how to write cover

Betty Draper Needed a Hobby

The New How to Write for Homemakers
2nd Ed
Richardson and Callahan
1962

Submitter: To say that this book is dated is an understatement. Its gender bias is clear, if implicit. Chapters begin with metaphors likening writing and rhetoric to putting on a dress or following a recipe. The only explicit reference to a man shows him grilling at a barbecue. To be fair, though, the book does offer some reasonable advice on writing and rhetoric. For example, an unappetizing photograph of pineapple in jello does make a few valid points about visual rhetoric. Of course, we would better serve our patrons by providing a contemporary work over this.

How to Write a Great School Report - cover

How to Write a Great School Report

How to Write a Great School Report
James and Barkin
1983

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?