Thursday, April 29, 2010

Guess How Much the Fourth Edition of the ALWD Manual Weighs?

ALWD 3 I was an early fan of the ALWD manual as a substitute for the Bluebook.   But I've just received the fourth edition of the ALWD Manual and my first impression is that it has almost become a monster.  It is now spiral-bound (at least the version I received about an hour ago) and weighs more than two pounds (two pounds and four ounces if you want to know the exact weight).

How will students react to the new edition?  The ones who I've showed it to are almost frightened by it.  It simply is BIG.

The new version does contain many useful features that we featured in a post last month.  And I will certainly use it for my own citation needs.  But I'm concerned about how big the book is growing.  The third edition (shown in the picture to the left) was 572 pages.  The fourth edition (not yet shown) is 661 pages.

If you teach legal research and writing, you'll likely be receiving a review copy soon.  You can also request a review copy from the publisher directly.

Please use the comment feature on this blog to share your thoughts with us -- not just about the look and feel but also about the substance.  And if you use something like the electronic version of the Bluebook, please share your thoughts with us on that as well.

As for substance, the ALWD manual is easier to teach and to use.  Is this new size a price of that ease?

PLEASE CLICK ON THE "COMMENTS" TO READ COMMENTS SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO THIS POST

(mew) 

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Comments

I had the same reaction. It is heavy, slippery and unwieldy. It does not invite use. To be competitive in this age of e-books, a book in print should be physically pleasing, or at least not off-putting.

That said, I greatly admire the ALWD manual for its content. And it remains to be seen what kind of a monster the 19th edition of the Bluebook will be.

Posted by: Jane Scott | Apr 30, 2010 7:22:24 AM

I pretty much agree with Jane Scott. I like the AlWD manual. I always have. When I've used it in the past, I've preferred it to the Bluebook. But this particular edition isn't user-friendly. It is too bulky, too flimsy, and too -- for lack of a better phrase -- Bluebooky.

Not that I would use it in place of a formal citation guide, but I like the citation material in the Aspen Handbook for Legal Writers. It isn't comprehensive, but it is helpful. And it covers both the current Bluebook and the now-antiquated 3d edition of ALWD. Hopefully Aspen will update the Handbook when the 19th edition of the Bluebook lumbers forth out of whatever mutant breeding tank it is current marinading in.

Posted by: Mark DeForrest | Apr 30, 2010 4:09:43 PM

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