Carbon is an amazing element. It is able to form millions of different compounds, so many in fact, that it has its own branch of chemistry. Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon. Carbon can form four bonds and can catenate (form long chains with itself). The bonds of carbon are kinetically stable (so don't easily react) but thermodynamically unstable (so contain a lot of energy). This makes it the ideal basis for complex forms of life.
An organic compound is classified according to the specific functional groups that are present. Note that a distinction is made between class (type of compound - e.g. alcohol) and functional group (reactive site in compound - e.g. hydroxyl).
Organic chemistry is the branch of chemistry dedicated to the study of carbon-based compounds. This section looks at their nomenclature and how they are classified.
Isomers are molecules that have the same molecular formula but different arrangements of the atoms. Structural isomers (see Fundamentals of organic chemistry 10.1) have different arrangements of the bonds in the molecule. Stereoisomers have the same bonds,
Reaction mechanisms are a fundamental part of organic chemistry. Each mechanism needs to be learned so that it can be re-written from scratch. This is quite a task and will take a lot of practice with blank sheets of paper.