Anatomy of a Textbook

Survey Sheet for a Textbook

  1. What is the title?
  2. What do you already know about the subject as stated in the title?
  3. What is the copyright date?  Why is this important?
  4. Read the table of contents and list the major divisions or parts in the book.
  5. Is the book organized chronologically, topically, or does it follow some other organizational plan?
  6. Make three predictions about what you can expect to learn in the rest of this book.
  7. Ask one question you would like answered.
  8. Read the introduction and preface.  Who is the author, and what do you now know about him or her?  Mention qualifications and background, biases, unusual approach, or any other information about the author you find in the introduction or preface.
  9. List three items of useful information in the preface or introduction that will help you read the book.
  10. Look at the first chapter of the book.  What is its title?
  11. How are the chapters organized?  What do they contain?
  12. Look at the last chapter of the book.  What is its title?  Why do you think the author decided to place it last?
  13. Look to see whether there is an index, glossary, or other built-in aids to help you read the book.  List these aids.
  14. Assume you have just been asked to describe this book in fifty words or less.  What would you say about it?
  15. Is your name written in the textbook?
  16. What is your instructor's name?