General Chemistry – Standalone book 11th Edition
Book Preface
In the preface to the first edition, we wrote, “Scientists delve into the molecular machinery of the biological cell and examine bits of material from the planets of the solar system. The challenge for the instructors of introductory chemistry is to capture the excitement of these discoveries [of chemistry] while giving students a solid understanding of the basic principles and facts. The challenge for the students is to be receptive to a new way of thinking, which will allow them to be caught up in the excitement of discovery.” From the very first edition of this text, our aims have always been to help instructors capture the excitement of chemistry and to teach students to “think chemistry.” Here are some of the features of the text that we feel are especially important in achieving these goals. Clear, Lucid Explanations of Chemical Concepts
We have always placed the highest priority on writing clear, lucid explanations of chemical concepts. We have strived to relate abstract concepts to specific real-world events and have presented topics in a logical, yet flexible, order. With succeeding editions we have refined the writing, incorporating suggestions from instructors and students. Coherent Problem-Solving Approach
With the first edition, we presented a coherent problem-solving approach that involved worked-out Examples coupled with in-chapter Exercises and corresponding end-of-chapter Problems. This approach received an enormously positive response, and we have continued to refine the pedagogical and conceptual elements in each subsequent edition.
In the ninth edition, we revised every Example, dividing the problem-solving process into a Problem Strategy, a Solution, and an Answer Check. By doing this, we hoped to help students develop their problem-solving skills: think how to proceed, solve the problem, and check the answer. This last step is one that is often overlooked by students, but it is critical if one is to obtain consistently reliable results. In the tenth edition, we added yet another level of support for students in this problem-solving process. In every Example, we added what we call the Gaining Mastery Toolbox. We based this Toolbox on how we as instructors might help a student who is having trouble with a particular problem. We imagine a student coming to our office because of difficulty with a particular problem. We begin the help session by pointing out to the student the “big idea” that one needs to solve the problem. We call this the Critical Concept. But suppose the student is still having difficulty with the problem. We now ask the student about his or her knowledge of prior topics that will be needed to approach the problem. We call these needed prior topics the Solution Essentials. Each Gaining Mastery Toolbox that we have added to an Example begins by pointing out the Critical Concept involved in solving the problem posed in that Example. Then, under the heading of Solution Essentials, we list the topics the student needs to have mastered to solve this problem. We hope the Gaining Mastery Toolbox helps the student in much the way that an individual office visit can. Over several Examples, these Toolboxes should help the student develop the habit of focusing on the Critical Concept and the Solution Essentials while engaged in general problem solving.
While we believe in the importance of this coherent example/exercise approach, we also think it is necessary to have students expand their understanding of the concepts. For this purpose, we have a second type of in-chapter problem, Concept Checks. We have written these to force students to think about the concepts involved, rather than to focus on the final result or numerical answer—or to try to fit the problem to a memorized algorithm. We want students to begin each problem by asking, “What are the chemical concepts that apply here?” Many of these problems involve visualizing a molecular situation, since visualization is such a critical part of learning and understanding modern chemistry. Similar types of end-of-chapter problems, the Conceptual Problems, are provided for additional practice.
A major focus of this edition was to perform a thorough integration of the text with the host of digital instructional materials available from Cengage Learning, including the MindTap digital version and the OWLv2 online learning solution. However, of particular note for this edition is a revision to how each of the Example Problems have been formatted to provide a clearer path for student learning. Additionally, new Capstone Problems have been added to a number of chapters. Essays have been added, updated, and revised to reflect our current understanding of a variety of relevant topics.
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