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Organic Compounds: Structural Representation

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Organic Compounds: Structural Representation - Lesson Summary

A chemical formula which represents the arrangement of atoms in a molecule is called the Structural Formula of a molecule.   
Structures of organic compounds can be represented by the following ways
  • Lewis structure formula or dot structural formula
  • Dash structure formula
  • Condensed structure formula and
  • Bond-line structural formula

In Lewis dot structure, a pair of electrons forming a covalent bond is represented by using a dot or cross.


The simplified representation of Lewis dot structure is called Dash structure. In this formula a pair of electrons forming a single covalent bond is represented by a dash.


In a condensed structural formula some or all the dashes that represent covalent bonds are excluded and the number of identical groups attached to a carbon atom is represented by a subscript.

Structural formula shows the arrangement of atoms and the type of bonds present between the atoms in the molecule. A condensed structural formula is an abbreviated form of Dash structure.


A bond-line structural formula is a short and simplified method for representing an organic compound. In this method carbon to carbon bond is represented by lines drawn in zigzag fashion represent carbon to carbon bonds and line terminals generally represent methyl groups if they don’t have a functional group.


Organic molecules can be represented by using the solid and dashed wedge formula. This is a three dimensional structural representation of an organic compound


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