Bio 110 - Stark - Study suggestions

Take good notes and study them


Lecture material is paced at about 4 times that of high school courses. (You do the arithmetic -- each college course covers at least as much in 3 lectures per week in 1 semester as a whole year's high school course meeting 5 days a week.)

(My suggestion of the order in which to study - only a suggestion.) Come to lecture with the outines (see below) and figures (see below). Take lots of notes. Study them the very same day: (1) Fill in blanks you may have left if you could not write fast enough. (2) Read the book and fix up your notes from the book. Evaluate for yourself what material from the book is not emphasized. By the time of the the test, your notes should look studied. Underline or highlight vocabulary and/or points you still need to learn. Use different colors or styles for different marks (additions to your notes from the book, vocabulary, etc.)

Make yourself a vocbulary list

Let's take for instance an early lecture (inorganic chemistry):
http://starklab.slu.edu/Bio110/Chemistry.htm
Even though the outline is very short, the following constitutes a list of terms that you should be able to discuss after that lecture:
atoms
atomic weight
autoradiography
calcium
carbon
carbon-fourteen
chloride
covalent bonding
electrons
elements
energy
fluorescence
half life
hydrogen
inorganic
ion
ionic bonding
iron
isotope
matter
molecule
neutrons
organic
oxygen
periodic table
phosphate
phosphorus
photosynthesis
pigment
potassium
protons
radioactivity
respiration
sodium
sodium chloride
sulfur
tritium

Note - the Key terms at the end of the chapter should help you tremendously.

How to use exam questions to study

It is never too early to utilize exam questions as a supplement because you should be certain that you have the information needed to understand the question and to know why the answer is correct and why the alternatives are not. Let me use the second question from the first outline as an example.

What happens when bacteriophage T2 infects a bacterium?
(a) Phage RNA enters the cell.
*(b) Only viral DNA enters the bacterium.
(c) Only viral protein enters the bacterium.
(d) The entire virus, enzymes and membranes and all, enter.
(e) The virus injects a poison into the bacterium to kill it.

Now let us dissect that question:

Look at the alternatives

(a) RNA
Maybe you know that some viruses use RNA, maybe you don't, but not the bacteriophage.

(b) DNA
This was in the bacteriophage life cycle and Hershey-Chase experiment. Do you have this in your notebook? If not, you should be taking better notes. If so, did you study those points?

(c) protein
This was in the bacteriophage life cycle and Hershey-Chase experiment. Do you have this in your notebook? If not, you should be taking better notes. If so, did you study those points?

(d) inorganic
This is true for other viruses such as those discussed in the Scientific American paper. But not for the bacteriophage

(e) poison
Nothing like that was ever said!

Disclaimer: The questions posted are from Bio104. That was a slightly different course, for majors, taught in 2002, using a very different text book. Not all the alternative answers for the questions posted were covered in Bio 110. Also, many questions that year were more integrative across lectures, so, if you do not fully understand the question on the basis of the one lecture outline, you may appreciate it better later.

The figures

I have gone to a lot of trouble to indicate the figures I will be showing. These figures are really full of information. One study suggestion would be to make a nice, neat copy before lecture (trim off all but the figure) and take notes about what is being said about the figures right on the copy in your note book.

Using the outlines

Remember that the outlines are just that, outlines. They are far short of notes you should be taking. You can make a copy of the outline before lecture so that you can save yourself the trouble of rewriting what I wrote. Make sure you have enough clear paper to write notes. If you have a 3-ring binder, print out the outlines one-sided a few lectures ahead and punch holes and put them in the notebook. If you punch on the right side of the page, you will have the back side of the next page clear to supplement the outline you will see to your left. If you have a laptop, you can have the lecture on your laptop and add your notes into the outline neatly (if you are good at typing under lecture circumstances; you might still want a paper notebook for drawing diagrams.

This page was last updated 6/19/07

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