Publisher: Self-Published, 2015
Cover Design and Interior Illustrations: Hann Lindahl
Purchase Book: 2.99 eBook, 9.99 Paper
Note: I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Catherine Prendergast has been teaching writing, and writing about teaching writing, for a while now. But she’s only grown in her irreverence as time has passed.
Can I Use I?: Because I Hate Hate Hate College Writing is a short book (130 pages, print), but it has a big goal: to demystify the freshman college writing course for incoming students.
It accomplishes this goal using a three-part technique. First, it breaks down college writing challenges into what I’m guessing are the most common student questions that Prendergast has received over the years. Each one of these questions gets a chapter. Second, the book pulls back the curtain on what writing professors are thinking, providing insights into the minds of the real people who are assigning college writing. Third, the book draws analogies with non-writing activities or events to help new writers understand what exactly is going on in the writing class and what they should be doing.
This is a magical combination. Answering the most common questions derived over decades of experience, providing professor insights, and connecting college writing to students’ experience outside of the classroom makes for effective and entertaining reading. Let me give you an example.