Writing Communities: A Text with Readings

Author: Stephen Park

Publisher: Bedford/St.Martin’s

Price: ~$50-$60

Textbook Organization

  • Part 1
    • Focuses on emphasizing the link between academic and community writing
      • Chapter 1: Reading Strategies and Intellectual Communities
      • Chapter 2: Academic and Community Discourse
      • Chapter 3: Writing Education: Moving from Home to College Communities
      • Chapter 4: Writing Classrooms: Discovering Writing within Classroom Communities
  • Part 2
    • Focuses on giving students concrete advice about taking the skills learned in Part I out into the community
      • Chapter 5: Community Partnerships
      • Chapter 6: Establishing Community Writing Groups
      • Chapter 7: Community Events and Community Publishing
      • Chapter 8: Writing Place: Mapping Yourself onto Local, National, and International Communities
      • Chapter 9: Writing Networks: Creating Links Online and Offline
      • Chapter 10: Writing Identity: Moving in and across Boundaries

General Chapter Layout

  • Writing Prompt
  • Example response to prompt
  • Explication of chapter theme/various readings
  • Checkpoint
    • Checkpoints are designed to make readers think about the chapter theme and make the ideas personal for the student
  • Rundown
    • Rundowns serve as summaries and high points of the chapter
  • Discussion Questions and Activities

Strengths

  • The textbook includes valuable readings, such as David Bartholomae’s “Inventing the University,” Antonio Gramsci’s “On Intellectuals,” and selections from Gloria Anzaldua’s works. The readings seem to be focused on academia—who attends? Who doesn’t? How do we afford college? What is college? What does it mean to be an intellectual? 
  • The text includes multimedia components, such as audio blogs, online journals, video and audio responses, and other multimedia ways of reaching different communities, which would help instructors think of creative ways to engage with E 110’s multimedia component.
  • The teacher’s edition comes with a set of summaries, keywords, and connections the instructor can make with each reading. Parks has also offered three sample syllabi to show professors how to best use his book.

Weaknesses

  • This textbook is highly focused and is therefore better suited for a unique, upper-level writing course instead of available to all students.
  • There is not a lot of variations in the readings—they all focus on two main themes (academia and writing communities).
  • Only two chapters focus on writing skills, making this a potentially unfit text for a community of beginning academic writers.
  • As a new book, it is expensive and hard to come by secondhand copies.