September 22, 2018


Download Syllabus as a PDF file

Instructor: Gregory Cook
office: Ladd 104G
phone: 231-7413
office hours:  T 10:30 – 11:30 am, Th 10:30 am – 12:00 noon and by appointment

Web Page:

Lecture: M, W, F 1:00 – 1:50 pmn, Ladd 107

Required Text: “Organic Chemistry” 8th edition, Francis A. Cary and Robert M. Giuliano
Optional: “Solutions Manual for Organic Chemistry” 8th edition – highly recommended
a molecular modeling set

On-Line Homework:  McGraw-Hill Connect (available free – more details coming soon)

Introduction: This course is designed to introduce you to the fascinating field of organic chemistry. In its simplest definition, organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds. In this course you will discover what makes the chemistry of carbon compounds unique from other branches of chemistry. You will learn to appreciate structure and bonding and how that relates to chemical reactivity. You will learn how molecules with various functionality are prepared and how they react. These include alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, alkyl halides, alcohols and aromatic compounds. With a foundation of structure, reactivity and their correlations you will also discover the importance of organic chemistry in every day life including biology, medicine, materials, food and agriculture.

Grading: Grading will be based on three hourly mid-term exams (100 pts each, 60%), a comprehensive final exam (150 pts, 30%) and homework (scaled to 50 pts, 10%). The total of five 21 pt quizzes given in class may replace your lowest mid-term exam score. Letter grades will be assigned as follows:

A 85-100%
B 75-84%
C 60-74%
D 45-59%
F <45%

Exams: Three hourly exams and a comprehensive final exam will be given on the dates specified in the attached schedule. There will be no make-up exams without prior approval of the instructor and only for official university sanctioned absences or emergencies. If you must miss an exam due to a scheduled university function (athletic event, etc.), the instructor must be notified at least one week before the exam date. An alternative exam will only be given prior to the scheduled exam date. No make up exams will be given after a scheduled exam date. Extraordinary circumstances (death, hospitalization, etc.) will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Exams are short answer and will not use computer scantron sheets. Please note: Hats, Cell Phones, Calculators and PDA’s or any other device capable of storing electronic notes are prohibited during examinations. Please bring a picture ID to the exam.

Quizzes: Six short quizzes (21 points each) will be given throughout the semester. These quizzes will be unannounced and can occur at any time. They are not directly added to your grade total for this course, however, they can be beneficial. Quizzes can only help your grade, not hurt it. The best 5 quizzes out of the 6 will be totaled. This total will replace your lowest mid-term exam score if it is higher. Under no circumstances will there be any makeup quizzes. It is in your best interest to attend class and take all quizzes. Even if the points will not help your grade, it is a good exercise to practice organic problems. Quiz answers will be posted on the class web page. All quizzes will be multiple choice and computer scored. You may keep the quizzes, but scantron answer sheets are not returned.

Homework: This course will use the on-line homework system from McGraw-Hill called connect / LearnSmart. Homework will be assigned for each chapter. The total points earned doing homework will be factored as 10% of your semester grade. More information about the homework will be provided as we get the on-line system set up.

Learning Tips: Organic chemistry is not hard, but it does take a lot of hard independent work. The most important thing you can do to be successful in this class is to attend every class, stay current and keep up. Unfortunately, Organic Chemistry is a broad field with lots of new concepts for you to learn. The material comes very fast and there’s really not much I can do other than try to explain the material in a simple and understandable fashion. It just isn’t possible to cram for organic chemistry on the night before an exam. Believe me when I tell you that studying an hour or two everyday will be much better than studying for 12 hours on a weekend. It is not easy to absorb all the material in one sitting, and a daily dose will make comprehension much easier. It will take effort on your part to learn organic chemistry.

Learning organic chemistry is very much like learning a foreign language. You need to learn the vocabulary in terms of names, structures, and types of functional groups. You also need to learn the rules of grammar. For example, how an alcohol will react with a halide, etc. Once you learn certain rules, they can be applied to many different reactions. Thus you can construct chemical sentences. There will be a certain amount of memorization required, however, because of the vastness of the subject, learning general trends and rules will be most helpful. Here are some suggestions to help you be successful:

Read the chapter ahead before coming to class
Ask questions
Rewrite your notes after every class
Do problems as many times as necessary to understand the material
Use the study guide but try to answer problems before looking up the answers first
Use flash cards to help learn structures, names and reactions
Find a friend or form a study group
Buy a set of molecular models
Utilize instructor, SI and TA office hours

Special Needs: All students have the right to an environment that is conducive for learning. Any students who need special accommodations for learning or who have special needs are invited to share these concerns or requests with the instructor as soon as possible.

Academic Responsibility: It is assumed that students at NDSU have the integrity to complete examinations on their own. I will provide an examination environment that discourages temptation otherwise. Any student who is found to have acted dishonestly on an exam will receive an F for that exam or depending on the circumstances, an F for the course. A second infraction will result in an automatic F for the course. Please note that a single infraction of academic responsibility could be grounds for expulsion from the university. The policy applied is that of the Code of Academic Responsibility and Conduct as outlined in NDSU University Senate Policy, Section 335: Code of Academic Responsibility and Conduct (

Tentative Schedule

Chapter 1 Structure Determines Properties Jan 11, 14, 18, 20
Chapter 2 Alkanes and Cycloalkanes: Introduction to Hydrocarbons Jan 23, 25, 27, 30
Chapter 3 Alkanes and Cycloalkanes: Conformations and cis-trans Stereoisomers Feb 1, 3, 6, 8
Exam 1 Friday, Feb 10 – Chapters 1-3
Chapter 4 Alcohols and Alkyl Halides Feb 13, 15, 17
Chapter 5 Structure and Preparation of Alkenes: Elimination Reactions Feb 22, 24, 27, 29
Chapter 6 Addition Reactions of Alkenes Mar 2, 5, 7
Exam 2 Friday, Mar 9 – Chapters 4-6
Chapter 7 Stereochemistry Mar 19, 21, 23, 26
Chapter 8 Nucleophilic Substitution Mar 28, 30, Apr 2, 4
Chapter 9 Alkynes Apr 11, 13
Exam 3 Monday, April 16
Chapter 10 Conjugation in Alkadienes and Allylic Systems Apr 18, 20
Chapter 11 Arenes and Aromaticity Apr 23, 25, 27
Chapter 12 Reactions of Arenes: Electrophilic and Nucleophilic Aromatic Substitution Apr 30, May 2, 4
Final Exam Thursday, May 10 – 10:30 am – 12:30 pm – 50% chapters 1-9, 50% chapters 10-12

Jan 16 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Feb 20 – President’s Day
Mar 12-16 – Spring Break Mon
Apr 6, 9 – Spring Holiday

Exam Dates:
Fri, Feb 10
Fri, Mar 9
Mon, Par 16
Thu, May 10 final exam