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on August 28, 2013
The third and fourth edition are almost exactly the same!!! The pages and chapters even match up that's how similar they are! The 3rd edition is selling for about $40 used or $70 new for the hardcover so do not waste your money on this edition!

No teacher is going to require you buy the 4th edition, you will absolutely be covered with the 3rd. Also, don't buy the lab manual on here because school's tend to create their own hybrid manual specific to that University that you will have to order from their book store.

Hope my review helped some other students out!!!
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on March 27, 2007
This text is very helpful with its readable language and diagrams. It provides a sufficient review of basic biology and is written so that one could technically skip chapters and still understand the topics. The text's website and CD provide excellent review tests, flashcards, and animations.

However in some sections and chapters, the author has not organized the flow very well, especially the immunity chapters, and the text goes a little too deep for a 1-term college microbiology class. Its strengths outweigh the negatives enough to give it 5 stars.
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on October 20, 2010
I'm half way through my first microbiology course, a nursing prereq at my community college. This text is well-written with very helpful, easy-to-read illustrations and graphs. The depth of detail on the biochemistry is much more than we really need to know so it can be easy to lose your way reading the chapter, trying not to get confused by all the technical bits we don't need (forest for the trees). However, I really need to say how much I love, love, love the Mastering Microbiology access.

I've been using the online textbook access in class rather than dragging the huge paper version around. That's been helpful but isn't of course absolutely necessary. However, in studying for last week's midterm I used all the online animations and quizzes and thought they were wonderful. I understand things about electron transport chain better now than I have ever before and will never forget them because I have this beautiful movie to play in my head. That alone probably helped me get three tricky questions right on my exam. I ended up acing the midterm and had the highest score. I think I'm the only one in my course using Mastering Microbiology. I'm a believer.

The version of the text sold at my CC's bookstore doesn't include the online access. I was totally psyched when I realized that by ordering through Amazon I not only paid $30 less but I got the Mastering Microbiology too. Score!
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on August 17, 2009
While I wouldn't exactly choose this book for causal reading, it is quite good as far as textbooks go.

In my course, my instructor chose to cover a chapter of material a day, so we finished all but a handful of chapters before the class ended. The introductory chapters were not as useful (typical for biology textbooks). I found that I either didn't care about the material in the beginning chapters (like the history of microbiology and microscopy) or already knew the information (the chapters on metabolism and cell structure). In general though, the book is organized well. It has a focus towards medical microbiology, and thus teaches the background biology in the opening chapters, then covers the body's immune system (these are the most complex chapters in the book), and then surveys all the classes of organisms.

The concepts are well explained and illustrated with charts and diagrams aplenty. I never had any trouble understanding things after reading and maybe rereading the material once. If anything, the flaw in the writing is to include too much detail - making outlines or skimming is nearly impossible, since every sentence contains a possibly-important fact. There simply are no filler paragraphs in the book (outside of chapter introductions). Just get a feel for what your instructor is likely to test on. The end-of-chapter reviews are pretty decent. The multiple-choice questions test on pretty specific facts, but all the answers are listed in the back.

I enjoyed the book about as much as anyone can enjoy a textbook, and definitely felt like I knew microbiology well after finishing it.
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on May 14, 2014
I haven't started taking the course yet, but flipping through the book it looks well laid-out and deals with complex material as easily as possible. I was able to use a QR code at the beginning to access the tutorials, so that works. One misleading thing is this purchase does NOT come with the access code for the Pearson Mastering Microbiology online content. Don't confuse the QR codes with access to this other tutorial. To buy access costs $60.50 without eText on the Pearson website.
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on January 13, 2015
It has been a long time since I have studied microbiology. When I opened this book and started reading the contents, I automatically fell into a study mode. The contents of this text book will hold your attention if you're interested in microbiology. It leaves nothing out. I was looking for text books in microbiology when I found this one, I'm glad I did. Thanks.

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on September 5, 2011
It came very fast. It did have the access to the online website which is fantastic. I received it earlier than expecting. The book overall seems to be a good text.
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on December 13, 2013
Easy to read text, great pictures and good as a reference book. I bought this for my Micro class and decided afterwards that I wanted to keep it as a reference book since I am going into the nursing field and would like to be able to refresh myself with various diseases, bacteria, viruses, etc.
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on June 21, 2013
I got this book used and was able to use it for my Microbiology class - I recommend asking your teacher (ahead of when the class starts) if you can use the previous edition of a textbook because I saved over $100 doing this. The book was in good condition!
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on August 1, 2015
I purchased this because of the good price, but I soon found out why the price was so good. All of the captions under the pictures are completely upside down. So this was obviously a "rejected" book. This doesn't bother me too much because it was for a quick, summer class and I did get it for a better price then I could have if I had rented it at school. However, just keep this in mind when renting this book.
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