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African Journal of Chemical Education

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A toolkit for mastering organic nomenclature in general chemistry

Cassandra Orozco, James E. Becvar, Mahesh Narayan

Abstract


In the second semester of general chemistry, students receive an introduction to organic chemistry. A strong foundation in learning starts with the ability to correctly name organic compounds. Our proposed strategy involves the identification of the parent chain, the recognition of resident functional groups, and the ability to discern/indicate the correct isomer if any, etc. We propose a modular toolbox that facilitates compartmentalization of the nomenclature process of organic compounds and helps the student adequately identify all structural elements present in an organic compound. Accurately naming an organic compound is essential to understanding of its properties; to success in Organic Chemistry 1 and 2; and, for a career as a Chemist in academia, industry or in government agencies. The advantages of our procedure is discussed using examples to illustrate the process.



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