Writing Recommendations

As an educator you write often, but writing a book can still be intimidating. As you start to write it is important to remember the famous line by William Zinsser, “writing is thinking on paper.” Or in this case, writing is teaching on paper. You may not be an author, but you are a teacher, and that gives you an expert advantage when it comes to the textbook authoring process.

When writing a textbook, it is important to consider the following elements:

  • Tone: In what tone do you want to present your materials? How do you want the learner to react?
  • Tense: Past or present? In most cases, non-fiction and news materials are written in past tense, and readers expect it.
  • Consistency: Tone and tense should be used consistently throughout your writing. If using existing materials, adapt the materials to match tone and style, so that the work is cohesive.
  • Quality: A work, no matter the strength of its ideas, will be judged on the quality of its execution. This means you’ll want to use proper spelling and grammar. There are many grammar guides and apps online to help with proofreading and review.

Read more about style and consistency in the Style Guides chapter.


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Authoring Open Textbooks Copyright © 2017 by Open Education Network is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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