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Basically, I find that students seem to flourish when a class (and a textbook) regularly comes back to explicitly stated themes, and the book didn't necessarily have those.They were there (audience, genre, etc.), but they weren't really up-played in a way that students will definitely get. In addition to the mix of genres that it discusses, the book is also effective in its coverage of different aspects of writing such as audience, context, ethics, etc.
Almost none of the content has references to original sources, and far too little theory is made explicit.
Too much of the writing is chatty and conversational to provide a model of technical writing for university students.
It is not at the cutting edge of technical writing technologies or software, but it is the sort of book that would have (and probably has) helped students a decade ago and will still be useful in another decade owing to its coverage of general topics and its emphasis on writing fundamentals.
The book seems to have been designed for modular use, and indeed that is how I plan to use it in my future classes.
As I mentioned above, the book starts by covering genres with relative swiftness, then it digs into essential writing topics, and then it covers larger genres in more detail.
It ends with a section on "Thinking About Writing" that is pretty clearly designed for more advanced readers, and I think that's an effective choice.In addition to the mix of genres that it discusses, the book is also effective in its coverage of different aspects of writing such as audience, context, ethics, etc.The book is relevant in a way that seems sustainable.The way that the book starts with a quick reference guide to genres and then moves into the big-picture writing theory is evidence that the writers want the book to be immediately useful.The book's organization seems maximally effective for teachers and students.The first section includes both platforms and genres.However, currently relevant platforms like Twitter are excluded from this section. Later chapters jump between concepts and genres with no obvious logic to the order.Still, again, this is a very strong book and I plan to redesign my future Technical Writing class with it.The book is offered in various formats, and they aren't parallel.It's hard to remember where you are as you navigate.I did not locate a glossary or index, and the book is not fully searchable in the web-native version because all sections can't be expanded onto one screen.