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In high school I remember being allowed to draw straight lines whenever there were two valence electrons on a Lewis structure diagram, as a kind of shorthand method instead of drawing all dots. However, in lecture we learned to use straight lines only for shared electrons. Is the other way incorrect?
It might have been acceptable in your high school class, but since in Lavelle's lecture he said that the lines were only for bonds then representing the electrons with lines is incorrect. Drawing each dot is somewhat tedious but do it anyways so that you won't be marked off on the midterm/tests!
In my high school chem courses, lone pair electrons were always drawn as two separate dots while shared electrons were drawn as a line. While it may take a bit longer to draw, making this distinction helps you visualize and differentiate the electrons.
I believe that the line is only used to signify shared electrons and the point of writing the dots is to show that they are not bonded to anything. So, I would say follow what Lavelle taught and only use the lines for shared electron bonds.
It might have been correct in your high school course, but Prof. Lavelle suggested using it only for shared bonds, so mixing the two might make it difficult for completing problems, and according to Lavelle, is incorrect for his course.
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