Biology How Life Works

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  • What Instructors Are Saying About…

    Using How Life Works, First Edition

    "I have taught botany and then Biology II for over 20 years and have been very frustrated when I have realized how little knowledge students retained. Since we have gone to this textbook, I find that the questions students are asking in class are much more probing than those in the past, and the students seem much more engaged in the topics."

    -Gloria Caddell, University of Central Oklahoma

    "We have all seen an improvement in our students' understanding of the material this year, the first year that we used the Morris text. We all think this textbook is a major improvement over our previous textbook."

    -Anupama Seshan, Emmanuel College

    "We did adopt the book for this fall because it has been streamlined to remove the details that often bog students down and prevent them from seeing the overarching concepts being presented. The focus on evolution throughout the book is also welcomed as is the tying together of material instead of each chapter feeling like a silo."

    -Tim Kroft, Auburn University at Montgomery

    "Good questions are just as important as a good textbook. The available variety of assessment tools was very important for our adoption of this text."

    -Matthew Brewer, Georgia State University

    Coverage, Organization and Approach

    "The approach to teaching is something my colleagues and I had been waiting for in a textbook. However, the text is flexible enough to accommodate a traditional teaching style."

    -Steve Uyeda, Pima Community College

    "I like the How Life Works  text because of its focus on integrating the information into a cohesive big picture, with an emphasis on thinking as a biologist."

    -Mark Demarest, University of North Texas

    "I think this textbook does a better job of getting students to focus on inquiry based science, helps them better understand core concepts, and enables them to better synthesize and apply what they have learned."

    -Arthur Frampton, University of North Carolina Wilmington

    "The text does an excellent job of choosing the right path through complex material. My classes have a wide set of academic skills represented and I don't think many would be overwhelmed by the presentation nor do I think that others would be frustrated by a lack of detail."

    -John Campbell, Northwest College


    "I REALLY like the case study concept, especially in an intro course. I see them as story arcs, and find my teaching is better if we have an idea or model we are building across lectures. This structure means that I don't need to introduce my own ideas and can know that the chapters integrate that example across different levels of scale."

    -Heather Masonjones, University of Tampa

    "I really like the Cases that are inserted before another main theme begins - it gives it the 'real world' application. This would be more effective than just having highlight boxes inserted in chapters."

    -Deborah Harris, Case Western Reserve University

    "The case studies are a great 'buy in' for the material that follows."

    -Leslie Saucedo, University of Puget Sound


    "I like the figures, especially the 3-D ones -- we focus on 'perceptual ability' training in our classes and figures that encourage students to think about cells in 3D are excellent!"

    -Kirkwood Land, University of the Pacific

    "The artwork seems very clear-cut and geared to giving the students a very specific piece of information with a very simple example. This should greatly help students with forming a visual image of the various subjects."

    -Chris Petrie, Eastern Florida State College

    "The addition and multiplication rule [in Chapter 16] is usually the hardest to understand and grasp. This text illustrates this concept well as the figures contain pea pods with different probabilities listed for each pea. It gives the student a visual way to learn as well as gives easy to follow examples."

    -Tracie Delgado, Northwest University


    "I have never used exam questions provided by a book I use, because I have found them to be lacking in thoughtfulness. However, the questions in THIS BOOK are thoughtful and I would use most of them."

    -Grace Wyngaard, James Madison University

    "This is the best set of questions I've ever seen in a textbook. They are thorough and the right mix of challenging the student with requiring memorization of important details."

    -Kurt Elliott, Northwest Vista College

    "We've been very happy with the exam questions from the first edition of How Life Works. Now that I know how valuable a good test bank has been to us, I probably would take it into consideration in choosing future textbooks."

    -Christine Andrews, University of Chicago

    "For the most part I think these are great higher-order questions that will definitely stimulate thinking and critical analysis. The questions are good examples of how to get students to apply basic concepts (e.g. the nature of the triplet genetic code, or polarity of polypeptides) to the analysis and solution of problems."

    -Ford Lux, Metropolitan State University of Denver

    Part I Chapters in the Second Edition- Cells to Organisms

    "This chapter does a good job of focusing on the important steps/outcomes of photosynthesis and then filling in details -- more so than many texts. This makes it easier for students to understand and learn the details because they serve a 'purpose'."

    -Daniel Moon, University of North Florida, On Chapter 8

    "Overall, I am impressed by this chapter. It discusses the material in a clear manner, and it seems to hit a lot of points that I usually have to make sure to add in, because other books see-m to gloss over them, such as where the '3'/5' terminology came from. I also thought that the chapter was easier to read than many textbooks."

    -Brandon Diamond, University of Miami, On Chapter 3

    "I really enjoy the fact that proteins are presented in the context of translation, which is something our current book does not offer. I think the chapter would be a useful starting point for fruitful class discussions."

    -Nicholas Tippery, University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, On Chapter 4

    "I really like how the Calvin cycle is presented before the light dependent reactions. Establishing the need for ATP and NADPH and then presenting how they are created keeps the focus on carbohydrate production as opposed to getting lost learning about light and pigments first."

    -Kevin Beach, University of Tampa, On Chapter 8

    "I thought that the description of allelic polymorphisms and their selection was handled very well. The sickle cell description really hit key, complex ideas in a concise way. I think the chapter also makes a strong connection to human health which the students will like."

     -Steven Clark, University of Michigan, On Chapter 15

    "This is a beautifully written chapter that clearly illustrates core concepts in cladistics."

     -Brian Wisenden, Minnesota State University-Moorhead, On Chapter 23

    Part II Chapters in the Second Edition- Organisms to the Environment

    "I have admiration for the author of this chapter. He/she has succeeded in summarizing succinctly a vast topic, by distilling each topic to their essence and using interesting, well-chosen examples from territorial and aquatic systems."

    -Susan McRae, East Carolina University, On Chapter 46

    "This chapter is well written! The discussion of the carbon cycle both in the short term and over geological time is a unique approach to this topic. I also enjoyed how the authors showed that the carbon cycle can help us understand ecological interactions and the evolution of biological diversity."

    -Daniel Pavuk, Bowling Green State University, On Chapter 25

    "This is an excellent chapter. It integrates form, function, evolution and phylogeny. While similar material may be presented in other books, it is not done as a single, integrated chapter. I especially liked the inclusion of research with choanoflageelates: no vague scenarios - instead, empirical results that relate to the main topic."

    -Erik Scully, Towson University, On Chapter 28

    "As someone who also teaches a plant-insect interactions chapter, I was thrilled to see an entire chapter devoted to plant defenses. I think the chapter was quite comprehensive."

    -Sedonia Sipes, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, On Chapter 32

    "The material is presented in a way that I think will resonate with students."

    -Chad Montgomery, Truman State University, On Chapter 48

    "The text I use simply focuses on biodiversity in its equivalent chapter. I find the broader view of human impact to be a much better way to end a semester. The application of general principles, the primary topics of our introductory courses, to the specific impact of humans is important and strengthens the value of the course, especially to those non-science students who take our majors course."

    -John Campbell, Northwest College, On Chapter 49