Top critical review
14 people found this helpful
World's Worst Textbook
on July 16, 2006
I teach developmental writing at a local community college. My department decided on this book long before I started teaching there. I've found the grammar section of this book useless. anytime I have ever assigned a chapter for my students to read from it, they all complained in unison that it was "boring, too broad, and way too confusing." There is not a single note in the entire text about how to combine sentences using subordination, coodination, or relative pronouns, much less how to punctuate them.
With the writing section, there is one decent chapter on how to write a thesis statement. The chapters on the individual rhetorical patterns, on the other hand, present students with two student models and a professional essay, but no explanation or exercises on how to actually write an illustrative or descriptive or definition essay. As a result, I am a slave to the copy machine. Since I am required to make my students buy this useless book, I photocopy material for students to use to initially help them learn the material. I then use the material from Langan's as additional practice, just so students don't feel like they wasted valuable money.
Even the companion website is a pain. I thought of using the companion website for my students, but I found it particularly confusing to get around. In addition, it is next to impossible for me me to assign anything from the website because nothing can be printed, emailed, or pasted.