1. Visit this thread to beta-test StudySchedule.org. StudySchedule is a free nonprofit site that builds dynamic MCAT study schedules unique for your needs and timeline.
  2. It’s Test Prep Week! Visit the Test Prep Forums to learn about test prep products and services, ask questions in test-related AMA threads, take advantage of exclusive SDN member discounts, and enter to win free stuff!
Hey, Guest, do you know how much will it cost you to apply to medical school? Check out SDN's Medical School Application Cost Calculator and plan your budget.
Whether you’re preparing for the USMLE, COMLEX, NBDE or APMLE, Test Prep Week Exhibitors can help you ace your boards!

Most **Intuitive** Organic Chemistry textbook?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by sunnymd01, May 4, 2012.

  1. SDN is made possible through member donations, sponsorships, and our volunteers. Learn about SDN's nonprofit mission.
  1. FutureSunnyDoc

    FutureSunnyDoc SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 5+ Year Member

    Aug 18, 2011
    where there's pie
    I've found a few threads on the best o-chem texts and it seems that Wade's Organic Chemistry text is the most talked about, so I ordered that one in addition to Organic Chemistry by Brown, Foote, and Iverson which has bad reviews but is required for my class.

    My question is for you Intuitive learners out there - what textbook taught the approach to o-chem that requires the least memorization (aka which text is the most theory-based?)? Is taking a mechanism-based approach to learning o-chem easier if you loathe memorization and struggle with details? Organic Chemistry by Clayden, Greeves, and Warren looks like it has good reviews for its mechanism-based approach, but some say it's too advanced for intro ochem. Would it be way too in depth for a 6 week summer o-chem course?

    It might seem like a minor thing but I'm doing GPA repair work and in the past, rote memorization has made it hard to stay focused since it's takes the fun out of the material and doesn't actively engage my ADD brain. Physics was the easiest premed subject for me because it was interesting and challenging and all fit together in a vast web of connections based on the theory once you got the gist of it. You could reverse engineer the details by understanding the "bigger picture". Thank you for any advice, fellow nontrads! :)
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. ShoTyme

    ShoTyme We're going STREAKING!!!

    Jul 25, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    Organic Chemistry as a Second Language by David Klein is the one I used. It was great. It simplified everything for me and gave me most of what I needed for the first class. I didn't get his book for Orgo 2. I was cocky and didn't think I needed it. Probably coulda saved myself some grief this semester by looking it over at least. Oh well. Good luck with your class. Seems like you have plenty to read over. :luck:
    DocWinter likes this.
  4. Pebbling

    Pebbling 5+ Year Member

    Oct 2, 2011
    I just finished the Organic Chemistry series using Wade's Organic Chemistry. It was a really good resource and I feel like it really helped me gain a solid understanding of Organic Chemistry. Wade's text follows a very intuitive presentation of the material with color-coded sections. The only memorization I did in the class were with reaction flashcards (so I could run through multi-step synthesis problems quickly and efficiently), and memorizing a few unique mechanisms (Hofmann rearrangement mechanism, Robinson annulation). I did almost all the problems in the text and it was actually really fun. It was really rewarding when I would work through the problems in a chapter and I could actually understand what I was doing. I would recommend also getting the solutions manual by Simek. The solutions manual has every problem in the text fully solved. It was very helpful when reviewing my homework.

    Lastly I would recommend buying Organic Chemistry I For Dummies. It was helpful for a very basic introduction to Ochem and with IR, H-NMR, and Mass Spectroscopy.

    Hope this helps :)
  5. Oxer45

    Oxer45 2+ Year Member

    Feb 26, 2008
    :thumbup::thumbup: This was also the book I used and got a A and A- in orgo. Its the best book, I got it the year it came out. It is simply the best book out there. When learning orgo, you dont need fancy 3D pics, you need to learn where the electrons will go when 2 molecules interact. Everytime a premed asks me about orgo, I tell them to get this book. One of the best books out there. If you use this book and go through the exercises (not a lot of them) I dont see how you can get less than an A or B+.
  6. dmf2682

    dmf2682 Banned 2+ Year Member

    May 29, 2011
    Rocket Scientist

    I also used klein's book for orgo 1. Worked great since I hadn't taken chem in a decade. the focus of the book is to do exactly what you're saying- minimize memorization and focus on the big picture, theory stuff. Since the vast majority of people taking that class resort to memorization, if you can stick with your strategy you'll be at a huge advantage when you get to more complex material.

    Also heard "nuts and bolts of organic chem" is good. I forget who the author is but I believe it also had good reviews. I can sell you my stuff if you want, PM me if interested.
  7. grt398

    grt398 Intern Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

    Sep 17, 2008
    Another vote for Klein's book. Helped me on my way to A & A- in orgo I/II respectively.
  8. MT Headed

    MT Headed snow, PBR, and bears Lifetime Donor 2+ Year Member

    May 27, 2011
    teh Big Sky!
    Klein's "2nd language" booklet is amazing and intuitive. Has anybody used the actual textbook he recently wrote? I wonder if it is in the same style.
  9. BosNonTrad


    Oct 9, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Def. get Orgo as a second language. Klein also just came out with a full Orgo textbook, which is supposed to be great. I haven't used it, but my orgo teacher from undergrad recently switched to using it and loves it.
  10. wholeheartedly

    wholeheartedly SDN Administrator 7+ Year Member

    Aug 8, 2009
    Beyond the Wall
    I haven't read Orgo as a second language, but I don't think I've ever seen this much consistent support for an academic chem book. lol
  11. notbobtrustme

    notbobtrustme Crux Terminatus Banned Account on Hold 2+ Year Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    I literally taught myself with Volhardt's Organic Chemistry as a sophmore in college.

    It's very heavy on mechanism, which is the key to understanding organic.
  12. DryHopped

    DryHopped 7+ Year Member

    Dec 30, 2009
  13. Mel Belle

    Mel Belle Cooler than absolute zero 2+ Year Member

    Feb 19, 2013
    I have the Second Language books, which I own, but they don't contain all the topics from my textbook (McMurry's). It's great when the topics I need are in it, but not all are.

    Any suggestions? I find that McMurry's is a terrible textbook and seems to be a waste of my time reading it.
  14. Patassa

    Patassa 2+ Year Member

    Jan 8, 2013
    The Klein textbook. It does not get any better for actually learning O-Chem.

    The Klein 2nd language books are good for what they are, but they are meant to be short workbooks. The textbook has all the theory you need in a way that doesn't make you want to gouge your eyes out. It's actually a pleasure to learn from. I could not recommend it enough for someone who learns from reading.
    jb94mg likes this.
  15. DocWinter

    DocWinter 2+ Year Member

    Jan 2, 2014
    Sweet Home Alabama
    I took Orgo 1&2 with Wade.

    Last semsester, the prof. brought in Kleins book and let the class peruse it afterwards for consideration for next years classes.. (Kleins 2nd language was a staple in our classroom)

    Every, hands-down liked the easy presentation and color-to-content format of Kleins over Wade. I thought it was the best textbook for a hard science course I had seen in undergrad.
  16. QuantumJ

    QuantumJ Cryogenics Expert 2+ Year Member

    Aug 28, 2013
    Arkham Asylum
    Rocket Scientist
    Organic Chemistry as a 2nd language
  17. misseskwee

    misseskwee OMS-1 5+ Year Member

    Oct 3, 2011
    East Coast
    About Wade's OChem book:

    I used Wade's book for Orgo 1, and a different one for Orgo 2 (I transferred and don't remember who the author was, bc I didn't particularly like the book as much)
    Wade's is very good. As an Orgo tutor, I recommend it to my students for the clear step-by-step presentations of mechanisms and theories, nice end-of-chapter summary of all the reactions, etc. However, since it's only a six week summer course, I don't see how feasible it would be to use such a big book within that time frame. There's a lot of details and theories involved in learning Orgo well, and I feel that if you use Wade's book, it might be too much information, and you might not have enough time.
  18. thoracic1989


    Jul 5, 2014
    MAy i ask which edition of volhardt's is the best? I am looking to buy a used 5th edition on amazon...

Share This Page