General Organic Chemistry

General Organic Chemsitry, also known as Principles of Organic Chemistry includes concepts and ideas that are essential for the understanding of Organic Chemistry. These ideas and concepts are general in nature and are not restricted to a particular family of compounds or functional groups.


General Organic Chemistry is an important chapter when it comes to Entrance Examinations. On analysing previous year papers, it is found that around 6 questions were asked every year in IIT JEE/JEE Advanced. Most of these questions required the knowledge of other Organic Chemistry chapters. Nevertheless, understanding of GOC was essential to solve these questions.

When it comes to AIEEE/JEE Mains, around 3 questions were asked every year. Most of these questions were direct and not linked to other chapters.

(The 3 questions in 2014 JEE Mains is the average of questions asked in both offline and online papers)

Carbon compounds

Organic Chemistry is the study of compounds of Carbons that are found in nature and are derived from oraganisms. A separate branch of Chemistry is devoted to this as Carbon forms a large number of compounds.

Why does Carbon form a large number of compounds??

Check this out video to find out the answer (Watch Upto 4:40)

It is now clear that carbon can link up with itself as well as other compounds to form large number of molecules. Study of such large number of molecules needs to be systematic, and so there needs to be some kind of classification of organic compunds. This is where the concept of functional groups came in.

What are Functional Groups??

A good description of functional groups and some common functional groups in organic chemistry are given here

Compounds having same functional groups are said to be part of a homologous series.

What is a homologous series?? And why do we need them??

These questions are answered in this video

Another important property shown by organic compounds is Isomerism.

What is isomerism? What are the different kinds of isomerism?

To get the answer check this link

Before we go deep into different types of isomerism we need to know to represent carbon molecules, read more about it on Khan Academy

Isomerism is mainly divided into two types :
Structural Isomerism
Stereoisomerism, you can go into further detail by reading this

The nomenclature of structural and stereoisomers will be dealt with in an upcoming post.

Types of Organic Reactions

Organic Reactions are classified into 3 major types.


For a short explanation on these, read this (Upto Page 16)

Basic addition reaction are covered in this video. You can follow up with the following video by Frank Wong

Substitution and elimination reactions are further divided depending upon the number of steps involved in the reaction.

An explanation of Substitution and Elimination reactions is given by this video

Another detailed explanation of substitution reactions can be checked here

Elimination reactions are also explained here

These reactions form a bulk of the reactions in Organic Chemistry and will be invoked many times in coming chapters. Make sure you have a solid understanding of these.

Reaction Intermediates in Oragnic Chemistry

As we all know, a reaction occurs by the breakage of bonds and formation of new ones. The species formed in between a chemical reaction are called reaction intermediates. The type of species formed depeds on the type of bond cleavage.

What are the types of bond cleavage in organic reactions? And what are the reaction intermediates formed?

Answer lies here. It also explains the various reaction intermediates formed due to these. For futher reading go here

What are nucleophiles and electrophiles??

Nucleophile are also known as nucleus loving. Similarly electrophiles are electron loving.

For more insight check this. We can compare the strengths of nucleophiles in this lecture by sal

Electron displacement effects in Organic Chemistry

The polarity of organic molecules are a result of various electron displacement effects. These include

Inductive Effect

Mesomeric or Resonance Effect

Hyperconguative Effect

Electromeric Effect

These effects help us to compare the acidity, basicity and stability of two or more structures. Some of these effects can also be used to determine the stability of the reaction intermediates that were discussed

Try reading this pdf to get understand how the comparison is done.(Read upto page 16).


In this post we tried to introduce to you some basics of organic chemistry like functional groups, isomerism, homologous series, electron displacement effects and also reaction intermediates. Some common organic reactions were introduced too.

These form the basic building blocks of organic chemistry and needs to be thoroughly understood. Some of these concepts might be invoked again in coming chapters.

Hope this post helped you understand better. You could check your understanding by taking our 20 minute test on General Organic Chemistry at eagerbug

Good Luck!!

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