Writing Style

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.

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