logo-inner Open Textbooks
The Reviews

"Saturated Writing"

English & Composition

Viewed freely, the English language is the accretion and growth of every dialect, race, and range of time, and is both the free and compacted composition of all. -Walt Whitman


 
Textbook: Exploring Perspectives: A Concise Guide to Analysis

Author: Randall Fallows
Textbook URL: http://catalog.flatworldknowledge.com/catalog/editions/97
Reviewer: Sarah Zale, Associate Faculty, Shoreline Community College
Review Date: January 2012

exploring-perspectives-chart *Average of all chapters. Maximum rating is 5.0 Reviewer's Comments
This textbook is recommended for Community College level composition classes. The main reason is its pedagogical perspective that writing is a recursive rather than linear process, an act of discovery with a thesis that evolves and expands in complexity. Fallows balances the merits of academic inquiry, which requires the vetting of sources and their authors, with the style of the personal essay, encouraging personal reflection with use of “I” and analysis of personal biases. While giving attention to reflection, critical thinking, discovery, development, and revision of an analytical essay, Fallows also helps the student with basic writing skills such as diction, syntax variety, and sentence combining

 
Textbook: Methods of Discovery: A Guide to Research Writing

Author: Pavel Zemliansky, Ph.D
Textbook URL: http://methodsofdiscovery.net/
Reviewer: Marc Barnhill - Lecturer, New York University; The City University of New YorkK/span>

*Average of all chapters. Maximum rating is 5.0 Reviewer's Comments
I recommend this book. Overall, the book is well thought-out and usefully organized, with a highly readable and engaging presentation and carefully chosen examples to introduce and illustrate concepts. The book presents a very accurate account of the nature of research writing that is highly consistent with the needs of freshman writers and the demands of research projects.

 
Textbook: Online Technical Writing

Author: David A. McMurrey
Textbook URL: http://www.prismnet.com/~hcexres/textbook/
Reviewer: Marie Highby - Senior Technical Editor, Synopsys, Inc.

*Average of all chapters. Maximum rating is 5.0. Reviewer's Comments
I recommend this online text as the required primary textbook for community college students who plan to major in technical subjects or technical writing.  Having this textbook online is a major resource. This text's content is so similar to most of the leading technical writing textbooks that it can easily be used as a substitute for one of them.  Strengths include the range of examples, easy-to-read style, modularity, and the detailed nature of its instructional content.

 
Textbook: The Process of Research Writing (2007)

Author: Steven D. Krause
Textbook URL: http://www.stevendkrause.com/tprw/
Reviewer: David Cole, Publisher, Bay Tree Publishing

*Average of all chapters. Maximum rating is 5.0. Reviewer's Comments
This book thoroughly introduces the methods, tools, and process of writing a research paper. It presents concepts systematically and clearly with models and examples. Students are well served by working through this book from beginning to end and doing the exercises. Instructors who want to provide their own exercises and/or examples may customize the text. However, because this book adopts a process-oriented approach, students with divergent learning styles may find the text hard to use.

 
Textbook: The Process of Research Writing (2007)

Author: Steven D. Krause
Textbook URL: http://www.stevendkrause.com/tprw/
Reviewer: Christine Sibley, Technology Librarian - Faculty, Ohlone Community College District

*Average of all chapters. Maximum rating is 5.0. Reviewer's Comments
I recommend this book for community college students, trade schools, vocational schools, and remedial students that are required to perform academic writing and research. This text shows strength in the teaching of the academic research writing processes, and is an instrumental tool that would improve and create an understanding for community college level academic writing and research. The author's teaching approach is energetic and the exercises are nice reinforcements of the theories and curriculum being taught. The text PDF version, the one reviewed, is visually appealing and easy to read.

 
Textbook: Rhetoric and Composition: A Guide for the College Writer (2009)

Author: Barton, et. al.
Textbook URL: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Rhetoric_and_Composition
Reviewer: Mark Barnhill, Lecturer, New York University

*Average of all chapters. Maximum rating is 5.0. Reviewer's Comments
I recommend this book. The reading level is entirely appropriate to first-year or even remedial community college students; neither overly challenging nor simplistic, and adequate contextual clues are provided for potentially unfamiliar vocabulary and references. The textbook is a remarkably clear and understandable overview of the various aspects of the writing process, and is notably good at explaining to students the conventions and expectations of the academic world regarding writing and revision.

 
Textbook: Style for Students Online: Effective Technical Writing in the Information Age (2009)

Author: Joe Schall
Textbook URL: https://www.e-education.psu.edu/styleforstudents/
Reviewer: Alena Hairston, MFA, English Professor, Solano Community College

*Average of all chapters. Maximum rating is 5.0. Reviewer's Comments
I recommend this textbook. Overall, the text is smoothly formatted and concisely comprehensive, including the author's "Sins of the Pen," a postscript of sorts at the end of the text wherein the author with much wit discusses the writing and learning process. The manual offers depth in terms of concepts and issues covered while keeping the material manageable. Outside resources are often varied, relevant, useful. Science and math majors will greatly benefit from the text. In addition, there are very useful modules on professional etiquette.

 
Textbook: Style for Students Online: Effective Technical Writing in the Information Age (2009)

Author: Joe Schall
Textbook URL: https://www.e-education.psu.edu/styleforstudents/
Reviewer: Joy Zhao, Ph.D., Professor of English, El Camino College

*Average of all chapters. Maximum rating is 5.0. Reviewer's Comments
I recommend this book. It has a comprehensive coverage of English and writing for various disciplines. Its language is plain, non-technical, and easy to follow. Almost every part of its 10 chapters contains helpful academic and professional links or downloadable files for "Self Study," which is highly useful for teaching as well. It provides smooth navigation and flexible organization, both of which make it easy for any instructor to select what is needed and adapt. I also recommend this e-book for its open and generous spirit, which has a motivating and nurturing effect on (student) readers.

 
Textbook: Three Modules on Clear Writing Style: An Introduction to the Craft of Argument (2008)

Author: Joseph M. Williams and Gregory Colomb
Textbook URL: http://cnx.org/content/col10551/latest/
Reviewer: Alena Hairston, MFA, English Professor, Solano Community College

*Average of all chapters. Maximum rating is 5.0. Reviewer's Comments
I recommend this textbook. The overall content is very good. It is most appropriate for college-level technical disciplines such as sciences and math. Instructors can re-purpose content for less technical areas, as well as supplement this material with writing instruction germane to humanities and social sciences. It has a strong technical-writing focus and modules emphasize problem-solution writing. Prose is concise yet effective.

 
Textbook: Writing Skills for Business English: Training for NGO Staff

Author: Commonwealth of Learning
Textbook URL: http://www.col.org/resources/crsMaterials/Pages/Writing.aspx
Reviewer: Frances Lord, Adjunct Instructor of English, Lake Tahoe Community College

*Average of all chapters. Maximum rating is 5.0. Reviewer's Comments
I would recommend this open textbook for a remedial English composition class or as an introduction to business writing. Bits and pieces could be used in a first year community college composition course for English, communications, and business students. For a remedial composition class or an introduction to business writing course, this could be used as a required primary textbook. Because the text was created in India, the spelling is British English, which could throw some students off. In addition, a few sections are very specifically written for people writing community relation pieces or proposals for funding.

 
Textbook: Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing Volume 1 (2010)

Author: Edited by Charles Lowe and Pavel Zemliansky
Textbook URL: http://writingspaces.org/volume1
Reviewer: Frances Lord, Adjunct English Instructor, Lake Tahoe Community College

Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing Volume 1 (2010) *Average of all chapters. Maximum rating is 5.0. Reviewer's Comments
This text is designed for and would be extremely helpful to first year community college writing students. It is possible to integrate chapters into any writing course. The text discusses a nice variety of topics related to many aspects of the writing process. The tone of the chapters is casual and the writing is directed towards the student with various contemporary examples. It would be fantastic to have the text be a required supplementary text. As it is free, it would be completely appropriate for it to be required.

 
Textbook: Writing Spaces: Readings on Writings, Volume 2

Author(s): Charles Lowe and Pavel Zemliansky, eds.
Textbook URL: http://writingspaces.org/volume2
Reviewer: Amie Seidman, Assistant Professor of English, Bainbridge College
Review Date: December 2011

writing spaces chart *Average of all chapters. Maximum rating is 5.0. Reviewer's Comments
This book is recommended for first-year composition courses at either four-year or two-year colleges. It is appropriate for any major program, as most students are required to take an entry-level English class. The book is a collection of 21 essays by various authors, spanning a variety of topics related to writing. It is well organized, ranging from very broad to very specific. The editors have done a nice job grouping similar topics together, and the TOC makes this clear. One could use this as the sole or primary text for a course; it provides useful information on rhetorical analysis as well as basic formatting information. However, since the chapters are all stand-alone essays, it would also be appropriate to extract specific essays as a supplementary reference.