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Manisha Nigam
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry
University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
Developing a Holistic Understanding of Hybridization and Resonance 

This case study is the result of the author's efforts to help students master the complex concept of resonance by unifying multiple concepts across general chemistry and organic chemistry courses. Resonance is a key building block for students' understanding of acids and bases, stabilization of reactive intermediates, and all aromatic reactions of benzene and its derivatives in organic chemistry. This case presents a set of problems that challenges students to think holistically about the concept of resonance together with the concepts of Lewis dot structure, formal charge, and hybridization. This approach, which has been successfully implemented within the curriculum of a first-semester organic chemistry course, can also be adapted for a general chemistry course. An answer key is included within the teaching notes.