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Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences



Technical Writing : Process and Product (5th Edition) by Sharon Gerson, Steven Gerson (Prentice Hall) guides users through the entire writing process—prewriting, writing, and rewriting—developing an easy-to-use, step-by-step technique for creating the types of documents they will encounter on the job. The authors' conversational style engages students in the writing process and encourages hands-on application. The book discusses ethics, audience identification, electronic communication, and the role of technical writing in the workplace. For anyone who needs to compose written presentations—and especially those who have no formal training in doing so.

Excerpt: Unit 1: Defining Technical Writing

In this section of the book, we lay the foundation for good technical writing.

NEW—Chapter 1 ("An Introduction to Technical Writing") has been signif­icantly revised. In this chapter, you will find the following: A Writing at Work scenario provides a context for technical writing. We then define technical writ­ing and discuss its importance. This chapter emphasizes teamwork, twenty-first-century business management philosophies, conflict resolution in team meetings, and strategies for successful collaboration.

Chapter 2 ("Producing the Product") explains why process—prewriting, writing, and rewriting—will improve your correspondence. We discuss the ra­tionale for the writing process and supply an example of this process in practice.

NEW to this second chapter, we emphasize the recursive nature of the writ­ing process. The writing process is dynamic, with the three parts (prewriting, writing, and rewriting) often occurring simultaneously. The following visual aid is used throughout the book to highlight this fact.

NEW to Chapter 2, we also provide a visual overview of the different types of prewriting techniques discussed throughout the textbook. In addition, this chapter explains the benefits and challenges of communication channels, includ­ing e-mail, handheld computers, cell phones, Microsoft PowerPoint, and more.

  • Chapter 3 ("Objectives in Technical Writing") provides a detailed discussion of five major objectives in successful technical writing: clarity, conciseness, ac-curacy, organization, and ethics.

  • NEW to this chapter, we focus on how technology affects conciseness. In ad­dition, we update "Ethical Principles for Technical Communicators."

  • Chapter 4 ("Audience Recognition and Involvement") teaches how to com­municate with different levels of audience and focuses on the importance of def­inition, multiculturalism, biased language, and personalization.

  • NEW to Chapter 4, we discuss the need to understand diversity—age, gender, culture, and religion—and avoid biased language.

  • NEW to this chapter, we emphasize the challenges to multicultural and cross-cultural communication.


  • Unit 2: Correspondence

  • How do you get a job? Once you have found employment, what types of writ­ing will you perform on the job? This unit helps you answer these questions.

  • NEW to Chapter 5 ("Memos and E-mail"), we combine our discussions of memos and e-mail. This chapter provides criteria for successful memos and e-mail messages, samples, and a process log.

  • NEW to this chapter, we update the importance of e-mail and help you over-come challenges presented by electronic communication.

  • Chapter 6 ("Letters") provides criteria and examples for many different types of letters.

  • Chapter 7 ("The Job Search") helps you find employment, write a resume, send a resume, write a letter of application, and interview effectively. NEW to this chapter, we discuss new ways to look for jobs.

  • NEW—Chapter 7 also discusses new methods of resume delivery (mail ver­sions, Web resumes, e-mail resumes, and ASCII resumes).

  • NEW to this chapter, you will learn how to write an e-mail cover message to preface your resume attachment.


  • Unit 3: Visual Appeal

  • Effective technical communication is visual as well as verbal. We clarify the re­lationship between words and graphics in this unit.

  • Chapter 8 ("Document Design") explains various ways to create an effective page layout.

  • Chapter 9 ("Graphics") focuses on tables and figures.

  • These two chapters provide you numerous examples to help you improve the visual appeal of your correspondence.


  • Unit 4: Technical Applications

  • Unit 4 illustrates how to effectively write technical documents that combine text and visual aids. These include fliers, brochures, newsletters, technical descrip­tions, and user manuals.

  • Chapter 10 ("Fliers, Brochures, and Newsletters") emphasizes the uses of these types of correspondence, as well as organizational techniques, content, de-sign elements, and usability testing.

  • Chapters 11 and 12 present different types of technical writing, the types of com­munication that usually accompany manufactured products and corporate services.

  • Chapter 11 ("Technical Descriptions") discusses how to write specifications for mechanisms, tools, and pieces of equipment.

  • Chapter 12 ("Instructions and User Manuals") explains how to write the in­structions and manuals that show customers how to use or operate the equipment they have purchased.


  • Unit 5: Electronic Communication

  • The focus in this unit shifts to online help and Web sites.

  • NEW to Chapter 13 ("Online Help and Web Sites"), we define characteris­tics of the online e-reader and ways in which online communication differs from the printed page. We discuss effective online highlighting techniques and Web site criteria. You will find examples of successful Web pages with call-outs.

  • Unit 6: Report Strategies

  • As the name of this unit implies, we discuss a wide variety of report options, in­cluding research, summaries, short reports, proposals, and oral communication.

  • Chapter 14 ("Research") teaches you how to find and document information.

  • NEW to this chapter, we provide sample Works Cited and Reference pages to clarify the differences between MLA and APA formats. We also update docu­mentation formats.

  • Chapter 15 ("The Summary") shows you how to abstract information for meetings and briefings.

  • Chapter 16 ("Reports") discusses the similarities and differences among various short reports, including trip reports, progress reports, lab reports, feasibility/ recommendation reports, incident reports, investigative reports, and meeting minutes.

  • NEW to this chapter, we add investigative reports and meeting minutes. We also give multiple examples of how these reports will be used in various professions.

  • Chapter 17 ("Proposals") focuses on the criteria for writing effective internal and external proposals.

  • NEW to this chapter, we provide a sample internal proposal. NEW—Chapter 18 ("Oral Communication") has been completely revised. It now contains instruction on the following:

  • Conducting Everyday Oral Communication

  • Tips for Using the Telephone and Voice Mail

  • Making Informal Oral Presentations

  • Tips for Teleconferences and Videoconferences

  • Making Formal Oral Presentations

  • Creating PowerPoint Presentations

  • Using the Writing Process for Oral Communication

  • Using Effective Visual Aids in Oral Presentations

  • Unit 7: Handbook

Chapter 19 ("Grammar, Punctuation, Mechanics, and Spelling") provides you rules and regulations for correct writing.

Teaching Children Science: Discovery Methods for the Elementary and Middle Grades, Second Edition by Joseph Abruscato (Pearson Allyn & Bacon) Teaching Children Science: Discovery Activities and Demonstrations for the Elementary and Middle Grades, Second Edition by Joseph Abruscato (Pearson Allyn & Bacon) Intended for both pre-service and practicing teachers, Teaching Children Science presents contemporary ideas in a motivating, engaging writing style that captivates future classroom teachers and enhances instruction in the science classroom.
This text offers the first nine basic science teaching methods chapters highlighting strategies and techniques teachers need in order to incorporate cooperative learning, questioning and active listening in their classrooms. This truncated paperback volume is composed of strategies and techniques for teaching science derived from the Sixth Edition of Joseph Abruscato's successful comprehensive text, Teaching Children Science: A Discovery Approach.

Allow your students to “discover” science through this practical text.

New to This Edition:

With a renewed focus on the NSE content standards, this text provides clear direction of what teachers need to know to be prepared for the classroom.

Continued strength in pedagogy guides students' springboard into discovery. Features such as “A Look Ahead,” “Go Further,” “Quick Checks,” and “Demonstrations” provide students with tangible suggestions to bring into the classroom.

The Ultimate Girls' Guide to Science: From Backyard Experiments to Winning the Nobel Prize! by Beth Caldwell Hoyt, Erica Ritter (Beyond Words Publishing) Many young girls dream of becoming an astronaut, a doctor, an archaeologist, only to lose that dream by high school. The Ultimate Girls' Guide to Science shows girls that it's okay, even cool, to love science. Each chapter focuses on a particular science discipline, and includes these features: famous women scientists in history, such as Hypathia, Marie Curie, and Mae Jamison; easy at-home experiments to try; quotes from girls who tell why they love science; amazing science factoids; mini-bios of young girl scientists; and resources for more information on science topics and organizations. The Ultimate Girls' Guide to Science shows its readers they are not alone in their interests and that science is not just a "boy thing." From the chemistry of baking a scrumptious chocolate cake to learning more about animal biology, there is a type of science out there that every girl can love. Photographs and illustrations are featured in this inspiring treasure trove of information for girls about science.

Not another collection of the same old science experiments for kids -- this book is fresh and hip! Each chapter is devoted to a different area of science and includes an overview of that field, including how it applies to everyday life, what careers it could lead to if pursued, a spotlight on an important female scientist that exceled in it, and, yes, experiments and other opportunities to learn and have fun with it, too.

There's a fantastic section at the end to cure the "where do I go from here" blues, pointing towards great resources, including many specifically geared towards girls. This book is well-organized and consistent -- it's for every girl, whether she knows she loves Science or not!

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