Goals and Outcomes

Overall Course Goals

In addition to the specific and more detailed goals listed for each topic we study, we have overall goals, things that we want to take away with us from the course. The individual study topics and goals are simply a means to the more general end. We want to:

Chapter 1

  1. Review structural ideas from general chemistry, including:

    • the Octet Rule and Lewis structures;

      • formal charges;

      • predicting molecular shape from Lewis structures (VSEPR)

    • electronegativity;

      • Ionic vs covalent bonding

    • polar bonds and polar molecules;

    • resonance and delocalization of electrons;

    • Structure of atomic orbitals

    • Hybridization of atomic orbitals

      Interaction of atomic orbitals to form molecular orbitals

      When you have finished these reviews, you should be able to:

    • Quickly and accurately draw Lewis structures

    • Identify polar molecules and polar bonds within molecules

      Identify the hybridization of atoms in a molecular structure and describe the approximate geometry of those atoms

    • Use VSEPR to describe the three-dimensional arrangement of ligands about an atom

    • Describe how atomic orbitals are combined into molecular orbitals

Chapter 2

This chapter introduces new notations for writing the structures of organic molecules, and interpreting those structures. It establishes the key idea for analyzing the chemical reactions of organic molecules: the functional group. Finally, two ways of classifying those reactions are introduced.

When you have finished this chapter you should

Chapter 3

Review ideas from general chemistry about acid/base theory.

When you have finished this chapter, you should:

Chapter 4

When you have finished this chapter, you should

Chapter 5

This chapter introduces us to chirality, the property of being non-superposable on one's mirror image. It involves much manipulation of 2-D images as if they were 3-D. Use your model kit both while reading the chapter and while working the problems.

When we have finished the Chapter, you should:

Here is a summary of the principal ideas in this chapter.

Chapter 15

We're jumping out of order here to begin to answer the question, "How do they know the molecule looks like that?" How do we know the structures of the complex molecules we have been writing?

When you finish this Chapter, you should:

Chapter 16

Here is our table of 1H and 13C chemical shifts:

Here's an outline of the basic procedure to use in solving structures: [CLICK]

Chapter 6

When you have finished this chapter, you should be able to:

Chapter 7

Chapter 7 focuses on the substitution reactions of RX: SN1 and SN2

When you have finished this Chapter you should

Use this flow chart to help in making predictions.

Chapter 8

When we have finished this chapter, you should be able to:

Chapter 9

When we have finished this chapter you should be able to:

Here is a summary of the reactions of alkenes; again, it includes some reactions that you will not see until next semester:


Here's how to use FLASHCARDS to learn reactions.

Chapter 10

  • Understand the electronic structure of alkynes and how it leads to their chemical properties:

    • terminal alkynes are weak acids
    • alkynes undergo electrophilic addition reactions

  • Learn the electrophilic addition reactions of alkynes with:

    • HX
    • X2
    • Hg++, H2O
    • R2BH

    Here's a summary of the addition reactions:

  • Be able to use all of the above reactions retrosynthetically


When you have achieved the goals above, you should have the knowledge and skills to be successful in future courses in chemistry, biochemistry, and molecular biology. Pre-professional students should be able to achieve a satisfactory score on the chemistry part of MCat and other similar examinations.

This page last modified 2:07 PM on Thursday November 13th, 2014.
Webmaster, Department of Chemistry, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469