A Simple and General Method to write Lewis Structures
Lewis structures constitute an overwhelming majority of the structures that students encounter in courses in general chemistry, organic chemistry, or biochemistry. Hence, the writing of Lewis structures corresponding to a given molecular formula is an important exercise for them. The ability of students to write these structures correctly and then to calculate the formal charges of the atoms involved, is a prerequisite to understanding such topics as:
Which are the essential propositions of the Lewis theory for bonding?
Figure 1: Lewis symbol for the atom of fluorine. The valence electrons are shown as dots around the chemical symbol of fluorine
i.e. the Lewis structure for the ion of CN-
Which are the types of bonds proposed by Lewis?
|Figure 2: Schematic representation of the formation of an ionic bond by the transfer of an electron from the outer shell of the Na atom to the outer shell of the Cl.|
Please see the following video on the formation of ionic bonds:
Is there a simple procedure enabling one to write down correctly and rapidly Lewis structures for compounds formed by elements of the three first rows of the periodic table?
V is the total number of valence electrons in the molecule =
Links to worked examples can also be found on the Sitemap - Table of Contents (Lewis Electron Dot Structures)..
- G.N. Lewis, J.A.C.S, 38, 762-785, (1916)
- E. C. McGoran, J. Chem. Educ., 68, 19-23 (1991)
- A.B.P. Lever, J. Chem. Educ., 49, 819-821, (1972)