First Friday Book Synopsis

"…like CliffNotes on steroids…"

Wild Textbook Format Should Resonate With Young Adult Students

In addition to serving as President of my performance intervention business in Dallas, Creative Communication Network, I also teach part-time in the College of Business MBA program at the University of Dallas, and for two community colleges in the Dallas County Community College District.

I thought the format of one of the books that we have adopted at Brookhaven Community College for the freshman course in Speech Communication is quite revolutionary.  The book is entitled Think Communication, authored by Isa N. Engleberg and Dianna R. Wynn (Allyn & Bacon, 2011).

This is a 4-color, ultra-glossy book, that looks more like an oversized magazine.  The  pages are 8 1/2 x 11″ in portrait format.  It is 386 pages long.  It is “snazzy” with a busy, nontraditional format on each page, with different and striking headers.  The book also links to a web site for interactive exercises and reflections (

You are probably thinking this book sounds very expensive.  In fact, I have seen some accounting textbooks that are 4-color run more than $350.  You will be as shocked as I am to find that the book is only $57, and on, sells for just $45.

The book should be a major hit for Generation Y and Z college students.  Each page looks just like they are used to on computer and television screens.  The pages are busy, filled with format that changes as they go through a chapter.

This book is part of a larger series that all have the same format.  There are books for courses in government, psychology, sociology, public relations, human sexuality, and critical thinking.

We are just now starting to use this book in the fall 2011 term.  I am interested to see how students like it, and more importantly, if it results in higher test and course grades.

How do you react to this?

Let’s talk about it really soon

Thursday, August 25, 2011 Posted by | Karl's blog entries | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reporting Numerical Results – A Book that Works

If you work with statistics, one of the great challenges that you may have faced is how to write up results in a coherent and efficient manner.

Here is a great source for you!  This book is a short, comprehensive, and invaluable resource:   From Numbers to Words by Susan E. Morgan, Tom Reichert, and Tyler R. Harrison (Allyn & Bacon, 2002).

While I can assure you we will never present a book like this at the First Friday Book Synopsis,  because it would induce sleep – for anyone who worries over how to present findings from a statistical test in a written report, this is a crown jewel.

The book covers practically every possible statistical test.  For each, you will learn what to report, the key syntax, and the suggested format.  The book includes excerpts from articles that have used the statistic.

And, it does all this in 125 pages!

As part of my responsibilities as an adjunct professor in the College of Business at the University of Dallas, I teach MBA students a course in Research Methods.  How to write up statistical results is the most frustrating and time-consuming endevaor they face.  I have now required this book for the past two terms, and have seen great results.

I commend it to you – if you are a numbers-person.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 Posted by | Karl's blog entries | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment



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