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Organic Chemistry [Hardcover]

David R. Klein
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 18 2011 0471756148 978-0471756149

Students often say, "I studied 40 hours for this exam and I still didn't do well. Where did I go wrong?" Most instructors hear this complaint every year. In many cases, it is true that the student invested countless hours, only to produce abysmal results. Often, inefficient study habits are to blame. The important question is: why do so many students have difficulty preparing themselves for organic chemistry exams? There are certainly several factors at play here, but perhaps the most dominant factor is a fundamental disconnect between what students learn and the tasks expected of them. To address the disconnect in organic chemistry instruction, David Klein has developed a textbook that utilizes a skills-based approach to instruction. The textbook includes all of the concepts typically covered in an organic chemistry textbook, but special emphasis is placed on skills development to support these concepts. This emphasis upon skills development will provide students with a greater opportunity to develop proficiency in the key skills necessary to succeed in organic chemistry.

As an example, resonance structures are used repeatedly throughout the course, and students must become masters of resonance structures early in the course. Therefore, a significant portion of chapter 1 is devoted to drawing resonance structures.

Two chapters (6 and 12) are devoted almost entirely to skill development. Chapter 6 emphasizes skills that are necessary for drawing mechanisms, while chapter 12 prepares the student for proposing syntheses.

In addition, each chapter contains numerous Skillbuilders, each of which is designed to foster a specific skill. Each skillbuildercontains three parts:

1. Learn the Skill: a solved problem that demonstrates a particular skill;

2. Practice the Skill: numerous problems (similar to the solved problem) that give the students an opportunity to practice and master the skill;

3. Apply the Skill: one or two more-challenging problems in which the student must apply the skill in a slightly different environment. These problems include conceptual, cumulative, and applied problems that encourage students to think out of the box. Sometimes problems that foreshadow concepts introduced in later chapters are also included.

All SkillBuilders are visually summarized at the end of each chapter (Skillbuilder review), followed by a list of suggested in-chapter and end-of-chapter practice problems.

Frequently Bought Together

Organic Chemistry + Organic Chemistry, Student Study Guide and Solutions Manual + Organic Chemistry I As a Second Language: First Semester Topics
Price For All Three: CDN$ 379.41

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Product Description

About the Author

David Klein is a lecturer at Johns Hopkins University where he teaches Organic and General Chemistry. He is a dynamic and creative teacher and uses analogy to help students grasp difficult topics. Klein's unique informal voice and manner of presentation help students truly master key topics in this course. He is also the author of Organic Chemistry as a Second Language and General Chemistry as a Second Language, which have both been highly successful.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Visuals, Not the best information wise April 22 2014
By Daniel
David Klein breaks down organic chemistry in a way that is easy to learn and understand. It's almost too simple in some cases. Klein is known for being an excellent lecturer and professor, however he is NOT known for being an excellent chemist. This being said, many reactions shown in the book are incorrect from a synthetic point of view. A few of the reactions and mechanisms would not actually work in a real laboratory setting. There are also many points in the book where Klein contradicts himself (mainly Chapter 19, Aromatic Reactions) by saying you cannot do a certain type of reaction when the aromatic ring is deactivated. The questions right after that ask you to synthesize a compound, and the answers show that you do exactly what Klein said NOT to do. This mistake came up many times in that chapter, so it's hard for someone reading to book to know if it is a mistake or not unless a professor steps in to correct it. Once again, great visuals and format but I felt kind of underprepared using the book exclusively to study with. Would recommend this book, only if you have a professor that takes the time to read over and bring any mistakes to the classes attention. Hopefully the next edition will be better.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why can't people write books like that? Jan. 30 2013
By Samir
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
amazing book worth every single penny. Stuff is explained very well and all mechanisms are written down you just have to memorize them. It's even better than my textbook and explain the concept better than my professor, the author did a great job
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good price, not too great shipping Sept. 28 2013
By Blue
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The price is good compared to the market.

Since the book came from another continent, it did take a while and there is minor damage to the hard cover.

It is still reasonable good considering the cost and benefit.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  146 reviews
43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING TEXT Feb. 21 2011
By Frank B. Day - Published on Amazon.com
I've had a chance to review a significant part of the text (and the study guide) at length over the last two weeks, and I am even more impressed than I thought I would be. As one of the many "official" reviewers of the text before its publication, I had had a chance to review, and was greatly impressed by, several chapters during the course of my reviewing. It is a truly outstanding textbook, and I hope that many other professors of organic chemistry will also see it's substantial merits. Klein covers all the material (and more) that any standard course could possibly cover, and he does an outstanding job ... not only in presenting the subject matter, but also in the large number of excellent practice problems.

I particularly like the numerous examples of important pharmaceutical compounds, and other highly relevant examples for students in medically-related, and in industrial fields. In spite of the sometimes tedious practice exercises, he certainly holds my interest, and presumably would effectively hold student interest. His efforts to distill the treatment of "electron pushing" and "mechanisms", to a relatively small number of basic patterns is extremely effective and helpful.

I will certainly adopt it for my full-year organic chemistry course as soon as we offer the course again ... if not this Fall, probably next Fall. At present, I have several students in my General Chemistry course who will be transferring from North Shore Community College to four year colleges next fall and who expect to take the full-year course in organic chemistry after they transfer. I am going to recommend that they buy Klein's text and study guide early this summer, and start preparing themselves for next fall. Whether their professors choose Klein as their ultimate text or not, they will benefit immensely by having Dr. Klein's step by step assistance in navigating the difficult path ahead of them.

I have had more than forty years experience teaching organic chemistry, and have had the good fortune to have used a number of excellent textbooks, starting with the first edition of Morrison and Boyd, published in the mid 1960's. Klein's new text is superior to any that I have used previously, without exception.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is Literally the Best Textbook I have Ever Had Dec 31 2012
By B. Tyburski - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This textbook is amazing. Plain and simple. Klein does an admirable job in bringing a complex subject like Organic Chemistry to the level of his readers while not losing any of the depth and complexity. As an added bonus, he does this all while emphasizing the PATTERNS in orgo over any form of memorization. He does this by always giving an explanation for everything. In the cases where something is a bit out of the range of a typical intro orgo student, Klein provides an amended, and perhaps slightly altered look, at how certain phenomena take place. They work every time.

While doing all this, Klein somehow keeps a semi-conversational tone and avoids overly-complex and formal talk. To show how important and applicable each concept is to his readers, Klein frames each chapter with a real life context in mind - in addition to giving many examples throughout each chapter.

The sectioning in this book is also fantastic. The max that you will read before coming to a progress check (or skillbuilder as he calls them) is 3-4 pages, but it is often much less (1-1.5/2). This really helps to make each section much more reasonable and not overwhelming because before moving on, you get a chance to check your understanding, it's never just endless reading. DO THE SKILLBUILDERS: They will help you more than you think!!! (I cannot emphasize that enough!).

At the end of each section, Klein also has a review section with an overview of all the core concepts and problems in each section, which can be very helpful when you want to quickly review a certain point quickly without scanning 50 or 60 pages. After this, there are many practice problems - some that are just from that section, some integrated questions that use knowledge from the current section as well as previous sections, and a few challenge problems. The problems themselves are very comprehensive and do a good job at emphasizing the conceptual and practical angle of orgo - both things necessary to understanding the subject and succeeding in class.

Oh, and as a sidenote, make sure you purchase the student solutions manual for this text because it is absolutely necessary. It has all of the skillbuilder and practice problem answers, which I guarantee you will want so that you can confirm you'r eon the right track. Yes, it's annoying that you need to buy a new book for this but trust me, you won't regret it.

In summary, this textbook is incredible. It has everything a student of organic chemistry could want - good explanations, little memorization, checkpoints, and an approachable tone. This book gets 5 stars (but if I could give it more, I would). I have to use this again next semester for orgo 2, and I'm not worried about the class in the least because of it.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best textbook I've come across Dec 10 2013
By Ken - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I just finished my first semester of organic chemistry and I have to say, I am deeply impressed with this book. It's honestly the BEST textbook I've ever come across. Here's why...

• First off, I absolutely love how he's structured the book. The practice problems come subsequently after each explained concept and they are tooled just so they are simple enough to grasp the concept. I found that doing the problems while reading REALLY helped out in terms of retaining information and performing on a test.
• I really like his writing style as well. It's straight forward yet well written and intelligent. Some of the little stories he throws in are pretty interesting as well. Like did you know that the only difference between the smell of caraway seeds and mint is the 3D arrangement of just two atoms? Crazy huh?
• Super easy to understand, and I love how he NEVER assumes you'll remember something forever if he mentions it just once. For example, after he teaches you a concept, yet you need to use it again later on in the book, he'll quickly give you a refresher so you remember it. He doesn't go overboard with this but he does it enough so that you never find yourself constantly flipping back throughout the book to relearn forgotten concepts. It's a HUGE help and greatly increases the efficiency of my study time as well as making concepts overall easier to understand.
• It just looks sweet. You could tell he put a lot of thought into the layout and I find myself just looking at the pictures sometimes haha.

• There are some errors, yes. So he could use a new edition in the following year or so... I can't think of any specifically, except... My professor did say that he missed out on a little topic... for the rate determining steps of radical chain reactions, if one step isn't *fast*, the entire reaction won't work due to the fact that radical chain reactions... well, rely on the fact that they occur in a rapid chain. Therefore if there's a kink in the chain the entire reaction is detrimentally affected. (Hopefully I quoted my professor correctly... He's a bloody genius by the way, if you can't tell aha))
• The WileyPlus mechanism questions suck... Like the online homework is actually really well made but Jesus, fix those types of questions! It's insanely annoying how touchy they are and I hate losing points over them!

Overall, if you're an OChem professor, you should seriously, seriously consider this book. It's honestly the best text I've come across in my years as a student (I'm a senior now). Like I'm a firm believer that if all scientific textbooks, if applicable, copy Klein's style, the entire world of academia would benefit as a whole (I'm serious). So please, for the sake of your students professors, check this textbook out!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best Orgo text around June 12 2013
By A Barnes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A lot has already been said about Klein's wonderful Organic Chemistry text, so I won't try to retread every wonderful thing about this book.
What I will say is that it combines the best of every world. Too often one will open an organic chemistry text and know that it was written by a true chemist. While that isn't strictly a bad thing content-wise, not many people like to learn via bland, dichromatic diagrams and overly formal descriptions and definitions. Klein understands that stimulation is key to success in organic chemistry, and this textbook shows it. It's as though it were designed by an arts graduate, written by an English graduate, and structured and detailed by a chemistry graduate. It's absolutely the most gorgeous textbook I've ever used, with color, detail and page design that is absolutely lush as far as textbooks go, but with enough attention paid to structure so that it's never distracting. I never bothered to use color in my notes before, but when using this book I couldn't help but replicate the ways it uses color to emphasize certain points. The tone of the text itself is friendly and instructive, and much more concise than the droning ones I've seen before. And Klein gives you plenty of practice in the chapters in the form of Skillbuilders and end-of-section problems. Finally, the chapters are punctuated by mechanisms that are broken down in an extremely comprehensible fashion. If I've ever loved a textbook as a work of art, this is it.
There are some downsides, but they are limited in case. If your professor is using this text as the basis for your class, then congruatulations, you're set. If not, however, prepare for a few headaches near the second half of your course. Klein's book omits and reorders concepts in comparison to other popular organic texts. For example, there wasn't a word I could find about cuprates and Corey-House reactions, even though these were present in the text my professor was using (and therefore also present on our tests). I found that there were other minor concepts like reductive amination that Klein forgoes, and the book is drastically different in chapter order than the textbook your instructor might prefer. I would still wholeheartedly recommend Klein to anyone taking Organic, but if your recommend course textbook is different, be wary and pay attention to the differences.
In short, this book is a shining example of everything a textbook should be, and organic students should consider themselves lucky that Klein wrote this for them. And considering that this is only the first edition, I'm even more impressed with it. I'll be holding onto my copy well after my final orgo examination.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best textbook purchases you will ever make June 9 2013
By Microwaveable - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My journey through organic chemistry was a little bit different from most. I was a transfer student who took Orgo I at a community college where this textbook was required, and then I transferred to a Big 10 university known for it's research and strength in science and engineering disciplines where I took Orgo II. Needless to say, the rigor of orgo II was harder than orgo I, yet I still managed to excel ahead of all of my classmates thanks to this textbook.

David Klein does a phenomenal job presenting Organic chemistry in a highly logical, well structured and easily readable way that will break down all of the necessary material presented in the standard 2 semesters of organic chemistry. The amount of text is kept to a minimum, and the illustrations accompanying the text really help clarify explanations such as electronegativity and Molecular orbital theory. The pictures in the pericyclic reactions chapter were exceptionally better than what I found in the required text at the Big 10 University I went to (Loudon 5th edition). The text also forces readers to pause and practice newly learned material before moving on to ensure understanding. This prevents students from reaching the end of a chapter or section and wondering to themselves, "what the heck did I just read?" The text also makes frequent references and annotations to previous material mentioned to help connect different concepts. When certain reactions or processes are difficult to explain, it is mainly due to the fact that information in proceeding chapters cover it much more detail, and Klein makes sure to highlight this in the book to reassure students that they shouldn't be worried.

The examples given at the end of the chapter are helpful to reinforce everything learned. The integrative and challenge questions are great to really test the knowledge of the student, are what I often found to be the level of difficulty found on exams.

I believe that the books greatest strength is that it teaches and reinforces the concept that organic chemistry is not an algorithmic science where one can just memorize scores of reactions and come to a conclusions. It shows students why certain reactions happen, to what extent, and how different reactions or mechanisms compete against one each other under certain circumstances. This, I believe, is a superior way to teach organic chemistry rather than just telling what happens when certain substances react. It helps students become logical thinkers, looking out for more efficient reaction pathways or different mechanisms to use. When rigor and understanding compete, Klein choses understanding (and tells the student) so that the student can get a good idea of why certain phenomena take place. I believe it should be left to the instructor of the course to cover more rigorous material or show definite literature examples of what is happening during reactions.

Overall, after taking orgo I and II using this textbook, a student can walk away from the class with their head held high knowing that they have a solid foundation of knowledge and skills that will benefit them in other biology and chemistry courses. Definitely a solid textbook.
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