Organic Chemistry I: Drawing Squiggles and Dots in Space

I’ve finally arrived at every premed’s bane: organic chemistry. As the single most important course to be taken for the purposes of MCAT and the basis of most of medicine, I am understandably shaking in my boots.

In this post I will take Lewis Structure and Skeletal Drawing, or to the layman’s eye, squiggles and dots in space.

I will attempt to explain it as best as possible here for not only your benefit but also mine.

Lewis Structure

Image result for lewis structure png
This is the Lewis dot structure for formaldehyde.

The Lewis structure is used to show the placement of electrons in ionic and covalent molecules. It’s probably the first thing you were taught in any general chemistry class:

  1. Start with neutral atom Lewis structure and bond non-hydrogen atoms together
  2. Add the hydrogens
  3. If the valences of atoms are not satisfied, form additional bonds between atoms
  4. Check to see if the octet rule is satisfied for all atoms

Skeletal drawing

Every point in a drawing is a C atom with extended Hs.

skeletal and molecular
Now is not the time to memorize; now is the time to understand.

A great online skeletal drawing tool is attached to the link you just read over.

Bond Remix 

Atom Number of Valence Electrons Number of Bonds
C 4 4
H 1 1
O 6 2
N 5 3
X* 7 1

* X represents a halide.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: