Ace Your Next Organic Chemistry

With the MOC Membership

Join Here

Avoid These Resonance Mistakes

A good friend of mine once told me, “smart people learn from their own mistakes. But geniuses learn from the mistakes of others.” (He is a genius: I am very much not).

Here’s 3 common mistakes to avoid when drawing resonance forms.

1. Make sure you haven’t gained or lost electrons or atoms. Everything should balance!

2. Make sure you haven’t moved any hydrogens around (this is surprisingly easy to do). Remember that you’re only allowed to break double bonds, not single bonds.

3. Make sure you don’t break the octet rule while drawing your arrows, or draw weird arrows that don’t make sense (like putting the tail at a positive charge)


Tomorrow: an important lesson in Finding That Which Is Hidden.

Thanks for reading! James

P.S. Common mistakes: How not to draw resonance curved arrows