Types of Textbooks


Textbooks are classified by such things as condition, function, subject matter, and even appearance. In grade school through high school, children receive textbooks free of charge, but in college, they can cost hundreds of dollars in a single semester.


  • The most common way of classifying textbooks is according to subject matter. Mathematics, science, reading, spelling, history, social studies, and health education are examples of the types of textbooks from elementary school. In middle school, high school, and college the subjects expand to include books specifically for algebra, biology, anatomy, sociology, and finance among many others.


  • A very common way of typing textbooks is according to new or used condition. This way of typing is used extensively in colleges and college bookstores. Used textbooks are less expensive than new textbooks. Most college bookstores will offer used textbooks at a discount of the new textbook price. College students often find used textbooks for cheaper at online dealers or purchase them for less from friends who have taken the course previously. New textbooks are not pre-owned. New textbooks should be free of any highlighting and marking.


  • A further way of typing textbooks is according to the book's function. The textbook may either be in the format of a lecture, containing only information or may be in the form of a workbook that includes reflection questions or study problems. Textbooks that include reflection questions help to ensure the teacher or professor that students read and benefit from the material in the textbook.


  • Appearance is another way of typing textbooks. They can be hardback, soft cover, or wire bound. Hardback books have a thick cardboard covering that serves as more protection than thin, paper soft covers. The appearance is defined by whether the book is bound with a spine or spiral wires or plastic.


  • Textbooks can also be classified by publisher. McGraw-Hill and Prentice Hall are two popular textbook publishers.

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