You, Writing! A Guide to College Composition
Alexandra Glynn, North Hennepin Community College
Kelli Hallsten-Erickson, Lake Superior College
Amy Jo Swing, Lake Superior College
Copyright Year: 2018
Publisher: Alexandra Glynn
Conditions of Use
The text is comprehensive; it covers all of the topics I would expect it to. It has a lengthy (10-page) glossary, but no index. I am undecided as to how useful the glossary is. read more
The text is comprehensive; it covers all of the topics I would expect it to. It has a lengthy (10-page) glossary, but no index. I am undecided as to how useful the glossary is.
I have no concerns about the accuracy or bias of the content.
For the most part, I feel like the content is up-to-date, though I believe the website and app litmus test (148) could be revisited. I believe any updates would be easy and straightforward to implement.
This text does a great job of speaking to students with accessible, conversational prose and of defining terms and concepts.
I don’t have any concerns with the consistency of the text in terms of terminology and framework.
I think the modularity is strong, which makes this text a great candidate for one of the online reading formats with hyperlinked contents. There are many subtopics within larger topics within larger sections. I will likely use this text by selecting sections to assign; the modularity makes this easy to do.
The authors have used the “Basic Writing Process Chart” (page 12) to organize the chapters of the text. For the most part that makes sense as an organizational principle. If I were designing the organization, I think I’d have Exploration before Audience and Purpose, but I can also see that the authors’ arrangement makes sense. I also felt like the very long Modes of Writing section (pp. 56-79) was a little out of balance and out of pace with the rest of the text.
The only available format for this text is PDF, and I don’t think it’s marked up or accessible. The 170-page text is a long, word-processed document. This creates navigation issues as the text is long and linear, with no hyperlinks from the table of contents. Word maps are used to add some color and graphic appeal, but the fonts are difficult to read. (Captions are, however, included.) The use of a few icons here and there is a little confusing. The interface is a big barrier to me because I believe it would create a barrier to learning for many of my students.
While I didn’t notice grammatical errors, I found some editing errors, including incomplete links, some typos, and a misspelling.
There is some diversity in examples. I didn’t notice anything exclusive or offensive. Many of the examples are related to life experiences that everyone would have. I am not sure that the “Anglo-Saxon” vs. “Latinate” distinction is helpful or relevant at this point..
This text is a solid choice for an introductory writing course. I found the editing and proofreading sections especially useful; they have impressively accessible and clear (and not over-long) discussions. I particularly like the breakdown of style. My biggest issue with this text is that the only format it’s available in is a continuous essay-style document converted to a PDF without hyperlinks. This makes it a bit difficult to work with and not the most accessible or appealing for students.
This book covers most of the topics I cover in my Composition courses and it includes a lot of helpful information on the topic of writing. read more
This book covers most of the topics I cover in my Composition courses and it includes a lot of helpful information on the topic of writing.
I did not notice any errors in my review of this textbook.
This book contains relevant examples, but overall the suggestions of writing, editing, and revision do not feel as if they will go out of date.
The text is written in accessible and readable language without talking down to students in any way.
I found the texts quality and terminology to be consistent throughout.
I could definitely see pulling relevant chapters and using them as stand-alone resources in a course as the text is designed to be used whole or in parts. I found several parts especially useful--like the chapter on thesis statements and titling the essay. I definitely see myself pulling specific chapters to use with students.
This text is well-organized and the table of contents lays out a clear organization for the text.
The text is clean and easy to read and includes helpful images. It would be even more helpful if the table of contents sections were linkable to that part of the text.
I did not notice any grammatical errors in the text.
I found the text inclusive.
I appreciate the clear, helpful information on college writing in this text. I found the parts about thesis statements, introductions and conclusions, and titling especially helpful. I don't think I have ever seen a Composition textbook tackle titling an essay in such a clear, helpful way for students. I appreciate the visuals and how even handwritten examples of things like mind mapping are included to show students what that would really look like in their notes. The only thing I would like to see is the chapters linked in the table of contents to that part of the pdf. At least in the download I was looking at, there were no links. The text doesn't have a very designed look and could be more visually interesting. However, the information is useful and easy to read so that is fine. Overall, I found this text useful and I will definitely pull chapters of it for my Composition course.
This textbook provides excellent coverage of the fundamental topics that are covered in most FYW courses, and is especially well-suited for one that doesn't emphasize writing with sources and research. It is unusually thorough on the basics of... read more
This textbook provides excellent coverage of the fundamental topics that are covered in most FYW courses, and is especially well-suited for one that doesn't emphasize writing with sources and research. It is unusually thorough on the basics of the writing process, such as planning, drafting, organizing, and revising, which I find very helpful. Clearly written sections beautifully explain and illustrate skills like organizing paragraphs and writing introductions and conclusions. Especially useful is the chapter on revision, which includes a student essay with inserted suggestions for revision, followed by a revised draft. This text provides the most thorough and instructive discussion of audience of any FYW textbook that I can recall, which I find a perfect place to start. No index, but a comprehensive glossary defines virtually every composition and rhetoric term that might be used in a FYW course. While this book covers the basics in fluid, highly accessible prose, some of its discussions are perhaps too general and even elementary. The section on different modes of writing provides such superficial descriptions of different types of writing that it manages to make them all sound fairly uniform and lacking in the distinctiveness that should make them sound fun to write. It would be an ideal FYW textbook if there was an attempt to supplement the basics with some sophisticated and challenging discussions on critical thinking and cultural criticism, as well as a wider range of examples of writing in different modes. The troubling implication of a college text that covers basic writing skills in depth but totally omits intellectually and aesthetically engaging materials is that students who need to review essay and paragraph organization wouldn't be inspired by reading, or capable of producing, prose that is rich with irony, humor, nuance, or difficult truths. The student example of a report is titled, "What I Did on My Summer Vacation" (Chapter 7: Drafting), which I fear many college students would find offensively rudimentary. I would have also really liked some exercise prompts.
The information in the book is accurate, error-free, and completely responsible and sound.
The authors do a fine job of keeping the focus on the fairly timeless basics of how to craft effective prose, so very little would become outdated in the near future and the few timely cultural references to things like BLM are presented in a way that makes them relevant now and, I would guess, for many years.
One of the great strengths of this book is its clear, conversational, highly readable prose. The explanations are easy to follow and every potentially unfamiliar term is provided with adequate context.
This text is consistent in form, approach, structure, and authorial voice. It conveys professionalism and expertise.
The book's chapters are designed so that each provides a detailed discussion of a discrete skill set, so that it would be very easy to assign a single chapter within a module or unit. I'm giving it a 4 rating instead of a 5 in this area because I would have really liked self-contained chapters on a few different modes of writing that included planning strategies for each kind of essay described. A discussion of the process of finding a topic could be more illustrative and inspiring if it's geared towards a specific kind of writing, but also, it would be nice to have a self-contained chapter on writing a narrative essay that could be used by itself for a unit focused on that assignment.
The book is thoughtfully organized to follow the steps of the writing process, so for a first-semester, FYW course, the organization works very well. The single chapter on research being added at the end might seem a troubling suggestion, in the view of others, that research is completely separate from the writing process, but I personally find the approach of separating writing skills from research skills to be less intimidating to new college students.
I had no problems accessing or navigating any section or component of this text. I do think it could be presented in a more visually engaging and accessible way, with more highlighted text boxes that separate and emphasize key takeaways.
I found the text to be grammatically sound and effectively written.
There is certainly nothing insensitive or offensive in this book. However, a casual glance at the works cited in each chapter shows how overwhelmingly canonical and traditional the majority of the textual examples and references are: D. H. Lawrence, Steinbeck, Jefferson, Melville, R. L. Stevenson, Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, Nietsche, Steven Pinker, and G. K. Chesterton. There's a brief excerpt from a children's book by James Baldwin, and a couple examples that refer, in fairly generic ways, to works by Angelou and Douglass. The text would be greatly enlivened, deepened, and culturally enriched by textual examples from a wider range of cultures, communities, literatures, and Englishes.
This is an exceptionally useful book for first-semester, first-year college students, because of its patient, in-depth, and generous explanations of basic writing skills for college writing. For this reason, it would be an excellent resource for a FYW course if it were supplemented with additional readings that helped students see how their own experience and perspective can be transformed into energetic and powerful prose.
For an introductory Composition course, this text covers what I teach. I like the examples given, and many of the diagrams are helpful & similar to what I already use. However, I wouldn't have minded more prompts for practice exercises as I... read more
For an introductory Composition course, this text covers what I teach. I like the examples given, and many of the diagrams are helpful & similar to what I already use. However, I wouldn't have minded more prompts for practice exercises as I tend to gravitate towards texts that include those. I do think the text lends itself well to developmental instruction (which I also teach), so while accessible and easy to read for all students, I could see myself using it more for certain Composition courses than others.
I do think the material accurately covers the concepts presented. I am happy to see a short section on annotated bibliographies (because I typically require these when I assign research papers), but I noticed the example wasn't structured correctly in alphabetical order/presented in the appropriate way. A small detail, but something that I would still have to provide my own example for.
The concepts covered are certainly relevant to the times. It's possible that some examples will be outdated in a couple of years and more relevant examples could be substituted.
The conversational, friendly tone is definitely an asset of this text. The authors present the concepts in a straightforward manner with solid explanations, all the while avoiding excessive jargon. This is an accessible text for all levels of learners.
The text is consistently organized and presented, and the voice of the text carries through each chapter.
I think the information is sectioned out well and clearly presented. There are some chapters where the material is more dense; others seem rather short. Chapter 7 is particularly lengthy, but one could easily refer to only the information necessary (specific modes of writing, for example). Chapter 11 is also a long one, and it seemed to be especially text-heavy for the first half of it. I think that chapter would've benefitted from further visuals when discussing how to find sources, using keywords, etc.
"You, Writing!" takes a pretty traditional organization for a Composition text. It starts with the writing process and situation, progresses through topics, thesis statements, and organization, and rounds out with grammar and research. For courses that typically structure basic writing skills early in the semester followed by a research project, this organization works well; however, one could also assign the reading out of sequence and it would be fine.
The interface looks good. I appreciate the additional resources in the form of web links, but a few did not work (I feel this can be common for this type of resource).
There are a few errors in the text, but the writing is clear and consistent. Grammatical errors are minor (though I do believe they should be fixed for a textbook on writing!).
The text is culturally sensitive and inclusive. It includes examples, names, and current events that are culturally-attuned.
Overall, there are a lot of aspects of this text that I liked. I would most likely use it in my course, supplementing with readings and exercises. I appreciate the fact that it is comprehensive and easy to read.
Glynn's text serves as a comprehensive rhetoric to help first-year college students navigate the expectations of expository college writing. A good supplemental text for any FY expository writing course. read more
Glynn's text serves as a comprehensive rhetoric to help first-year college students navigate the expectations of expository college writing. A good supplemental text for any FY expository writing course.
Most information on rhetoric and composition are on the mark. I always struggle with the traditional way of teaching "thesis." In FYC, we interpret "thesis" as the controlling idea of an essay. However, the way it is often taught is to develop the controlling idea, then find supporting evidence to that idea. This is not how college students should approach research. Granted, a working thesis may help point students in a particular direction, but if we want our students to be good researchers and writers, then they need to grapple with ideas to come to some conclusion (thesis), and they do this by working from the inside out, not starting with a thesis.
Everything in Glynn's text is relevant...until MLA and APA publish new editions! However, the fundamental information on MLA and APA will be able to stand.
Glynn's text is overall lucid and accessible, with mostly clear explanations of jargon and technical terminology. By their nature, rhetoric, grammar, and mechanics are not native languages to most FY college students, and I think Glynn does a good job helping FY college students become proficient in the language of writing.
"You, Writing!" reinforces ideas throughout the text through scaffolding and by being consistent in terminology and framework.
While there are some good infographics throughout the text, there are meaningless graphics peppered throughout in an attempt to make the text visually appealing. As it is, the book is a bit text-heavy, despite it being a book about rhetoric and composition! Today's students are visually oriented, so more infographics definitely helps.
Clear, logical organization throughout the text, exploring how we come to writing, how we can write, and the tools and skills needed to write effectively.
As a PDF, the text is solid, with the ability to move to pages easily. It would be helpful to have a hyperlinked sidebar menu so the students can move to sections based on topic instead of page number.
The only grammatical errors are those that were intended to show as examples.
Glynn uses a diverse and wide variety of references throughout the text. Though not a fan of Stanley Fish, I understand using his points for the sake of argument!
I plan to use this text in my first-semester FY writing courses as it is a strong, open-source resource that students can use throughout their college careers and later.
The book is certainly comprehensive and provides a glossary; I wish I could give 4.5 because a clickable table of contents would be wonderful. read more
The book is certainly comprehensive and provides a glossary; I wish I could give 4.5 because a clickable table of contents would be wonderful.
Caught a typo pretty early on (page 12 "conclusionn"), but the content itself is accurate and unbiased. Re. accuracy, I especially appreciated that the list of "transition words" is specifically discussed as a way to make transitions within a paragraph rather than between paragraphs. Many texts simply list those words but do not discuss ways of using them and students inevitably will insert a "furthermore" when adding something that is neither further nor more.
Uses specific contemporary detail for writing examples in a way that makes the text relevant for students, but not in a way that it would seem outdated any time soon.
Easy to read, short sections, lots of spacing and bold and graphics to break up chunks of text in ways that are not distracting.
Chapters follow a similar format with subtitles, bulleted information, graphics, and spacing between paragraphs when larger chunks of text are needed to explain a concept. Fonts and font styles (bold, italics) and justification are used consistently from chapter to chapter.
Chapters are short and subdivided in ways that would make creation of handouts or assigning small passages/sections easy.
The placement of thesis and research in different places gives me pause, especially when research is used after an argument is created (I worry about confirmation bias rather than doing research and then formulating a topic), but, the book is set up in a way that sections could be assigned in different order, and the authors address the difficulty in defining one specific writing process in the graphics they provide on pages 12 and 13.
Again, a clickable table of contents would have been so lovely!
These are composition instructors, so errors are minimal. But, again, "conclusionn" page 12 did jump out at me. Also: "Black Lives Matters" should be "Black Lives Matter"
I appreciated the attention to diversity in examples (Black Lives Matter - in spite of the misspelling, Native American traditions), although maybe not college women trying to avoid the "freshman fifteen."
My university has an older OER composition handbook that I have been using for awhile; I am actually considering replacing it with this one because examples are newer and it may work for both freshman courses. I would love to see a clickable TOC, though!
This book is great for a writing class geared toward academic writing. It covers the basics of instructing a first-year student of how to go through the writing process and what they can expect while doing so. I especially liked the section on... read more
This book is great for a writing class geared toward academic writing. It covers the basics of instructing a first-year student of how to go through the writing process and what they can expect while doing so. I especially liked the section on revision, which clearly laid out critical questions the student can ask themself when making decisions. I also liked the attention to different processes, giving students information about what they are and encouraging students to find the one that works for them.
This book has credible, clear information. The information is presented in a non-prescriptive way, giving agency to students to try things out and find what works for them. The authors also include sources for students to do further research on their own if they want.
The book includes cultural, historical and literary examples to explain concepts. The authors were shrewd in choosing cultural references that are relevant to students now but will also age well (e.g., Google). I also appreciated the attention to writing that has real-world relevancy for students, such as writing resumes or a letter or email to a manager. I thought some of the examples used, however, would not be as interesting to students who aren't as focused on academic studies or obtaining a four-year degree (Shakespeare; Moby Dick; latinate used in Abraham Lincoln's speech). I thought the authors missed an opportunity to engage students who might not make writing, research, or academia their career, but are still interested in learning to write and communicate better in real-world situations outside of the classroom.
The authors explain concepts well, but perhaps a bit too thoroughly. The chapters contain long blocks of text that might seem intimidating to beginner-level students. Again, the examples given tend toward "high-culture," and might not help students connect concepts to their lived experiences.
The book is consistent and easy to navigate.
Instructors can break up the information as they want with relative ease.
It's designed with the student in mind, taking them through the writing process step-by-step. The chapter on editing, though, consists of a lot of information on grammar, sentence structure, etc., which students might find overwhelming. I wanted the information to first be more succinct, before getting into the specifics and details.
The text is easy to read and navigate. I especially liked the way the authors explained how the steps of the writing process may not always be linear. They first listed out the steps, and then marked them up in a graphic to show how the order might be different.
The text is clean and clear of errors.
I personally would not use this textbook with my community college students because I don't think the examples would particularly interest them or pertain to them (mostly literary, historical, scholarly examples--very few cultural or real-world examples they could relate to their lived experience).
You, Writing! wonderfully covers the whole of the writing process in 170 pages of approachable, audience-friendly language. Like many contemporary texts on first year college composition, You, Writing! stresses writing as a process, not a product.... read more
You, Writing! wonderfully covers the whole of the writing process in 170 pages of approachable, audience-friendly language. Like many contemporary texts on first year college composition, You, Writing! stresses writing as a process, not a product. In addition to covering academic writing, the text also includes other modalities such as professional writing (emails, resumes) and social media postings. What unites the text is a consistent focus on writing as audience-focused.
The text participates in many of the themes you find in first-year college composition texts. With that said, I did not find anything inaccurate or that I would be uncomfortable sharing with students.
In the text’s introduction, the authors seem to anticipate a common criticism of writing, and the humanities in general: why is writing relevant to more lucrative and pursued careers that require a STEM degree? Given the relationship between writing and reading, I found this to be a relevant note to start on, and the authors answer the question “why write?” by demonstrating how many of the skills within writing (critical thinking, communication) transfer to real world applications and careers, like Google for instance. To get their point across, the text is organized in quick, pithy sections laden with different formats that will appeal to students coming of age in the digital era.
The language and sentences are clear and straightforward. There is nothing confusing or complicated. For example, the authors do a great job explicating thesis writing. Often, we teachers treat the components of thesis writing as cumbersome moving parts, but here the elements of a good thesis are three: interesting, limited, specific (32). Using the previous discussion of audience-centered writing, the authors demonstrate in three subsequent subsections how the three qualities of thesis writing play out in unique examples.
The tone, language, and format remains consistent yet dynamic throughout the text. One major theme in particular--audience-focused writing--reminds the reader of previous passages in the text, so as the reader moves forward they integrate new knowledge with previous information. This repetition is wonderful, and each chapter builds upon itself.
I enjoy the brief, concise chapter-and-subchapter format and find them student-friendly. Paragraphs are never more than several sentences. Examples, images, subheadings often follow paragraphs so there is rarely more than 3-4 paragraphs grouped at a time. The table of contents is very thorough, which makes it simple to pick what you want to assign and what you may want to skip. The text is holistic enough, though, that I could see myself assigning the text as a whole.
As I stated, I enjoy the brief, concise chapter-and-subchapter format and find them student-friendly. The chapters build upon each other in a logical fashion. At the end of chapters, there are resources for further reading.
The authors include graphics, charts, bulleted lists, and illustrations to accompany ideas, themes, and lessons in the text without cluttering the page or the meaning. I found the text easy on the eyes and presented in a very streamlined fashion.
I did not find grammar mistakes. In fact, there are even chapters later in the text about grammar.
Sprinkled with references to contemporary life like Twitter, Black Lives Matter, and the intricacies of identity like gender and socio-economic background, part of the success of You, Writing! is that it recontextualizes first year college composition to the current cultural landscape. Moreover, the organization of the text in its streamlined, modular fashion is well suited to the cultural reading style that young students seem to have owing to growing up with the Internet. In other words, I think this text is well suited, culturally, to digitally fluent students.
The text effectively and comprehensively covers the main topics and strategies included in an introductory composition course. I especially appreciate the Basic Writing Process Chart as a graphic introduction of the key steps of the writing... read more
The text effectively and comprehensively covers the main topics and strategies included in an introductory composition course. I especially appreciate the Basic Writing Process Chart as a graphic introduction of the key steps of the writing process, immediately followed by hand-drawn arrows indicating how messy and recursive that process can be. There are also good examples of how to come up with ideas to write about, how to establish organization, and how to revise. The glossary of key terms, like the rest of the text, is both thorough and approachable to guide new college students through the writing process.
The book is accurate in dealing with the subject matter. I did not find any material I would consider inaccurate.
The strategies presented in the text for brainstorming, drafting, and revising are highly relevant and broad enough so that they should not need updating. The sections on research strategies and citation, especially in APA, may need more frequent updating. However, the less-is-more approach to the basics of citation, should make it relatively easy to update in the text. The text presents enough information so that the individual instructor can easily fill in any holes or mention updated strategies while teaching the course.
The clear, approachable writing style the authors use is by far the best feature of this text! Not only is the writing process presented in a clear, step-by-step manner, the text is actually fun and funny to read! Examples of how to brainstorm topics and how to compose drafts of specific types of essays are clear and approachable. I expect my students to get a lot out of this text, and to enjoy reading it as well!
The text uses the Basic Writing Process Chart to create consistency, explaining each of those steps thoroughly with examples. Visual cues like handwritten annotations also help to build a strong sense of consistency throughout the text. Some of the transitions between sections in the Drafting chapter are a bit clunky, but overall the presentation is consistent.
Modularity is a strength of this text. Smaller sections on brainstorming techniques and grammar could easily be inserted into discussion of other composition topics.
For the most part the organization of this text is fine, but including discussion of different rhetorical modes in the Drafting chapter is a bit odd. I would prefer to see discussion of different styles of writing (narrative, informative, persuasive) as separate chapters, rather than listed as part of Drafting. However, I acknowledge that’s more of a personal preference than a real critique.
I did not notice any interface problems.
I did not notice any distracting grammatical errors. The text is clean, clear, and approachable, making it an ideal model of what good writing can do in the context of an introductory composition course.
The text includes some discussion and examples of culturally relevant topics, such a Black Lives Matter. I did not specifically notice Cultural Relevance as a strength or weakness of the text.
I find You, Writing! to be a fun and flexible, unintimidating introduction to composition. Its combination of a playful tone, emphasis on process, and explanation that writing should not be too bound by that process strikes me as just the right mix. I anticipate that the students will find it a very helpful resource, and that I’ll enjoy teaching with it.
The text is comprehensive in covering the major topics pertaining to basic writing. It provides many useful tips about the writing process including proofreading, correcting run-on sentences, and overcoming writer’s block. Likewise, the glossary... read more
The text is comprehensive in covering the major topics pertaining to basic writing. It provides many useful tips about the writing process including proofreading, correcting run-on sentences, and overcoming writer’s block. Likewise, the glossary is comprehensive and well-written.
The content appears to be accurate and error-free.
The content is up-to-date and rife with examples that are relevant for the college population. Examples are not likely to become obsolete or else can be easily updated.
Readers will appreciate the fact that the paragraphs are short, and the writing is concise. There is little jargon or technical terminology used and new terms are defined very clearly. The authors provide interesting examples and the writing style is casual, relatable, and humorous.
The text is consistent in terms of its terminology and framework. Likewise, the writing style remains consistent across the chapters.
The text is modular in that each chapter “stands on its own” and can be assigned separately from the others. Each chapter is useful regardless of the order in which it is assigned and the length of each chapter is manageable.
The text is well-organized and the chapters are presented in a logical order.
Some of the “charts” (see page 45) presented are actually lists of words. These lists would be more effective if displayed in a table.
There are some grammatical errors, some pertaining to tense or subject-verb agreement (i.e., “psychologist Abraham Maslow describe,” pg. 19; “The most important section are,” pg. 19). Though these errors do not obscure meaning, they could (and should) be corrected.
The text is inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds. It may be of interest to some instructors that, when discussing how to write a strong thesis statement in chapter 5, the author briefly discusses the Black Lives Matters Movement. In doing so, the author provides content that may be especially relevant for those wishing to expose students to the concept of racial bias.
I find the language to be simple and easy to understand. Some may consider it too elementary for a college sample and more suitable for high school readers.
Covers the full spectrum of introductory writing studies, including big picture things like generating ideas and organizing them as well as more local issues like style and grammar. A glossary of commonly used terms is helpful, as the discussion... read more
Covers the full spectrum of introductory writing studies, including big picture things like generating ideas and organizing them as well as more local issues like style and grammar. A glossary of commonly used terms is helpful, as the discussion of citations and research. It's a book that's clearly rooted in theory but avoids getting the reader bogged down in it--perfect for the general academic writing class.
Very little in the book is inaccurate; perhaps it might have addressed the emergence of the singular "they" in recent years, but beyond that, the book is almost entirely error-free.
Its focus on the writing process rather than the end product, while still emphasizing its importance, allows the book to stay fresh for generations of students. I was very pleased to see that the book notes the existence of multiple drafts between the first and final ones. Barring a seismic shift in the world of writing pedagogy, this book will remain useful for years to come.
Incredibly accessible to the general audience. The voice is familiar and welcoming without trying too hard to be on the level of the students. As I stated before, it's a book that has done the theoretical work so that the reader doesn't have to get caught up in jargon and esoterica.
The three authors have managed a consistent voice throughout the entire book, and nothing transitions jarringly or confusingly. They remain constant throughout in how they refer to the elements of writing, and at no point do they introduce new knowledge without explaining to the reader just what it means.
Even as I was reading the book, I was thinking about how I could use certain chapters and sections in my existing composition course. The book is easily adaptable to a variety of situations, and the authors are careful to make sure that the chapters, while informing each other, can stand alone, which allows for the professor to use as she sees fit.
Despite the book's potential for modularity, the best way to encounter it is to read it straight through. The ideas follow logically upon one another, and the authors build the sense of writing as a process through their own organization of the text.
Easily readable and clear throughout, even when graphics enter the text.
Nothing that obscures meaning.
Inclusive throughout, whether in the choices of examples--BLM shows up at one point, which is appropriate for my Fall 2020 classes--or in the names used in the text. A good book for all. (Now, about that singular "they"...)
A solid book for the composition classroom. I look forward to adopting it for my general writing seminar this fall.
This book covers all the major topics I teach in my class currently. It is written clearly with many interesting examples to help students understand the concepts. The index is very helpful and the glossary in the back defines many of the key... read more
This book covers all the major topics I teach in my class currently. It is written clearly with many interesting examples to help students understand the concepts. The index is very helpful and the glossary in the back defines many of the key terms in an easy to read format.
This book is accurate in dealing with the subject matter. I covers much of what I have taught for years in a clear and comprehensive way. I found no bias or errors (besides one typo).
This book is relevant as it mentions only cultural happenings and figures that are significant like lasting political movements and figures as well as well-read authors. There is one mention of a writer who is referred to as living but is now deceased, but that does not affect the relevance of the text. Because the book focuses on basics, it is unlikely that it will need any content updates besides possibly the mention of the author.
The book demonstrates a relatable voice without using vocabulary and sentence complexity that is out of reach for a developmental or beginning-college level. It is easy to read and has a comfortable pacing. There is little jargon or technical terminology in this book, but where new terms are introduced, the definitions are provided in a comprehensive way.
The book retains its consistency throughout. From the beginning to the end the voice of the author is relatable, and the book's vocabulary is not overbearing.
Because each section of the book is self reliant, the book is modular and each chapter can be used alone or in conjunction with other chapters. The self-contained nature of this book makes it more useful in different classes.
The flow of topics in the text is logical and effective with one topic building onto the previous ones. The only exception is the section on basic grammar skills like making complete sentences. This information is found in the last chapter on proofreading. While proofreading does require these skills, It would be more logical to move this section to the beginning chapters and refer back to the basic grammar in the revising section.
The author was careful to create a simple interface without distracting of confusing diagrams and images. One can navigate it easily.
I only found one typo on the text. The rest of it retains the grammatical standards that it teaches.
This book used examples from real life when making points, and I found these to be culturally relevant, inclusive, and effective. The author mentions the Black Lives Matter movement and discusses the writings of Martin Luther King, Jr. to cite two examples of inclusivity and cultural relevance.
I will be picking up this book to teach a composition course and portions of it for a developmental writing course. Its clear and conversational tone as well as its modularity make it an ideal OER resource for my class.
This book provides a comprehensive approach for all levels of writers for a range of writing projects. The text works effectively in providing a breakdown of all major aspects of composition: how to determine the audience or purpose of the... read more
This book provides a comprehensive approach for all levels of writers for a range of writing projects. The text works effectively in providing a breakdown of all major aspects of composition: how to determine the audience or purpose of the assignment, how to develop a thesis statement and supporting arguments, and how to write a draft and follow through development and revisions from start to finish. The text is targeted towards beginning college writers, though it is not limited to beginners. The text approaches a wide range of assignments/academic tasking, including but not limited to, professional email etiquette, argumentation, and critical analysis. While the book does demonstrate a wide representation of college writing expectations and skills, the generality of it requires instructors to supplement other materials to further develop student understanding beyond the basic levels. The table of contents provides precise detailing of the materials throughout and I found the glossary incredibly useful.
The book is surprisingly accurate and well-composed. The writers demonstrate a wide and thorough understanding of the writing process conventions of language, style, tone, etc., and they provide informative lessons on where to find current formatting instruction. The grammar section of the text is quite brief but effectively introduces students to many of the major areas of concern in academic writing; However, if a teacher wants to focus highly on grammar, supplemental information or a different text would be more beneficial.
Majority of the information provided works universally and provides a strong foundation to students without experience in writing academically or professionally. The text provides a strong overview or how to brainstorm and develop ideas, how to organize and structure an essay around a claim, how to pitch your idea to an audience, how to properly use subordinating clauses, and how to write introductions and conclusions. The authors provide resources for further studies like Online Writing Labs, where students can find up-to-date APA formatting for example. The writing seems contemporary and addressed composition from current pedagogical approaches.
The writer does well to not only instruct students with their precise writing styles and examples but to showcase these lessons through the text writing itself. The writing is concise, concrete, and easy to read. As an example of the clear writing that sets this book apart from more commercial texts: “Some instructors will also call the clause, ‘As I walked down the store’ an introductory phrase that needs a comma after it. Whatever the instructor calls it, the comma needs to be there.” This passage not only provides clear instruction but highlights the authors’ understanding of diverse terminology that teachers may use in the classroom.
The book maintains its terminology and framework throughout the chapters. Each chapter addresses key steps in the writing process, which works comprehensively with previous chapters to build on developed knowledge.
Structurally the book works well in the order that the lessons and chapters are positioned, though I find that students learn better when they have positive examples to learn from. For this reason, I would recommend that proofreading skills are moved closer to the front, but this can easily be addressed with supplemental lessons and instruction. The text works well in order, but it can be adapted to suit the needs of the instructor and the classroom with a little foresight.
The writing process steps are quite organized in a manner that is easy to scaffold. As mentioned in the structure, I think that proofreading could be moved sooner in the text so that students can learn from seeing proper usage. I also feel that the research, plagiarism, and citation section could have been moved closer to the front; however, the text can be adapted to suit the classroom needs with a little planning. The authors make an excellent point that the writing process is not linear; therefore, the text can be taught out of order to a similar effect as teaching from start to finish of the text.
The text was quite legible so I had no difficulty reading lessons or examples. The images and charts are visually appealing and very contemporary. I think the overall approach to text construction works well to appeal to students regardless of their learning types.
The grammar is excellent and works well to instruct students by example!
The writing samples illustrate a diverse range of writers and backgrounds. This will work well to avoid intimidating students, especially beginner writers.
Overall, I find this text to be written with precision. It seems like an appropriate way to approach composition/ writing instruction for beginner writers and writers who need to broaden their range of writing approaches.
_You, Writing!_ by Glynn et al. guides the student writer through successful moves of academic writing. This book would be a very useful companion for both students and instructors. It is clear that the writers have extensive experience with... read more
_You, Writing!_ by Glynn et al. guides the student writer through successful moves of academic writing. This book would be a very useful companion for both students and instructors. It is clear that the writers have extensive experience with teaching college composition and, accordingly, they cover the writing process for a collection of generally assigned types of papers in early writing courses. They also provide a multi-modal, visually accessible format with plenty of white space to keep it from an overwhelming experience for student writers. The same student writers get a lot of encouragement to build on what they already know and have practiced during their career so far, but they also get plenty of friendly nudges toward taking it to the next level. The authors offer writing samples, ranging from phrases or sentences to paragraph-length samples to sample essays, each of which is a quite helpful teaching tool. Chapter 9 on revising, one of the tougher concepts in freshman composition classes, is a particularly welcome overview of helpful ways to tackle the final stages of the writing process. The relatively detailed section on style is an especially welcome discussion, again, a concept that often gets scant attention in comprehensive composition textbooks. A useful glossary completes the book. I would be tempted to adopt this textbook for my classes, but the one element that gives me pause is the rather belated discussion of research.
The textbook is readable, clear, and for the most part, error-free. It appears, though, that the promised discussion of comma splices, something I find myself addressing heavily in my classes, is missing (see p. 123 and on).
The content is absolutely relevant and reflects the current take on teaching college composition, but without the danger of becoming obsolete soon. It looks to me that it would be relatively easy to update and implement the text.
The text is indeed written in an accessible language that is easy to comprehend by its intended audience. The authors use technical terminology necessary to the content.
The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology. The visual framework could, however, be more consistent throughout. The style - color, format, etc. - of call-outs could be made more consistent for the whole text.
As with most of us teaching college composition, assigning units from a writing textbooks will usually follow the schedule of actual writing assignments. This text lends itself to short, select reading assignments to complement the curriculum.
Overall, the topics are organized in a logical pattern. The one snag for me is the belated discussion of research - it is one of the last chapters. Consider the mantra of college writing across the curriculum: "Research everything!" With that thought in mind, I would prefer this chapter earlier in the book, especially because, and inevitably, the authors do reference the importance of research throughout.
The text is free of significant interface issues. I do suggest a more consistent usage of textboxes throughout, however.
The text is free of grammatical errors.
Even though the text refrains from addressing particularly sensitive social/cultural topics, it provides a good springboard for a variety of topics that can inspire student writers to branch out on their own.
I recommend this text for consideration in freshman composition courses. I am definitely putting it on my list of "promising titles."
"You, Writing!" comprehensively addresses the basics of writing in a casual, easily-accessible way. It would be an extremely useful textbook in a freshman composition class. It covers a variety of writing genres, as well as some basics that we, as... read more
"You, Writing!" comprehensively addresses the basics of writing in a casual, easily-accessible way. It would be an extremely useful textbook in a freshman composition class. It covers a variety of writing genres, as well as some basics that we, as instructors, often assume that our students already know (yet they often don't), such as how to title your paper and how to annotate a text.
There are many writing samples throughout this textbook which make it a great reference for students. The examples of "high," "casual," and "low" writing styles, and rewrites to make famous excerpts a different writing style, are a smart way to demonstrate to students what academic writing is (and isn't). The lessons on grammar are framed rhetorically by being placed within a chapter about proofreading at the end of the (Ch. 10). I found this textbook to be clearly written and comprehensive in covering the basics of freshman composition.
The copy in this textbook is clean and error-free, which makes it easy to read and understand.
The information in this book is relevant and reliable for composition classes. It is clearly organized, making it easy to use and reference.
This text is particularly clear and easily to read and understand, without trying too hard to be hip and young. Students will appreciate the clear descriptions and examples within the text, as well as the inclusion of an appendix at the end of the textbook, which offers a glossary of terms which they might need to
This text uses a rhetorical framework for teaching writing, while simplifying the basics of tone and genre to make them more accessible for the student writer.
This textbook lends itself to smaller readings within a class curriculum very well. It could be used out of chapter order while still maintaining its integrity, and chapters can be easily broken into smaller, daily readings.
The chapters within this text are well-organized.
This book's text is easy to navigate, and its text and visuals are easy to read both online or as a pdf download.
The text within this textbook is clean and error-free.
This book is relevant across cultural boundaries and makes use of examples that cross a variety of backgrounds.
This text appears in eleven chapters, and each chapter covers an important component in the writing process. The chapters cover basic (but important) steps such as defining audience and purpose (chapter 3), finding a topic (chapter 4), and writing... read more
This text appears in eleven chapters, and each chapter covers an important component in the writing process. The chapters cover basic (but important) steps such as defining audience and purpose (chapter 3), finding a topic (chapter 4), and writing a thesis statement (chapter 5). In addition, the text acknowledges writing in different modes (or genres), such as persuasive writing, informative writing, and professional writing. The text also covers brainstorming, drafting, editing, revising, and organizing, as well as citation and research strategies and gives plenty of specific tips on engaging with meaningful writing practices.
I didn't notice any glaring errors!
I think the items in this textbook are very relevant. The concepts are simple yet foundational. There are some links to additional resources that I can see changing over time, but I do appreciate the additional references and plan to use them! (Thinking here about the links to Purdue OWL slides/videos on page 23). Overall, I think the text is relevant, and where it makes outside reference, the text is easily able to be updated or modified.
I found this textbook very clear. The text does a nice job delivering its points in a concise manner, and it doesn't require the reader to infer meaning. Each chapter is complete with clear headings and digestible paragraphs, and the text makes frequent use of examples to illustrate its points. I think that this text would prove accessible for many students in the first-year composition classroom, regardless of their writing proficiencies.
I found this textbook very consistent. At no point did I feel that the quality of the text was compromised, and I do appreciate the consistent tone throughout. Overall, I think the text is wonderfully self-contained and does not require much modification or elaboration in any of its chapters.
I very much plan to borrow portions of this textbook. I think its ability to be divided and adapted to other lessons is a particular strength, since I am often looking to scaffold and grow my own lessons. I've already begun to mark impressive/clear examples, definitions, and explanations that I'm excited to invite into my classroom next semester.
Organization is another strength of this text. This, of course, goes hand-in-hand with the text's clarity. As I mentioned above, I'm impressed by the text's ability to divide writing into digestible, understandable components. Nothing here feels convoluted or unnecessarily complex. I enjoyed the logic of the book and think its chapters are clear and easily accessible. This also makes jumping around the book easy--a quality that lends itself to both teachers and students of writing.
The formatting of the textbook does feel a bit elementary or unthoughtful at times. There are just a few diagrams that are hand-drawn, which makes a few spots in the book feel a bit underdeveloped. Otherwise, the interface is very workable.
I didn't notice any grammatical missteps.
Though I'm not sure this book would be considered culturally inclusive, I certainly did not find it culturally exclusive. Its focus is primarily the writing process, and its examples do not venture into culturally offensive territory. I would feel very comfortable assigning this textbook on diverse campuses.
I really enjoyed this textbook and am planning to borrow lots of material from it! Thank you to the authors; I've struggled to find a book that feels adaptable to my courses. The information here feels relevant, consistent, and complete. I will be recommending the book to my colleagues!
The book covers the major steps for academic writing, and while it had some examples of non-academic sources, it seemed to focus pretty overwhelmingly on "essays" in various formats. That's exactly what some programs want, though a bit limited for... read more
The book covers the major steps for academic writing, and while it had some examples of non-academic sources, it seemed to focus pretty overwhelmingly on "essays" in various formats. That's exactly what some programs want, though a bit limited for others.
I generally found the content to be accurate
The book steers away from examples that will quickly become obsolete, and uses writing from a variety of time periods to help illustrate its point.
The definitions of different terms at the beginning of the chapters is especially helpful.
I was surprised to find that the text devoted (for example) eight pages to audience and 40-something pages to specific grammar details. While the organization went from higher-order concerns to lower-order concerns, meaning that all the editing and grammar information came towards the end, it felt lopsided in that respect. The chapter about research/finding sources came at the very end, perhaps because the authors were trying to make the discussion of organization, argument, audience, etc. relevant for projects that don't involve research, but that also surprised me.
The different sections are well-contained and easily readable.
As with consistency, I found the amount of space given to different elements of writing to be strange. The text is set up to be chronological, to take the reader through the steps of writing, beginning with audience and ending with proofreading. The first eight chapters flowed logically from one to the next, the ninth and tenth chapters ("Editing" and "Proofreading") came at a chronologically logical time but just took up so much space, and the eleventh chapter ("Research Process") seemed strangely tacked on to the end
Text interface is clear
The book's grammar is sound
The text did a good job bringing in multiple voices
An overall strong text, particularly for classes or programs that are very focused on teaching students academic writing. It generally did a good job explaining why different elements of writing and the writing process matter, it used both professional and student writing examples, and it is written to be easy to read. My major critique is the overwhelming focus on academic writing, which is an important element of first-year writing courses but not (I believe) the only element. The "professional writing" section is limited and less helpful, I would generally point students to other resources when we discuss professional writing.
The textbook thoroughly covers the subject of writing, including differences between high school and college writing, generating ideas, developing a thesis, different modes of paragraph development, research and citation, and sentence skills. The... read more
The textbook thoroughly covers the subject of writing, including differences between high school and college writing, generating ideas, developing a thesis, different modes of paragraph development, research and citation, and sentence skills. The amount of space devoted to these areas is not e even, however. While much detailed attention is given to the specific terminology of Greek logic, for example, the text might have benefited from more extensive concrete examples of critical reading and how it plays out in practice in student writing. While I really liked the sample annotations of the poems, many student writers in introductory English classes are working with prose rather than poetry. Furthermore, simply seeing the annotations would not necessarily help struggling students see how to write an essay or a paragraph that develops their critical reading of the text. Likewise, I would have liked to see more concrete examples of paraphrasing and introducing quotations later in the text; the section that discusses those issues seemed somewhat abbreviated, and those are typically major areas of student concern. All of that being said, however, the textbook's coverage of most areas of first-year writing was quite comprehensive, and the introduction of a few outside texts would easily remedy gaps such as the one I mentioned above.
I observed no problems with the text's accuracy, and I also noticed no bias in the way that it's written.
The text is up-to-date, including the most recent changes in MLA formatting, and --particularly as the conventions of English don't change very fast--I don't foresee any difficulty with updating this textbook as necessary. The social and cultural references I noticed in the textbook (such as Twitter and Steven Colbert) are up-to-date and seem likely to resonate well with students for some time to come.
The language of the textbook is generally very clear and easy to follow. I see numerous efforts throughout to make readings and examples relevant and accessible to students, and the authors also integrate a variety of useful charts and diagrams for students who prefer to think graphically.
In a few places, I did have a few concerns about clarity. In the chapter on argumentation, for instance, some of the distinctions made between different types of argument seemed to specific or arcane to be particularly useful to many English 100 and English 101 student. While distinguishing between inductive and deductive reasoning is very useful, for instance, distinguishing between "rhetorical argument" and "academic argument" seems a bit superfluous for the target audience. While that particular section is short, it distracts students a bit from the major issues at hand.
While the text generally lays out clear steps--the diagrams that outline writing processes are particularly nice--a few of the lists of steps seem somewhat cumbersome. In the Critical Reading chapter, for instance, the number of steps may be intimidating to many students.
The textbook is consistent throughout; I noticed no disparities in the use of terminology, for instance.
While the chapters themselves are long, they include useful divisions throughout, all of which are hyperlinked from the menu. It would be easy for an instructor to hyperlink only certain sections of the chapter for use in class. The sections seemed to stand quite well independently; it would be easy, for instance, to read the chapter on the writing process before the one on argumentation.
Generally, the book's organization is logical and in keeping with the typical flow of college composition textbooks. The only major exception was the chapter on the writing process. I'd at first thought that the editors had placed the chapter on argumentation first because it might cover issues like thesis and topic sentences, but that isn't the case;those topics appear most clearly--and, importantly, most accessibly for student writers--in the section on the writing process. I did feel that following the textbook in sequential order would result in students writing an essay before they'd been fully prepared to do so. I would be more inclined to place "The Writing Process" immediately after "Critical Reading," then assign the chapter on argumentation immediately before the discussion of the research process. That being said, however, it's easy to separate chapters into their component sections and assign them to fit smoothly within the broad structure of the course.
The text's interface looks really strong. I particularly liked the way that the text integrates links to a variety of media, including YouTube videos, to help student readers further explore concepts that they find either interesting or difficult.
I observed no major grammatical problems or typos.
The textbook appears to me to to be inclusive, and I didn't observe any issues with cultural sensitivity. Both issues are important to me because my college's student body is very diverse.
It's worth noting that I'd originally considered assigning this textbook for a developmental class, but I think that it's pitched too high. It would work better in the regular freshman English sequence.
This text outlined all basic steps to the writing composition process, and then some. The entirety of the traditional writing process was outlined, from reading to brainstorming to organizing to drafting to revising and proofreading, but it... read more
This text outlined all basic steps to the writing composition process, and then some. The entirety of the traditional writing process was outlined, from reading to brainstorming to organizing to drafting to revising and proofreading, but it acknowledged that these stages can change order or recur; it just depends on the student. It also provided a thorough look at citations in different formats.
Besides a few intentional incomplete sentences (I believe constructed as a colloquial mechanism to relate to the pedestrian reader), the book was accurate both in content and in style.
This text is absolutely relevant to our era, and looks ahead to where we are going. It makes explicit the significance of writing in many different spheres, including social media posts and cover letters for resumes. This ubiquitous applicability ensures that the student may readily connect lessons to his or her everyday life.
The clarity might be what I appreciated most about this book. Some texts leave the student to infer their meanings, but this one made lessons crystal clear. In its clarity this text is also widely accessible, which is significant for students whose first language is not English or for whom high school English classes did not provide them with an adequate introductory education. Overall the clarity of this book makes it ideal for teaching in first-year college composition courses.
This book was certainly consistent. There were no surprises in any chapters, and students can follow along easily where the book is taking them.
The modularity is another thing I really appreciated about this text. Having sections with subsections makes it easier as an instructor to reconfigure reading assignments and construct a lesson out of several different (but relevant) subsections. Also each section was a feasible length so that different lessons could be combined without the reading assignment being too time-consuming.
Organization can always be improved, but the way this text presented its ideas was logical and clear. Readers can follow along easily without getting lost or needing to reference back to other sections.
This text's interface was easily navigable.
As mentioned previously, the grammar and syntactical structure of this text was 'correct' for the most part. There were a few instances of incomplete sentences or colloquial expressions, but those were likely intentional as a way to underscore a point or relate to the student reading.
This book was not culturally offensive. I am hyper-aware of those kinds of instances wherein an implicit cultural bias is made, and I am always looking for those instances - whether consciously or not. This text did not raise any alarms.
Overall this text was both accessible for students and moldable for teachers. It covers the basics of writing composition in college and demonstrates not only that anyone is capable of writing, but also that everyone is already writing in some way in their lives. It was crystal clear in communicating the processes of reading and writing, and also covered the ever-important topic of citations quite thoroughly. With a plethora of examples, this text illustrated the different shapes writing can take, and the different mechanisms writers can choose to employ. Ultimately, this text is thorough in content, accessible in style, and organized in such a way that an instructor can make it her own.
This was quite comprehensive for a general overview of Composition. The authors don't get too deep into any given style of essay, which is helpful for instructors designing their own courses as it would allow them to build off of the general... read more
This was quite comprehensive for a general overview of Composition. The authors don't get too deep into any given style of essay, which is helpful for instructors designing their own courses as it would allow them to build off of the general examples. It also covers the Research Essay, which is key for any comprehensive Composition guide.
The authors took obvious care to write an accurate guide. There are a few instances that are accurate, if brief. The grammar chapters, for instance, are helpful but not overly detailed. This makes it helpful as a reference or starting point, but may not address all of student concerns. However, this would just require instructors to supplement, as all the information is accurate.
Good writing is somewhat timeless, even as language and styles evolve. There is a lot of discussion of process, which is the timeless aspect of good writing. Students need to be encouraged to work through the act of writing, not get hung up on a perfect finished process. In this sense the book is very relevant and helpful.
The authors make an evident effort to be clear and direct in the writing. It is definitely accessible to a wide range of readers. Additionally the authors take time to define words and ideas for students. For example, when discussing style they take time to explain "denotation" and "connotation" which are great concepts (and vocabulary!) words for students to learn as they are also learning to write.
Very consistent! In addition to a similar tone and framework the book also includes many familiar listing techniques and terminology that is common to other Composition books out there.
Like many Composition books this textbook follows the general outline of a Composition course. It starts at the beginning of the writing process, discusses drafting, then editing, and includes the Research Essay at the end of the book. These are broken up into smaller sections which would be easy to break down and assign. Generally the breakdown makes the most sense along the chapter breaks, as the chapters are clearly designed to be read in whole.
As noted above it follows an organizational pattern very familiar to Composition guides. Nothing ground breaking, but that's for the best.
I had no trouble navigating this book, and appreciated the use of simple and relevant images when they were included. The glossary and index help with the navigation as well.
Luckily the grammar is great, or it couldn't serve as a resource for those still learning grammar!
Because the language is straight forward and clear there are no accidental insensitive or offensive comments included. There are modern or current references, so it doesn't feel like students are reading dated work.
This is an excellent overview of Composition. It would require supplemental material and examples, I believe, but gives an instructor a very comprehensive basis to build off of.
This text is an excellent and conversational approach to college writing. It covers all the necessary topics, from styles of writing to grammar. The examples it uses are interesting and current, which makes it easy to read and follow. The glossary... read more
This text is an excellent and conversational approach to college writing. It covers all the necessary topics, from styles of writing to grammar. The examples it uses are interesting and current, which makes it easy to read and follow. The glossary in particular is quite effective! I also thought the explanations on logos, ethos, and pathos were well-defined for this level of writing student.
Nothing concerning in terms of accuracy and bias. This text could be adapted to suit any number of college composition courses.
Subject-wise, this book could be timeless. Some of the examples used (like in the grammar explanation chapters) were references to current pop culture events and figures. This could be something edited and shaped in future editions.
Very clear, very straightforward writing. It felt accessible, and it was written in such a way that might make a student nervous about writing feel more comfortable. The conversational style was a strength of this text.
Terminology and framework were acceptable. Some chapters might have benefited from explanations or activities to help boost students' understanding (especially in sentence types in the grammar sections).
Short, specific chapters that were easy to follow. I would definitely consider assigning portions of this text as supplementary reading for an online class, for instance.
The entire book is presented in an easy to read and follow fashion. The graphics are a nice touch that give it a bit of fun and personality, too.
I read this text on my iPad, and I had no trouble navigating through its entirety. Clear, streamlined writing that looked nice on the page.
I didn't see anything alarming in terms of grammatical errors.
Yes, this is definitely true--one example made mention of Trayvon Martin and Black Lives Matter in sample paragraphs. Others used songs or celebrities as subjects of sample essays and paragraphs. It felt relevant to this current era, and I think students would be comforted by how relevant it is.
I really liked how accessible and friendly this textbook seemed to me as the reader. Clear, specific explanations go a long way to make the writing process less of a mystery and more engaging and fun.
The text includes pertinent content regarding writing processes and modes of writing. While it does an adequate job of explaining concepts regarding argumentation, the text neglects to provide logical fallacies (specifically ad populum) in... read more
The text includes pertinent content regarding writing processes and modes of writing. While it does an adequate job of explaining concepts regarding argumentation, the text neglects to provide logical fallacies (specifically ad populum) in explaining methods of persuasion. Furthermore, some example essays in Chapter 7 lack the sophistication which is required in college-level assignments. Commentary on more challenging modes such as rhetorical and literary analysis, as well as research-based persuasion, seems underdeveloped. The text lacks an index but does include an extensive and informative glossary.
Overall, content concerning rhetorical strategies and writing style is accurate and informative. However, citations in examples of annotated bibliographies do not follow current APA or MLA guidelines, and the text includes other errors in MLA citation format.
Overall, the content is contemporary. A few examples which do pertain to the targeted age group may become obsolete within a few years. Yet, these examples should be relatively easy to update as they are isolated.
The authors avoid using advanced academic jargon. Terminology concerning the writing process is easily accessible to beginning composition students. Writing style is straight-forward and even conversational at times.
While the use of quoted material is not consistently formatted throughout the text, authors do use terminology consistently. Authors effectively use a “basic writing process chart” as both a visual aid and an organizational framework for content.
The text is divided into readable sections with appropriate heads and subheads.
The text is organized clearly around its “basic writing process” concept. Using running heads with chapter titles might help readers better comprehend the text’s organization.
The text includes helpful links to online resources. However, the “back button” returns the user to the table of contents instead of the pages containing the hyperlinks. This problem would be remedied if hyperlinks opened supplementary material in new windows. In addition, I discovered at least one invalid URL. Usability could also be improved by linking chapters on the table of contents to their corresponding pages.
While the text includes a few spelling/typographical errors, it is grammatically sound, overall.
The authors make a clear effort to include examples which are culturally inclusive. No offensive or insensitive material was detected.
The textbook does a very good job of showing the real processes of writing, messiness and all. This content should make those who struggle with the process comfortable in their own efforts to acquire or hone writing skills. Its readability will also prove helpful for the beginning composition student.
This book covers all the stages of a writing project, from determining the audience and purpose of a writing assignment, to developing a thesis statement and proofreading the final revision. It is geared to the beginning college writer and... read more
This book covers all the stages of a writing project, from determining the audience and purpose of a writing assignment, to developing a thesis statement and proofreading the final revision. It is geared to the beginning college writer and includes how to approach various assignments/academic tasks: emailing a professor about a missed quiz, constructing a literary argument, arguing a political position. Because it is so comprehensive and is generalist in its approach, there is not much time to dive deeply into any particular approach or assignment; however, because it is concisely written, the authors manage to give advice about just about everything an undergraduate may be asked to write, with a few exceptions. These include the general analytic essay, and the case report. The former assignment is useful for college writers because unlike the narrative or persuasive essays, it forces them to write with a specifically academic tone and to rely on data and logic.
The book has an incredibly useful glossary, and the tablet of contents is extremely detailed.
The book is highly accurate. The writers are knowledgeable about the writing process, conventions of English, style, and where to locate up-to-date MLA and APA formatting information. The section on run-ons and sentence fragments is brief but informative. The list of subordinating conjunctions is not comprehensive. I find the phrase "dependent word" to be easier to use with writing students, but that's just a preference. The word "however" is listed as a conjunctive adverb, which it is, but not as a subordinating conjunction, which it also is (as in the sentence "However you look at it, English grammar is confusing". ) I think this whole grammar section is rather brief, trying to teach sentence skills in a few dozen pages; however, if it is meant as a review of the material for students who presumably have already learned it in a lower level class, it may be sufficient. (That "however" functions as a conjunctive adverb.) The passage of high versus low style is interesting, and not something I've seen before in writing texts. As opposed to the section on grammar, this part of the style section seems to go on too long.
Most of the material is timeless: how to generate ideas, how to organize an argument, how to pitch your writing to the audience and purpose, how to use semi-colons, how to approach introductions and conclusions, to name a few important sections. The authors helpfully provide resources such as the Online Writing Labs for students to locate and use as needed for information that is likely to change, such as the latest APA formatting rules. The writing samples feel very contemporary and not dated. (Well, except for the Gettysburg address, but that's a classic.)
The authors really lead by example here. The writing is unfussy, crystal-clear, highly specific and easy to read. Here is an example of the fine writing that sets this book apart from the oodles of writing books: "The technical way we use the word “argument” in writing simply means offering a written text into an ongoing debate with the hope of securing agreement among people of good will who currently disagree with you or hold a different view. This is the nature of deliberative democracy..." This passage exemplifies the way the authors define their terms as they go along; nothing feels like jargon because they explain their word choices.
The book is consistent in its terminology and the way the chapters are framed. Each chapter pertains to a step in the writing process. I have a small quibble with this because all the grammar and sentence skills are lumped into the chapter on proofreading, which seems too late.
It makes sense to read this book in order for the most part. I would recommend reading the section on proofreading earlier, so that writers can look at good sentences before they generate their own (that may just be me.) However, it is definitely possible to assign one chapter at a time and it is not strictly necessary to read them in order. Some students will not need to read about high and low style, while others may want to skip the section on ethos, logos and pathos (they shouldn't skip it, but if they aren't dealing with rhetoric it may not be necessary.)
I like how it is organized along the steps of the writing process: exploring, generating a thesis, writing, revising, proofreading, etc. The section on grammar perhaps should come a little earlier, and the section on research, citation and plagiarism also feels like it comes rather late in the process. However, the authors point out early in the book that the process is not linear, and student writers often loop back to where they started as research or writing alters their point of view.
I had to blow it up quite a bit to make the text legible. This was not difficult, however. The images and handwritten charts are charming and informative and they are visually pleasing. Navigation is no problem. I love the index and glossary!
The grammar is impeccable, as it should be!
The student writing samples appear to have been drawn from a diverse group of writers.
It is beautifully written. It seems just right for the young, early college writing student. It is too generalized to serve as an advanced writing text for a specific discipline.
I would recommend that the section on conventions be turned into an appendix - it doesn't fit neatly into "proofreading" and it is more useful as a reference than as a chapter.
This text covers a range of composition and rhetoric topics, while allowing for the convenience of selecting concerns that are most relevant to particular courses or students. read more
This text covers a range of composition and rhetoric topics, while allowing for the convenience of selecting concerns that are most relevant to particular courses or students.
The authors are careful to attribute their sources and do so in a way that provides clear modeling for readers. The book is polished and accurate.
The text is refreshing in its relevance and timeliness. The authors include common cultural and social references to reinforce their ideas and main topics.
One of the text's virtues is its accessibility. It is crafted for students and addressed to readers in a non-threatening and approachable way.
The text maintains consistency in terms of formatting and content.
The text is blocked into chapters and subsections, and the Table of Contents allows for easy redirection. There are some rather large blocks of prose that span for several pages at a time, which could prove daunting for students who are not prepared or equipped to pore over large swaths of text.
The overall organization is logical and intuitive.
The text is navigable and free of any technical errors or distortions. Some of the work's most appealing aspects are its authentic screenshots, markups, and charts.
The text is cleanly written and polished.
The text is geared toward multiple readers of diverse backgrounds. It is neither biased nor insensitive.
You, Writing! provides a refreshing and accessible approach to first-year composition, as it sets out to present a range of useful and translatable concepts in a disarming manner. Students and instructors will benefit from clearly defined sections and authentic examples, which supplement extensive commentary on rhetorical issues ranging from thesis development to Anglo-Saxon or Latinate language use.
This text would serve as a fine primary reader for composition students, while certain sections would prove immensely valuable as supplementary content give the depth of the book as a whole.
The table of contents is very detailed, and a helpful glossary is included at the end of the book. A chapter on using logic and reasoning and avoiding logical fallacies would be helpful. There is no index. read more
The table of contents is very detailed, and a helpful glossary is included at the end of the book. A chapter on using logic and reasoning and avoiding logical fallacies would be helpful. There is no index.
The content is both accurate and unbiased; however, the discussion of sources (pp. 138-143) is inadequate. Sources are only classified as “excellent,” “good,” and “other,” with very little information on how to evaluate them. Peer-reviewed journal articles are only briefly mentioned, and the quality of information from library databases over Internet search engines is not stressed enough.
The content of the text is relevant, and most examples come from classic literature, so they will not become dated. Writing is explored in a way that balances the use of technology with traditional methods.
The text is very accessible, being conversational and helpful in tone. The informative writing example, “What I Did on My Summer Vacation,” did seem somewhat elementary for a college text (pp. 53-54). The other examples were good, but I would have liked to have seen more, including a sample research paper.
Terminology is consistently used and defined throughout the text, and there is a logical framework to the whole.
The text is very adaptable to any freshman college or high school composition course. Readings on the writing process would work best if assigned chronologically, but each chapter could potentially stand on its own or be incorporated with additional readings.
The text is well-organized and offers a good overview of the writing process (especially planning).
The interface is adequate. An interactive table of contents with internal links to chapters and sections would be convenient. Links to outside sources work, but all links to the Purdue OWL only go to the homepage instead of the particular reference cited.
The text contains multiple minor errors, which is somewhat problematic for a writing textbook that stresses the need for editing. For example, “hear” should be “heard” (p. 11), “conclusion” is misspelled twice (pp. 12-13), “your” should be “you” (p. 20), there is an unnecessary parenthesis (p. 41), book titles are not italicized (p. 53), the word “to” should come after “Plato” (p. 54), “an” should be “and” (p. 57), there should be a comma instead of a period before “sin” and “put” should be capitalized (p. 60), there are problems with parallelism (pp. 69 and 71), the word “one” (for “tone”?) inside the parentheses of point 8 does not make sense (p. 81), the first sentence under the subheading “Style and Clarity” is incomplete (p. 91), there is a missing period (p. 96), “live” should be “life” (p. 100), and there is an extra indentation (p. 140). In addition, there is some inconsistency in the use of the Oxford comma.
The text is culturally sensitive, inoffensive, and inclusive. In addition, it is refreshingly apolitical, focusing on the kinds of writing students will need in their college courses and careers, rather than hot-button debates, activism, or extreme political correctness.
This book offers an excellent overview of the writing process, explains terms well, and maintains a very friendly tone throughout. Unfortunately, there are numerous minor errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation, which some careful editing would correct. As a composition textbook, it would benefit from a chapter on using logic and reasoning, while the chapter on research needs some further development.
Table of Contents
- Chapter One: Why Write?
- Chapter Two: A Writing Process for Every Writer
- Chapter Three: Defining Audience and Purpose
- Chapter Four: Exploring: Finding a Topic
- Chapter Five: Writing a Thesis
- Chapter Six: Organizing
- Chapter Seven: Drafting
- Chapter Eight: Revising
- Chapter Nine: Editing
- Chapter Ten: Proofreading
- Chapter Eleven: Research Process
About the Book
This text is meant to be used in any first year College Composition class or as a general guide to college writing. The book focuses on writing as a process, not a product. The goal is to help students discover their own writing process, tryin g out different methods and strategies to find what works best for them
About the Contributors
Alexandra Glynn has been teaching English for about ten years. She holds an M.A. in English Literature from St. Cloud State University. She sometimes publishes about teaching English in the Minnesota English Journal. She also translates lyrics into English as well.
Kelli Hallsten-Erickson has been teaching developmental writing, Composition I and II, and a variety of literature courses at the two-year level for fifteen years. She is currently at Lake Superior College, encouraging student s to stay warm during the long winter by keeping their fingers burning across their keyboards, constructing interesting essays.
Amy Jo Swing has been teaching writing and English since 1993. She holds a B.A. in English and Creative Writing from Purdue University and an M.F.A. in Poetry Writing from Texas State University San Marcos. She teaches all manner of writing at Lake Superior College in Duluth, Minnesota, where she is also a writer of poetry and middle grade fiction