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- This book works well with the syllabus movement from narrative to academic writing. It emphasizes continuities rather than discontinuities between the two.
- It maintains a cultural focus, which will make the transition to CO150 smoother for students (as long as we're using a cultural syllabus for CO150).
- It has the advantage of combining a number of great readings (including many that would apply to the education focus suggested in the syllabus) with a fairly useful rhetoric and even some exercises instructors could use in class (on revision, contextual choices, etc.).
- Colombo, Lisle and Mano introduce students to academic writing without sounding condescending. They treat academic writing as one form of discourse (rather than the "best" form), talk a good deal about students' own (and other) discourse communities, and highlight some of the reasons why the "rules" students are taught in high school don't work as well in college. This last, in particular, seems to me to work really well: it acknowledges the rules without blaming either the school or the student for their lack of fit at the college level.
- There are some great sections on writing process, including a section on paragraphing that actually makes sense. The authors don't teach "rules"; instead, they encourage writers to consider a number of factors (including context and audience) in making their own decisions.
- They also include student samples and examples of multiple drafts to show revision.