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Calculus: Early Transcendentals, Hybrid Edition (with Enhanced WebAssign with eBook Printed Access Card for Multi Term Math and Science) Paperback – Jan 19 2011

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 213 reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
crap exposition, great problems Dec 20 2009
By Ashraf Eassa - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I used this textbook in a Calculus 3 course, so my primary experience is with chapters 12-16, but I did find myself referencing chapters 3, 4, 7, and 10 extensively to refresh my memory (and to learn some things I hadn't learned in high school BC Calculus).

The exposition is, for lack of a better word, "meh". It relies mostly on giving a few definitions, working through a few simple examples, then throwing hordes of problems at the reader. Now, this is perfectly fine for a lower division mathematics textbook -- such a process builds mathematical maturity (at least for me it did), but I would've liked the text, if anything, to rely *less* on showing by example and more on providing mathematical motivation for the given topics (the "big picture" of what we're trying to do, so to speak, rather than a few examples of technical details). The text's quality in this regard also has a fairly steep downward slope as the book progresses -- the text was readable and informative for, perhaps, the first 11 chapters, but from chapters 12-16 it's just really hard to learn from it on your own (and believe me, when you miss class, you have to do that).

Now, to the good part of the book (and the reason why the book gets a good 4 star rating rather than a 2 star one): problems! This book is filled to the brim with tons of exercises that range from routine to fairly difficult (and a special "problems plus" section, outside of the main exercise sets, that range from difficult to nightmarishly difficult). DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Seriously, if you are taking a course with this book, then you owe it to yourself to do the problems that are assigned at the *very least*. They are, for the most part, interesting and will help you build your mathematical ability and, more importantly, understand the material. Do extra problems, think about them, understand what you're doing instead of simply looking for the right thing to plug into. Believe me, it's worth it.

So the final verdict? The text isn't very well written and the examples are pretty poorly chosen (this especially applies to the last 1/3 of the book), but the problem sets are wonderful.

--Ashraf Eassa
77 of 91 people found the following review helpful
Horrible for the first-time Calculus student April 17 2008
By Scott - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I am a college Calculus instructor, and I find this book terrible for many reasons. For students looking for a solid but much more inviting introduction to Calculus, I highly recommend Larson's book over Stewart's.

Here is a point-by-point breakdown of the faults I find in Stewart's text:

Clarity of Explanation and Content Level

Stewart's explanations are often verbose, unclear, and written at a
level too high for the average Calculus student. Several of my students
have told me reading the book only confused them and did not
clarify the concepts. An introductory text should offer simpler, clearer, and more concise explanations more appropriate to the typical Calculus student.


In this day and age, students expect visually engaging presentations that will hold their attention. Stewart's presentations are drab and uninteresting. His book is everywhere packed with dense plain text and
formulas, giving the impression that Calculus is hard, dull, and very
complex, further intimidating students who are already scared of the
subject. Students are much more likely to carefully read a text that is
visually appealing and makes Calculus seem interesting and less
intimidating. This will also help reduce their anxiety over what many
already consider a very difficult course.


Another important aspect of presentation is layout and readability. Here
Stewart's text is again dismal: His pages are overstuffed with text and
graphics throughout the book, making it difficult to reference a
theorem, particular type of example, etc. It is hard to see where one
example or proof ends and another begins. The average student is not
going to read the entire contents of a section in full detail, but will
rather reference the topics s/he is having trouble with, in order to get
the details on a theorem or to find an example problem to help with a
homework exercise. This is very difficult to do in Stewart's text due to
the crowded and confusing layout.

Homework Exercises

Stewart's text is again particularly poor in terms of his homework sets in that he tends to offer a few low-level problems and then suddenly jump into extraordinarily difficult problems with no warning or transition. Stewart also tends to couch exceedingly difficult problems between a series of relatively straightforward ones, again without warning, which is very frustrating for students who find themselves struggling over what they think is an easy problem.

All in all, I strongly advise against this text, and would urge other Calculus instructors and mathematics departments to choose another Calculus book for their classes.
42 of 50 people found the following review helpful
not a correct book Aug. 31 2011
By gnoik - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is showed by the website that just the cover is different between the hardcover and papaerwork , but the substance in the book is also different with the hardcover one. There is no exercises in this book and I cannot use it for my class. Someone has told me this book is made for a unique school to use. and the code in the book is useless. I cannot enter in the website without a class key.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Grass WAS greener on the other side! Jan. 16 2010
By I. Jancan - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I took the first level of Calculus during my freshman year of college, when this book was used as a required text. It was often confusing in it's working of examples and often skipped steps, as it assumed that the student would understand why. I can see how this would be O.K. for those mathematically inclined, but for me, however, it ended up being a nightmare and I constantly had to get help from the tutoring center in understanding the material. I ended up getting a C in the course at the end of the semester. When it came time to take the second level of Calculus, the textbook was changed to Rogawski's Early Transcendentals. Rogawski was a lot easier to understand, examples were worked in great detail, the text was clear and to the point, and it even provided hints. I ended the class with an A. In addition, this book is quite hefty, making it a chore to drag to school every day. If you are looking for a book that will help you understand the already difficult subject matter better, look elsewhere, preferably to Rogawski.
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Hybrid does not mean better Oct. 3 2011
By Linny - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book believing it'd be pretty much the same as the normal book.
However, it wasn't. The material is exactly the same, but it only contains the lesson and examples, but not the homework or practice exercises. It came with the webassign code, but unless you're actually in a hybrid class, you'll find it really difficult to access those practice exercises. I attempted to just look at the ebook, but you need to register and to do that you need a teacher class code or something.
I didn't like that the cover was paperback, and it was easily damaged.

If you're looking and need a hybrid book, then it's perfect for you. But if you're looking for a cheaper alternative and thought hybrid would suffice, I'd recommend you spend those extra bucks and get the real thing.