Reactivity of Organic Compounds Essay

What is Holistic Scoring?Holistic grading is a method of evaluating a composition based on its overall quality. A
holistic scoring rubric consists of a single scale with all criteria to be included in the
evaluation being considered. With a holistic rubric, the rater assigns a single score
based on an overall judgement of the student work.
Holistic Scoring Rubric: 50 points per essay
Title of Reflection Essay Present:
1 point
Student Name and Date Present:
1 point
Grammar and Spelling:
3 points
Minimum of 250-word count goal is met:
5 points
10 points available for meeting these criteria
Remaining points:

Criteria for a Score of 40 Points on Reflection Essay:
o Paragraph is clear, focused, and developed to address each of the learning goals
stated from the lab manual document. Relevant details and/or anecdotes and
word choice support and enrich the central ideas.
Content and Organization
• Supporting details are relevant
and provide important
information about each of the
learning goals from the lab
• The writing is developed in a
logical and organized way.
• The writing provides
supporting evidence and
details to support mastery of
the learning goals.

Style and Fluency
• The writer selects words that
are accurate, specific, and
appropriate for the specified
• The write uses a variety of
sentence structure.
• The writing may include
• The writing is nearly error free.
Criteria for a Score of 30 points on Reflection Essay
o The response is clear and focused. Ideas are related to the purpose specified in
the prompt but may be sketchy or overly general. Relevant details and/or
anecdotes and word choice support the topic, theme, or story line but may be
limited. Any errors in language usage, spelling, and mechanics, if present, do not
impede meaning. One or more of the following problems may be present.
Content and Organization
• The writer has defined but
not thoroughly developed
evidence of mastering the
learning goals.
• Supporting details are
vague or overly general.
• The writer makes general
observations without using
specific details.
Style and Fluency
• The writer uses simple but
accurate sentence structures.
• The writer mostly selects words
that are accurate and specific for
the purpose of writing.

Criteria for a Score of 20 points on Reflection Essay
o The response does not maintain focus or organization throughout. Ideas are
minimally related to the learning goals; the reader must make inferences based
on sketchy details and inaccurate or nonspecific word choice. There may be
some serious errors in language usage, spelling, or mechanics. One or more of
the following problems is present.
Content and Organization
Style and Fluency
• The writer has defined but not
• The writer sometimes selects
thoroughly developed the
words that are not accurate,
topics. Response may be
specific, or appropriate for the
sketch or may read like a
purpose of the writing.
collection of thoughts, but no
• Writing may be choppy and
central idea emerges.
• Supporting details are minimal
• Portions of the writing are
or irrelevant.
unrelated to the topic.
• The writer does not develop
the topic in an organized way.
Response maybe a list rather
than a developed paragraph.
• Ideas are not connected to the
specified learning goals.

Criteria for a Score of 10 points on Reflection Essay
o The response tends to be unfocused and disorganized; there may be severe
problems with fluency and/or consistency. Ideas may not be related to the
purpose specified in the prompt. Details and/or anecdotes may be irrelevant or
too insufficient for the reader to construct meaning. Word choices may not
support the topic, theme, or story line or may be repetitive or inaccurate. Errors in
language usage, spelling, or mechanics may be severe. One or more of the
following problems is present.
Content and Organization
• The writer has not addressed
the learning goals from the lab
• Supporting details are absent.
• Organization is not evident,
may be a brief list.
• Ideas are fragmented and
unconnected with the
specified purpose.

Style and Fluency
• Word choice is inaccurate and
there are many repetitions
• Vocabulary is inappropriate.
• The writer uses simple,
repetitive sentence structures
or many sentence fragments.
• Errors severely impede
Criteria for a Score of 0 points on Reflection Essay:
o The response is off-topic or unreadable.
Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry
Learning the chemistry of carbon has been an exciting and insightful experience
in my journey in science. Organic chemistry can be described as the study of the
structure, properties and reactions of organic compounds which is generally based on the
element carbon. Markedly, carbon has the ability to form covalent bonds with other
elements such as hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and other groups resulting in organic
compounds. To advance my knowledge in organic chemistry, I completed reading a
virtual lab manual and a simulation on the subject under guidance of Dr. One. I would
like to share my experiences and learning points with Simon, my classmate. Therefore,
this report aimed at reflecting upon the knowledge gained in Organic Chemistry from my
“Life on earth would be impossible without carbon.” This statement has been repeatedly
used by scientists to appraise the importance of carbon in the planet. Studies in the subject have
established that the most crucial biological molecules in living systems mainly comprise organic
compounds. No doubt, I have sufficiently understood these assertions through my focus on the
lab material. Some of the major concepts relating to organic chemistry that I have learned in the
course include the nature and uses of organic compounds, hybridization of carbon valence
electrons in their orbitals and working out angles of covalent bonds involving carbon based on
these valence electrons. Moreover, I have been able to understand some of the most fundamental
reactions of carbon when forming organic compounds.
Undertaking my chemistry course and reading the lab manual on carbon and organic
compounds equipped me with knowledge on the diverse uses of organic compounds. First, as
aforementioned, organic compounds make up cells in living things as well as other structures of
organisms. Secondly, organic compounds are used in synthetic processes to manufacture plastics,
pharmaceuticals and foods among other substances. Thirdly, most fuels used in the world for
various purposes are mainly from compounds of carbon. For instance, cooking gas contains
methane or a mixture of propane and butane. Further, organic compounds are used in the
manufacture of numerous household products including soaps, perfumes and preservatives.
Indeed, my reading helped me achieve more comprehension of the chemistry of carbon.
In the course of my reading, I was also familiarized myself with the reaction mechanisms
for carbon. Although I found learning chemical reactions of carbon a difficult task, it was highly
educational and worth my time. Just like other elements in the periodic table, carbon reacts with
other elements to form compounds using its valence electrons. Comprising of 6 electrons, carbon
has electronic configuration 1s2 2s2 2p2. This means that the atom has four valence electrons that
participate in chemical reactions so as to achieve an octet (8 electrons) in the outer cell.
Due to orbital hybridization i.e. combining of the 2s and 2p electrons, carbon forms four
bonds with its outer four electrons. These bonds can either be single, double or triple bonds
based on the nature of hybridization undergone. In this regard, single bonds are formed when the
carbon atom undergoes sp3 hybridization producing four orbitals that can interact with other
elements. Besides, sp2 hybridization produces three equal orbitals and in turn results in a double
bonds within the structure. Lastly, carbon can have a triple bond which is formed when it
undergoes sp hybridization producing 2 equal orbitals. Therefore, I learned that orbital
hybridization is the fundamental aspect to formation of single, double and triple bonds in carbon.
This course material also assisted me understand the principles behind existence of
saturated (alkanes) and unsaturated (alkenes and alkynes) hydrocarbons. When single bonds in
carbon combine with hydrogen, alkanes are formed. Examples of these compounds include
butane, propane, hexane and others. On the other hand, carbons with double bonds or triple
bonds form alkenes and alkynes respectively when they combine with hydrogen. While prefixes
used when naming alkanes are maintained, suffixes –ene and -yne are used when naming alkenes
and alkynes respectively.
In addition, studying the chemistry of orbital hybridization in carbon, I obtained
substantial knowledge about different angles of covalent bonds in hydrocarbons which
fundamentally determine the structure and chemical reactions of these compounds. Again, the
nature of hybridization is a key determinant for these angles. In this regard, single bonds are
separated by angles of 109.5o whereas angles of 120o and 180o separate between atoms in double
and triple bond respectively. Undeniably, the spatial relationships between atoms as defined by
these angles significantly influence strength and vibrations of the bonds.
Conclusively, my knowledge of organic chemistry has hugely increased after studying
the material. The virtual lab manual and simulation were beneficial since science is easily
understood when it can be visualized. What’s more, I feel confident in my ability to clearly
explain to my classmate key concepts in organic chemistry such as hybridization, uses of organic
compounds and prediction of angles of covalent bonds in hydrocarbons.

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