General Botany

Course Details

Course Number: 1544  Section Number: 102

Fall 2010

Location: Bolin Hall

Classroom Number: 213

Days & Times:

Tuesdays & Thursdays; 8:00 - 9:20 a.m.

Course Attachments

Fall 2010 Botany Syallbus (BIOL 1544-102)Complete Syllabus with Schedule   Botany Syllabus F2010.pdf


Stern's Introductory Plant Biology 12th Edition
Required Lecture Text
  ISBN: 978-0-07-304052-3

The Green Kingdom: What is a Plant?
Laboratory Text
MSU Faculty Member
Elizabeth Ann Machunis-Masuoka PhD   
view Profile »

Course Objectives

Botany is the study of plant biology, which means everything from how plant cells function, to how plants are structured, to how they form an integral part of the biosphere. Plants are essential to all life on earth and while this course will be taught at the introductory level, you will leave with a new and better appreciation for plants of all shapes and varieties.

Course Expectations

General Botany is a laboratory science and laboratory attendance is REQUIRED. If you miss any laboratory section for any reason, it is your responsibility to contact your laboratory instructor and make arrangements for completing missed laboratory assignments. If you miss THREE or more laboratory sessions for any reason, you may be dropped from the course with a grade of F. You should ONLY miss lab if it is unavoidable. A strong performance in the lab can greatly help your final grade.


General Botany is also a lecture course and lecture attendance is REQUIRED. Lecture provides information relating plants to their context in nature and in human society and provides the details of plant biology that cannot be covered in the laboratory portion of the course.


Students are required to complete all exams, both lecture and laboratory, as well as any and all laboratory assignments as given by the graduate teaching assistants.

Final Exam12/9/2010  8:00 - 10:00 a.m.

Submission Format Policy

No late assignments will be accepted.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

There are no make-ups for exams. Unexcused absenses on exam day will net students a zero for that exam.

Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Attendance of both the lecture and laboratory is required. Excessive absenses will earn the student an "F" in the course.

Other Policies

Course Policies

Out of general courtesy for both your fellow classmates and the instructor, please observe the following:

1) Do not walk through the classroom after the class has begun or before the class has ended;

2) Do not talk during lectures or examinations;

3) Turn off all cell phones, pagers, and other electronic devices that make noise or have the potential to disrupt the class before you walk into class.


Students who insist on disrupting the class will be asked to leave the classroom and will be referred to the Dean of Students.


Lecture Examinations

Lecture exams are set as indicated on the Schedule and will NOT be moved. There will be no make-up exams for any reason. If you have a legitimate, excusable reason for missing an exam, a substitute score based on the portion of the comprehensive final corresponding to the missed exam will be used to replace the missed exam. Note: doctor/dentist/therapy or other appointments made on exam days do NOT constitute excusable absences as you know exactly when the exams are scheduled from the very first day of class. Unexcused absences on exam day will result in the grade of "zero" for that missed exam. The final exam will be given on the scheduled day and time as reported in the Schedule of Classes. There will be absolutely no make-ups for the final exam. Absolutely no electronic devices of any kind, not even a cell phone, may be used during exams. Final note: Excuses for missed exams will only be considered if you notify me BEFORE 8:00a.m. of the day of the scheduled exam. Notification after the exam is concluded is not acceptable.

Final Grade Assessment

Final grades will be calculated as follows:


            Lecture exams:                         75% of final grade

            (broken down as follows)


                        Midterm #1: 25% of lecture score

                        Midterm #2: 25% of lecture score

                        Comprehensive Final: 50% of lecture score


            Laboratory final score:               25% of final grade


Grade ranges: A (90% or higher); B (80-89.9%); C (70-79.9%); D (60-69.9%); F (59.9% or less)


Extra Credit

Extra credit may be earned through good attendance: this will be assessed at the end of the semester, but generally students missing three or fewer classes will add extra points to their final course total points (note: these are points, not percentage points). Bonus questions will also appear on exams; answering them correctly will add points to exam scores.


University Policies

Students with disabilities are required to register with Disability Support Services before classroom accommodations can be provided. The instructor then needs to be notified by the student of the nature of these accommodations. It is the responsibility of the student to make their own arrangements with Disability Support Services with regard to examinations.


For university standards of conduct, please refer to the MSU Student Handbook. In general, students are to attend all meetings of all classes; instructors may drop students for excessive absences, indifference, disruptive behavior, or failure to meet class assignments; students are prohibited from cheating, plagiarizing, or colluding.


Instructor's Expectations of the Student

The instructor expects all students to try. The laboratory portion of the course provides a nice base of points to work with, but the majority of your grade comes from the lecture exams and so you MUST do well on exams to do well in the course. This is especially true of the final exam which is comprehensive and worth DOUBLE that of a midterm. You are encouraged to work for the final grade you want in the course starting on the first day of class. You should read the chapters before coming to class, take good notes, and begin studying for exams well in advance of the exam day. Reading is critical – time does not allow a full exposition of all material during lecture so students must keep up with the reading and take the time to study the book chapters. As a general rule, for every 1 hour you spend in class, regardless of the type of class you are taking, you should be spending 3 hours outside of class studying for it. Successful students make the time commitment necessary and earn the highest grades. If you truly wait until the day before to "cram" for an exam, you should not expect to do well. This is again, especially true of the final – a comprehensive exam is different from a midterm and must be studied for well in advance.


Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.