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I think that you usually need to calculate the formal charges. It is a good way to check your work too, especially if the compound has a negative or positive charge, because it must have that charge. Also, a little shortcut is (I'm not sure how helpful this is) that whenever you have an Oxygen with a double bond and two lone pairs the charge will always be zero. You can also figure out when atoms will have a formal charge of zero and just memorize them. Thats what I do and it goes a little quicker.
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