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Beginners Biology

Debate and discussion of any biological questions not pertaining to a particular topic.

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Beginners Biology

Postby Goonlecker » Thu Apr 28, 2005 6:57 pm

I'm new to this whole malarkey. I've done some Biology as part of my GCSE's at high school, but apart from that I've generally not got into the whole area. I'm contemplating doing an A-level later this year in biology and I was just wondering what general resources would be helpful. I've been looking at the tutorials on this site at spare time in work and I'm finding it quite interesting.

In particular I'm looking for a good beginner's book. I want something that is obviously easy for the beginner, but has good depth and has interactive segments like tests etc. I'm not a good learner at the best of times so I kind of need things like that which will keep me thinking and help me memorise. If there's one thing I have it's a fairly shabby memory.

As part of my own searching I came across this, anyone know if it's any good?
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Postby MrMistery » Thu Apr 28, 2005 7:19 pm

Don't know anything about any begginer bio book, but if you decide to take the A-level bio course i would recommend you buy a book called "Campbell". It is the bible of biology- abot 1200 pages. You can find there absolutely anything- it is the book that anyone should know before going to IBO.
"As a biologist, I firmly believe that when you're dead, you're dead. Except for what you live behind in history. That's the only afterlife" - J. Craig Venter
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Postby James » Thu Apr 28, 2005 9:51 pm

Depends on whether your'e looking for book to gain some general biological knowledge, or one for your studies; in which case revision guides alongside textbooks are effective.
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Postby zami'87. » Thu Apr 28, 2005 10:56 pm

MrMistery wrote:Don't know anything about any begginer bio book, but if you decide to take the A-level bio course i would recommend you buy a book called "Campbell". It is the bible of biology- abot 1200 pages. You can find there absolutely anything- it is the book that anyone should know before going to IBO.

Hey can you tell me ISBN number of that book?
Thanks! :)
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Postby Goonlecker » Fri Apr 29, 2005 7:33 pm

I'm looking to gain some general knowledge about the field before I sign up for the course to see how far my interest stretches. If I do the A-level I may get that other book, but right now I'm looking for something that isn't too dense and teaches things... I'm going to the bookshop tomorrow to check some stuff out.

zami'87. I don't know for sure, but Amazon returned a few results for "Biology Campbell" this looked most likely:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASI ... 15-4142253

They have a few different versions listed, but apparently not available from them directly:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/sea ... 15-4142253
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Postby zami'87. » Fri Apr 29, 2005 7:53 pm

Goonlecker wrote:I'm looking to gain some general knowledge about the field before I sign up for the course to see how far my interest stretches. If I do the A-level I may get that other book, but right now I'm looking for something that isn't too dense and teaches things... I'm going to the bookshop tomorrow to check some stuff out.

zami'87. I don't know for sure, but Amazon returned a few results for "Biology Campbell" this looked most likely:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASI ... 15-4142253

They have a few different versions listed, but apparently not available from them directly:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/sea ... 15-4142253


I searched net too but thanks. :)
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Re: Beginners Biology

Postby clarence » Sun May 01, 2005 5:25 pm

Goonlecker wrote:I'm new to this whole malarkey. I've done some Biology as part of my GCSE's at high school, but apart from that I've generally not got into the whole area. I'm contemplating doing an A-level later this year in biology and I was just wondering what general resources would be helpful. I've been looking at the tutorials on this site at spare time in work and I'm finding it quite interesting.

In particular I'm looking for a good beginner's book. I want something that is obviously easy for the beginner, but has good depth and has interactive segments like tests etc. I'm not a good learner at the best of times so I kind of need things like that which will keep me thinking and help me memorise. If there's one thing I have it's a fairly shabby memory.

As part of my own searching I came across this, anyone know if it's any good?



Hey goonlecker,

This is the link to Amazon's site on "Biology" by Campbell, 6th edition.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0805366245/qid=1114966396/sr=1-3/ref=sr_1_11_3/202-2545650-9506200

ISBN:0805366245

It can be tagged as the "Bible" of biology in terms of it being a great introductory biology textbook. It covers the major of the fields of biology in a depth easily understood by beginners. The writing is clear and the diagrams illustrate well the points in the book. It also has well-written tests, a good chapter outline that'll help you remembering the concepts and interviews with biologists on why they chose the field they're in now. The only downside is that human biology is not emphasized. But for a nice introduction without being shallow, Campell's Biology is a nice book. In my opinion, it is the best introductory biology book you can find.

Regarding the "Biology: A Self-teaching Guide", Campbell's book is very well written it is almost a self-teaching guide. Read it properly and you'll understand it. Since "Biology: A Self-teaching Guide" is only 386 pages (according to Amazon.com), I think Campbell, with 1200 pages, does better in terms of depth and coverage.

I hope this helps.
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Postby Goonlecker » Sun May 01, 2005 8:17 pm

Campbell is the kind of thing I will pick up in the event that I settle on this A-level, or Access course. But I just want something that's going to give me a good overview right now. I want to, basically, have something over the summer that will give me a half-decent overview of the field to let me know what I'm getting into.

Cheers for the ideas. I need to spend more time in the bookshop looking at texts to get an idea what I want.
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Postby Jelanen » Wed May 04, 2005 9:55 pm

If you want to take university/college level biology, then start brushing up on your chemistry. Biology in the college setting is nothing like high school. Its far more chemistry than you'd think if you didn't know. I graduated with a degree in biology and spent just as much time in chemistry courses as I did in biology. Thank goodness I like chemistry.

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