Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary
The book description and the contents don’t entirely align. The textbook is almost exclusively about planning and creating written communications. The final part touches on some general professional communication topics and there is a good section on audiences but, overall, the text is primarily focused on producing written documents. If the description and title of the textbook were clearer on that focus, I could rate this more highly, as it does do a comprehensive job of tackling the complexity of writing in a business context.
The text does not contain an index or glossary.
Comprehensiveness Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased
Content is accurate and well-curated.
Content Accuracy Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement
The content is up-to-date. The modularization of the content would allow for easy updating.
Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used
The text is well-written. The language is easy to follow and understand and feels very friendly and supportive.
Clarity Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework
Consistent terminology and frameworks were used throughout.
Consistency Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.
The text is very modular with minimal internal referencing. Each part can be considered separate from each other part and could be provided in any order.
Some areas do mention things like “because this is a business writing class …” which does limit where and how the text could be used.
Modularity Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion
The higher-level Parts are presented in a clear order, but within the first part, there doesn’t seem to be a clear structure. For example, the book opens with 1.1 Learning to Write. This comes before 1.2 Elements of Communication. A foundational understanding of what communication is would be more helpful before diving into one specific form of communication. An introduction to the text would be helpful to provide the context to the reader about the intent and goal of the text.
Organization Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader
The text has some formatting issues that reduce readability, like inconsistent paragraph spacing and overly long paragraphs. I noticed that in some tables the paragraph breaks were missing, leading to difficult-to-read parts (example – section 3.5). But overall, the usability is fine.
Interface Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The text contains no grammatical errors
I didn’t notice any errors.
Grammar Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds
The author makes an attempt to use names from a variety of language and occasionally references Indigenous cultures and content, which is an important component in a text, particularly in a Canadian context. I see some areas for improvement but no more than any other current text.
Cultural Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?
As a book on professional communication, no, I wouldn’t recommend it as it doesn’t have the appropriate breadth in it. However, as a professional writing text, or a business writing text, absolutely I would recommend it as a good reference text. The content is curated very well and is written in clear language that students would respond to.