What does it mean for an element to be reduced?

What does it mean for an element to be oxidized?

What is an oxidizing agent?

What is a reducing agent?

How do you identify oxidizing and reducing agents?

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    $\begingroup$ Consider this a warning. If you continue to post homework questions with no effort put forth, I will suspend your account. You have been asked repeatedly to include this information in your questions and you have ignored it thus far. $\endgroup$ – jonsca Apr 30 '14 at 10:25
  • $\begingroup$ @jonsca None of these are homework questions (I have said this repeatedly in response to your aggressive accusations). $\endgroup$ – okarin Apr 30 '14 at 20:43
  • $\begingroup$ It doesn't matter if they are formally assigned or not, they are still considered to be "homework" regardless. These are the guidelines we have laid out for asking homework and homework-like problems on the site. You have, to my recollection, never replied to one of my comments. $\endgroup$ – jonsca Apr 30 '14 at 20:50
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    $\begingroup$ I have stated what you need to do differently with the comments that I have left. Simply add what you have tried already into the body of the question. "I think reducing agents are X, Y, Z, because W" would allow someone to correct your understanding rather than having to start from scratch in their explanation. It's also to your benefit to explain what you already know because that will help you in your own understanding. A "homework question" is anything that would come out of a textbook. We're not trying to be jerks here, but rather attempting to make things fair for everyone. $\endgroup$ – jonsca Apr 30 '14 at 20:59
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    $\begingroup$ Here's a great example of a homework question: chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/10210/… $\endgroup$ – jonsca Apr 30 '14 at 21:11

My instructor told me to remember LEO and GER.
LEO - loss of electron is oxidation
GER - gain of electron is reduction.

Sodium metal wants to give up an electron. It looses an electron, so it is oxidized.
Chlorine likes electrons. It gains electrons, so it is reduced.
Sodium is a reducing agent since it donates an electron.
Chlorine is an oxidizing agent since it will grab an electron.
A reducing agent is oxidized and an oxidizing agent is reduced.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. I was having a hard time remembering the difference. $\endgroup$ – okarin Apr 30 '14 at 5:51
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    $\begingroup$ My instructor used OILRIG, oxidation is loss, reduction is gain. @okarin $\endgroup$ – Martin - マーチン Apr 30 '14 at 6:25

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