Thursday, September 01, 2005

Textbooks

I have just found a feature I wish I had had in all of my textbooks. At the beginning of every chapter, except the first, there is a textbox that says, "to understand the concepts in this chapter, you need to know" and then lists the things discussed in previous chapters and page numbers where they can be found. It is my second favorite textbook feature. My first favorite is term definitions in the margins, particularly if they are complicated terms, for example "Communism", in which case they can put references to other pages on which other aspects of the concept are discussed, for example, "Communism: historical theory. Page 131." and "Communism: social class. Page 258." Most of the extra textbook features are a waste of space, and thus, a waste of my textbook money. The student who, for example, has the initiative to look up Zanzibarian widget production is not the student who needs help finding said information. Leave stuff like "for additional reading", "Find us on the web", etc., in the teacher's edition and give me a cheap textbook.

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