How to Draw Lewis Dot Structures? (with examples)

Lewis Dot structure is a representation of how electrons are arranged in a molecule.

To correctly draw lewis dot structures we need to follow the following six steps.

1. Calculate the total number of valence electrons

2. Connect atoms in a molecule using bonds

3. Subtract electrons used in bonds from the total electrons calculated in part 1

4. Use remaining electrons to make outer atoms happy (octet, 8 electrons) but remember that Hydrogen only wants 2 electrons.

5. If there are any electrons left, put them on the central atom

6. Check if everyone atom is happy (octet). If not, make double and triple bonds by using electrons from the neighboring atoms.


Boron is an exception to the octet rule because it can have an incomplete octet.

Nitrogen is an exception because it can have an odd number of electrons.

Elements in period 3 or lower can have an extended octet, which we will cover in the next lesson.

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