CH 310M/318M Dr. Brian M. Bocknack Functional Group Flash Cards In many ways, learning organic chemistry is like learning a new language. Before we can have a meaningful conversation, we need to learn the basics. When studying a foreign language, there is no way around the need to memorize the alphabet of that language. Similarly, new vocabulary words must be memorized. Unfortunately, the same is true as begin our study of the “language” of organic chemistry. Functional groups form the basis of this language. As a consequence, there is no way to avoid the fact that you will need to memorize the names and general structures of the functional groups that you encounter most frequently (see the “Functional Groups” online handout). Many students find flash cards to be a useful tool to assist in the process of rote memorization. The preparation of functional group flash cards is rather simple. Buy some index cards – whatever size you prefer. On the front side of each card, write the general structure of a
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