Comprehensiveness rating: 3 read less
While no book can completely cover EVERYTHING regarding tutoring, composition pedagogy, and writing center work, Corbett adequately covers a few relevant issues such as: tutoring style and strategy, analyses of tutoring sessions, and conflict in the tutoring session. The text also provides examples, with extensive dialogue, of tutoring sessions. Corbett includes a brief index, but no glossary. The index could be more extensive, but it is adequate for the genre.
Accuracy rating: 4
Corbett’s chapters each offer a particular viewpoint regarding writing center and writing pedagogy; the information is accurate and coherent. In particular, Corbett addresses the idea of “reclaiming the writing classroom into ‘the idea of a writing center’” which might not be practical by all writing tutors or teachers, but his simulated tutoring sessions and strategies appear accurate, at least in theory.
Relevance/Longevity rating: 4
Corbett provides relevant subject matter that is timely and useful for those working in the field. His text is written using a very conversational and lucid style; although, some of the dialogue seems stiff when relating examples of what happens in certain tutoring sessions. This 'stiffness' doesn't affect the relevancy or longevity. It does lack, however, more diverse approaches to the tutoring of writing and writing center practices such as OWLs (Online Writing Labs) and other electronically-mediated approaches.
Clarity rating: 4
Corbett has a clear writing style. Each chapter is preceded by a clear, inclusive title. The text is not particularly convoluted or dense, but it does include terminology and syntax fitting for the discourse, and not necessarily the general public.
Consistency rating: 4
The information and writing style is consistent. Corbett’s approach and theoretical underpinnings are consistent with many other scholars in the field.
Modularity rating: 4
The chapters in this text can be used alone or as a complete text for those interested in writing center and/or pedagogical approaches. One should have at least some prior knowledge of writing center or writing instruction in order to make the most of Corbett’s work. If used individually, the chapters would work best with instructor or professorial guidance for those without significant experience with the topic.
Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 3
The organization, structure, and flow of Beyond Dichotomy is sufficient for the genre. The chapters are individualized, but the overall flow of the text is good.
Interface rating: 5
The interface between writing center work and writing, or composition instruction is adequate. This text is free of any significant interface issues; text and images were clear and easy to navigate. The book can also be printed (as a whole or in sections) for those who prefer to annotate with pen or pencil, and it also reads well as a separate pdf file.
Grammatical Errors rating: 5
There were no noticeable grammar issues. Corbett's writing style is easy to understand and grammar appears more than satisfactory.
Cultural Relevance rating: 4
The cultural relevance is appropriate for those working in community college or private/public university writing centers or composition classroom. Corbett’s text does not appear heavily biased or culturally insensitive; however, it does not explicitly address race or ethnicity.
Good resource for those interested in the tutoring or teaching of writing in the post-secondary classroom. Corbett's other texts are equally engaging.