English Essay

Question

You have been using the e-text book for certain courses offered by McGraw hill/KUC over the last semester. Draft a letter to the KUC management expressing your opinion on introducing the new digital books as study material for the students. Explain for which courses you have used the e-book . How beneficial was it? What are the advantages and disadvantages of using the e-book and what are your recommendations for the future. Would you like to pursue its usages, would you prefer using a print copy rather than digital copy, or do you have any other suggestion? Use persuasive arguments to support your opinion.

Answer

Letter to the KUC management

RE: The need to introduce new digital books as study material for students

            I hereby write to you to voice my opinion regarding the need to introduce new digital books as study materials for students. I have used the e-book for a number of courses, including political science, management, history, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, and English. My opinion is based on my experience on the use of e-books in each of these courses.

Advantages of the e-book

The e-book was beneficial for me in many ways. First, I was able to download it and save it on my laptop computer. I then stored it on my online file-sharing account. This enabled me to access the e-book at any location as long as I had access to a laptop computer and internet connectivity. I found this way of accessing boos highly convenient because I was no longer worried about misplacing them. Moreover, the e-book saved me the trouble of going to the library and joining a long queue to borrow the print version of the book.

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Secondly, I found e-books to be cheaper. According to Soules (2009), this is normally the case because no printing fees incurred during the production process. Moreover, I had the choice of either purchasing an e-book reader or reading the e-book online. I chose the latter option since I did not have any money to buy the e-reader.

Thirdly, the speed with which the order for the e-book was processed was amazing. After making the necessary payment, I gained instant access to the book. In the case of print versions, one has to wait for the book to be shipped after purchasing it. This is a major inconvenience especially if the student wants to use it to complete an urgent assignment.

Lastly, with an e-book, I could adjust the fonts instantly in terms of size and darkness of lettering. Whenever my eyes felt strained after reading it for too long, I simply increased the size of the fonts and continued reading. In the case of traditional books, particularly those written in very small fonts, the only option is for one to stop reading for a while.

Disadvantages of e-books

I also found e-books to have several disadvantages. The first disadvantage was that I needed several devices, including a computing device, a battery, a charger, internet connectivity, and reliable power supply. In most cases, putting these devices together was too much of a hassle. It is easy to misplace a charger or a spare battery. Secondly, I quickly realized that frequent power outages and unreliable internet connectivity constitute a major obstacle to a hassle-free e-book-reading experience. In fact, this is the main reason why many students are reluctant to rely fully on e-books for their class work (Nelson, 2008).

Lastly, printed books have a rich tradition that will not fade away any time soon (Erin, 2010). I grew up in a culture where the weight of an interesting book in my hands is very comforting. I am culturally and psychologically attached to reading print versions of books because this is what I have come to associate with intellectualism. By relying on e-books, I sometimes felt like I am missing out on something important.

Recommendations for the future

On the basis of my experience with e-books in courses offered by McGraw-Hill /KUC over the last semester, I would like to make two recommendations. First, I would prefer to read an e-book instead of a print copy because of convenience. Secondly, readers should be enlightened on ways of ensuring that their reading experience is not interrupted by poor internet connectivity and frequent power outages. It is important for the publisher to advise them on the choice of e-readers, online access options, and proper backup practices.

Yours Faithfully

Student

References

Erin, C. (2010). Electronic Books: How Digital Devices and Supplementary New Technologies are Changing the Face of the Publishing Industry. Publishing Research Quarterly, 26(4), 219-235.

Nelson, M. (2008). E-Books in Higher Education: Nearing the End of the Era of Hype? Educause Review, 43(2), 1-27.

Soules, A. (2009). The shifting landscape of e-books. New Library World, 110(1), 7 – 21.



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