Our research has consistently revealed that the three qualities instructors value most in a textbook are, in descending order of importance, writing style, illustration quality, and teaching supplements. I have focused my attention especially on the first two of these and on pedagogic features, while McGraw-Hill Higher Education has continually engaged other authors and software developers to produce a more diverse package of superb supplements for students and instructors.
Students benefit most from a book they enjoy reading, a book that goes beyond presenting information to also tell an interesting story and engage the reader with a somewhat conversational tone. That was my guiding principle in finding the right voice for the first edition, and it remains so in this one. I try to steer a middle course, avoiding rigid formality on one hand or a chatty condescending tone on the other. I feel I have succeeded when students describe the tone as friendly, engaging, colloquial, almost as if the author is talking to them, but not talking down to them.
In devising ways to make the writing more concise without losing the qualities that make it interesting and enjoyable, I have been guided by reviewers who identified areas in need of less detail and by students who cited certain areas as especially engrossing and pleasurable to read. In this edition, I somewhat reduced the number of boldfaced terms and the amount of vocabulary, and fine-tuned such mechanics as sentence length, paragraph breaks, and topic and transitional sentences for improved flow. In such difficult topics as action potentials, blood clotting, the countercurrent multiplier, or aerobic respiration, I think this book will compare favorably in a side-by-side reading of competing textbooks.
When I was a child, it was the art and photography in biology books that most strongly inspired me to want to learn about the subject. So it comes as no surprise that students and instructors rate the visual appeal of this book as second only to writing style in importance. I developed many
Preface ix illustrative concepts not found in other books. Professional medical illustrators and graphic artists have rendered these, as well as the classic themes of A&P, in a vivid and captivating style that has contributed a lot to a student's desire to learn.
As the book has evolved through these three editions, I have used larger figures and brighter colors; adopted simpler, uncluttered labeling; and continued to incorporate innovative illustrative concepts. A good illustration conveys much more information than several times as much space filled with verbiage, and I have cut down on the word count of the book to allow space for larger and more informative graphics.
The illustration program is more than line art. I continue to incorporate better histological photography and cadaver dissections, including many especially clear and skillful dissections commissioned specifically for this book.
Several of my students have modeled for photographs in this book. As much as possible with the volunteers who came forth, I have represented an ethnic variety of subjects.
The third most highly rated quality is the package of learning supplements for the student and teaching aids for the instructor. Instructors have rated overhead transparencies the most important of all supplements, and we now include transparencies of every item of line art in the book, and some of the photographs and tables. Included are unlabeled duplicates of many anatomical figures, useful for testing or labeling to fit one's individual teaching approach. A full set of both labeled and unlabeled illustrations is also available in the Instructor's Presentation CD-ROM.
Students have expressed growing enthusiasm and appreciation for the Online Learning Center and the Essential Study Partner. We have continued to enrich these media with an abundance of learning aids and resources. These and other student and instructor supplements are listed and described on page xiii.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.