Conditions of Use
The text attempts to cover too much material for advanced ESL learners. Many of the topics, such as the rhetorical triangle, literary criticism, MLA conventions, and research are topic touched on in a Composition 101 class and then elaborated upon... read more
The text attempts to cover too much material for advanced ESL learners. Many of the topics, such as the rhetorical triangle, literary criticism, MLA conventions, and research are topic touched on in a Composition 101 class and then elaborated upon in Compositor 102. Since this is a skill-based text, ands needs to be, perhaps it would be prudent to introduce the skills necessary to this level and then continue with detailed explanations of each. Most ESL students have been accustomed to workbooks with text, white space, graphic organizers, charts, and readings for discussion. I do think the template provided here for writing a paragraph is appropriate and useful, so more templates such as could be provided. More explanation of each skill is imperative, as students need time to process these ideas.
The text is somewhat accurate, although some content is omitted, such as methods of introduction, which is critical to writing an essay and should be placed before methods of organization, which is a skill typically introduced after this. As to construction of a thesis, which is a difficult concept for most students, mote visuals would help and some inclusion of the “So what?” rule that reminds a a student of the purpose of the paper and why a thesis must act as a guide throughout. Also, the fan test: if a paper can be cut into strips of sentences, thrown before a fan, and then reassembled according to the logical flow of the sentences, that is a well written paper, regardless of subject. I might suggest referencing texts by Professor Emeritus, Wayne Booth, of the University of Chicago, who writes vividly and with accessibility, without compromising content.
Content such as references to a Yeats poem or the short story, “Araby” by James Joyce, or WWI poetry, and one, in particular, by Sassoon, while lauded authors all, could be updated with more contemporary and well-known authors that students may recognize, along with student essays explaining a critical idea that has been presented. Initially, students learn by identifying and relation to content.
The text is clear, yet some terms are undefined, and it is not clear why they are included. For example, ethos, pathos, logos are included under Persuasive Writing; however, why not also include the Aristotelian Rhetorical Triangle since it is related to these terms, although the entire concept could be omitted, keeping the focus on skills for ESL students. Once again, we are attempting to teach skills and introducing terms is part of that equation. Again, we are living in an image-based society, so more visuals would aid clarity of ideas.
immediately stress the necessary skills for writing, such as grammar, which should be placed at the beginning. ESL students study grammar skills very closely and constantly. It must be emphasized to students that correct grammar is necessary to content. Without this the meaning of a text or of a student’s work may not be understood. These skills are the building blocks of thought.
Although the text is ordered into sections, more noticeable subheadings would help the reader down the page and link the next heading. Also, may I suggest including more visuals? We are living in an image-based society; hence, our students need images, graphs, charts as natural components to the concepts presented. Dense text is unsuitable for a skills-based book. Also, dense text presupposes that a student is familiar with this style of book, which is more than likely not the case, since several ESL books are workbooks with enough space provided for processing thoughts and making notes, regarding content.
As stated earlier, the topics need to be reordered to stress the importance of learning the skills of good writing. If in fact, we are living in a skill-based society, then these skills for writing coherently and persuasively are imperative. Connecting and explaining these skills will help the students understand the importance, and once again, adding visuals as support.
The text needs clearer images, charts, graphics. The graphic organizer used for structuring a paragraph is small and almost incidental. The images for writing a comparison/contrast essay are too small and unclear, and since this is a difficult type of essay to write, these charts or graphs need to act as companion pieces. The same is true for persuasive writing. More photos could be inserted for students to initially identify with a chapter, then move on to a discussion.
The use of the second person(you) at the beginning of the first chapter could be reworded, since we instruct our students to veer away from using this, so why allow it in an assigned book. Other than that, there do not seem to be significant grammatical mistakes and I assume this has been proofread before submission.
While the text is not offensive, some of the references are outdated and could be more inclusive of our institutions’ populations. Stanley Fish is hardly impressive at this date, or at all, some might argue; however, Henry Louis Gates is now a household word so why not include his contributions to literary criticism, which are formidable. Houston Baker’s analysis of early rap still hold ups and could be referenced, as well as Camille Paglia’s insightful and comprehensive book of the one hundred best poems to read. These are authors who are a bit more current and who represent diversity.
I applaud the effort made by these authors in writing skill based text for ESL learners.The text makes an attempt to address the writing process but keeping the audience in mind is key. Students are ultimate judges.
This textbook is quite comprehensive in terms of topics, covering everything from thesis statements to database use and literary analysis. Each topic is introduced and explained; many have brief associated exercises. However, the breadth of topics... read more
This textbook is quite comprehensive in terms of topics, covering everything from thesis statements to database use and literary analysis. Each topic is introduced and explained; many have brief associated exercises. However, the breadth of topics is not matched by depth. In my experience, many of these lessons will require extensive supplementation in the form of videos, additional lectures, in-class exercises and homework. This text does not supply those. The very comprehensiveness of the text actually poses a problem, in fact: information like the definitions of "anapæstic meter" and "vilanelle" pad out the length of the text, but will not be useful for most ELLs.
The material pertaining to writing is absolutely accurate, but fomatting errors lead to some minor errors, such as references to highlighted or underlined phrases which are not.
Most of the context is fairly timeless, such as lists of subordinating coordinators and purposes of academic writing. Some links may need future updating; some advice on research techniques and named databases is likely to change in the future.
Most of my upper-level students would struggle mightily with the prose in this text. It is consistently written at an extremely high academic level. In my opinion, many first-year native speakers of English would struggle with its complexity. It is not that ESL students could not understand individual sentences or paragraphs, but that the cognitive load of wrestling with such complexity would not leave much left over for engaging with the writing tasks. I would strongly suggest that a single author revise the entire text, simplifying and trimming some excessive detail.
Each section is consistent within itself, but from section to section the overall look and style of the book changes. Even from exercise to exercise, the formatting conventions, tone and organization change. For example, in the "Grammar" section, the first topic ("Components of a Sentence") has extensive formal explanations and examples in colorful blocks of text; the second section ("Compound Sentences") has multiple tables and "Key Takeaways;" and the fifth section ("Subject-Verb Agreement") has "Learning Objectives" and sets of "Situations/Examples/Watch Out For" written informally. This variety, again, creates an unnecessarily large cognitive load on students.
The text is highly modular. Each major topic could easily be taken on its own and adapted for an instructor's use. The text is not self-referential at all.
The sequence of topics is logical.
The PDF is clear and without obvious navigation problems. Some tables are oddly spaced, and the fonts are quite small -- if the PDF were printed, it would be difficult to read. The system of headings/subheadings is rudimentary; it's hard to know what chapter or section you are on. There is a link to an online version, which presumably is hyperlinked, but that link was not working as of 1/03/2022.
There are no grammatical errors in the text.
While the text is not offensive, it does not make strong efforts to be culturally relevant. One section refers to an hypothetical student, "Jorge;" one example student essay is an analysis of a Vietnamese author by a Vietnamese student. (Unfortunately, that essay is the weakest of the sample essays.)
This book has great potential as a 101-level composition text. It would be more successful as an ESL/ESOL text if the language was streamlined and simplified and if further exercises were included.
This text is very comprehensive. I will definitely consider adapting this text for the ESL 100, the freshman writing course especially designed for ESL students. In addition to the informational sections on the Writing Process and academic... read more
This text is very comprehensive. I will definitely consider adapting this text for the ESL 100, the freshman writing course especially designed for ESL students. In addition to the informational sections on the Writing Process and academic writing, other helpful content about handling college is also included. There are sections on Annotation, Critical Thinking, and Time Management to name a few. Most of these sections includes links (some links need to be updated) to videos, examples, practice exercises, and other resources. Instructors are free to pick and choose these extra resources to assign to students. There is a good balance throughout the text with writing instruction, grammar, readings, and the additional materials mentioned above; it is truly an integrated skill approach to composition.
The content in the text is accurate, error-free, and unbiased. It is nicely scaffolded throughout the text and provides good, foundational information for college-level students. Although this text is labeled for ESL students, I could see it being utilized for native English speaking students as well.
The content in this text is up-to-date and will continue to be relevant throughout the years. The authors will have to update sections that include MLA information as the 9th edition is published.
This text is written in very clear language that is easily understood and accessible to any college freshman. The terminology used is the consistent with the vocabulary used in academic writing classes.
The information in the text is presented in a clear and consistent fashion. Within most sections the content is organized with clear explanations, models (where appropriate), and exercises to practice. At the end of each section there is a "Key Takeaways" box which reviews and reminds students what was covered in that section. These are great prompts for review and reflection of the main content introduced.
The text is divided into sections that are easy to follow from any point within the text. If any information overlaps or mentioned in multiple sections, there is a link that will take the reader back to the original material. There are clear, easy to follow explanations, many models and examples, and helpful exercises to practice the concepts needed to complete college-level prose. Instructors may choose to teach the materials of the text in order, or pick out sections that are relevant to their situation.
In the text, the topics are presented in a logical, clear manner. The main topics are listed in the Table of Contents and then expands into the more detailed sections. The organization is easy to follow for both student and instructor.
For the most part the text is free of significant interface issues. All content is easily accessible and clear. I did notice, however, in the PDF version of the text, on pages 195 - 197, the Table of Relative Pronouns overlaps Exercise 4 and is on the left side of the following pages. There are also links that do not work and some of the tables are not formatted clearly.
The text is well-written and does not contain any grammatical errors.
The text is culturally neutral is not offensive in any way. Students and instructors will feel comfortable using the materials presented in this text.
This is overall a great writing text that would be appropriate to use in any community college freshman level course. I am seriously considering adapting this text for my advanced level ESL writing classes.
This text is, in many ways, highly comprehensive, so much so, that in the community college where I teach, the material could be used in a number of different courses: Composition 101, Composition 102 (where the emphasis is on research), and,... read more
This text is, in many ways, highly comprehensive, so much so, that in the community college where I teach, the material could be used in a number of different courses: Composition 101, Composition 102 (where the emphasis is on research), and, possibly, several literature courses.
Wonderfully helpful material includes sections on:
anticipating challenges in meeting deadlines/requirements, links to free online student management tools, reading popular/scholarly periodicals, numerous student checklists, workable strategies, checklists for revision, and so forth. Missing was a sample Peer Review Form (although the authors provide a place for the professor to include one of their own).
There is an informative and fun multiple choice student activity for time management style and a link to a time management calculator (This link worked; not all of them do). Another that did was the Alleyoop Advice video (in which a student briefly explains his shock at the need to manage his college-time). Also included is a procrastination checklist and a link to a video on overcoming procrastination. The sock puppet video link not only adds variety to instruction for searching databases, but also shows an actual student puzzling out what to do. However, one should consider an update from their own school librarian so students do not become confused by two different libraries' online research displays.
The book contains an MLA documentation section and a link to the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) site.
A professor might find it necessary to supplement the brief mention of logos and pathos. One might also want a basic grammar handbook (or an online link to one). Nonetheless, the book is fully packed with beneficial writing concepts. (I would give a 5 except for the index and glossary omissions.)
The textbook is accurate and unbiased. However, the authors should change the book’s title as the material is useful to both first and second-year college writing students, especially those in community colleges. Although the reference to advanced ESL students may be correct for the authors themselves, the title may deter non-ESL professors from using the textbook when, indeed, there is much here that they should consider during their book adoption process.
This text should have a long shelf-life, that is, until saving file folders on a computer becomes outdated or MLA initiates another revision; even then, the book would probably only need revision. For now, the explanations to students on file and folder creation and electronic uses (this section could possibly be further expanded in the future) are valuable.
The writing is straightforward, concise, and to the point. The authors’ tone is approachable, friendly, understanding, and practical. One drawback is the lack of illustrations to break up longer blocks of text. However, the illustrations that the book does provide are exceptionally helpful, for one example, the excellent diagram depicting a student’s critical thinking. Another is the Bow-tie drawing to help in understanding how to connect independent clauses. The authors also include handy standard organizational mapping diagrams.
The organization is clear and consistent. Each section begins with an explanation and includes samples as well as exercises. Providing group exercises was a remarkably insightful inclusion, but it is not a consistent feature. There were not enough of them; perhaps more could be added in a future revision.
The book is divided into 5 major sections: The Writing Process, Sentence Structure, Literary Analysis, Critical Thinking and Reading, and Appendices. Each module is self-contained and will work sequentially or independently. The Table of Contents provides a quick link to each part. One need only to insert a number in the search box to locate a particular page. As another reviewer pointed out, there is no index or complete-text glossary; however, the authors have provided a glossary of useful literary terms.
The Sentence Structure (grammar) section is not a replacement for a basic grammar textbook; however, it amply covers the most frequent mistakes first-year writing students need to review (or learn).
Throughout the text and in the appendices, numerous samples of student writing eliminate the need for a professor to unearth their prior students’ work. One disappointment was the failure to provide a research paper with additional and more varied examples of in-text citation.
The section on critical thinking and reading provides clear, thorough instruction with practical exercises that will allow a student to apply critical thinking to practice situations.
Almost perfectly, the organization and structure are tight, and material is appropriately and logically placed. The one exception I found was the placement of code-based text annotation in the critical thinking section. As it is a form of text annotation, it would serve students/professors better if it were included in the earlier annotation section. The critical thinking section could provide a reference and return link to the earlier annotation explanation.
The authors need to revisit the links throughout the text and repair or remove the ones that no longer lead to working online resources. Even though such links often break because of circumstances that the writers cannot control, the failure for these to work could irritate students.
This OER text is free of grammatical mistakes.
The writing and provided materials are neutral. All instruction would be helpful to any college writing student.
This OER textbook provides clear organization. The table of contents is helpful; it carefully breaks down the materials into logical chunks that are helpful to both the students and the instructor. The material included is scaffolded logically and... read more
This OER textbook provides clear organization. The table of contents is helpful; it carefully breaks down the materials into logical chunks that are helpful to both the students and the instructor. The material included is scaffolded logically and moves clearly to build upon student learning in the previous section. There is a good balance between writing, grammar, and reading which is vital to a solid AESL textbook at the community college level.
The content in the book is accurate. The book provides scaffolded information about writing, grammar, and reading. These topics not only provide the foundational knowledge, but also provide helpful exercises. These exercises could be included in the course by the instructor, or an instructor could just encourage the students to do the exercises for extra practice. They are relevant to content in the chapter for which they are found.
The information is clear, current, and necessary. The information is streamlined. It is clearly written to meet the academic language needs of an advanced AESL class at the community college. The information is straightforward, clearly written, and understandable.
The content and exercises are clear. It provides both information as a reference text and as an exercise book. This is helpful as few books can balance both areas.
The text is consistent. The organization, pattern, terminology, and information is clearly outlined. The pattern is followed throughout so that the reading is clear and usable.
100%! This textbook can be used as the sole text for a course, or it could be used in combination with other resources. The chapters are clear and broken down by how many AESL faculty members might scaffold assignments for the class. The text in each section is manageable and includes thoughtful exercises to help the students clarify their understanding.
The organization is idea. The information is clearly broken down in a logical manner for both the student and instructor.
The interface (web and PDF) work well. There are no glitches. The book has no issues and the information flows cleanly between sections and content.
No grammatical errors are noted at this time.
The information is culturally sensitive and can be used with AESL students.
This text is designed to cover basic academic writing and does so by approaching the types of writing that will be expected of a college student. Although, the introduction states that the book is for ESL students, the book includes basics that... read more
This text is designed to cover basic academic writing and does so by approaching the types of writing that will be expected of a college student. Although, the introduction states that the book is for ESL students, the book includes basics that all college students need to prepare for academic writing. The text starts with the writing process and guides the student through step by step by providing examples and exercises to complete. Once an understanding of the writing process is complete, the text introduces the topics of sentence structure and writing categories such as literary analysis. However, the text does lack navigational tools such as an index or glossary to help students locate information by subject.
The content of the text is based on current writing standards and presented in a biased free manner.
The text is relevant to today's writing standards and written in a way that updates will be easy to implement. The authors did not add any current pop references that would shortly be out dated. Instead, they used balanced examples which will not become antiquated.
The text is in lucid, accessible prose designed for an advanced ESL student which also allows easy accessibility to a beginning college student. The student will not need the exercises to understand the material, therefore, the exercises build on the information provided.
The text format is consistent between chapters except for two sections. Each chapter contains easy to understand instructions and then exercises for the student to complete. The two exceptions do not provide exercises for the student to complete.
The strength of this text lies in the way the modules are set up. A teacher could take out one section and utilize it in a lesson without a problem. While the chapters are arranged to build on each other, they are not dependent on each other.
The topics in the text were presented in a clear logical manner which begins with the writing process, the biggest section of the book. The three sections following the writing process, present skills needed during the writing process. The organization is simple and easy to follow with each chapter building on one another.
While the interface is a simple PDF, there are a few problems that could confuse the reader. For instance, the instructions will say, “the thesis sentence is underlined” however, no sentence is underlined. There are also dead links inside the book, as well as, coding instructions which appear in the book which indicate a document should be embedded. Also, the lack of navigational tools means the reader has to scroll through the PDF to find the information needed.
This text is free of grammatical errors but does have a couple of words capitalized that should not be.
The stated audience for this book is advanced ESL students but the information provided pertains to every college student taking a college composition class. The information is presented without any cultural material, making the information neutral based.
As a teacher, I am always concerned if my students actually read the books assigned. This text offers a simple solution. The authors designed the exercises to rely on the knowledge presented in the reading thus providing the instructor an easy way to judge if the student has read the material by assigning the exercises included.
Table of Contents
- I. The Writing Process
- II. Sentence Structure
- III. Literary Analysis
- IV. Critical Thinking and Reading
About the Book
This book has been created to provide a framework for building your skills in writing and critical thinking. It provides access to published samples from professional authors along with essay drafts from ESL students who have polished their skills in their respective writing courses.
The themes in the readings will give you a variety of topics to discuss with your classmates, which may inspire your own deeper thinking and writing. Overall, we hope that as you proceed through these chapters, you will build confidence and develop your voice in the classroom and beyond.
Welcome to the world of academic writing!
About the Contributors