Elementary Organic Chemistry

I.     Course Prefix/Number: CHM 207

       Course Name: Elementary Organic Chemistry

       Credits: 5 (3 lecture; 4 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

CHM 101, or CHM 105, or CHM 121 with minimum grade of C in all courses or consent of instructor.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course is one-semester survey of organic chemistry. Content includes an introduction and overview of the structure, nomenclature, properties, preparation, and reactions of the main organic functional groups; introduces biochemistry, including categories of bio-molecules and pharmaceuticals. Two weekly hands-on lab sessions. Intended for those whose curriculum requires only one semester of organic chemistry.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Lecture
    1. Relate the structure of organic molecules to their physical and chemical properties.
    2. Apply the Lewis model, valence bond model and molecular orbital theory of bonding as well as their extensions–hybridization and resonance–to describe covalent bonding in organic species.
    3. Draw and interconvert drawings of neutral and charged organic species using condensed formulae, bond-line formulae, Newman projections, sawhorse projections and Fisher projections.
    4. Name organic molecules and functional groups using systematic nomenclature defined by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC).
    5. Rank organic species according to trends in physical and chemical properties.
    6. Classify isomers as either constitutional or a category of stereoisomer.
    7. Predict the products of and conditions required for chemical reactions of organic functional groups.
    8. Draw mechanisms (curved arrow notation) and transition states for polar reactions and the interconversion of resonance structures.
    9. Rationalize the regioselectivity, stereoselectivity, chemoselectivity and reactivity of chemical reactions.
    10. Construct reaction coordinate diagrams in order to illustrate the thermodynamic and kinetic properties of chemical reactions.
    11. Design synthetic routes to organic molecules using retrosynthetic analyses.
    12. Characterize biomolecules including carbohydrates, amino acids, peptides, proteins, nucleic acids and lipids.
    13. Relate analytical data, including optical rotation, infrared (IR) spectroscopy, NMR spectroscopy and ultraviolet (UV) spectroscopy to structural features in organic molecules.
  2. Laboratory
    1. Minimize risk to self and others by adhering to documented and verbalized laboratory safety policies.
    2. Operate laboratory instruments independently to acquire data relevant to an experiment.
    3. Assemble and use apparatuses required for reaction, separation and purification techniques in organic chemistry.
    4. Document laboratory procedures, observations, analyses and conclusions in a laboratory notebook according to scientific standards.
    5. Build models of organic molecules and relate structural observations to physical and chemical properties.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Lecture
    1. Structure and Bonding in Organic Molecules
    2. Organic Acids and Bases
    3. Alkanes and Cyloalkanes
    4. Conformational and Geometric Isomerism
    5. Alkenes and Alkynes
    6. Aromatic Compounds
    7. Stereoisomerism and Optical Activity
    8. Organo Halogen Compounds
    9. Substitution and Elimination Reactions
    10. Alcohols, Phenols, and Thiols
    11. Ethers, Epoxides, and Sulfides
    12. Aldehydes and Ketones
    13. Carboxylic Acids and their Derivatives
    14. Fats and Detergents
    15. Amines and Related Nitrogen Compounds
    16. Carbohydrates
    17. Amino Acids, Peptides, and Proteins
    18. Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids
  2. Laboratory Activities: Includes lectures and demonstration of the location and use of laboratory safety equipment as well as the laboratory and safety policies of the college. There are weekly hands-on activities, which may include 24-30 of those listed below.
    1. Melting Point Determination
    2. Recrystallization
    3. Extraction
    4. Separation of Pigments in Spinach
    5. Using Molecular Models to Visualize Organic Compounds
    6. Molecular Models and Conformations
    7. Separation of a Mixture: Fractional Distillation
    8. Preparation of an Alkene
    9. Addition Reaction of an Alkene
    10. Separation of Organic Dyes by Paper Chromatography
    11. Nitration of Methyl Benzoate
    12. Substitution
    13. Chiralty and Stereoisomerism
    14. Alkyl Halides I
    15. Alkyl Halides II
    16. Properties of Alcohols
    17. Preparation of an Alcohol
    18. Carbonyl Compounds I
    19. Carbonyl Compounds II
    20. Preparation of a Carboxylic Acid
    21. Reactions of Carboxylic Acids
    22. Properties of Esters
    23. Preparation of Aspirin
    24. Properties of Amines
    25. Infrared Spectroscopy
    26. NMR Spectroscopy I
    27. NMR Spectroscopy II
    28. Polymers
    29. CC Soaps and Detergents
    30. Carbohydrates
    31. Amino Acids I
    32. Amino Acids II

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Instructional methods vary by instructor and may include, but are not limited to:

  • Lectures, which may be supplemented with classroom discussion, building molecular models, viewing multimedia and the use of computer-based materials.
  • Individual and group problem solving
  • Assigned textbook readings
  • Handouts and assignments
  • Hands-on laboratory activities
  • Information literacy assignments

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  • Attendance at lecture and laboratory sessions.
  • Writing Skills: Students are expected to write at the college level on homework, exams and written assignments.
  • Communication Skills: Students are expected to communicate the language and ideas of organic chemistry orally as well through written assignments. All students will be asked to answer questions during class and to participate in discussions and oral presentations.
  • Computer Skills: Students will need basic computer skills to complete written assignments using a word processor, to access online resources, including the D2L course management system, and to communicate with the instructor through email.
  • Completion of reading, problem solving, and report assignments by their respective due dates. Students are expected to complete assigned textbook and lab manual readings before each class meeting.
  • Adherence to standard safety practices while in the laboratory.
  • Maintaining a laboratory notebook.
  • Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.


  1. Lecture text: McMurray, John; Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry, 7th edition, 2011, Brooks/Cole. ISBN-13: 978-1-4390-4971-6.

  2. Laboratory text: Organic Chemistry 207 Laboratory Manual, June 2011 edition, Oakton Community College Department of Chemistry.

  3. Chemical Safety/Splash Goggles. These goggles must meet the following criteria:
    • Fit snuggly against the forehead and face, protecting against splashes
    • Be impact resistant; ANSI rating of Z87 or higher
    • Include only indirect venting

    Two varieties of such goggles compliant with the above criteria are available for purchase in the bookstore. Students may also elect to find an alternative source for purchase, as long as the goggles meet the above criteria and are approved by the instructor.


  1. Techniques DVD: Churchill, Connie; Microscale Techniques in the Organic Laboratory, 2011, Oakton Community College. Also available online at http://video.oakton.edu.

  2. McMurray, John; Study Guide with Student Solutions Manual for McMurray’s Organic Chemistry, 8th Ed., 2011, Brooks/Cole.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Depending upon the instructor, any combination of the following assessments may be used to evaluate student progress and determine the course grade.

  • Attendance
  • Homework assignments
  • Quizzes, tests, and examinations, which may include essay, short answer, multiple choice, true/false, and problem solving questions
  • Individual and/or group written reports
  • Individual and/or group oral presentations
  • Individual and group problem solving
  • Information literacy assignments utilizing library and online resources
  • Laboratory assignments, reports, notebooks and practical exams

XI.   Other Course Information

Support services include open computer laboratories, the college library, and free tutoring through the Learning Center as well as office hours with the course instructor.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.