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Organic Chemistry Study Guides

Notes on every organic chemistry topic you have to know for each organic chemistry textbook. These include Mayya's tips and tricks to make organic chemistry easy and fun!


Organic Chemistry  by  William H. BrownBrent L. IversonEric Anslyn , Christopher S. Foote Study Notes


1: Covalent Bonding and Shapes of Molecules                 :Reactions of Alkenes 

2 : Alkanes and Cycloalkanes                                                 7: Alkynes

3: Stereoisomerism and Chirality                                           8: Haloalkanes, Halogenation, and Radical Reactions

4 :Acids and Bases                                                                     9: Nucleophilic Substitution and beta-Elimination

5 : Alkenes                                                                                    10: Alcohols

11:  Ethers, Epoxides, and Sulfides                                       12: IR 

13: HNMR                                                                                      14: Mass Spectroscopy 

15: Organometallic Compounds                                            16: Aldehydes and Ketones  

17: Carboxylic Acids                                                                 18: Functional Derivatives of Carboxylic Acids 

19:  Enolate Anions and Enamines                                        20:  Dienes, Conjugated Systems, and Pericyclic Reactions 

21: Benzene and the Concept of Aromaticity                    22: Reactions of Benzene and Its Derivatives

23: Amines 


Need more help? Our veteran Organic Chemistry Tutor is ready to help you ace your class! 


Atoms and Molecules

Formal Charges

Learn how to calculate charges of atoms in a molecule. This is usually tested on the first organic chemistry test.



Drawing correct resonance structures is one of the most important skills for students to master. Resonance is useful in both first and second semesters of organic chemistry.



Hybridization allows students to correctly determine the bond angle of the atom. It is usually tested on the first organic chemistry test, along with drawing correct Lewis Dot structures. 

Naming Alkanes 

Learn how to name alkanes and cycloalkanes by using a step by step method. 


Chairs are most stable forms of cyclohexanes. Learn how to correctly draw the two chair forms and predict the most stable chair structure for a cyclohexane. 


Learn how to predict the structure of a molecule based on the HNMR graph.

Constitutional Isomers

Learn how to identify constitutional isomers also called structural isomers. 

Newman Projections

Learn how to understand and draw Newman projections.



Chiral Centers

Chiral centers are also called stereo centers, chiral carbons, and stereogenic carbons. Learn how to identify a chiral center.


Chiral Versus Achiral Molecules

Chiral molecules are molecules whose mirror image is non superimposable. Learn how to determine whether a molecule is chiral or achiral using Mayya's chart.


R/S Configuration

R and S describe the configuration of a chirality center. Learn how to assign priorities to the four groups connected to the chiral carbon and determine the correct configuration.


Enantiomers And Diastereomers

Enantiomers are molecules that are non superimposable images of one another. Diastereomers are nonsuperimposable non mirror images. Sounds complicated? Learn Mayya's tricks and tips on how to easily recognize the relationship between the molecules and how to correctly draw enantiomers and diastereomers. 


Meso Molecules

Meso molecules are molecules that have chiral centers and yet are achiral due to the presence of the plane of symmetry. Learn how to recognize meso molecules. 

Substitution and Elimination Reactions


SN1 Versus SN2 reactions

SN1 and SN2 are nucleophilic substitution reactions. Learn how to recognize each reaction and how to predict the product with the correct stereochemistry. 

E1 Versus E2 reactions

E1 and E2 are elimination reactions that result in the production of a double bond. Learn the mechanism of each reaction and how to predict the product of E1 and E2.


Use Mayya's chart to figure out how to predict which reaction to do!

Alkene Addition Reactions


Complete Guide to Alkene Reactions

In this guide, we will learn a simple way of predicting the product for the following reactions: epoxidation, oxymercuration, hydration, halogenation, halohydration, hydroboration, hydrogenation, ozonolysis, addition of HX and many more. 

Alkynes Reactions

Synthesis of Alkynes

Double elimination is used to synthesize alkynes. Learn more about the reagents and starting materials needed.

Acetylide Ion Reactions: Alkylation of Acetylide Ions and Addition of Acetylide Ions to Carbonyl Groups

Learn how to predict the products of acetylide ions reacting with alkyl halides and carbonyl groups.

Reactions of Alkynes

Learn how to predict the products of alkyne reactions.

Alcohol Synthesis And Reactions

Synthesis of Alcohols

Learn all of the different ways to synthesize an alcohol using alkene addition reactions, organometallic reactions, and reducing agents.

Reactions of Alcohols

Learn all of the alcohol reactions including Williamson ether synthesis, oxidation of primary and secondary alcohols, and making alcohols into good leaving groups.

Ethers And Epoxides


Synthesis of Ethers 

Learn reactions that produce ethers including Williamson ether synthesis and alcoxymerucation 

Reactions of Ethers

Learn how to cleave ethers using HBr and HI. 

Synthesis  And Reactions of Epoxides

Learn reactions that make epoxides such as peroxyacid epoxidaiton and base promoted cyclization of halohydrins. Learn epoxide reaction including acid and base catalyzed epoxide opening, reactions of epoxide with organometallic reagents, and reaction of epoxides with lithium aluminum hydride.

An Introduction to Organometallic Compounds

Learn how to synthesize Grignard and Organolithium reagents and the reactions that they undergo. Learn about organocuprate reagent (Gilman reagent) and the reactions with it. Finally, learn about carbenes and carbenoids. 

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (HNMR and CNMR)

Complete Guide To HNMR including shift, splitting, integration and number of signals

Infrared Spectroscopy (IR)

Complete Guide To IR including characteristic frequencies for functional groups

Mass Spectroscopy

Radical Reactions


Radical Reactions And Their Mechanisms

Learn the reagents and how to predict the products of the following reactions: Radical Halogenation Of Alkanes, Allylic Halogenation and Radical Addition Of HBr to Alkenes. 

Dienes And Allyl Systems


Electrophilic Addition to Conjugated Dienes

Learn how to predict the products of 1,2 and 1,4 electrophilic addition to conjugated dienes


The Diels-Alder Reaction

Learn how to predict the products and stereochemistry of Diels-Alder reaction

Aromaticity And Benzene

Aromaticity: How To Determine Aromatic, Nonaromatic, Antiaromatic 

Learn how to determine if the molecule is aromatic, nonaromatic and anti aromatic according to 4 rules including Huckel's rule. 


Frost Circle 

Learn how to draw and understand Frost Circles. 

Benzene Reactions

Learn how to predict the products and write the mechanisms of benzene reactions. 

Aldehydes and Ketones

Synthesis of Aldehydes and Ketones

Reactions of Aldehydes and Ketones

Carboxylic Acids

Complete Guide To Carboxylic Acid Synthesis And Reactions

This guide includes: Carboxylation of Grignard reagents, Conversion of Nitriles into Carboxylic Acids, Reduction of carboxylic acids, Fischer Esterification, Esterification Using Diazomethane, Decarboxylation, Conversion to Acid Chlorides, Alkylation Of Carboxylic Acids To Form Ketones. 

Carboxylic Acid Derivatives

Complete Guide to Carboxylic Acid Derivatives Reactions

This guide includes: reactions of acid chlorides, esters, anhydrides and nitriles.

Condensations and Alpha Substitutions Of Carbonyl Compounds

Complete Guide to Condensations and Alpha Substitutions of Carbonyl Compounds

This guide includes: Alpha halogenation, Aldol condensation, Claisen condensation, Malonic Ester synthesis, Acetoacetic Ester synthesis, Conjugate Addition to alpha,beta-Unsaturated Carbonyl Compounds (Michael), decarboxylation, alpha alkylation

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