Not just another organic textbook, reviewed by Irfan Latif

Understanding advanced organic and analytical chemistry: the learners’ approach
Kim Chan and Jeanne Tan
Singapore: World Scientific Publishing 2012 | Pp556 | £25 (PB) | ISBN 9789814374989

Cover of Understanding advanced organic and analytical chemistry: the learners’ approach

When I received this book, I thought ‘not another organic textbook!’ However this book is very different. It is not only a source of essential reference material, but it actually explains the difficult concepts in a clear and coherent way.

The book is easily accessible to those studying chemistry at A-level and IB. It is unique in the sense that it guides the learner through the understanding and application of essential chemical concepts by introducing a ‘discourse’ feature - the asking and answering of questions - that actually help to promote further thinking and to consolidate ideas. These questions really do help the student to think and invariably will lead the teacher to provide a simple explanation of some of the concepts met in class.

The stretch and challenge nature of this discourse is a good idea that works well and promotes independent learning. This rare approach helps the learner to see the connections between different ideas and concepts across the traditional divisions of organic chemistry. It also helps to develop their critical thinking and problem solving skills.

The informal written style, with an emphasis on understanding and conceptual learning, keeps the book easy to read and relevant. The clear, annotated diagrams help to reinforce the theory and address any misconceptions that students may have built up over their chemical careers. Highly recommended by my current A-level students!

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