As a survey text, the goal of the Microbiology textbook is to hit the highlights
of the science of microbiology and spark an interest in continuing deeper study
in some area of the discipline. The text combines elements of cell biology,
cell structure and function, genetics, biochemistry and immunology and presents
them through the perspective of the microorganism. It explores the various microbial
life forms that comprise the sciences of bacteriology, mycology, virology and
phycology and illustrates the impact microbes have on our lives by explaining
how they function as distinct entities within a complex biosphere. Evaluating
cause and effect relationships, such as microbial causes of disease, by the
scientific method are good exercises for developing critical thinking skills.
Many such examples are found in throughout the text to illustrate how scientists
throughout the history of microbiology have solved problems.
Because of the many contributing areas of science, microbiology is often
perceived as a complex and difficult subject. However, if you study and focus
on microbiology, assisted by other sciences, you will gain insight into the
science of microbiology and how it has impacted human culture.
Here are some study tips to help you:
Come to class ready to participate. Read assigned material
before each respective lecture. The material will make better sense after
you have read about it at least once. Reading the material before class, coming
to class with questions or answers, and showing up with an open mind is an
excellent way to learn.
Seek assistance with difficult concepts early. See your
instructor for an explanation of terms, principles or techniques, which you
dont understand. Use office hours!
Remember, microbiology is a comprehensive biology course.
It is not a course that you can pass by just memorizing the facts. Think through
the reasons why experiments were performed. Analyze data or relationships
to understand conclusions drawn from them.
Regularly attend classes. Information will be presented
and concepts will be developed in class that will not be effectively communicated
by reading the notes of another. You need to experience each class yourself.
Dont wait until the day before an exam to prepare for it.
Learning is an ongoing, full-time job. Read before class. Re-read after class.
Review your notes frequently. Ask questions. Get feedback. Dont wait
until its too late to get help.
Use study aids. (1) Try dividing notebook paper with a line
down the center. Keep class notes on one half and corresponding book notes
on the other half. (2) After each lecture, write down 3-5 questions that reflect
the essence of the lecture material. (3) Find other members of the class who
will agree to write questions for each lecture, and share them. (4) Use the
Online Learning Center to take study quizzes and
explore related topics on the World Wide Web.
Like everything else, "practice makes perfect."!