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I made a few mistakes on my Lewis Dot Structures on the midterm, because I did not draw them based on how they were written in the formula. For example, for HOCO, I did not draw it as H--O--C--O, but rather connected the hydrogen atom and the two oxygen atoms directly to carbon on three different sides, and ended up getting zero formal charges on all of them. I don't think I was taught to draw Lewis structures based on how the formula is written in high school. Is this always the case when drawing them?
My logic with how to place the atoms was that C likes to have four bonds, Oxygen likes to have two, and Hydrogen likes to have one bond (this is what I learned as the HONC guideline in high school chemistry). With this in mind, if you put the two O's and the H around the C, then the number of bonds aren't favorable. On the other hand, if you structure it has H-O=C=O, the number of bonds for each are favorable. Also, I think usually, you can place the atoms as they are written, so HOCO.
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