A Guide to Organic Chemistry Mechanisms

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This is the original book that was written with the easy to follow curved arrows. That means you can understand what bonds are made and broken from the schemes themselves. (You can draw the products without consulting your textbook.) The rules for curved arrows are limited and exact. It doesn’t mean one in one case and something else in another. If a curved arrow ends between two atoms, a bond is formed between them. If a curved arrow ends on an atom, a bond is broken. No other uses are made or implied.

This book uses multi-tiered example-based teaching. With this approach, problems are presented at different degrees of difficulty. Success is a required element in learning, so it is important that everyone can do the problems. In Part A, only the logic of a problem is presented so everyone do it. Then the same problem is repeated in Part B in which the problem is made incrementally more difficult by removal of pre-bonds and every other intermediate. If you understood the chemistry of Part A, you should be able to complete Part B. Finally, in Part C, you must solve the problem as written in a manner similar to your textbook.

Because I believe that our brains are pattern matching machines, patterns have value in learning. The mechanisms have been written to use and repeat patterns. Using and repeating pattern can also have a profound influence on reaction mechanisms. It is difficult to suggest a different role for a chemical solely because the electrons it reacts with are delivered by a different nucleophile.

This is the book that I used in my classes in which they were was able to make the improvements noted on the ACS organic chemistry exam.

A Guide to O Chem Mechanisms, w Conventional Curved Arrows

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As you may note from the description above, many innovations have been combined into an encompassing guide for learning organic chemistry. However, in doing so, one of the most readily noted differences is that the curved arrow usage has been changed. While pre-bonds make the reactions understandable simply with logic to all students in Part A, that usage is non-standard. Accordingly, the pre-bonds are not used. I have not data to assess the degree to which pre-bonds may help or hinder a students understanding of chemical reactions.

In all other aspects of the book, they are identical. The same multi-tiered examples are used in four parts. Part A lacks the curved arrows, Part B lacks every other intermediate, and Part C, is similar to textbook problems.

A Handbook of Organic Chemistry Mechanisms

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While A Guide to Organic Chemistry Mechanisms and A Guide to Organic Chemistry Mechanisms, with Conventional Curved Arrows emphasize how to learn, A Handbook of Organic Chemistry Mechanisms is simply a reference book. The layout and objectives of the prior books made it awkward to introduce proximate explanations. This book is not limited in that manner. Thus, a clearer narrative describing many principles and nuances are given. While I believe your memory is improved by the concentration required in answering the leading questions, this book uses a narrative style and may be more easily followed.

The objective of this book is to be a reference source. The mechanisms and products of the reactions are the same. Since students told me the mechanisms were easier to understand when written with pre-bonds, they have been retained. Because I believe that students can learn and understand better when they recognize patterns and principles, the reactions are organized by reaction mechanisms. The reactions within a chapter or on the same or next page, will be mechanistically similar. Therefore, even if you only wish to use the book as a reference, the chemistry is written so that it will be easier to detect similarities and differences in reactions.