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Oh the things you will see....

Thinking is organic chemistry in action

This notebook was created by Dr. Matthew Smith, WSCC to supplement the adopted text. It is not meant to replace student's purchasing the textbook. Figures contained in the notebook were drawn using ChemDraw and iSpartan. The notebook also directly links to various websites and videos which remain the work of the original author.

Please be aware that I attempt to proof everything I post. However, sometimes things slip through the cracks. If you find a mistake, please let me know so that bad information is not being counted truth.

Practice exams...Not to be confused with the real thing

Your best bet is to treat this as a real exam...get an idea of how much you really know!

Meet the CISK's - Concepts I Should Know


Technology How To's

Ever wonder how to do something you have seen on our websites? Here are a few guides to help you along.

SoftChalk Presentations from WSCC Natural Science

What you will need

Required Lecture Text: Organic Chemistry, 5th Ed. with Connect by Smith; McGraw-Hill   

Suggested Lab Text: The Organic Chem Lab Survival Manual 9th Ed. by Zubrick

Recommended "Toys": Molecular Visions molecular model kit; or 3D modeling app

3 hours well spent...Organic lab 1


3 hours well spent...the sequal

Advice from Former Students

We, the former students, of Dr. Smith’s Organic Chemistry classes, in order to spare you, the current and future students, from high levels of frustration, pulling out your hair, and aimless wandering through piles of notes the night before the exam, offer the following pearls of wisdom. Take  them or leave them, but do not say you were never warned!


Study EVERYDAY; organize your notes  

Do not fall behind

When he says "make more time to study," DO IT            

Procrastination equals doom and destruction. Every topic is nothing but a continuation of the last. If you get behind, you will STAY behind, and you will suffer. Dr. Smith is not lying when he says topics carry over to next semester also. 

Form study groups

Study hard for three days+ before the exams, and get a full night's sleep the night before. DO NOT TRY TO CRAM ALL NIGHT. It will not work.

Always study ahead of the lecture, ask questions at the end of the lecture, Review after lecture…the sooner, the better

When in doubt, ASK ASK ASK! Do not be afraid to challenge a topic. Sometimes being incredibly wrong can lead to the deepest understanding when you are corrected.

Most of the time students hate textbooks. The textbook for this class is truly the best I've ever used. It is very clear, and easy to use. READ THE BOOK. Use the mechanism diagrams (THEY ARE AWESOME).

Appreciate the fact that this is a 300 level course at the university level. A course of this difficulty requires mastery of certain basic, fundamental topics. You learned a lot of these in general chemistry, and the rest are covered throughout organic one. Master them, or organic two will be very, very difficult for you.

Count your carbons, and NEVER give carbon more than 4 bonds!

When in doubt, and no one else offers an answer, shout STERICS or RESONANCE in the loudest voice possible. Toss pKa in routinely for organic II.

Pick a favorite super hero. Buy their T-shirt. Take all your exams in that shirt (channel the power of GEEK).