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The Nuts and Bolts of Organic Chemistry: A Student's Guide to Success [Paperback]

Joel Karty
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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There is a newer edition of this item:
Get Ready for Organic Chemistry (2nd Edition) Get Ready for Organic Chemistry (2nd Edition) 4.3 out of 5 stars (6)
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Book Description

June 5, 2005 0805331174 978-0805331172 1

The Nuts and Bolts of Organic Chemistry will help readers change their learning habits so they can master the Organic Chemistry course. This text is designed for readers to use early in the course before they dive too far into a traditional textbook. It prepares readers to think about and use the fundamental concepts; it develops in readers the right mindset for learning organic chemistry. This brief book shows readers that understanding fundamental concepts is absolutely essential for success, and helps them develop a good feel for how to apply those concepts to many different situations.  The text helps convince readers that brute memorization is not the right way to approach the course; instead, they should master fundamental concepts and important reaction mechanisms.  By following the same philosophy as those who write the MCAT exams, Karty focuses on improving readers’ thinking ability and powers of logical deduction. KEY TOPICS: Why do most students struggle in Organic Chemistry?, Lewis dot structures and the chemical bond, Molecular geometry and dipole moments, Isomerism, Charge Stability — Charge is bad!, Reaction Mechanisms — electron rich to electron poor, Intermolecular forces, Sn1/Sn2/E1/E2 Reactions: The whole story. For all readers interested in understanding the fundamentals of organic chemistry.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (June 5, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805331174
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805331172
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joel Karty earned his B.S. in chemistry at the University of Puget Sound and his Ph.D. at Stanford University. He carried out postdoctoral work with Stephen Craig at Duke University, and began teaching at Elon University in the fall of 2001. At Elon, Joel teaches primarily organic chemistry and general chemistry, and also teaches physical chemistry. In the summers, he teaches an organic chemistry preparatory course as part of the SMDEP program sponsored by the Duke University School of Medicine. His research interests include studying the contributions by resonance and inductive effects in fundamental chemical systems, and he also investigates the mechanism for pattern formation in periodic precipitation reactions. Joel is the author of The Nuts and Bolts of Organic Chemistry (2005), which has recently gone into its second edition as Get Ready for Organic Chemistry (2011).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
81 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A WAY to LEARN (not memorize) Organic Chemistry April 19, 2007
I am a College Professor in Biology and I simply cannot tell you how many of my students consider Organic Chemistry to be the make-or-break course heading toward their degree. With stacks of note cards each with an organic chemical reaction neatly upon it so go most students in their quest to 'study' organic chemistry-and that means one thing, memorize. Guess what? They hate the course, and more often than not do miserably. I simply can't tell you how many students change their entire life plans all because of this course. There is a better way.

Organic and for that matter most science classes are puzzles, if you think about them that way. What Karty does in this book is give students the tools to approach organic from that perspective. I was fotunate as an undergraduate to 'discover' a similar paradigm to study organic chemistry which I then used it as a way to appoach almost all my science courses (ok, I did have to do some memorizing). I have to say it really helped make me a true scientists. Learning how to approach and think about a reaction is the key to mastering this topic which is EXACTLY what he passes along.

I would highly recommend this book to those students who are actually trying to become scientists (not just exam-crammers) and those who are looking for a better way to learn organic. There simply is no other book that I have seen that does it as well as "The Nuts and Bolts of Organic Chemistry". I tip my hat to Dr. Karty for developing and offering such a valuable resource.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous! January 5, 2007
I really can't say enough good things about this book. For starters, it is the first chemistry book that I couldn't put down and didn't fall asleep after reading it for about 20 minutes. It covers all the pertinent general chemistry topics for organic and is designed to be read BEFORE you start organic. But don't worry, its the perfect companion for use throughout the year of Orgo1/2 as well because it teaches you how to make complicated problems very easy WITHOUT MEMORIZING any reactions or formulas. I had an A+ in general chemistry and I thought I had all those topics down to a tee--- this book showed me new ways to look at concepts and easier ways to solve. It really is a must have. If you plan on taking the MCAT, don't review without this book! It's brilliant!
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for organic chemistry students May 10, 2006
I have just finished taking a year of organic chemistry with Dr. Karty, and although I am not too fond of the subject, he is amazing. Karty is incredibly intelligent, but he has become a master at passing along this difficult material on to the us less genius people. This talent shows through in his "Nuts and Bolts" book. He breaks down the concepts into simple terms and helpful pictures. The main reason this book is so successful is that it really stresses the actual comprehension of the concepts rather than memorization of millions of little facts, and it becomes more and more apparent that this study technique is crucial to your own success in organic chemistry. I would recommend this book to any student going into an organic class, from the chem whizzes to the chem idiots.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joel Karty for president May 8, 2006
By Guess
Toss out those flash cards and make room for The Nuts and Bolts of Organic Chemistry: A Student's Guide to Success. Professor Joel Karty is on to something with the rejection of conventional organic chemistry teaching methods.

Organic chemistry is arguably one of the toughest courses for students to fully understand. First and foremost, Karty shows that by truly understanding the fundamental concepts students will have a better ability to tackle the more difficult problems later in the semester. This course has its fair share of difficulties however by following Karty's tips for success this dreaded course can be enjoyable.

After completing the book and much later the course I can say with confidence that without Karty's helpful hints I would never have made it.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Nuts and Bolts is exactly that May 19, 2006
Before I took Organic Chemistry I was told it was going to be the hardest class I would ever take in my life. I was told it was a ton of memorization and most of it didn't make sense. I used Dr. Karty's book to learn Organic chemistry and for me Organic Chemistry was more fun than it was hard. The class was difficult but his book teaches you to learn Organic by the concepts and mechanisms which in turn makes it so you don't need to memorize anything, you just LEARN Organic chemistry. If you are taking Organic and are worried sick about it, get Dr. Karty's book and let him make a year of Organic Chemistry fun to learn rather than miserablely depressing.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two Words.... "Pure Genius" June 4, 2006
Dr. Karty does an excellent job of organizing organic chemistry by its fundamental topics! His method makes learning organic chemistry very feasible and provides the student with effective stratagems for solving problems. As a pre-medical student who constantly worries about doing well, I am glad to have been exposed to such a useful tool that gave me confidence and helped develop a clear understanding of such a complex topic. Thank you Dr. Karty!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Organic in human language... May 11, 2006
This book is the perfect preparatory tool for ogranic chemistry and, in particular, mechanisms. When I entered organic, I struggled with the course because I was trying to understand what the professors and textbooks were trying to say. With this book you don't have to struggle to figure out the meaning; the author uses simple terms to describe complex problems, in a way that anyone can understand the material.

To put it simply, this book = understanding organic.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
I did poorly in general chemistry. With this book, I got three A's in ochem and it is my favorite subject. I'm now a medical student at UCSF and still look at it. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Alex
5.0 out of 5 stars MUST get for ochem!
This is the only book I actually wrote an email to the author to thank him for making. People struggle with Organic Chemistry because they try to memorize. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Sean
5.0 out of 5 stars Takes the Fear Factor out of Ochem
This book has been very helpful to me. The course I'm taking has a do-it-yourself 'text book' that is poorly written by my prof. Read more
Published on November 3, 2011 by Ian Funk
5.0 out of 5 stars I wouldn't have done so well without it.
When I first started Organic, I was getting low Bs on quizzes, but this book totally changed things for me. It helped me get an A- overall for the semester. Read more
Published on March 24, 2011 by svetcharnik
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book (If you have a professor to help you sort through it all)
I was really nervous about going into O Chem, so I bought this book hoping it would help me out. I am not a chemistry genius, so the book was kind of overwhelming if you attempt... Read more
Published on August 16, 2010 by C Banis
5.0 out of 5 stars Great prep for Organic Chem
This book was exactly what I needed to do well in Organic Chemistry. It clearly explains the concepts that you need to understand in order to do well in O Chem. Read more
Published on September 9, 2009 by F. Rahman
4.0 out of 5 stars Lucid writing makes for better learning.
This is a nice, compact companion to your year-long O chem course. I wouldn't rely solely on this book for a comprehensive outline of reactions. Read more
Published on August 6, 2008 by Nola Vie
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely Fantastic
This is hands down the BEST supplemental text I have purchased for any class, let alone OCHEM. It's because of this book that I did well in Organic Chem I, am doing well in Organic... Read more
Published on November 17, 2007 by Jim Daley
4.0 out of 5 stars Great pre-organic book!
This book is a good starting point for organic chemistry. It will give you the right way of organic thinking. However,it is not good for exams. Read more
Published on October 18, 2007 by D. Li
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointed
This book has obviously been of tremendous help to many readers, but I found myself becoming more confused about Organic Chemistry than when I started reading. Read more
Published on September 5, 2007 by Toby's Person
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