Humboldt State University ® Department of Chemistry

Richard A. Paselk

Chem 109 - General Chemistry - Spring 2015

Lecture Notes 1: January 21

Introduction to General Chemistry (Chem 109)

Clicker questions:


FYI - How to Study:

  • Much of what you will need to know will be covered in lecture - so it is very important to attend lectures and take good notes. (The web notes may be helpful here, but should NOT be considered a substitute. Rather, use them to flesh out your notes, to see if you have missed material, etc.)
  • Do not assume that the web notes will substitute for attendance - most students need to come to lecture to succeed in this course!
  • The textbook is meant as a supplement and a source of problems, examples etc. You may find the author more understandable or more compatible with your style than me, so read the chapters. You are responsible for the materials in the text unless told otherwise!
  • You should do as many of the end of chapter exercises etc. in your text as it takes to become confident of your grasp of chemistry.
    • Note that some quiz problems will be based directly on suggested homework in the text!
  • Study Time/Study Skills:
    • Take some serious time this week to figure out how YOU are going to succed this semester! How will you schedule your work, how do you prioritize your time between courses, recreation, sleep, etc.
    • Keep in mind that most students can only study NEW material for about 15 - 20 minutes without a break (even the best can usually only go for 45 min). Even a few minutes break will usually help.
    • Want to maximize lecture efficiency since most of material will be covered in lecture. Three traditional suggestions:
      • Review the last lecture's materials just before lecture to get your mind on track so you don't "lose" the first few minutes
      • Read over your notes from lecture as soon as you can, annotating them with things you remember but missed etc.
      • At the earliest opportunity, think about and rewrite your notes with the aid of the on-line notes and/or your text—synthesize them to make an effective set of study notes.
      • Try visualizing what you are learning (draw graphs, doodles etc.).
    • Study strategies that require reflection, writing or drawing (e.g. making lists, writing summaries, drawing charts or diagrams, journaling, outlining material) have High impact as opposed to low impact strategies such as memorizing, reading and reviewing notes.
    • Look ahead at the material to be covered, then in lecture "think ahead of the lecturer" and see if you are right! That is, try and anticipate what is to be covered. This will make the lecture more entertaining and engaging and thus a better learning experience. It is one of the main characteristics shared by top professionals in all fields as well as successful graduate students when listening to oral presentations.
    • Ask yourself what helps you to be an effective learner.
    • Start a study group to work with others and talk about chemistry.
    • Reward yourself for hard work - take a break to watch a favorite show, play a short computer game, eat a favorite treat etc.
    • Take off at least one day for fun - guilt free (after all your Chemistry Professor told you to, so I guess its kind of an assignment (and you know what kind of reputations they have as hard-ass types).
    • Notice that much of this will be more effective if your carefully schedule your time.



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© R A Paselk

Last modified 20 January 2015