How to Draw Lewis Structure


What is the Lewis Structure?

A Lewis Structure is a representation of a molecule’s valence shell electrons. It is used to illustrate how electrons in a molecule are distributed around specific atoms. Electrons are generally, shown as “lines” or as “dots” between two atoms when they are bonded. Lewis Structure’s major purpose is to discover the “optimal” electrical arrangement, which involves maintaining the octet rule and formal charges.

General Rules to Draw Lewis Structure

  • Firstly, count all the valence electrons.
  • Calculate the number of electrons required to make the atoms “happy.” (octet rule)
  • Calculate the number of bonds in the molecule.
  • Select a central atom (having less electronegativity).
  • Construct a Skeletal Structure
  • Arrange Electrons Outside Atoms
  • Distribute the remaining electrons around the central atom.

Let us understand some general terms used in it.

Valence Electron

Valence electrons are the total number of electrons present in the atom’s outermost shell. Only valence shell electrons are involved in bond formation. These valence electrons either share or are transferred (completely or partially) for bond formation.

Formal Charge (FC)

The difference between the valence electron of each atom and the number of electrons with which it is related is known as a formal charge.

The formula for the determination of the formal charge is

FC = V-N-B/2.


V = number of valence electrons

N = number of nonbonded electrons

B = number of bonded electrons

The Lewis diagram of any molecule will be more stable whenever the formal charge of an atom is lower.

Octet Rule

The Octet Rule states that every atom likes to have eight valence electrons because this is the most stable and low-energy state.

Valance electrons are electrons in the outermost shell that are vital for bonding and forming molecules.

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