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Hugh Robertson
Toronto, McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1993. 90pp, paper, $9.35
ISBN 0-075514184. CIP

Subject Heading:
Report writing.

Grades 7-11 / Ages 12-16

Reviewed by Janet McKinlay

Volume 21 Number 6
1993 November

College instructor Hugh Robertson has written a delightful book on preparing both the report and the essay. He has successfully targeted the junior high school grades--the straightforward text and the humorous illustrations will definitely appeal to this age group.

The Project Book is well organized, using headings, subheadings, charts, diagrams and many examples. The format includes generous white space, leaving room for notes and keeping the pages clean and easy to read. The black-and-white illustrations, in cartoon form, are contemporary, clever and reflect our multicultural society. They greatly enhance the text. The table of contents is very detailed and so an index is not provided. There is, though, a glossary at the end. The book, in keeping with its contemporary presentation, is produced on acid-free recycled paper.

Robertson covers, in a step-by-step manner, the preparation and presentation of a report, an essay and a comparative essay. He clearly presents the research process, emphasizing the importance of using the library, gathering information from a variety of sources, and preparing a well-organized and useful set of notes. Detailed instructions on the preparation of a variety of outlines are contained in each section.

The author also provides hints on style (including avoiding sexist language) and on using a computer to prepare the report or essay. An appendix touches on how to give oral and multimedia presentations as well as using maps, charts and graphs. Robertson uses wonderful analogies to stress the nature of the research process. The resulting combination of text and illustrations is both fun and informative.

This item would be useful as a student text to be used in conjunction with social studies, as that is the focus of the samples provided. It would also be an appropriate addition to the school library resource centre not only for individual students who wish to improve their report and essay writing but also for the teacher-librarian.

Recommended for elementary and secondary school libraries.

Janet McKinlay is a teacher-librarian at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary in Vancouver, British Columbia.
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