Comprehensiveness rating: 4 read less
This textbook provides an intricate view into the history and tradition of rhetorical Chinese writing. It begins with the history of ancient Chinese rhetoric and ends with a review of contemporary Chinese university writing. This textbook would be suitable for teachers of academic English writing, who teach Chinese students. However, I would consider this textbook complementary to additional resources, if one were to gain a solid grasp of how historical and traditional Chinese rhetorical writing influences the writing of Chinese students today. Perhaps connections throughout the text, or an additional chapter, on pedagogical implications would be helpful. An index or glossary would have also been helpful, considering the many foreign terms used repeatedly in the text. The book does include a helpful table of contents with descriptive titles.
Accuracy rating: 5
The content shows accuracy with extensive citations, references, and cross references.
Relevance/Longevity rating: 5
In terms of relevance, the book provides an excellent historical background on the history of Chinese rhetorical writing. In terms of longevity, the book can be easily updated as additional chapters can be added that review the latest course books on Chinese university writing. As mentioned previously, a discussion of pedagogical implications would be helpful, to include in relation to the updated material.
Clarity rating: 5
The book is thoroughly written, and most information is expressed clearly. Each chapter begins with an explanation of what will be discussed and ends with a conclusion of the main topics. In addition, it provides context, within the text, for the technical terminology used.
Consistency rating: 4
The book follows a logical sequence in the presentation of information and the explanation and use of terminology. It also provides a supportive structure in the building of historical background on Chinese rhetoric. However, any mention of pedagogical implications is very limited, and sporadic.
Modularity rating: 5
The book is divided into reasonably sized chapters with adequate subheadings within most chapters. Much of the content of this textbook is presented in a way that requires the reading of the previous chapters. This is only logical as the information builds upon itself, beginning with the ancient Chinese history of rhetorical writing and ending with contemporary Chinese university writing.
Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 4
The content is organized in a way that builds on the student’s understanding and knowledge of previous chapters. Most topics are presented in a logical and clear fashion. However, some of the information requires memorization as the text refers to multiple, foreign/technical terms used earlier in the book. Perhaps this is where an index or glossary would be useful in order to avoid interruption of flow, as the reader is required to search extensively for the original reference to the term.
Interface rating: 5
I did not notice any interface issues.
Grammatical Errors rating: 5
There were very few grammatical errors.
Cultural Relevance rating: 5
The text is culturally relevant as it addresses the argument that the academic writing of Chinese students’ is unique to their historic and cultural background and therefore interferes with their adaptation to the Western style of writing. The book provides a welcome and alternative view on the issue. In addition, I did not find the text to be insensitive or offensive in any way.
Overall, I think this textbook is helpful, informative, and includes a wealth of information. I would have liked to see a continuous link between each chapter and the current writing issues that present themselves in the classroom today, a link to the very issues that sparked this argument, with pedagogical implications. In other words, I found the history of Chinese rhetorical writing very helpful but would have liked additional information on how to better support Chinese students in the classroom today. This is why it is suggested that this textbook be used alongside additional resources.