Invertebrate Zoology/Guide Introduction

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Introduction to the Invertebrate Zoology Study Guide


This Study Guide to Invertebrate Zoology is a textbook at Wikibooks shelved at the biology bookshelf section and intended to establish a course of study in the subject of Invertebrate Zoology, mostly utilizing articles found in Wikipedia, with links to other relevant web sites as appropriate. In some cases, portions of the text from Wikipedia articles have been used to materially develop introductory text within the Guide.

For the new user, it need be pointed out that Wikipedia differs from a standard encyclopedia in two important respects: 1) it is a hypertext document, and 2) it is open and editable, and therefore constantly changing. For the student following this or any guide through Wikipedia to cover a specific subject, it is recommended that each article (page) be read first in its entirety, before any hyperlinks are followed to other topics or explanations. It is too easy, otherwise, to simply become lost in a maze of links, and miss the main thrust of an article presented as an assignment from the Guide. Because Wikipedia is constantly changing (and, it is hoped, improving) the quality of each article encountered will be variable. Some articles are well written and go to adequate depth, whereas others, lacking a proponent, are shallow and incomplete. This short-coming should diminish with time, but can be a problem.

One clear advantage to using this Guide linked to a hypertext like Wikipedia is the "circular redundancy with serendipity" factor that arises when an article is read and its hyperlinks followed; this factor can be a powerful learning tool. The persistent reader is subjected to a fairly high degree of repetitive reading, often presenting slightly different perspectives on the same general topic, with the result that learning comes from redundancy. At the same time, some hyperlinks lead down less relevant paths, bringing new and unanticipated knowledge.