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Biology Essay Answers

Step-by-Step Biology Learning

Based on theory of knowledge and brain science, Biology Q&As was specifically designed, written and organized to make learning biology easier. More than 1800 bite-sized Q&As, covering all of the primary branches and subjects in biology, are available to make studying biology as easy for you as possible.

By following  the logical sequence of questions for each subject, from basic concepts to more advanced ones, you will learn more than ever. Discover how to build your knowledge of biology step by step, through intelligent sequences of Q&As.

Choose a branch of biology

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  • Choose a subject to learn
  • Study the sequence of Q&As from first to last 
  • Move on to the next Q&A once you've learned everything in the one you are studying
  • After the last one, review all Q&As
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135 logically organized Q&As, starting with the basic concepts and moving on to water properties and mineral salts, carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, enzymes, and nucleic acids.


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Review cell biology through 204 Q&As designed to make learning biology’s main subjects, such as cell structure, cell division, photosynthesis, and protein synthesis, easier.


Microbiology

Familiarize yourself with bacteria, protists, viruses, and fungi with 59 Q&As spanning the basic concepts to more advanced ones.


Zoology

242 Q&As can be found here covering the main phyla: poriferans, cnidarians, flatworms, roundworms, annelids, arthropods, molluscs, echinoderms, and chordates. 


Physiology

Discover how easy it is to study and understand everything about physiology by using these logical sequences of 506 Q&As.


Embryology

Learn everything you need to know at the high school level about embryonic development and extraembryonic membranes through just 40 Q&As.


Botany

From plant classification to plant physiology, we cover the main subjects of botany with 141 Q&As written by biology teachers.


Genetics

These 139 Q&As are tailored to help you review fundamental concepts as well as Mendel's laws, non-Mendelian inheritance, linkage, and more.


Evolution

Discover known facts and hypotheses on the origin of life and the theory of evolution by reviewing these 50 Q&As.


Ecology

Imagine learning ecology through just 140 Q&As structured to teach you about ecosystems, biomes, food chains, biodiversity, ecological interactions, ecological succession, population, and environmental issues.


Diseases

Do you know the difference between atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis? You will, plus so much more on common diseases, when you review these 131 Q&As.


COMMUNICATION IN THE BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
Department of Biology


ANSWERING ESSAY AND SHORT ANSWER EXAM QUESTIONS


GOOD STRATEGIES TO ALWAYS EMPLOY

MISTAKES TO ALWAYS AVOID

INTERPRETING KEYWORDS

LONG ESSAYS

SHORT ESSAYS
 
 

GOOD STRATEGIES TO ALWAYS EMPLOY

1. Understand the question

Example 1 -- A long question with a short answer

Example 2 -- When highlighting does not work. A short question with a long answer.

  • Read the question carefully. Be sure to distinguish between the relevant information and the extraneous information.  

  • Underline or highlight the key points in the question. This is particularly important for essay questions that ask you to address several points. 
2. Plan out your answer before you start writing

Example 1 -- A long question with a short answer.

Example 2 -- A short question with a long answer.

  • This may seem like a waste of your time. However, it is a greater waste of time to write unnecessary information or to erase and re-write.  

  • Jotting down a quick outline will remind you of the key points that you want to make.  

  • Making a quick diagram can also help you focus your thoughts. 
3. Convey your thoughts in an organized manner

Example 1 -- A long question with a short answer.

Example 2 -- A short question with a long answer.

  • The key points to your answer should be clearly stated and be the focus of your answer.  

  • The key points should be obvious to the reader and not buried amongst peripheral material.  

  • Do not include extra information if it does not directly support your answer.  
4. Use relevant technical terminology to answer the question
  • Correctly use the relevant biology and science terms that you learn from your courses.  

  • Technical terms are highly specific and reduce the total number of words that you will need to write.

  • Using technical terms to communicate will be essential in your professional life.  
5.  Cause and effect relationships should be made obvious 
  • Do not expect the instructor to make these connections for you. 
6. Making a drawing can often assist you in your answer
  • However, your written answer must explain what is in the drawing. 
7. Support your answer with evidence and/or examples from class lectures and reading
  • A hallmark of a good scientist is that they support statements with evidence.

  • Some instructors and styles of tests require thorough descriptions of examples that were discussed in detail in the course.  

  • Check with your instructor to see if thorough examples are required on essay questions. 

 

MISTAKES THAT YOU SHOULD ALWAYS AVOID

1. Do not write too much
  • Do not try to write everything that you have ever heard related to the question.  

  • Answer the question directly, without excess information. 
2. Do not write a good answer to the wrong question
  • In other words, make sure that you answer the question that is asked and not something else on the related topic. 
3. Do not expect the instructor to figure out what you mean
  • Do not just make a drawing and expect the instructor to figure out what you were thinking from this. (Unless the question only asks you to make a drawing.)  

  • Do not expect the instructor to find the relevant information in a sea of irrelevant information.  

  • Do not expect the instructor to read between the lines and make connections that you should be making. 

 

INTERPRETING KEYWORDS IN ESSAY QUESTIONS

"Compare and Contrast"
  • The question will always involve two or more related items. 

  • "Compare" means that you should explain the similarities between the two items. Ordinarily, instructors do not want you to simply list the similar characteristics, but explain the characteristics and/or how they are similar. 

  • "Contrast" means that you should explain the differences between the two items. 

  • Typically, a comparison of the similarities and differences between the two items highlights some major concepts in the topic at hand. Be sure to try to address these in your answer. 

  • This type of question usually involves the use of specific examples from class.
"Describe" or 

"Discuss" or

"Explain"

  • These words alert you that the instructor wants a fair amount of explanation. 
  • Do not simply list terms or concepts. Write out sentences and complete thoughts. 
"Define"
  • Provide a definition similar to that you would find in the glossary to your textbook. A thorough explanation is usually not required. 
"List"
  • Here, a simple list of concepts or terms should be sufficient. Anything more and you might be treading in the too much information category. 
"Interpret"
  • Put the data or figure into words.
  • In other words, write an explanation of the meaning of the data or figure.
"Diagram" or 

"Draw" or 

"Illustrate"

  • Make a drawing. Keep it simple.  
  • Labels should be used whenever possible. 

 

ADVICE SPECIFIC TO LONG ESSAY QUESTIONS

Write logically organized paragraphs.

  • Because you will probably be given more time for these types of questions, your instructor will probably expect higher quality in your writing.

  • Start with a relevant topic sentence. Either state the key point that you will support in the rest of the paragraph or state the part of the question that you will address in that paragraph.

  • In general, instructors will usually be lenient with minor problems in sentence structure or punctuation on a timed exam. However, the organization of your ideas is paramount for earning a good grade.

Use complete sentences with a subject and verb.
 

ADVICE SPECIFIC TO SHORT ESSAY QUESTIONS

Organize your ideas in a logical manner, but do not worry so much about proper sentence and paragraph construction.

  • You will have less time and space for this type of answer. The most important thing is to convey the answer clearly. Sometimes logically organized lists of sentence fragments can achieve this goal as well as well-constructed paragraphs.

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