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I believe that to determine the oxidation state of an atom, you can use the formula which states that "(Overall molecular charge) = (# of metals)(oxidation number of metal) + [Summation of (#number of ligands)(charge of the ligand)]. You can kind of think of the process as a way of adding the charges of the ligands with the oxidation number of the central metal to get the provided overall charge of the ion or molecule. Examples of problems and the formula stated above are located in the book and solution manual respectively.
How I find the oxidation state of a coordination compound and set up an equation. First I acknowledge what charges the ligands each have and multiply them with how many type that type of ligand there is. I then add these two numbers up. After I assign the metal the variable (x) and add it to the ligand number and set all that equal to the total oxidation state. Then you just solve for x.
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