Paul Doerder, Cleveland State University
Ralph Gibson, Cleveland State University
Copyright Year: 2015
Conditions of Use
I think this textbook covers the breadth of Intro Biology well, but, certainly not in a deep enough way to help students along. read more
I think this textbook covers the breadth of Intro Biology well, but, certainly not in a deep enough way to help students along.
Most of the content is accurate, simply in how brief it is. However, there are significant problems which brings into question the validity of this textbook in Biology courses. Most notably, it considers “Special creation” as an equally valid hypothesis as natural selection, while it is not a hypothesis... as it is largely untestable. The text talks about Miller-Urey as “weak science” without recognizing the recent work at Indiana University confirming his methodology and conclusions. This segment should be re-written by someone who understands evolutionary theory and the Miller-Urey experiment better. It was also surprising to see the use of the word “disproved” in a Bio textbook.
The textbook would be highly update-able as it relies significantly in students reading Wikipedia articles - which are being constantly updated.
This textbook is essentially aset of “notes” accompanied by hyperlinks to Wikipedia. There is not enough detail to educate students on important concepts. For example, “fluid mosaic”, is truncated to two sentences without any attached image. This is a notoriously confusing concept that cannot be understood by students without assistance visualizing it. Meanwhile, the section on cell organelles is more expansive - but still far too simplistic. Same overly-simplistic issue of understanding things like protein transport, different protein types, etc. On the other hand, the description of photosynthesis is concise, but informative. Similarly, Mendelian Genetics is described reasonably well, while X-inactivation - another potentially confusing concept - is described in one sentence. Chapter 23 and onwards are better, with students getting a flavor of biodiversity, tissue systems, body plans, basic animal physiology and anatomy in a succinct way.
The text is somewhat consistent in its format. But significant differences in level of depth across chapters.
The textbook is divided nicely into smaller areas of exploration.
The flow of the textbook is as logical as any other Biology textbook. No complaints here.
The figures seem rudimentary, and are certainly not high-resolution images.
No noticeable grammatical errors.
Although all of the important topics for an Intro to Bio course are listed as chapters, unfortunately, they are often missing information and details. read more
Although all of the important topics for an Intro to Bio course are listed as chapters, unfortunately, they are often missing information and details.
The chapter references are simply Wikipedia pages.
It is from 2015 and used Wikipedia as references.
In many places it reads like simply a list of bullet points without enough explanation.
Some of the chapters change stylistic approaches as if collected from different sources/writers.
It is customizable, although incomplete in many sections.
There is a logical flow between chapters.
Some of the images are of poor quality.
There are a few grammatical errors throughout the text.
Almost nonexistent, as info comes from Wikipedia.
I would not chose this as a primary text. One would need to supply significant supplemental material in order to cover the topics more completely.
The text covers all of the important topics for an introductory biology course. However, the text is missing enough detail and explanation. Some sections were empty and didn't have any information. For most of the text, I felt as if I was reading... read more
The text covers all of the important topics for an introductory biology course. However, the text is missing enough detail and explanation. Some sections were empty and didn't have any information. For most of the text, I felt as if I was reading a vague outline/bullet points from lecture slide notes. Also, the glossary is incomplete and limited/short.
The text just references Wikipedia pages for information (e.g. cell components) instead of providing information in the chapter.
Copyright is 2015, so it's not the most up to date information. The information covers the bare basics though. Figures also appear outdated where some graphics are poor quality.
Some bullet points have no explanation provided. I think readers without a solid background in biology might have difficulty reading through the text. I'd be concerned that the professor might need to provide a lot more supplemental instruction/material for the lack of detail in the textbook. In addition, some bullet points and terms are not explained in the text or glossary. Instead the term is referenced to a Wikipedia page in some sections.
The framework between chapters is not consistent.
The writing style changes throughout the book, which I personally found disruptive and unfavorable. Some sections were bullet points, whereas others were paragraphs or short single sentences. Also the amount of information/detail varied per section. The various writing styles could maybe appeal to a wider variety of learners, but it was all too inconsistent for me.
Overall major topics flow in a logical order and were clear in how they were organized. Some sections didn't have any information though. So it wasn't clear why it was present, but didn't have any additional content.
Some images are poor quality.
Grammatical errors were found.
The text really seems to just go over the bare basics. Examples are not really inclusive because examples are limited and sparse in general. I was really disappointed to not find more examples.
The book addresses all the important topic areas of biology, but does not provide much detailed information necessary to be the primary text for a comprehensive biology course. read more
The book addresses all the important topic areas of biology, but does not provide much detailed information necessary to be the primary text for a comprehensive biology course.
Content is accurate, but limited. Using Wikipedia as a resource is not really best scientific practice.
Content is up-to-date, not really detailed enough in cutting-edge discoveries to need updating.
Text is clear, but perhaps not enough detail provided for each topic. More diagrams would be useful.
Terminology and framework consistently adequate.
Chapters are organized in a way to easily subdivide into units of study.
Bullet points and topic designations are useful.
Interface adequate. Font could be larger.
No grammatical errors found.
No culturally insensitive or offensive material noted. Few inclusive examples provided.
This could be useful as a review for a general biology course or testing program. Not really detailed or comprehensive enough to use as the primary text for a biology course in a science-based program.
The book does contain a comprehensive list of biological topics for an introductory biology class. However, the book lacks the detail required to be the primary textbook for students. It is a good outline for an introductory class for the... read more
The book does contain a comprehensive list of biological topics for an introductory biology class. However, the book lacks the detail required to be the primary textbook for students. It is a good outline for an introductory class for the instructor. The material is often presented in bullet points, which I don't have an issue with, but there needs to be more information to help connect those bullet points together to get a more complete picture. However, an instructor could use this as a guide and fill in the gaps themselves. Additionally, multiple of the Genetics sections and a couple of the later chapters appear to be incomplete.
The majority of the information appears to be accurate. Noticed a few mistakes but nothing that could be fixed quickly by the instructor or authors.
This book is a few years old, therefore new technologies could be added to help the relevance. Given the bullet point style of the text it could be done fairly easily.
The information is written in a way that students should be able to understand. However, the lack of connective text between different bullet points and/or topics will make it hard to form a complete picture of the major topics presented in the book. There isn't enough figures or examples supporting the text.
I pointed out the the inconsistency in the organization in the organization section. Not all topics headers have information associated with them.
I did not have an issue finding specific sections within the book. The outline style of the text makes it easy to find topics.
I don't have an issue with the logical order of the topics. However, Section 6 "Cell" and Section 15 "Genetics" appear to be major headings and the following chapters are subsection of the major topic. The authors use of the same numbering between these headings and the other chapters makes for a slightly awkward flow.
The lack of figures makes the interface easy. The text is in a straightforward style, thus easy to read.
I did not find any glaring errors
I did not notice anything offensive. The lack of examples helps the text steer away from controversial topics.
This book I think is a helpful outline of an introductory course. It can help an instructor who is unsure about the topics that should be covered. It isn't comprehensive enough to be a stand alone resource for a class.
While the text covers a multitude of topics, it doesn't give the details often required for thorough understanding. read more
While the text covers a multitude of topics, it doesn't give the details often required for thorough understanding.
I do not agree with citing Wikipedia as a scientist, because of the ability to edit the information. I learned it was always best to use peer reviewed materials.
The text is more of a bulleted list of topics that doesn't seem to need the majority of the sub-categories and is sometimes redundant in placement of the material.
Very clear for general understanding. Not nearly enough diagrams/figures.
Text seems consistent but has details in some sections, and rather vague in others to be considered a general biology text.
Short bullet points help, and it seems very helpful as a study guide for something larger with more in depth discussions.
Flow was adequate.
Text was very clear, font perhaps could be larger.
No grammatical error found.
Not culturally insensitive or offensive.
This book covers almost every topic that biology major students should know, however, it misses information in every topic. In another word, it tries to cover everything but failed to cover everything in detailed, especially it misses some... read more
This book covers almost every topic that biology major students should know, however, it misses information in every topic. In another word, it tries to cover everything but failed to cover everything in detailed, especially it misses some important information that a regular textbook should contain. It more looks like a study guide for test instead of a learning material. It tells you what type of information you should know, however, you probably have to search more detailed information in each unit somewhere else.
Content appeared to be accurate for me. Probably it needs to be added more updated knowledge in a newer version.
This book is not up-dated as I mentioned above. It definitely can be added more update information as the progress of the technology. However, this book is easy to be updated by any instructors with newer and more information in their own manner due to the special structure of this book.
It does not contain enough information for most chapters and it doesn’t explain some concepts or jargons very clearly due to the shortness of this textbook. Some concepts should be explained with more words and sentences.
This textbook is somewhat inconsistent. As for the structure, some chapters contains more information than other chapters. In another word, some chapters use a bullets format, but the others use a paragraph format and try to explain more detailed information.
This book is very easy to be divided into smaller reading sections for sure due to its special structure. It is easy to reorganized and realigned by any instructor based on how he or she wants to structure his or her course.
The topics in the text are presented in a logical order, however, it can use more subunit under each chapter to make this textbook look more organized.
This book does not contain too many figures. It might be a good way in some purpose, for example, you only want to use this book as a study guide. However, as a real textbook, it definitely needs more graphs and figures to improve the readability of this textbook.
I didn’t find much grammatical errors in this textbook.
This book is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It doesn’t contain any examples can be regarded as racial discrimination.
This textbook can be good or bad for you depends on how you want to use it and in which way. It is more like a quick study review for general biology instead of a regular textbook. As I mentioned above, if you want to quickly go through every topic covered by general biology in a really basic level, this book can be useful for you. However, if you want more detailed information and use this book as a main textbook resource for your two semester length course, this book is not your best choice.
The text covers most subjects of general biology. Because it is very concise (using bullets in many places), not many information is included. The knowledge depth is not adequate for a real textbook. read more
The text covers most subjects of general biology. Because it is very concise (using bullets in many places), not many information is included. The knowledge depth is not adequate for a real textbook.
Content appears accurate. DNA sequencing section may need to be updated with next generation sequencing information.
The text is too short. It does not contain enough information to be a textbook. It can be useful for quick review for exams.
Certain chapters and paragraphs are clear and contain enough information. However, most of the text does not contain enough information, largely due to the fact that this book is more like a summary of various topics in biology, not a real textbook.
The text is not consistent in terms of style, formatting, clarity, and information provided. For instance, only practice questions are provided for a couple of topics.
The text uses a bullet point style, which makes the modularity very clear. However, by doing so, lots of information is omitted.
The topics are divided into chapters only. It can be improved if the chapters are organized by units.
The text is not user friendly. Options are very limited.
There are some grammatical errors, such as misspellings, extra words or numbers, and incorrect use of plurals. Formats are not consistent.
The materials are not culturally sensitive
This book summarizes the main concepts in general biology. It can be used for preview and review purposes. The text is easy to read.
This is not a comprehensive text. If all of the topics that are missing from this text were included in this review, the review would be as long as the text. The PDF is less than 200 pages long for what is typically taught in two one-semester... read more
This is not a comprehensive text. If all of the topics that are missing from this text were included in this review, the review would be as long as the text. The PDF is less than 200 pages long for what is typically taught in two one-semester classes. Sufficient detail and background information is not provided. The entire PDF only includes six figures. In particular, information on diversity is incomplete with the majority of taxonomic levels and categories missing. For example, in Chapter 24 Chordates, information on Class Osteichthyes consists of a couple of sentences on Subclass Sarcopterygii. Ray-finned fishes are not included. Class Reptilia lists Subclass Diapsida under which there are four words – “dinosaurs, snakes, most stuff”. Only one half page of information is provided on Class Aves. Class Mammalia is covered in less than one page. Section 23.4 on Plant Phylogeny contains no text. Developmental biology, comparative physiology, ecology (at any level), behavior, endosymbiosis, plant anatomy and plant physiology are a few of the topics absent from the PDF. The glossary is half of a page with many definitions missing. No index is included.
Text content is not accurate, error-free and unbiased. Very little organismal and diversity of life information is provided. Unfortunately, adequate and appropriate quantity of information is not provided for any topic. For example, in Chapter 7 Cell Structure, swelling is defined as “pressure of the water inside the vacuole” and isotonic is defined as “the cytoplasm fluid of the interior of the cells is the same that the outer”. Proof reading did not occur. Under the section 23.21 Angiosperm flower, the following text is included "Insert non-formatted text hereInsert non-formatted text here".
The PDF is outdated and no longer relevant. Old and outdated classification system(s) is/are used and the PDF uses outdated terms vascular and non-vascular to describe different groups of plants. An incomplete and outdated classification of Kingdom Animalia is used. Important plant, fungi and protist phyla are missing as are milestones in animal evolution and characteristics that allowed plants to colonize land. The minimal amount of biotechnology information included in the PDF is also outdated.
The PDF is loaded with jargon and is not well written.
The PDF is highly inconsistent. Scientific and genus names frequently appear in regular font (neither italicized nor underlined) and capitalization is not consistent. A few sections include complete sentences and paragraphs and the remaining sections contain no text or only bulleted lists. The majority of chapters do not practice questions. If practice questions are included, answers to questions are not consistently included, if at all. In some sections, references made to pages and figures in an unnamed textbook.
Modularity is not present. Sections and chapters are not presented in similar formats.
Text organization is not logical. The text is not divided into units but would benefit by organization into units rather than using placeholder chapters as is used for Chapter 1 Getting Started, Chapter 6 Cells, Chapter 15 Genetics and Chapter 25 Tissues and Systems. No text included in these placeholder chapters. Information is not logically organized. For example, Chapter 13 on Photosynthesis includes unrelated sections on prokaryote cell division, eukaryote chromosomes, chromosome organization (no text included), human karyotype stained by chromosome paints (no text included), human chromosomes (a quarter page with a bulleted list), mitotic cell cycle (three bullets and one text box consisting of one sentence), replicated human chromosomes (no text included), mitosis (half page of information), plant mitosis (one quarter page), controlling the cell cycle, cancer and mutations and cancer (no text included). The glossary (Chapter 34) is half of a page with some terms undefined. The list of figures does not correspond to the six figures included in the text.
Some of the links in the footnotes connect to Wikibooks pages that do not contain any information. After connecting to a Wikibooks link, clicking the back arrow brings you to the beginning of the PDF, not to the section you were reading. Navigation between footnotes and text is cumbersome.
The text is filled with misspellings, incorrect word use, jargon, incorrect use of plurals, grammatical errors, incomplete sentences and statements without explanation or support.
Considering the brevity of information provided the text is not culturally sensitive. The term “man” is used rather than the more appropriate term “human”.
This is not a textbook. The information provided is incomplete and outdated and is little more than an incomplete and unedited draft of course notes.
This open book is very comprehensive, however, I believe that the context of the book may be too comprehensive. Moreover, the text covers very broad fields of biology that students may not be able to grasp. However, the text is not in a... read more
This open book is very comprehensive, however, I believe that the context of the book may be too comprehensive. Moreover, the text covers very broad fields of biology that students may not be able to grasp. However, the text is not in a traditional style, meaning that it contains less than 200 pages. Therefore, students will not get in depth knowledge. Some chapters appear to be incomplete.
The book appeared to be accurate. More specifically, the paragraphs, sentences, and phrases are very short resulting in great accuracy. Moreover, students can learn many topics very quickly and efficiently. Lastly, I noticed some mistakes but they were minor problems.
Importantly, this book is very up-to-date and can be updated quickly if authors want. On-the-other-hand various chapters seem to be incomplete or too short (i.e. section 8.3.2). But the unique style of this book enables authors to update information easily.
The text was written very clearly, while the book is very short. It is very easy to read but scholars need prerequisite information before reading the material in this book.
The text is usually consistent but there are some exceptions. Many chapters were written with bullet points and short sentences. However, a few chapters were written with more information; leaving inconsistencies . The inconsistencies can be improved by further updates.
The text is very easily divisible. The text can be used for just quick review but not for extensive information. If the authors decide to keep the bullet point style this could be useful for students early in the biology world.
The book is divided into many chapters and subchapters. The topics in the text are presented in a very clear fashion. Individual chapters are appropriately organized.
The text sometimes contains graphical figures but additional figures would greatly improve the context. However, if the purpose of this book is quick review, the figures and charts are not necessary.
I did not notice any grammatical errors.
The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive.
This book is very unique. It is not like regular books. It is more like a summary of wikipedia's knowledge on biology. This book is very useful to review what students learned in class or try to understand the concept quickly before class starts. Reading this text does not take too much time. Personally, I like this book. I can use this as a quick reference. For class this book can be used as an alternative book with combination of traditional general biology book. This book would be a great alternative for students who are trying to be fiscally smart.
Table of Contents
- 1 Getting Started
- 2 Biology - The Life Science
- 3 The Nature of Molecules
- 4 Chemical Building Blocks of Life
- 5 Life: History and Origin
- 6 Cells
- 7 Cell structure
- 8 Structure of Eukaryotic cells
- 9 Membranes
- 10 Cell-cell interactions
- 11 Energy and Metabolism
- 12 Respiration: harvesting of energy
- 13 Photosynthesis
- 14 Sexual reproduction
- 15 Genetics
- 16 Gregor Mendel and biological inheritance
- 17 DNA: The Genetic Material
- 18 Gene expression
- 19 Gene regulation
- 20 Mutation
- 21 Recombinant DNA technology
- 22 Classification of Living Things
- 23 Multicellular Photosynthetic Autotrophs
- 24 Chordates
- 25 Tissues and Systems
- 26 Epithelial tissue
- 27 Connective tissue
- 28 Muscle tissue
- 29 Vertebrate digestive system
- 30 Circulatory system
- 31 Respiratory system
- 32 Sensory systems
- 33 Additional material
- 34 Glossary
- 35 Contributors
- 36 Licenses
About the Book
The word biology means, "the science of life", from the Greek bios, life, and logos, wordor knowledge. Therefore, Biology is the science of Living Things. That is why Biology issometimes known as Life Science.
About the Contributors
Paul Doerder is a biology professor at Cleveland State University located in Cleveland, Ohio.
Ralph Gibson is an assistant professor at Cleveland State University located in Cleveland, Ohio.