Building Bridges through Writing

Authors/Editors: Trixie G. Smith, Alison, D. Smith, & Holly Hamby

Publisher: Fountainhead Press

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Price: $60.00 print

  • Textbook Features
  • “Writing-to- Activities”
    • Provides extensive lists of tangible activities for students to expand and improve their writing process. Some examples are “Writing-to-Learn,” and “Writing-in-the-Disciplines.”
    • “Read More About It”
      • Each chapter ends with a works cited with texts relating to and expanding upon the chapter’s concepts.
    • Models
      • Models of research papers and other genres of writing (business reports, teacher assessment reports, IRB proposals) are provided throughout the text, along with text blocks that alert the student reader to the mechanics of the writing (citation style, topic sentences, thesis statement).
    • Accessibility
      • Various tables, word maps, and other visual aids are utilized through each chapter to clearly outline concepts found in the text.

Strengths

  • Organization: This text is broken down into logically sequenced, clear components, that build from fundamental rhetorical concepts all the way through writing across various disciplines in the university. This text’s structure allows both a sequential and an anthological style of reading.
    • Breadth: This text takes the basic principles of rhetoric and writing and transfers them concretely into various other, non-writing specific fields. This means this text book can be used to teach fundamental writing skills in the composition classroom, but also dovetails with the work non-english majors will be doing as they are trained to write in their own field. This text is therefore useful, and usable, in both the english composition classroom and more specialized classrooms.
    • Models: The plethora of models provided in each specialized field is useful not only for students of those divergent fields, but for writing instructors who may be specialized in English but looking to learn the conventions of business writing, science writing, and other fields. This text therefore serves an instructional purpose for both composition instructors and students
    • Non-Textual Elements: The charts, graphs, and other non-textual elements allow for an expedited consumption of information and concepts throughout each chapter. The textbook is therefore more accessible for students who are not prone to reading dense text and want to arrive at major conceptual points more quickly.

Weaknesses

  • Price: Though this text is undoubtedly a worthy longterm investment, it is not a realistic price for an undergraduate student who haas other financial obligations. That being said, used versions of this text are available through amazon.comAesthetic: The textbook’s bleak aesthetic does not help project its more vibrant and generous goal of writing across the disciplines. There is a sense of dread opening this book and seeing the density of text and sameness of color. This text could be enhanced with more color and enhanced/additional visual elements.Citation Styles Section: Though it is useful to provide citation styles in a writing manual, the constantly changing nature of MLA and APA will make this section quickly obsolete. It is like more useful to provide links to the Purdue Online Writing lab and other similar resources.
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