The cover of the book is visually pleasing, and uses only a few colors such as burgundy, white, gray, blue, and an orange yellow.  There are four pictures on the front, which consist of a close up of the arrow keys on a keyboard, a person taking a picture, and a stack of CDs.  If it were not for the title being displayed on the cover, one could be easily fooled into thinking this book talks about digital photography.  We think some type of picture pertaining to writing should have also been included in the cover images.  The colors used for the text are very distinctive.  Pastel colors seem to be important for this text, and can be found on every page.  Each page has a margin to the left that is colored either light green, purple, or orange, which act as a color code.  The pages with green margins are the actual text, the purple pages are samples of work done by professionals complete with pictures, and the orange pages contain assignments and a writing guide for the chapter.  Each unit of chapters is preceded by a burgundy page, which contains the unit or "part" number and title.  These design elements are very helpful for students and teachers to quickly find what they are looking for.  Each individual chapter is also preceded by a full page picture or image, which relates to a quote located in the margin of the following page, and to a sample article located in the purple section.

The content of the text is well organized with 16 chapters.  The book begins with a preface and an introduction, which explains what the book is about and what accompanying resources are available to teachers and students.  The author briefly goes on to include what “special features” the book contains, the online book companion information, and a brief overview of the teacher’s guide.  

The chapters are divided into three “parts,” and they seem to be organized by skill level.  Part 1 talks about “Writing Assignments,” such as profiles, reports, position papers, evaluations, proposals, and instructions.  The assignments become a little more difficult as the students gain knowledge and progress through the book.  Part 2, “Strategies for Design and Research,” applies more of the technical aspect and the leg work involved in writing. Topics, such as designing pages and screens, finding, evaluating, using and documenting sources, and conducting field research, are discussed.  Part 3, “Strategies for special writing situations,” takes the students a step farther, and helps them apply what they have learned to more personal situations.  Topics included are writing for the classroom, writing portfolios, writing for the community, and making oral presentations.  At the end of each chapter, there is a reference to the book's companion site, which requests students to check out a particular link on the site.  However, it does not explain why students would need to refer to the website.

Companion Website
The book's companion site is organized much like the textbook; however, the main colors used are similar to those used on the cover of the book, instead of the pastel colors used on the interior pages.  The website is a great supplemental tool for students and teachers to use, but a free registration form must be filled out in order to enjoy the full benefits of the site.  The chapters themselves are not posted online, but there are more examples, visuals, and worksheets for each chapter.  The worksheets can be customized by teachers or students in order to include their personal assignments.  Visual exercises are available by chapter, and can be completed and emailed to instructors.  Some “resources and tutorials” are also provided to help students improve their writing and design skills.  Many students tend to not take advantage of the websites that accompany their texts.  However, since this website offers so many helpful, creative, and fun resources and activities, students may be more inclined to use it.  Teachers can also incorporate the website into their lectures, and pull samples from the site to better help their students understand the material.

Megan Yates