Introductory Chemistry (X11)

Supplemental information

Introduction
How do you decide whether this course is at the right level for you?
Class size
Can you use a different book?
What about having a second book?
Homework. What is "Part 2"?
Homework. Getting feedback just before a test.
Homework. Miscellaneous.
Study Groups
Handouts
Web site
Organizing your thoughts; sharing.
Special projects?
Lab?
Using class for announcements or networking
Course length, pace, schedule issues.
Course evaluations
Priorities: an overview
Comments from recent classes

Textbook information. Includes the following sub-sections...
   Introduction: Multiple editions and variations of the Cracolice book
   Editions
   Ancillaries (2nd edition)
   Chapter correspondence in editions 1-3
   Other books
   How to get a book
Bottom of page; return links and contact information
 

Introduction

This page provides some additional information about the course. Some of it may be thought of as a supplement to the syllabus -- expanding on some points. Some of it deals with issues that come up as students decide whether this is the right course, and some is based on student feedback on course evaluation forms.

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How do you decide whether this course is at the right level for you?

It may be good to recognize right at the start that this is a more difficult question for adult students than for regular college students who are taking an organized sequence of courses. Simply listing pre-requisites is much less useful for adult students. You may know things you have learned outside of courses, and may have forgotten things you learned in them. Ultimately, you get to choose whether the course is useful for you. I hope the following remarks will help some.

Do you have enough background for the course? X11 is intended as a first course in chemistry. No prior background in chemistry is required or assumed. That doesn't mean you won't find it hard or fast. Many people find their first chem course hard; chem really makes more sense as you go over it more and more. (And if you do find it hard, remember that you need to start somewhere if you want to learn some chem. So stick with it as best you can, trying to make some progress at each stage.)

We do need some basic math, and it is common to show introductory algebra as a pre-requisite. It's not so much particular algebraic skills that are needed as basic math logic. If your math is weak but you have a need for the chem, I am inclined to encourage you to go ahead and take the chem. You might have trouble in some areas, but maybe it is good to find that out by experience.

Do you have too much background to make this course worthwhile? X11 is at about the level of high school chemistry (though with a faster pace). If you have taken university level chemistry and done well, it would seem on paper that you are beyond this course. However, some of our students have this background, and find X11 a useful review. It is common that students feel somewhat overwhelmed by chem, and a review at a lower level can "feel good". The review may help you tie material together.

One way to help decide whether the course will be worthwhile is to look at the sample tests (from previous X11 classes). If the content of the tests looks too easy, that could be a clue that you are at a higher level than X11. But if you think you would find further work on the material found on these tests worthwhile, then give it a try. If you have a good background but think the review would be useful, I encourage you to set yourself a higher goal than the course core. Do more in some chapters, as your schedule allows, and try to learn at a higher level.

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Class size

Class size for X11 is usually around 10-15. The small class size makes it very practical to give students considerable individual attention, through whichever modes are most convenient for you (e.g., before or after class, e-mail or phone discussions, written work). Further, class is informal and considerable class time can be used for questions.

Class discussions, as well as class presentations, are most useful for you when you are prepared and an active participant. Even if you prefer to be "quiet", you can participate mentally. But the small class size does make it easier to participate, and we often get discussions involving several class members.

Beginning chemistry is a subject that some find difficult or even intimidating. Our class size, coupled with the general philosophy of Extension classes for motivated adult students, helps provide a supportive and flexible approach to learning chemistry.

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Can you use a different book?

If you are considering using a book in addition to our textbook, see the section on What about having a second book?.

If you want to consider using another book instead of Cracolice, please check with me. It is possible that it is ok, so long as we both understand what is happening. Many chemistry books are very similar, so if you have another book at the same level, it may be ok. If you use a book intended for "Chem 1", it will be at a considerably higher level; if this is what you want to do, ok, but you don't want to do this accidentally.

If you do use another book, there are a couple of practical issues...

* First, we want to determine the correspondence between your book and ours. For chem books this is usually fairly straightforward; however, there are always some differences in coverage, including order, from one book to another. I am happy to discuss this with you, and give you a general guide. However, it must be your final responsibility to determine what needs to be covered.

* Second, if you turn in work from another book, I need to know what it is. It is often adequate to simply include a copy of the questions. (I am happy to read work you do from another book. For some students, this is a way of customizing the course, doing some practice from a more advanced book.)

The information in this section is "generic". If you are particularly concerned about which variation of the current book to use or whether you can use the previous edition, see the section below on the Intro Chem book: Textbook information.

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What about having a second book?

If you are considering using another book instead of our textbook, see the section on Can you use a different book?.

Some students like to have additional books available, to supplement the main textbook. An extra book can offer a second view on some material. Such supplemental books can help, and they can also get in the way.

Certainly, if you already have some other books, use them as seems appropriate to you. For example, reviewing an old chem book you already know is sometimes useful. If you want my "opinion" of some book you have, or an explanation about its level, either bring it in and show it to me, or give me the information (author, title, date, ISBN number).

The caution is that in general simply having more books won't solve big problems. The class book and other class materials are intended to define what the class is about. Other books may be at different levels, or look at things different ways. Sometimes this may help, but sometimes it may confuse. I would not particularly encourage buying a second book, in general, but if you do want to, I am happy to discuss some possibilities with you.

Sometimes a student will think...

I can't do the problems yet because I don't understand the material. Therefore I need a better explanation.

That may be getting things backwards. You learn by doing the problems, and asking questions when stuck. There are many things that are hard to explain completely and unambiguously in words. Read the basics, then try the problems. Check yourself. When stuck, go back and re-study the relevant material, now focusing on the issue that came up in the problem. If necessary, ask for some help. The point is that real learning occurs while you do problems, more than by reading or listening.

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Homework. What is "Part 2"?

Each homework assignment for X11 has a "Part 2", which reads: "Ask a question. It can be about a homework problem, or some other problem or class issue." What's this about? It is another way to encourage you to ask questions. If you ask questions in writing, either on homework you turn in or otherwise, I will write you responses. Some people ask questions about specific problems, some about issues that have come up earlier, some about general questions they may have on chemistry, and some about class matters. It's all fine -- and this is just one of many ways you can ask questions. I encourage you to take advantage of it, but also to ask questions -- lots of them -- in whatever way(s) suit(s) you.

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Homework. Getting feedback just before a test.

As a test approaches, it becomes an issue that you have done the homework that is relevant to the test, and gotten feedback on it. Our once-a-week schedule can make this difficult. To help... When you turn in homework the class before a test, you might want to include a SASE. I will then try to mark it and return it within a day or so. It's also ok to mail me homework; most mail gets delivered within a couple of days throughout the area (though of course that is not guaranteed; not a bad habit to make a copy before you send it). If timing allows, I can mail it back to you, but more likely I would bring it to the next class.

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Homework. Miscellaneous.

The answers to the problems are at the end of each chapter. Please check yourself on these -- and give the problem a second try if necessary. Missing a problem is often a sign to go back and re-study the relevant material. If you continue to have trouble with a problem, give me a call or e-mail; we can try to resolve it during the week, so you can go on. Main issue... The purpose of having answers available is to give you quick feedback, so you can tell how you are doing. Make use of the answer section!

When possible, try to provide explanations or show your work. This is particularly important if you are having trouble. If there is just an answer, all I can do is to mark it right or wrong. If you show what you do, I can provide feedback on what you did wrong. Remember that on tests I will "always" ask you to show work and to explain things.

You are welcome to work more advanced problems, from our book or from another book. If you care enough to turn in some work for me to look at, I am happy to take the time to read it.

I encourage you to be environmentally wise. It's fine to use the back side of otherwise discarded paper for your homework.

When I am marking your homework, if I have any comment at all on what you did for a particular problem, I will usually put a red X in the left margin, just to get your attention. This doesn't mean that what you did is necessarily "wrong", but it means to look more carefully to see if I wrote a comment.

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Study Groups

I certainly encourage you to form study groups within the class, and study together. However, I should note that it usually seems to be difficult to make arrangements. (The main exception is when there are students in the class who work at the same place, or otherwise already know each other.) Attempts to facilitate group formation, by sharing contact information, have proved of little use -- and they raise privacy concerns.

If anyone wants to try to form a group, feel free to make an announcement in class, or to use the class e-mail list to see if you can get something started. If you think I can help, let me know.

I should note that interactions short of "study groups" may be of some use, and easier to develop. For example, some students might spend some time helping each other via e-mail or phone informally. I also encourage you to work together while at class, before and after class time, and during group work in class.

I do not give out student contact information. You are free to ask other students if they want to share contact information with you.

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Handouts

The chapter handouts are my way of providing my notes about the course in writing. This includes information on priorities. Former students tell me to emphasize to new students that it is important to read the handouts right away.

If you have comments about what should or should not be in class handouts, or how they are organized, please slip me a note. The more specific your comment is, the easier it is to deal with. Generally, the handouts contain much useful info and then some optional stuff. I hope it is clear which is which.

If you miss class, be sure to get the handouts. They are listed on the Updates page, and many can be downloaded there. But you are welcome to paper copies, even if you download them, and sometimes you need to get the paper copy to get a complete or properly formatted version. I have recent handouts with me in class.

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Web site

Some students express some "guilt" at not using the web site much. Not a problem. The web site is all optional. The Updates page is a backup, to help when you miss class. The sample tests and practice quizzes give you a chance to try some questions I have written, rather than those in the book; since I write the tests, many people want to do at least some of these. (I distribute a paper copy of the first sample test in class.) The other stuff is entirely supplementary; nothing is required. Some people explore the site after the course is over; great!

Any suggestions for organizing the web site better (making it easier to find things) are welcomed.

Suggestions for additional web topics are welcomed. The web site allows me to write and post short sections addressing some particular problem area or supplemental topic. These get written for various reasons, but your suggestions can play a role.

The web site is intended as public, and you are welcome/encouraged to continue to visit it and to tell others about it. (One major intended use is for prospective students.)

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Organizing your thoughts; sharing.

Much of the material we cover is interconnected in some way. Seeing those interconnections is part of chemistry making more sense to you. At times, it may be useful to make "summary charts" that help you tie together material. To some extent it is personal taste how you make these. You are welcome to show me your summaries, for comment. I also encourage you to share such summaries with the class; other students may benefit from seeing the material organized in different ways.

There are also informal ways of doing some of this, including private discussions and the class e-mail list. Also note that a good use of your note page for use on tests is to help you organize material.

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Special projects?

If you would like to do some special project, let's discuss. I'm open to ideas. Group projects are ok, but remember that most people in an Extension class do not have easy access to each other outside of class.

You might look at a project I developed for a different class: Project. This was for a slightly more advanced class, in organic and biochemistry. I'm not sure how easily it would be modified to work for this class, but perhaps it provides some ideas.

The best motivation for doing a project is that you would like to do something special. For example, you might be interested in learning more about some particular chemical. (I'm less sympathetic to projects that seem to be motivated primarily by trying to avoid regular class work.)

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Lab?

We do not offer a lab with this course. This may raise several issues, depending on your circumstances.

Chemistry is, to a very large extent, a lab science, and there is much to be said for learning chemistry with a lab -- in the lab. Those who have never taken a chem lab at all, and have no lab experience, would probably benefit from taking a course with a lab. However, many of our students have had a chem lab or lab experience at some point, and/or do not want the extra time commitment that a lab entails. Therefore, our lab-less course is appropriate for some students, and works well for them.

I'm happy to discuss this further with those who have concerns or questions.

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Using class for announcements or networking

Extension classes bring together people of diverse backgrounds and interests. Sometimes you may want to make use of the class as a source of contacts. As a general philosophy, we accept this. So long as you are brief, you are welcome to make announcements in class -- on more or less anything. Aim for a few sentences to make people aware, then offer more information, perhaps with a handout that you have available. (We have had announcements about jobs, both available and wanted -- and even about ski trips.)

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Course length, pace, schedule issues.

This section notes several comments from students, with some response.

Course length and level. An Extension evaluation form asked students to judge the length of the course and the level. Most people mark "about right" for both. A significant number think the course is too short. A couple of students thought the level was too basic. None marked "too difficult" this time, though some have done so in other semesters. I suspect that most who find it too difficult drop.

The short length of the course is intentional. I think most chem courses tend to do too much too fast. At Extension, I am free to do it "my way", and I have chosen to keep the course short and basic. It is 2 units because I find that many of our students think 3 units is a rather heavy load.

As with any chem course, the students are heterogeneous in background and ability, as well as time commitment. As noted in the syllabus, I encourage students to customize the course to suit their own needs. That is easier to do with Extension than in a regular college setting. Students who want to work at a higher level than the basic course -- and have the time to do so -- should talk to me about some options.

One student noted that the class presentation was more basic than the text or tests. I think that is a fair comment. I see my role as complementing the text. That includes making the basics even more clear for those who have read the book but are still having trouble. (But it is not my job in class to support those who have not read the text.) It also includes doing some of the more difficult things; much of that is done in response to questions. An important aspect of the class presentation is to develop the continuity, the interrelationships.

Students did note the availability of feedback, and the open atmosphere for questions, both in and out of class. (I will read and give you feedback on any work you want to turn in, whether assigned or not. This is part of customizing the class for individual students.)

A general strength of Extension classes is the diversity of experiences and interests that students bring. Students make significant contributions to course content. The web page I put up on lighting was stimulated by student questions, and contains considerable information contributed by students.

Pace. Students noted that the pace seemed to increase during the semester. This is a common perception. I think two things contribute to it. First, the material is harder as the semester proceeds, and depends on the earlier material. Second, we tend to skip more sections for later chapters than for earlier chapters. If students insist on reading the skipped parts, it certainly will make the pace seem faster.

I don't have any particular solution to this, but think it is worth noting that students often have this perception.

Nights off. Extension courses are scheduled to meet for a certain number of class hours. Having a night off does not affect the amount of class time, but merely extends the class to a later date.

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Course evaluations

Course evaluations are done at the end of each course. They serve two purposes. First, the simple evaluation is information to the Extension office that guides them in deciding whether to continue courses. Second, the more detailed evaluation is important feedback to me in doing further course development. Extension provides a simple form, mainly a check list where you rate several features of the course. This serves their purpose, but really provides little useful information. Therefore I ask that you do a more complete evaluation. Sometimes I do this with an additional form, or with my questions integrated into a version of the Extension form, but sometimes I just leave it open-ended, and ask you to write additional comments.

One easy way you can enhance the simple Extension form is to add some comments, not just mark number ratings. This is especially helpful when you have a low rating of an item... Write a brief note about why, with some specifics if possible.

The Extension evaluation form also includes some questions for marketing purposes, including some that may serve to identify you. Answering questions about courses you would like to see may be useful, but it is fine to leave any questions blank. I certainly encourage you to skip questions that might identify you; they are contrary to the spirit of an anonymous course evaluation.

I encourage you to make notes as the semester proceeds about what you like and don't like about the course, along with your suggestions. You are welcome to offer your comments during the course. You can do this in any way you wish, including anonymous notes in the IN envelope in class. Certainly, if there are things that could be adjusted during a course, it is good if you let me know right away. Further, if you give me comments during the semester, I can sometimes put them out for comment by others, to get a sense of the range of opinions.

Here are some examples of questions that I might put on the evaluation form. You can jot down responses to any of these -- or to the questions you want to answer. The point is that any feedback is welcomed, and these questions are intended as guides.

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Priorities: an overview

I provide many optional materials and encourage students to customize the course to meet their individual needs. There is a downside to this flexibility: sometimes students facing a time crunch, especially just before a test, feel somewhat overwhelmed and are not sure where to concentrate. This section is a brief summary to help you set priorities in such cases. Most of what is said here is said elsewhere, but perhaps bringing it together will help. Feedback welcomed.

A major role of the chapter handouts is to help you set priorities. In particular, the chapter handouts will note sections and topics that we skip. Class should also help you with priorities, but the information in the handouts is even more important.

Doing problems is a key part of learning chemistry. It is while doing problems that you learn whether or not you understand what you have studied. Do lots of problems, and seek help when needed. You can choose these problems from various sources. Doing the ones from the book is perhaps sufficient, for most topics. Doing some from my materials is probably a good idea, to get practice with my style of questions. These materials include the sample tests, practice quizzes, and supplementary materials.

In a few cases, I have put some supplementary problems in the chapter handouts. Some of these are marked as extra practice on major topics, because I think the book problems are weak in certain areas. Obviously, problems labeled like that should be considered important. The chapter handouts, once again, guide you as to the priority.

Except for the few cases of supplementary problems that are explicitly labeled as important, you have no obligation to do anything beyond the basic book materials. That is, unless I explicitly note some special importance of a particular supplement, such as the previous paragraph, you can assume that non-book supplements are really just extra and entirely optional.

You have no obligation to use any of the supplemental materials that come with the book. However, I would note that students often say that the visuals, especially the animations, on the CD-ROM are helpful. The book points you to these, with margin notes.

You have no obligation to do any of the "Further Reading" (FR) noted in the handouts or to use any of the supplemental web sites I list. These materials are provided for those who "want more". I do hope that browsing the FR gives you an idea of why the material we cover is "relevant", but it is not something to worry about for test preparation.

The Updates page is primarily for those who miss a class. However, it also is a place for me to summarize what we have done, and to make adjustments. It may be helpful for you to check the Updates page shortly before a test. It would give you a quick overview, and also alert you to any adjustments that might have been made.

If you are not clear whether something is priority material or not, please ask. In addition to answering your immediate concern, I can adjust any statements in the handouts to be clearer.

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Comments from recent classes

Here are some comments from recent classes. I welcome further comments on anything noted here. I also hope that these comments may be of some use to following classes.

The comments here are not intended to be a complete reflection of what is on the forms. The things here are things that I think might be of particular interest for some reason. In some cases, there are things where I want more feedback from students. In some cases, it is good to show the diversity of opinion on some issue.


I strongly encourage you to make comments about the course as the course proceeds. This has two major advantages. First, in some cases it may be possible to make a useful adjustment that benefits the current course. Second, it may be possible to solicit further detail or comments from others in the class about a matter. I would also note that, in many cases, specific comments are more useful than general ones.

As examples...

A student suggested that too much class time might have been taken up by questions from one student. Now, at this point, I am not sure what this refers to. If the comment had been made at the time, we could have discussed it. The underlying issue is complex; in general, I encourage students to ask questions both directly related to class and sometimes beyond class material. It's particularly tricky to figure out how much time to allow for the latter. For example, we had a fairly lengthy discussion of the gasoline additive MTBE in the Intro course this past term. Arguably, that had little to do directly with core material, but I thought it was worthwhile for class time because of the general issues involved (and in this case a number of people had expressed some interest in the topic). In any case, a comment at the time of a perceived problem would have allowed for some discussion of the point (privately or publicly).

Most students rated this item very highly, thus did not think there was a problem. As so often, there are reasonable differences of opinion. Sometimes it is best if you will speak up at the time, so we can address the difference of opinion.


Students sometimes ask for more information in the handouts, or for some information to be presented "more clearly". If you will tell me what you had trouble with, I can deal with it. The nice thing about the handouts (and web pages) is that it is easy to elaborate/clarify. I am constantly tuning the pages, but pointing me to a specific perceived problem is the best way to get something done. (I should add that occasionally students will suggest the handouts are too long. Again, if you offer such a comment, please be specific.) I will generally try to look for highlighting of key points as I go through the handouts for this coming semester.


A student noted that X402 (the org/bio course that follows) might be particularly suitable for high school students. Yes, we have had good experience with high school students in that class. See the X402 section High School Students? for more information.


Some students suggested that I put out more questions for you to work on during class. This is tricky, since people's preparation varies widely. I did experiment some, in both courses, with having some questions for you prior to class; this was based on a suggestion from a previous student. My sense is that it went well, and I will probably expand that. In general, there are plenty of practice questions, whether from the book, or my practice quizzes and sample tests. If more are needed on certain topics, let me know, and I will develop some supplemental problem sets. If you are concerned about the test question style, it is particularly important that you do some work with the sample tests.


One question on the form asks you to rate "Adherence to formal time scheduled for the class." One person marked this "poor". If someone can elaborate on what was intended, that would help. Sometimes these Extension form questions seem ambiguous. So far as I know, people interpret this question as whether we started and stopped at about the right time, which we did, and everyone else says was fine. So if there is another issue here, please let me know. (As with test questions, explanation is often more important than the simple answer!)

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Textbook information

This section, with several subsections, provides additional information about the textbook. It was originally a separate page.

This section was originally written for a specific class. The details are for that class, and for the textbook assigned there. Some of the discussion may be useful to others now as some overview of how one looks for an introductory chemistry book. In particular, the comparison of various editions of one book, shown below in the section on "Chapter correspondence in editions 1-3", may help others compare books more generally.

Introduction: Multiple editions and variations of the Cracolice book
Editions
Ancillaries (2nd edition)
Chapter correspondence in editions 1-3
Other books
How to get a book


Introduction: Multiple editions and variations of the Cracolice book

The syllabus lists the textbook as M S Cracolice & E I Peters, Introductory Chemistry, 2/e. Brooks/Cole, 2004. ISBN-13 978-0534-40729-2 (ISBN 0-534-40729-3). [Intro Chem syllabus, Textbook section.] However, multiple editions of the book are available, and multiple packagings of each edition are available. The goal of this page is to guide you through the choices.

The bottom line is that any of the books should be fine. Basic chemistry changes very little over the time interval of these editions. Of course, the newer ones may have some newer examples and news stories. Further, the variations of the book are probably not important. The discussion below will guide you through the choices, but if you want to just pick up something cheap, buy whatever version of the book you find.

My chapter handouts are specifically keyed to the 2nd edition. However, they should be quite usable with other editions, since the content is so similar. Chapter correspondence between editions 1-3 is shown in the section: Chapter correspondence in editions 1-3.

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Editions

The following table will guide you. The title may be shown in somewhat different ways in different listings, and the date shown may vary by one year or so. (Books are often released a year before the copyright date shown.) Different packagings of the same book will have different ISBNs, so the ones shown here are only examples; they are for the basic book, without lots of extras.

Authors Title Edition Date ISBN
Cracolice & Peters Introductory Chemistry 6 2015 paperback 978-1305079250
loose-leaf: 978-1305632608
Cracolice & Peters Introductory Chemistry 5 2012 paperback 978-1111990077
loose-leaf: 978-1133113126
Cracolice & Peters Introductory Chemistry 4 2009 paperback 978-0495-55847-7
loose-leaf: 978-0495-55854-5
Cracolice & Peters Introductory Chemistry 3 2007 paperback 0-495-01332-3
loose-leaf: 0-495-01516-4
Cracolice & Peters Introductory Chemistry 2 2004 paperback 0-534-40680-7
loose-leaf: 0-534-40729-3
Peters & Cracolice Introductory Chemistry FlexText 1 1998 loose-leaf: 0-03-019978-6

For the loose-leaf book: the pages are punched, and many students put it in a 3-ring binder. Comment: I would be reluctant to buy a loose-leaf book used; it is hard to know it is complete.

There was an earlier book, by Peters (alone, or with Kowerski), which was essentially the precursor to the current book. The last edition was Peters & Kowerski, Introduction to Chemical Principles, 6/e, 1994. Again, if you happen to find one of these, it is likely to be fine.

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Ancillaries (2nd edition)

A variety of "ancillaries" are packaged with the book, either routinely or optionally. As a matter of principle, I require only the basic book. However, some ancillaries may be useful to some people.

Information about the ancillaries for the second edition is below, but I emphasize that the bottom line is that you do not need any of them.

When buying a used book, it can be hard to keep track of these ancillaries. Again, that is fine, since you do not need any of them.

Ancillaries
The textbook refers to various of these ancillaries throughout the book. For example, you will find margin notes suggesting that you explore a certain item on the CD.
CD-ROM. This comes with the new book, though if you buy one used you might not get it. Several students have commented favorably on this CD-ROM; the visuals can be a good supplement to the text material. I certainly encourage you to explore it, but I will not make formal assignments in it.
Study Guide. Available online, free. This does have some additional instructional material. It also has a few extra problems, though in the unfortunate form of multiple choice questions. These may be good practice, but be sure you emphasize understanding, not just guessing answers. The Study Guide should be useful with any edition.

[The Study Guide seems to be no longer available.]
InfoTrac. InfoTrac is a web system with a collection of current and recent chemistry-related articles. Access requires a password, which comes with the book. Some information says that all copies of the text include InfoTrac access, but some information suggests otherwise -- that it may be an option. InfoTrac sounds like it might be fun to explore, but it will not be an integral part of the course. (The InfoTrac password is good for four months. I assume that this is four months from the time you first use it. So it is reasonable for you to save your InfoTrac card until the course is over, then spend some time exploring.)
Active Learning Workbook. ISBN 0-534-40681-5. This has no new instructional material, but has lots more problems. (In fact, it seems that they took about half of the problems from the 1st edition and moved them into this workbook -- at additional cost to you.) Paying extra to get more problems strikes me as a bad idea.
Student Resource Manual. ISBN 0-534-40696-3. This book provides detailed solutions and explanations for all questions in the textbook and the Active Learning Workbook (see above). It tells you where in the textbook to find what you need for each problem. In general, this seems high quality supportive information. However, unless a student is essentially an absolute beginner and struggling with the bulk of the material, I doubt this book is worth the price.
The original list price for the Active Learning Workbook and the Student Resource Manual was about $35 each. Used copies are available, at a range of lower prices, through the usual sources. (See my Buying Books page, or see the section below, How to get a book, for a brief introduction.)

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Chapter correspondence in editions 1-3

The following table shows the correspondence between chapters in editions 1-3 of the Cracolice book.

Chapters are listed in the order we cover them. They are grouped here as I group them for the handouts. Chapters that we do not cover are listed at the end, in numerical order.

Chapter,
3rd edition
Chapter,
2nd edition
Chapter,
1st edition
Chapter title (3/e; same or similar for earlier editions, unless noted)
1
2
1
2
1
M
Introduction to Chemistry
Matter and Energy
3 3 C Measurement and Chemical Calculations
5 5 A Atomic Theory: The Nuclear Model of the Atom
6 6 N Chemical Nomenclature
7 7 F Chemical Formula Relationships
8 8 R Chemical Reactions
10 9 H Quantity Relationships in Chemical Reactions
11 10 Q Atomic theory: The Quantum Model of the Atom
12
13
11
12
B
D
Chemical Bonding
Structure and Shape
4
14
15
4
13
15
G
I
W
Introduction to Gases
The Ideal Gas Law and its Applications
Gases, Liquids, and Solids
16
9
16
17
S
Z
Solutions
Chemical Change (was: Net Ionic Equations)
17
19
18
19
P
X
Acid-base (proton transfer) Reactions
Oxidation-reduction (redox) Reactions
18 20 E Chemical Equilibrium
We do not cover the following chapters:
omitted
21
22
23
14
21
22
23
V
U
O
L
Combined Gas Law Applications
Nuclear Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
Biochemistry

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Other books

There are many intro chem books, and frankly they are all fairly similar. They cover substantially the same material. Of course, there are differences in style and emphasis. If you already have one of these books, it is reasonable to use it. Or perhaps you come across one in a used book store.

One particular book of note is a web version of a published book, at about the level of this course. It is from Mark Bishop, Monterey Peninsula College. http://preparatorychemistry.com/Bishop_Home.htm. If you don't have a book, this could be a good place to start.

Most of the Intro Chem course materials at this site are organized based on the Cracolice book, specifically the 2nd edition. But if you use another book, you will find many of the resources here just as useful. Use topic headings as a guide. Feel free to ask me about any issues of organization or content that come up.

For more discussion about using an alternative book, either instead of or in addition to the regular book, see other sections near the start of this page.

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How to get a book

For general information on obtaining books, see my Buying Books page.

Book prices vary widely. If you want to shop to get a good price, I suggest you try an online price check service; see my Buying Books page, noted above, for some information. If you are a fan of a particular store, go ahead and try it -- but using a price check service will give you a wider sweep, and may well include your store.

One good search strategy would be to search on author Cracolice; that should give you all recent editions, and not much noise, since his name is uncommon. You can also search on one of the ISBN numbers given above (Editions); some sites will link you to other versions and related books.

You will find a wide range of prices, for both new and used copies. Tax and shipping varies. Prices for used copies seem similar for both loose-leaf and paperback.

I would be reluctant to buy a used copy of a loose-leaf book by mail.

You can also order the book directly from the publisher. Publishers vary in how they price books for direct sale. Last I checked, this publisher offers a small discount, but charges for tax and shipping. A link for direct sales is typically available on the publisher's page for a book.


This information is intended as a guide, not as complete. Of course, the details will vary. I do not recommend any particular store. Please do a check yourself, then make a purchase as suits your preferences.


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Last update: September 30, 2016