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Organic Chemistry

Organic chemistry is an important subject because it helps us to better understand biology and biochemistry. We also interact with and consume many organic substances on a daily basis. My goal was to provide you with a text that will make this subject as clear as possible.

Mechanism explains how the reactants (or starting materials) of a reaction are converted into products. To master organic chemistry, it is essential to master mechanism. There are three very common types of questions on organic chemistry exams. You will often be asked to predict the product of a chemical reaction, to draw the reaction mechanism, or to devise a synthesis of an organic molecule. None of these questions can be answered reliably unless you know how the reactions work, and that is what mechanism tells us. This book uses a novel approach to help you better understand the mechanisms of organic transformations.

Many organic chemists use color when teaching reaction mechanism. Color can be used to highlight the reactants and products in such a way that you can follow important features through the reaction. The mechanisms in this book are color coded so that you can clearly see the changes that take place during the reaction. The electrons involved in the mechanism are color coded. The mechanistic arrows originating from those electrons have the same color, as do the bonds or lone pairs formed by them in the intermediates and products. As a result, you can trace specific pairs of electrons through an entire transformation. The description of what each mechanistic arrow means is color coded correspondingly so that it is easy to match up the text with the relevant portion of a reaction diagram. To the best of my knowledge, there is no other introductory organic chemistry textbook that presents reaction mechanism in this way.

Each chapter contains a manageable number of problems. These problems will help you to practice and assess your knowledge of the material. Sometimes you will even learn something new while completing a problem. All of the problems have full solutions in the accompanying Solutions Manual for Organic Chemistry. This manual does not merely give you the answers to the questions. There is a written explanation of each question, and when reaction mechanism is a part of the answer, it contains the same color-coded approach described above.

I hope that these features of the textbook will make your introduction to the field of organic chemistry as clear as possible. You might wonder: why an e-book? Textbook costs are extremely high nowadays. In part, this is due to the expense of color printing. In order to provide you with an affordable textbook and solutions manual, I have elected to publish in the e-book format. This also enables you to easily carry your book on one or more of your electronic devices wherever you go.

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