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Organic Chemistry [Hardcover]

David R. Klein
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 192.95
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Book Description

Jan. 18 2011 0471756148 978-0471756149 1

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.

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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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Most helpful customer reviews
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 1 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  151 reviews
42 of 44 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.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely helpful, but some errors July 6 2011
By jhopfb66 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having the solutions manual to go along is a must. Access to all the problems and answers as well as reviews of concepts and vocabulary is great. There are a lot of mistakes and errors but that is expected for a first edition I guess.
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 I Finally Understand Organic Chemistry! Feb. 22 2012
By GreenApples - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I cannot say enough great things about this book! I am in my second semester of Organic Chemistry and after buying this book have not opened my required text since. This book is written for someone who's goal is to learn Organic Chemistry. While most text books on this subject are intimidating, confusing, and just plain boring this one is a refreshing change and written in a language you can understand. Even the way it's organized is far superior to any other chemistry book I've seen. I 100% recommend this book(as do my classmates that won't stop borrowing it!); it's definitely worth the price.
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