Submitter: From a large public library that recently weeded the 800s/authorship how to’s. This had circed in the last 5 years, which is surprising considering that these “true confessions” magazines don’t really exist as a phenomenon anymore (though at least one of them is still around, although in a less lurid version: http://www.truerenditionsllc.com)
Here’s a great collection of covers of confessional magazines from their heyday, for those readers who don’t recall the genre:
Holly: This book is basically “how to write click bait” for the 80s.
How to Write a Great School Report
James and Barkin
Submitter: We found this on the shelves at our public library this year, and kept it as an example for staff. The sections on how to find information in a physical card catalog, and how to format a paper – handwritten in cursive; would not be particularly helpful to students writing a report today. The instructions are pre-Internet, so a number of problems if a student today tried to use it for a reference.
Holly: Oh good, just what our high school and college patrons need! Never mind those pesky library databases that we spend thousands on, and don’t bother with word processing software either. Heck, changes in citation styles are probably just “suggestions” too. What could possibly go wrong if a student uses this for report-writing help?
The last bullet point on the back cover (see below) reminds me of some of my college literature classes. Readers looking for hidden sexist and racist messages in your writing will find it, whether you intended to put it there or not. I remember some class discussions where all kinds of crazy theories came out and I never got it. “You got that from this??” There was also a sassy retired lady in a book club Mary once ran who could find a sexual reference in ANYTHING.
This might have been a handy book in the late ’80s, but it is sorely out of date now. I think the key is the phrase “Today’s Teens” in the subtitle.