all agree that a much better approach to finishing a jigsaw puzzle (as well as learning organic chemistry) is to keep the overall picture of the completed puzzle in mind and then evaluate each new piece being considered in the context of where it might fit into the emerging image. This book has been written in alignment with the far more effective second approach to learning by providing a strong foundation of basic concepts at the beginning, then constantly referring to a “big picture” understanding as each new concept and functional group is presented in context. To accomplish this, the eighth edition builds upon two key innovations from previous editions that teach students how to learn two of the most important elements of organic chemistry, namely mechanisms and synthesis.
● Mechanisms We present a revolutionary paradigm for learning organic chemistry mechanisms. Students are introduced to a small set of individual mechanism elements, and importantly, when each of these mechanism elements is to be used. The four most important of these elements are “Make a bond between a nucleophile and an electrophile,” “Break a bond to create stable molecules or ions,” “Add a proton,” or “Take a proton away.” Reaction mechanisms throughout the book are written in stepwise fashion and described as logical combinations of the individual mechanism elements. This new approach not only simplifies the learning of mechanisms for students but also makes it easier for them to recognize similarities and differences between related reactions. Most important, this approach makes the prediction of reaction mechanisms a straightforward, multiple-choice situation in which the correct mechanism element for a given step of each new reaction mechanism is systematically chosen from a small menu of choices.
● Synthesis We present another important innovation in organic chemistry learning that we refer to as the Organic Chemistry Reaction Roadmap. It is a graphical representation of the different organic reactions taught in the context of the important functional groups. The functional groups of an organic chemistry roadmap are analogous to cities on a real roadmap, and thereactions are like the roads between those cities. Arrows are used to represent known routes between functional groups, and the reagents required to bring about each reaction are written next to the corresponding arrow. Multistep synthesis questions are often very challenging for organic chemistry students even though synthesis is at the core of organic chemistry as a discipline. The power of the organic chemistry reaction roadmap is that it helps students visualize the reactions that are appropriate to interconvert key functional groups in multistep synthesis problems. The construction and use of organic chemistry reaction roadmaps are introduced in the end-of-chapter problems beginning in Chapter 6 and presented in complete form inside the back cover of this book, which students can tear out and use.
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|January 10, 2018|
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