Scientific Understanding

**Why is formal charge important?**

Formal charge is a way to tell which resonance structures (your different possible electron dot structures) you have crated are best representing what the molecule actually looks like. Their can be multiple possible ways to draw correct electron dot structure (Lewis structures) and formal charge is a quick and easy way to distinguish between them. Are some electron dot structures (Lewis structures) better than others? Yes. Those with the least extreme formal charges or formal charges that are most in line with electronegativity are the best.

**Examples**: Draw the best electron dot structures (Lewis structures) possible using formal charge to test them. **VIDEO Using ****Formal Charge Examples 1**.

Molecule | Structure |

N_{2}O |
Answer link 1 |

SO_{4}^{2-} |
Answer link 2 |

NO_{3}^{2}^{–} |
Answer link 3 |

**PRACTICE PROBLEMS**: Draw the best electron dot structures (Lewis structures) possible using formal charge to test them.

CANNOT THINK OF ANY GOOD PRACTIC PROBLEMS RIGHT NOW