Humboldt State University ® Department of Chemistry

Richard A. Paselk

Chem 438 Brief Organic Chemistry R. Paselk
Summer 2004 Syllabus, Summer 2004 Office: SA470b
Office Hours: T: 1020-1120,
other times by appointment
Phone: x 5719
Home: 822-1116

Lecture Schedule: See Brief Organic Chemistry on my Web Page (

Texts: Introduction to Organic Chemistry, William H. Brown, John Wiley & Sons; 2nd Ed. (2000) and the Chemistry 328 HSU Lab Manual are required. The Study Guide and Solutions Manual that accompany the lecture text is not required, but extremely useful. Molecular model kits are also available but not required.

My attitude towards texts is that they are references to repeat, expand, clarify (or confuse!), and otherwise aid you in your endeavor to understand chemistry. I do not "require" that you buy a text - you're an adult, you should know what you require to "get through" a course. It's your decision. However, I strongly recommend purchasing a book. Brown will be the central text for most of this course.

Web site: The course web site will be used to provide communications about all manner if course information. Note that the schedule and syllabus are on the web site, and any changes will be reflected in updates to the web versions.

I will also be posting my notes on the web. If you use them and think you've found an error please tell me via e-mail:

Recommended Learning Strategies

DO NOT rely on my web notes - they have served many students in my other courses as an excellent way to check their notes, but make sure you do take your own notes! Most students find taking notes a very valuable learning experience.

Josh Smith, the instructor for this course for the past few years, recommends the following: "Don't miss lecture or lab. I will test you on lecture and lab material. There is no attendance policy for the class lecture, nor will missing class influence your grade, BUT- going to class and taking thorough notes will greatly improve your chances of getting a passing grade. Review the assigned material in the text and lab manual before and after lecture and laboratory sessions. This can seem like a lot of extra work (I remember being an undergraduate very well), but doing this will help you understand the material more than you may realize. Generally, all the problems in the textbook are the types of problems that will appear on exams. Work these problems daily. If you don't understand something come see me during office hours (see top of page), make an appointment with me or just drop by my office. If I am there I will most likely be able to help you. You can also seek a tutor or a study group. Don't procrastinate! Chemistry is not a subject that one can learn overnight."


Attendance in laboratory is mandatory. Missing three (3) labs will result in a letter grade of "F" for the entire course independent of your work on exams and quizzes. If you need to miss a lab please come see me. An "F" in lab will result in an "F" in the course.

Laboratory reports are due at the beginning of the next lab period after completion of the experiment. Late reports will only be accepted with prior permission from the instructor. For synthesis experiments, the "Balanced Reaction" and "Table of Reactants and Products" must be completed before you start the lab and handed in at the beginning of lab.

You must earn a passing grade in both the lecture and the lab to pass the class.

Drops (W) and Incomplete (I):

The deadline to drop this course without a "W" grade recorded is XXX is the last day to drop without the instructor's and Dept. Chair's signature and without "serious and compelling reasons". "Serious and compelling reasons" are circumstances beyond the control of the student and do not include: change of major, getting a job, or avoiding an unattractive grade. The same criteria will be applied to the mark of Incomplete. Note - an Incomplete automatically changes to an F after one year.

Prerequisite: Chemistry 109 with a C- or higher or the instructor's approval.

A Word About Exams: Note the in-class exams dates and be certain you can make them:

Exam I (Chap 1-6) - Friday June 18

Exam II (Chap 7-11) - Thursday July 1

Final Exam (Comprehensive): Friday, July 9 @ 0900-1300

I do not generally give make-up exams, but can sometimes make an accommodation if notified in advance. So if you think you can't make an exam, please call or email me in advance. If you can't reach me, leave a message with the Chemistry Department secretary or on my voice mail.

In general, exams and quizzes may not be made-up, postponed or taken early. If you are to be off campus on scheduled university matters under the supervision of a faculty member, we can work something out.


 Midterm exams:

 2 @ 100 pts. each

  200 pts.


 5 @ 10 pts. each

  50 pts.

 Final exam:  

  200 pts.

 Laboratory Reports

5 @ 10 pts. each; 1 @ 15 pts.

  65 pts.

 Lab Unknown  

  10 pts.


 Total =

525 pts.

Drop Policy: I will give you until I return the first hour exam to drop this class with a "W." After that time, failure or other academic problems, as well as time management (work, kids, etc., but see below) will not be considered to be among the category of "serious and compelling reasons" needed to drop this course. Serious and compelling reasons are considered to be problems outside of the student's control and which could not be anticipated, such as serious illness or hospitalization. If you do have a problem, please notify me as soon as possible if you think it may require your dropping the class.

Incompletes: Incompletes are generally reserved for students who are unable to complete the class for serious and compelling reasons which occur after the last drop period.



If you have a documented learning disability and would like to discuss academic accommodations, please contact me as soon as possible. Our campus Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) can assist you with the accommodation process and can be reached at (707) 826-5392 (TDD). The SDRC is located in House 71 (Little Apartments) off Library Circle.

Lecture Notes

C328 Home


Last modified 1 June 2004