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How to write a good textbook

Books are the windows to the world. Books open up knowledge insights for readers. Literacy cannot be maximized without the presence of books. The academic world feels bland without the presence of books. The number of book collections in the campus library becomes one of the important indicators in the assessment of accreditation of institutions and study programs.

How to write a good textbook

Your students certainly feel upset when attending lectures there is not a single handbook referred by lecturers. Either a textbook was written by the lecturer or a reference book. Of course, there is a sense of pride among students if the teaching book used is written by their lecturers.

Unfortunately, not many lecturers have a high interest in writing textbooks. Often lecturers think simply, why should I write a teaching book while a reference book is scattered that can be used as a lecture handbook? Even complete with instructional complements such as power points, quizzes, exercise questions, and case studies.

Lecturers seem to forget that references are that much, isn't it just the work of others. There is no pride even if the reference is published by world-class publishers such as Prentice-Hall or South-Western Publisher. The reference can be used as long as it is not for mere dashing. If it's just proving that the courses you have to seem cool, pity the students. Such a reference book, it turns out that it is not understood the content and worse is not read by students because the book is in English, especially in countries where English as a second language. Then, why don't you write your textbooks?

Various benefits will be obtained when lecturers write textbooks, including:

First, add value. Writing quality textbooks provides added value to both lecturers as writers and the wider community. After all, the textbooks that we write and publish nationally are not only used by our students, but students from other campuses will use it either as a lecture handbook or a source of thesis, thesis, and dissertation citations.

Second, improve personal branding. Textbooks published on a national scale certainly have an impact on improving the personal branding of writer lecturers. Books published and distributed nationally are powerful promotional tools. The wider community will be more familiar and recognize the expertise and competence of teaching book authors. Academic reputation is built through the books we write. Offers as sources of various seminars and workshops will flow.

Third, institutional branding. Lecturers as textbook authors also improve the image of the Institution where we scavenge sustenance. After all, when writing a biography of the author, it will certainly include a work history as well as contact addresses that can be contacted.

Fourth, financial benefits. Writing a teaching book is like rowing once, two islands exceeded. Textbooks can be included for the submission of academic credit for lecturers while getting a royalty. For lecturers writing textbooks is an obligation based on the laws and regulations of its derivatives. At least 1 book in 3 years, expert assistant lecturers to professors are required to write books. Books are a good long-term investment for readers, especially for writers. Writing a best-selling book affects the coffers of rupiah from royalty obtained. Royalties can also be passed on to wives and children when we are no longer able to breathe.

Fifth, pass on the spirit of writing. Lecturers are not financially rich. But expertise and insight of knowledge can be used as a means of charity. Transmitting the spirit of writing books to colleagues, students, and family’s part of knowledge legacy.

So how to write a good teaching book? Does it have to fit the minimum criteria of operational guidelines for calculating credit numbers? Or should it be to the taste of the publisher? Regardless of the purpose of writing the book, here are the criteria for writing a good textbook.

1.  Simple. Simple principles are intended so that textbooks can be easy for students or other learners to understand the content of lectures while fulfilling learning achievements, both cognitive, affective, and psychomotor aspects.

2.  Uses the standard language. Books include the non-fiction genre. Therefore, the standard language is used. It is important to pay attention to Enhanced Spelling and General Dictionaries Indonesian as guidelines.

3.  Contextual. A variety of exercises and case examples should be tailored to the characteristics of the course itself. Strive to also raise contemporary issues of the study of the field of science. Consistency should get serious attention ranging from learning objectives, material descriptions, conclusions, evaluations, exercises, and tasks. Contextual should also pay attention to having an element of newness following the latest scientific developments. Textbooks should also pay attention to relevance to the discipline.

4.  Create a mind mapping/ concept map. A concept map will guide the reader to understand what, why, and how the teaching book is presented. Starting from the achievement of learning, key competencies and special competencies/supporters are outlined in the concept map.

5.  Interesting appearance. First impressions are decisive, using jargon. Textbooks should be packaged as attractively as possible, ranging from cover design, the format of each chapter, illustrations, charts, photos. The rules of textbooks must meet the principles of well-organizedpleasant format and helpful illustrations. The author of the teaching book can consult with the publisher-editor for display affairs. After all, they are professional people who are specially assigned to design so that books are worth selling.

6.  Academic integrity. Well for this one, never think about violating academy ethics - avoid plagiarism. As well as the source of quotes when we quote the opinions or arguments of others. Never do copy & paste from other sources for teaching book writing materials. We recommend that the draft of the teaching book be tested the level of similarity by using similarity test software applications, such as Turnitin, and various similar applications both paid and free.

7.  Full coverage. A good teaching book must be able to satisfy the thirst for knowledge from its readers. The subject matter outlined in each subject and sub-subject is inseparable from the curriculum, Lesson Plan, and concept map. The teaching book should complete meeting the elements: a) refers to the achievement of learning, b) the content is learning material or theoretical studies in the related realm, c) Written based on chronology and has a uniform flow, d) contains case study assignments and project-based learning, e) equipped with the evaluation process, and f) equipped with bibliography, glossary, and index.  

The spirit of writing among lecturers will certainly increase when lecturer colleagues live up to the various benefits of writing textbooks. Be a lecturer who has full competence: smart to teach, qualified in researching and publishing scientific works, and good at writing books. Good luck []

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