Conditions of Use
This WR 121 textbook covers all relevant aspects of the writing process for writers at this level and includes critical discussions of every skill that students who need to pass this course as part of the statewide degree requirements. One area... read more
This WR 121 textbook covers all relevant aspects of the writing process for writers at this level and includes critical discussions of every skill that students who need to pass this course as part of the statewide degree requirements. One area that perhaps seems a little light is the section on research, but this is often (in the experience of this reviewer) the kind of workshop that is offered by college libraries and/or study skills centers. Given the extensive coverage of all other important aspects of, well, writing as inquiry, criticisms like this do not take away from the overall usefulness of the textbook. This is an outstanding textbook.
The book does a good job of maintaining a neutral stance on issues that could potentially be divisive, while still emphasizing the importance of becoming critical readers and thinkers. One hopes this is one of the, if not the, most important lessons WR 121 students will take away from the course.
The topics and suggestions for writing practice here are timeless (even they don't dwell on Aristotle), but some examples (e.g. the emphasis on "discourse communities") are somewhat older ideas in composition studies. Again, this is more of an observation than a criticism. This reviewer actually thinks "discourse communities" is a more appropriate way of discussing the acts of writing that take place in social context as opposed to discussions of "stakeholders" that hint at the corporatization of college writing. One element that is appreciated is the explanation of how WR 121 courses relate to the writing processes explained in the book.
This is refreshingly succinct and to-the-point. It seems like the kind of textbook that students might actually read in its entirety rather than tuning out as jargon and superfluous examples pile up. This is probably the greatest strength of this textbook compared to others this reviewer has read and used in their courses. All terms are introduced, defined, embodied in examples, and then used in practical questions for developing writers in an easy-to-follow style.
Despite this being cobbled together by multiple authors and different OER texts, there is an overall feeling of consistency that this reviewer wouldn't have questioned had they not gone back and read the preface more closely. Nothing seems over or under the heads of WR 121 students. The "key takeaways" that start to appear in later chapters would have been welcome in earlier ones as well.
The chapters are all an appropriate length and could be easily chunked out for a ten week course. The layout and design helps readers follow the key ideas and build on skills gained in previous chapters. It does seem intended to be linear, but, one more time, that's not a criticism. Students should benefit from something that successfully allows for scaffolding as this textbook does.
See above on modularity, but, just to be clear, this is very tightly organized. Its brevity and linear nature are strengths. One hates to use hackneyed phrases such as "less is more" (especially when the book advises against it), but that's true here. Too many commercial writing textbooks tend to present so much information that students could get overwhelmed or bored. Not here. The learning objectives at the beginning of each chapter and templates provided for activities (e.g. peer review in Chapter 5) seem like they would be valuable to students.
There are no problems here, possibly because there aren't many images or other multimedia. This may be one of the few aspects of the text that this reviewer wishes was different. The "Project Runway" in Chapter 3 example is one where the authors seem to have put multiple modes to good use. More like this would be welcome. This reviewer always seems to dislike the left-hand navigation systems, but one can also work their way through the section content using the links at the bottom of the relevant pages.
No issues were found. Perhaps because this content has gone through various hands in different versions has helped scrubbed it clean.
The text does a good job of using diverse sources as examples for how to quote and summarize sources or synthesizing perspectives without pushing one specific ideological agenda in a state that is ideologically divided and could therefore alienate some students.
This is the second time this reviewer has come across a book in this library that they will likely adopt. Free is great, but brief and excellent and greater. Five stars.
I could use this text for freshman composition. What is holding me back is not the title, which has UO (the university name) in it, but the numerous mentions to that specific college and how they do things in the chapters themselves. I teach 90%... read more
I could use this text for freshman composition. What is holding me back is not the title, which has UO (the university name) in it, but the numerous mentions to that specific college and how they do things in the chapters themselves. I teach 90% of what's covered in here. I would prefer a more "generic" text in terms of referencing specific depts, colleges, campuses, and processes. I realize this book was designed for use on that campus. But it's in the U of M OER database, which made me hopeful that I could adopt it for a future class.
Yes to accuracy of subject matter.
The peer review template is pretty simplistic and doesn't direct students how/where to find areas to suggest improvement.
No real grammar/sentence structure instruction in this text; you'd need to use other materials to instruct in those areas.
Good initial focus on reading comprehension, which is key in first year English and in higher ed generally. Competency in reading skills translates into every college course since students must read their textbooks and assigned materials.
Great chapter (4C) on writing paragraphs. Also super section on summary/paraphrase/quote and the when, how, why of them.
I would use the synthesis writing chapter and its exercises--those would stand the test of time.
I really prefer a textbook with MLA style and tools/instruction built in, but that would age this OER quickly. Instead, they offer basic advice and links to the various national guides for MLA, APA, CMS, etc.
Use of rhetorical triangle is good, but shifts in terminology make this section less standard or classic. For ex, context replaces author/persona/ethos.
I suggest using synonyms and alt terms whenever possible to make this material more teachable by a wide range of educators.
ICE acronym is good, though it skips the need for a quote tag and the quote itself, as the Intro part is a sentence that preps reader for the quote.
Mark up is what this text calls annotating. Please include/use the term annotate as well. Help teachers and students come at the same skill from different backgrounds, by providing multiple ways it might be called or labeled.
Very readable and focused on first year skills in comp.
Yes, it's possible to pull out and teach/use certain sections.
I feel like the research component (and teaching of 3 levels of sources) comes before "how to write a college essay." That seems opposite of most syllabi.
But it doesn't matter--I'd just assign or think about the chapters differently.
It could be easier to scroll through---in the e Book format. I could not get the right slide bar to work with the text in any browser.
I had to use my top toolbar's up and down buttons to move from page to page. Sort of PDF style, minus the ability to jump pages with the slide bar.
I didn't find any issues.
Limited illustrations, but that is an opportunity to offer more DEI.
I would use it! Just prefer that some terminology be more universalized or standardized--via offering 2-3 terms to explain a concept like mark-up or ethos.
For an entry level 101 class, it does cover and explain all areas and ideas need to prompt a student's writing process. read more
For an entry level 101 class, it does cover and explain all areas and ideas need to prompt a student's writing process.
Some may consider a few of the references dated.
Yes, I consider it to be error free and unbiased.
This guide is very thought out especially for the level of college freshmen that entering higher education. I feel this is a non-threatening approach and easy to follow book that could very simply be used as a guide while they are writing.
Clarity is one of this book's strengths in my opinion. Examples are easy to understand and the fact that the student could literally answer the questions provided by the book to begin to write an essay makes it very user friendly.
It is very consistent throughout. Process is easy to follow regardless of the topic being introduce or explained. Strength is providing definitions to unfamiliar words the student may not know yet they will not ask for meaning.
Yes, modularity is what makes it so appealing. I feel new freshmen or those students whose writing skills are not well developed, could easily use this without being lost/confused. The small chapters almost replicate a power point in which the student could easily reference.
While reading the book, I could visualize a student with the textbook on one side of them and composing the paper on the other.
The organization demonstrates simplicity and clarity.
Those charts that were included were very basic yet served their purpose. Also supported enhanced understanding.
I did not notice any grammatical errors.
I found no evidence of cultural insensitivity. However, realistically, I feel someone could pull something out of nothing.
I teach in the unusual field of equine studies, and I have thought seriously about adopting this book for several of my classes. I require journal entries, article reviews and some research papers. I feel this would be a great non-threatening guide for them to follow.
Table of Contents
- Preface: Writing for College
- Thanks, Acknowledgements, and Attribution
- Chapter One: Introduction to Writing as a Process of Inquiry
- Chapter Two: Contexts for Writing
- Chapter Three: Critical Reasoning and Inquiry
- Chapter Four: Composing Academic Essays
- Chapter Five: The Writing Process
- About the Authors
About the Book
Welcome to our creative commons OER (open educational resource) for Writing 121 at the University of Oregon. This resource is designed for students to be a zero-cost, high-quality guide to academic writing, with the goal of preparing you for success in college and beyond.
About the Contributors
Kara Clevinger is an award-winning instructor who has taught college writing for twenty years. She earned her Ph.D. in English from Temple University and currently teaches in the Composition Program at the University of Oregon. She enjoys working individually with students to help them craft their unique voice and develop confidence in their writing. She lives in Eugene where she enjoys running, biking, hiking, playing tennis, and roller skating.
Stephen Rust, Ph.D. teaches in the Composition Program at the University of Oregon. He taught high school English from 1999-2005 and has taught college writing ever since. He presents regularly at conferences on such topics as assessment, online pedagogy, race and gender, and ecocomposition. He also teaches cinema studies and has co-edited four books on environmental media studies.