Best way to break down chemical mechanisms

When studying chemistry heavy courses, the number of inidividual mechanisms you are required to know can be confusing and daunting, but once you break down these few tips, they will become a piece of cake!

1) Make sure you draw our all your molecules in their 3D structure, this will help keep track of your regioselectivity, stereochemistry, and will showcase the electrons reacting 

2) Always draw your charges! This refers to both formal charges and partial charges, as this will highlight what is more likley to react 

3) Make sure to keep count of your electrons by using the correct arrow! know the difference between a 2e- transfer arrow and a radical 1e- transfer arrow 

4) Identify your reactants, solvents and conditions. Make sure you know the difference between when a molecule is a reactant, vs when it is used as a solvent. This will make the chemistry simpler as you are not accounting for non-reacting molecules

5) Finally, keep track of the general type of reactions there are. This can be regarded by looking at the overall picture, what changed between the product and the reactant? was there an alcohol group added, meaning it is a hydration reaction? does the final product have a longer carbon chain, indicating that it is an addition reaction? and so on.

I hope these tricks and tips help you tackle your next mechanism question!


  • Posted By Aiea
  • #biochemistry393 #chemistry20 #chemistry30 #chemistry351 #chemistry353 #introductorychemistry