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When writing a resonance structure, do we do the resonance of the Lewis structure with the best balance of formal charges, or are the structures with imbalanced formal charges that are still correct also count as resonance?
Only structures with the best balance of formal charges count as resonance. Keep in mind that you want the most electronegative element in your molecule to carry the negative formal charge, and the least electronegative element to carry the positive formal charge. It is ideal if all the formal charges can be zero though.
Laura WM 3I wrote:It it better to have 2 formal charges of -1 or 1 formal charge of -2?
This depends on the element itself. If one element is more electronegative compared to the other then you should place the negative charge on the element with the higher electronegativity.
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