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Invitation to Organic Chemistry

Author(s): A. William Johnson, University of North Dakota, North Dakota
  • ISBN-13: 9780763704322
  • ISBN-10:0763704326
  • Paperback    672 pages      © 1999
Price: $320.95 US List
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Invitation to Organic Chemistry provides students with an elementary understanding of organic chemistry in order to support study in career fields such as nursing, agricultural sciences, biology, allied health sciences and pharmacy. Invitation to Organic Chemistry is not a truncated two-semester text. It was written specifically for the shorter one-semester, or one- or two-quarter organic chemistry course at the college level.  Johnson's approach is to present only that material which is essential for understanding the elementary workings of organic chemistry. This encourages a more thorough understanding of the information as opposed to memorizing, and then forgetting, a larger body of it. Johnson also attempts to make organic chemistry interesting and relevant, easing students into new concepts by moving logically and gradually from one topic to the next.

Features & Benefits

An Essential Understanding Approach. Limiting content to present only what is essential for understanding the elementary workings of organic chemistry encourages a thorough understanding of a smaller body of knowledge as opposed to memorization of a larger body of knowledge. 
A Logical Organization. The chapter sequence is the result of careful consideration of how students most effectively learn this subject. In the author's experience, students find it easiest to study organic chemistry through developing familiarity with functional groups. The text, therefore, focuses only on carbocation chemistry in the first eight chapters. By the time radical chemistry is introduced, students have become familiar with mechanisms, including issues of reactivity and stabilization.
Bioorganic Integration. Essential coverage of the standard biological chemicals has been incorporated in those chapters that include the actual functional groups involved. This approach has the advantage of presenting interesting topics relatively early, mixed in with the regular functional-group chemistry.  
Heavy problem-solving emphasis. Recognizing the challenges instructors face preparing students to analyze and solve problems in organic chemistry, the author has developed a comprehensive problem-solving pedagogy that goes above and beyond that which can be found in any other textbook.
  • Key to Transformations serves as a road map to students and helps them understand the relationships between families of organic compunds.   
  • How to Solve a Problem  are strategy sessions that walk students through the process of analyzing and solving problems typical of those found in the chapter. It appears as though the author is thinking out loud as the problem is tackled.   
  • Problems within the chapter generally involve single steps in applying the reaction being discussed.   
  • Additional Problems found at the end of the chapter are subdivided into sections that test specific concepts from the chapter, as well as Mixed Problems of varying degrees of complexity.   
  • Conceptual Problems offers students an opportunity to see how organic chemistry might be used in a real-world setting. (Solutions to all the problems are included in the Study Guide and Solutions Manual that accompanies the text.)
Chemistry at Work.  Interspersed throughout the text, these 53 vignettes place chemistry in several contexts to help students connect chemistry with the real world.
Organic Online ( is a powerful Web site that forms part of the textbook's comprehensive learning program. Here students will find links that allow them to view molecules in three dimensions, animations of key reactions, online quizzes, links to other Web sites that relate to chapter material, and a career resource center.

Applicable Courses

Invitation to Organic Chemistry was created with one goal in mind - to facilitate the learning of organic chemistry by students who need an elementary understanding of the subject to support study in their chosen fields. This text is designed to support a one-semester, one-quarter, or two-quarter course at the college level. Students taking this course will presumably have had a semester or quarter of college-level general chemistry.

  • Principles of Organic Chemistry
  • Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry
  • Introduction to Organic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry for Health Sciences

Introduction: What is Organic Chemistry?

Chapter 1. Carbon Compounds: Bonding and Structure
Chapter 2. Alkanes
Chapter 3. Alkyl Halides (Haloalkanes)
Chapter 4. Alcohols
Chapter 5. Ethers
Chapter 6. Alkenes
Chapter 7. Alkynes
Chapter 8. Conjugated Dienes
Chapter 9. Aromatics
Chapter 10. Carbon Radicals
Chapter 11. Determination of Structure: Spectroscopy
Chapter 12. Amines
Chapter 13. Carbonyl Compounds (Aldehydes and Ketones)
Chapter 14. Carboxylic Acids
Chapter 15. Derivatives of Carboxylic Acids
Chapter 16. Proteins
Chapter 17. Optical Activity
Chapter 18. Synthetic Polymers
Chapter 19. Introduction to Biological Chemistry

Appendix A: Nomenclature of Organic Compounds: A Summary
Appendix B: Group Assignments in Infrared Spectra
Appendix C: Group Assignments in H-NMR Spectra
Appendix D: pKa Values of Some Important Compounds

A. William Johnson-University of North Dakota, North Dakota

Born in Calgary, Canada, Bill Johnson graduated at the top of his class at the University of Alberta where he received his Bachelor of Science degree. He received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Cornell University and was appointed the first Fundamental Research Fellow at the Mellon Institute in Pittsburgh. He is a Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which cited him for his pioneering research in the chemistry of ylides.

  • "The How to Solve a Problem items are integrated very well into the text, and serve as excellent illustrations of how to apply the concepts just discussed. They are well chosen and thoroughly explained. Very good!"
    -- John Lietzel
    Chicago State University

    "Some of the chapters (especially the ether chapter) are the best I have ever seen for those topics. The How to Solve a Problem are a strong point of this text." 

    -- Jim Burns
    Utah State University

    "Chemistry at Work is the reason I would choose this text. These sections are a necessary part of an organic survey course. The mission of these sections is to give the student some reason to care about molecules." 

    -- Jason Stenzel
    University of Idaho

    "Johnson is an outstanding text, and I applaud Jones and Bartlett for their support of many of the initiatives in this text. It will certainly set a new standard."

    -- Mark Workentin
    The University of Western Ontario

    "It is an excellent introduction, with abundant applicaions and illustrations." 

    -- Galen G. George
    Santa Rosa Junior College