General Information about
Chem 212 Lecture
Spring 2014
Dr. M Nerz-Stormes

 Bruce, P.Y. Organic Chemistry, sixth edition
Molecular Model Set for Organic Chemistry (any kit)  (available in the bookstore)

The following information is very important and should be carefully noted by each student.


Class Meetings: January 22 - May 2, 2014
Undergradate section: Monday, Wednesday and Friday (10:00-11:00 AM)
Friday (2-3 PM)
All Meetings in  PSB room 180 (The Berliner Lecture Hall)


Basis for Grading:
Sapling learning/or completion of all mechanisms on Flash Cards 0-5% bonus
Two, 55 minute exams 32%
One, 120 minute exam, self scheduled 20%
Eight to Ten, fifteen minute quizzes (two will be dropped) 18%
One, three-hour, self scheduled exam 30%
The lecture part of the course is worth 70% of the organic chemistry grade.  The lab is worth 30%.  At the end of the course, the grade earned in lecture will be scaled down to a score based on 70 total points.  This grade will be added to your laboratory grade which will be scaled to 30.  Upon combination, the undergraduate grades will be considered and grades on the 4.0 scale will be assigned.   With each exam, students will be given an idea as to how  they are doing on the 4.0 scale.  The instructor will curve grades when averages are significantly below 75%.


Scheduled exam dates:
Exam 1: Monday, February 17, 2014 (90 minutes,out of class)
Exam 2: Week of March 24, 2014 (120 minutes, self-scheduled)
Exam 3: Monday, April 21, 2014 (90 minutes, out of class)
Quizzes: Every Friday except 1/24, 2/14, 5/2 and as announced
Final: During Final Exam Period -self-scheduled: May 6 - May 17

It is generally suggested that you complete alternate problems at the end of each chapter and all worksheets.

Topics to be Covered
Topics Reference Chapter (section) Approximate TIme
I. Chemistry 212 Tools (1 to 1.5 weeks)
  • -
  •  Introduction  
  • -
  • Nomenclature of Organic Chemistry/Biomolecules handouts
  • -
  • Acids and Bases revisited Handouts  
  • -
  • Resonance Theory/Molecular Orbital Theory


  • -
  • Review chapter

    Chapter 8

    II. Chemistry of Conjugated Systems (1 week)
  • -
  • Chemisry of dienes and related compounds/ Molecular Orbital Chapter 29  
  • -
  • Chemistry of Benzene and related systems         Chapters 19 (review)  
    III. Mass Spec and NMR ( 1 week)    
    IV. Carbonyl Chemistry (4 weeks) Chapter 14/15 
  • -
  • General Principles  
  • -
  • Aldehydes and Ketones

    Chapter 17

  • -
  • Redox chemistry Handout  
  • -
  • Carboxylic Acids Chapter 16

  • -
  • Carboxylic Acid Derivatives Chapter 16, 17  
  • -
  • Enolates/Enols/alpha, beta-unsaturated systems

    Chapter 18



    Amines Chapter 20  


    Carbohydrates Nucleic Acids (1 week) Chapter 21  


    VII Amino Acids Peptides Proteins (2 weeks) Chapter 22 


    VIII Catalysis (2 weeks) Chapter 23 
    IX Nucleic Acids and Enzyme Kinetics (2 weeks) Chapter 26  
    X Special Topic - Cancer as a Molecular Disease (1 week) Handouts  
    5.Policies regarding extensions, make-up exams and extra help.
    Extensions and make-up exams will be allowed only in extreme situations. The student must have an appropriate written excuse from his/her dean.
    6.Honor Code:
    Unless directed otherwise by the instructor, all written work is to be done independently without the aid of humans, textbooks, notebooks or other written materials. When time is called you are obligated to immediately turn in quizzes and exams.
    All students must have an email account because vital messages are routinely sent out via email. If you are new to the course, please send the instructor an email at
    8.the web:
    The web is a very big part of this and the laboratory course. If you haven't checked out yet, please visit the organic chemistry web site at

    Study Tips for Organic Chemistry

    Organic chemistry is considered to be a very difficult course for most undergraduate students. The course material will be covered rapidly and the subject matter will at times be quite abstract. Your best academic effort will be required in order to do well. You cannot "cram" organic chemistry. Except for the rare individual, cramming results in short memory retention and high frustration. Since the comprehension of each new topic in this course relies heavily on what was learned previously, cramming can also result in plummeting grades as the semester progresses. In order to avoid these problems, the following approach to the course is suggested.

    1. Try not to miss class.
    2. Study the textbook on a given topic just before it is covered in the lecture, thus clearing up any misconceptions in your notes.
    3. Do in-chapter problems as you read the text. Write out the answers in detail, i.e., as you would like to while taking an exam. Try not to look up the answers until you have given them your best shot. Your problem solving abilities won't improve if you do not think the problems out thoroughly.
    4. Try to work through your notes every day.
    5. Upon completion of a chapter in class, study it a second time and then do the end-chapter problems and supplemental problems as a test.
    6. Regularly attend office hours. Don't let questions pile up, since it will be difficult to answer them all the day before the exam.
    7. VERY IMPORTANT! Writing and verbalization are essential to learning. I find that I learn new material much faster and more thoroughly if I "talk it or write it" out. For example, I can "talk" a lecture through once and know it, whereas if I read my lecture notes 20 times I will give a garbled, disorganized presentation. I have been very careful in the above suggestions never to use the word read. It is not good enough to simple read and understand your textbook and notes. Whether studying your notes or text, you must engage in a dynamic exercise. After observing a structure in the book, reproduce it from memory on scrap paper to see if you have absorbed all the relevant details. When you read the name of an organic compound, translate that name into a structure so you will understand its significance. When a reaction is written in your notes, try to work out the most likely products using your knowledge of mechanism. Additionally, you could form study groups and act as a teacher to one another. I can assure you these approaches work. I use them all the time and I have a horrible memory!
    8. Look up the correct answers to problems from exams and quizzes while the material is fresh in your mind. It will help you with the final.
    9. ASK QUESTIONS!!!!!!!!!!
    I realize it is impossible to be completely organized (at least for me). I also realize that all the above suggestions won't help everyone, but do try to have an orderly approach to the course. It really can be a lot of fun if everything is not left to the last minute. Yes! It says FUN. Good luck!!

    Maryellen Nerz-Stormes, Ph.D.
    Senior Laboratory Lecturer in Chemistry

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