Molecular structure in which the valency electrons are shown as dots so placed between the bonded atoms that one pair of dots represents two electrons or one covalent (single) bond, e.g.
A double bond is represented by two pairs of dots, etc. Dots representing non-bonded outer-shell electrons are placed adjacent to the atoms with which they are associated, but not between the atoms. Formal charges (e.g. +, −, 2+, etc.) are attached to atoms to indicate the difference between the positive nuclear charge (atomic number) and the total number of electrons (including those in the inner shells), on the formal basis that bonding electrons are shared equally between atoms they join. (Bonding pairs of electrons are usually denoted by lines, representing covalent bonds, as in line formulae.)
PAC, 1994, 66, 1077. 'Glossary of terms used in physical organic chemistry (IUPAC Recommendations 1994)' on page 1135 (https://doi.org/10.1351/pac199466051077)