Using Scalar to Create Dynamic Textbooks

Vimala C. Pasupathi (Hofstra University)

In this digital poster, I will share Writing With Substance, an anti-textbook of sorts that I wrote using the platform Scalar. My interest in writing an electronic textbook for my First-Year Writing course was inspired in part by my growing desire to flee the textbook industry, whose profits and practices had left me dissatisfied and in search of better options for me and my students. I found an ideal solution in USC’s Scalar, which allows us to experiment with content and style and revise our work in accordance to readers’ feedback and at any point we learn something that inspires use to update or change it. Because it is free and not published by a corporation, my textbook (or anti-textbook) can be used exclusively for the purpose of sharing a love for education and intellectual growth rather than as a product sold for profit or a CV line for tenure.  In short, Scalar is a lovely model of how academic writing should work. It allows me to promote and embody the principles that have made me the scholar I am so that my First-Year writing course can be a wonderful model of them as well.