I know how to balance the inorganic portion, but I would like some great tips on balancing the ORGANIC portion of the reaction. The OChem textbook is very vague on that subject.
Please post an example problem
Give the balanced redox reaction for the oxidation of cyclopentanol to 1,5-pentanedial in the presence of the permanganate ion and a base.
Looks like the ring opened up and water added to the primary carbon to make the diol. It's a 1:1 ratio between the cyclopentanol and the diol, but on the reactants side, you also need water.
This may be old hat but it works. Determine the change in oxidation number for the carbon(s) oxidized and thus the total electrons lost. Permanganate reduces to manganese dioxide in the presence of a base. This should get you started.