Saturday, August 26, 2017

Incredible textbook confusion

First issue: LaunchPad

Here's the thing about LaunchPad. I still love the content, and wish it would work, but to get exercises, etc., to open requires an awkward work-around. I showed the whole thing to a young friend  (who happens to be employed as a computer IT expert) and asked if he would use this program. He replied "No way!"

The publisher has said (and I hope they are right) that the version with the LaunchPad card costs the same as the one without, so there's no point in digging around to get the "without" of the textbook. We just won't open those cards.

Of course, if you bought the stand-alone card, you should return it to the bookstore.

Which version?

The book I hope you will buy looks like this. 

It's the one I used when I set up the reading assignments and the page numbers.

A word or two about textbook versions

Textbooks go through several versions, and sometimes they need to. MLA documentation standards changed, so a new version was necessary. English usage changes, and that makes a new version necessary sometimes too. The problem here is that a new version makes it impossible to sell an old one back to the bookstore.

You don't want to sell this book anyhow. It's the kind of reference you will need for the next four years, and the changes in grammar and usage are likely to be small. (Which spelling is acceptable: all right or alright? If we are pluralizing CPA, do we use an apostrophe? What about they as a generic singular pronoun?)

The kind of person who will read your writing (teachers and prospective employers) tend to be somewhat conservative anyhow, so cutting-edge grammar changes will not fly with them.

OK—there is a new version

This is awkward. The publisher announced that another one will pop out in mid-September, but I've been working on this course for a couple of months, and it wasn't available to me. I didn't even find out about it until today. (Why would they come up with a new version just after the semester starts? That's insane!) If you do happen to get the newer version from Amazon or somewhere, you can probably find the readings by using the section numbers I've published in the syllabus.