The first semester of Organic Chemistry
  • Having taken two semesters of General Chemistry you should have a firm grasp of the organization of the Periodic Table and how the trends found within help us to understand how and why atoms bond with each other.
  • Organic Chemistry begins with a review of concepts such as electronegativity, hybridization, shape, and valence so students need to be happy with these ideas from the beginning. Much of this is discussed on the Preparation page.
  • Organic 1 then progresses with a more in-depth look and Acid-Base chemistry and how chemical concepts may be applied to predict products and the position of an equilibrium in a reaction. This serves as an introduction to reactivity and mechanism.
  • The rest of Organic 1 is spent building towards Chemical Synthesis by studying ideas such as conformation and stereochemistry, which leads to in-depth study of the reactivity of alcohols, alkyl halides, alkynes and alkanes.
  • Below is a rough guide to the major ideas to be discussed and conquered in Organic Chemistry 1. The links will take you to tutorial videos, websites, or other useful files related to each topic .

Chapter 1 - Shape and Structure

The sp3, sp2, sp hybridization patterns and shapes

The three main hybridization patterns and shapes found in organic molecules

Chapter 2 - Electron Distributions

Dipoles based on electronegativity differences, & resonance delocalization

The three main patterns observed in delocalized systems

chapter 3 - Acids & Bases

Interactions between acids and bases resulting in proton transfer

organic acids and bases, pKa and position of equilibria

Chapters 4 & 5- Conformation & Configuration

Dynamic changes in molecular shape versus set identity through configuration


conformation versus configuration in Organic molecules

chapter 6 - Reactivity & Mechanism

Reaction basics with electron pairs in making and breaking bonds

How molecules are converted to products through bonds being formed and broken

chapter 7 - Reactions @sp3 Carbon: SN and E Mechanisms

Nucleophilic substitution and Elimination pathways

Substitution and Elimination pathways at sp3 hybrid carbon

chapter 8 - Reactions @sp2 Carbon: Addition to Alkenes

Reactions and Mechanisms on the Reactions page

Concerted and Stepwise additions to alkenes

chapter 9 - Reactions @sp Carbon: Addition to Alkynes

Reactions and Mechanisms on the Reactions page

Alkyne additions may be syn/anti and Markovnikov/anti-Markovnikov

chapter 10 - Radical Reactions: Substitutions and Additions

Reactions and Mechanisms on the Reactions page

Substitution and addition pathways via free radical intermediates