Blair Handbook: 2009 MLA Update Editon / Edition 5

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This widely acclaimed handbook provides students with the most focus on critical thinking, writing process, particularly revision, and writing across the curriculum.

The fifth edition of The Blair Handbook is the clearest and most accessible edition yet. It continues to explain and illustrate the qualities of good writing and the logic behind conventions of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and usage. And it continues to insist that good writing results from imaginative composing, careful revising, and editing. At the same time, the new edition adds coverage of visual rhetoric, public forms of discourse, Writing Across the Curriculum, and writing for the world of work.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Joanne E. Gabel

Reading Area Community College

Judith A. Schum

Reading Area Community College

Donna Singleton

Reading Area Community College

Katherine Ellen Tirabassi

University of New Hampshire

Paul Kei Matsuda

University of New Hampshire

Michelle Cox

University of New Hampshire

Jacqueline A. Blackwell

Thomas Nelson Community College

Michelle P. Ossa

Columbus State University

Belinda Westfall

Carl Albert State College

James Allen

College of DuPage

Beth Howells

Armstrong Atlantic State University

Charles H. Cole

Carl Albert State University

Carol Eades

University of Kentucky

Cynthia H. Mayfield

York Technical College

Emily Dotson Biggs

University of Kentucky

Alexandra Duckworth

Richard Bland College

Cindy A. Renfro

Houston Community College

Sallie Wolf

Arapahoe Community College

Chere L. Peguesse

Valdosta State University

Lisa Gordon

Columbus State Community College

Donna Binns

Eastern Illinois University

James Boswell

Harrisburg Area Community College

Hope Burwell

Kirkwood Community College

Jonikka Charlton

Purdue University

Sandra Clark

Anderson University

Kathleen Furlong

Glendale Community College

Diana Roberts Gruendler

The Pennsylvania State University

Vasantha Harinath

North Central State College

David G. Hulm

Kirkwood Community College

Anita Knudson

Los Rios Community College

Mariann Kosub

Bowie State University

Deanna Mascle

Morehead State University

Homer Mitchell

SUNY Cortland

Kathy Neal

York Technical College

Lisa Wilde

Howard Community College

Suzanne M. Swiderski

University of Iowa

Ray Watkins

Eastern Illinois University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205735594
  • Publisher: Longman
  • Publication date: 7/16/2009
  • Series: English MLA Updated Books Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 960
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

A balanced author perspective:

A composition teacher with more than 35 years experience teaching writing, Toby Fulwiler highlights the need for writers to gain confidence in their voices and ideas as well as to practice in a variety of formats and conventions. A practicing journalist with more than 25 years of experience writing and editing for newpapers, Alan Hayakawa understands the importance of conventional correctness and appreciates the way different writing situations and new technologies demand different approaches. For this reason, The Blair Handbook devotes time to both the whys and the hows of good writing. Students who know how to analyze and address individual rhetorical situations are more likely to succeed both across the curriculum and in the world beyond college.

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Table of Contents


Reading and Writing in College

1 Why Writing Matters

a What is difficult about writing?

b What do you enjoy about writing?

c What surprises are in store?

d Why is writing important?

e What can you learn from the experience of others?

f What else do you want to know about writing?

2 Reading Texts Critically

a Reading to understand

b Reading critically

3 Reading Images Critically

a The elements of composition

b Words

c Color

d Images of persuasion

4 The Writing Process

a Describing writing as a process

b Planning

c Composing

d Revising

e Researching

f Editing

g English as a second language


Planning a Writing Project

5 Analyzing the Rhetorical Situation

a Knowing the purpose

b Addressing audiences

c Understanding the situation

d Adopting a voice

6 Keeping Journals

a Understanding journals

b Keeping journals in college

c Suggestions for using journals

7 Strategies for Invention and Discovery

a Brainstorming

b Freewriting

c Looping

d Asking reporters’ questions

e Outlining

f Clustering

g Talking



8 Writing from Experience

a Character

b Subject

c Perspective

d Setting

e Sequence of events

f Theme

g Sample student essay

9 Writing to Explain

a Topic

b Thesis

c Strategies

d Organization

e Neutral perspective

f Sample student essay

10 Arguing and Persuading

a Elements of argument

b Issue

c Analysis

d Position

e Argument

f Organization

g Sample student essay

11 Writing About Literature

a Interpretive essays

b Exploring texts

c Interpretive communities

d Interpretations

e Different literary genres

f Sample student essay

12 Writing Creative Nonfiction

a Lists

b Snapshots

c Playful sentences

d Repetition/refrain

e Double voice

13 Writing Essay Examinations

a Understanding questions

b Writing good answers



14 The Revising Process

a Understanding revising

b Planning

c Revising strategies

15 Focused Revising

a Limiting

b Adding

c Switching

d Transforming

e Experimenting

16 Responding to Writing and Peer Review

a Asking for help

b Giving responses

c Writing responses

d Responding through conferences

e Responding in writing groups


Presenting and Publishing

17 Designing Documents

a Objectives of design

b Layout

c Typography

d Graphics

e Illustrations

18 Writing for the Internet

a Writing for the Web

b E-mail, newsgroups, and instant messages

c Weblogs

19 Writing for the World

a Reports

b Pamphlets and brochures

c Newsletters

d Press releases

e Advocacy

20 Portfolios and Publishing Class Books

a Writing portfolios

b Course portfolios

c Story portfolios

d Publishing class books

21 Making Oral Presentations

a The assignment

b Speaking texts

c Speaking in public

d Creative options


Writing with Research

22 Writing Research Papers

a Understanding research

b Working with a thesis

c Keeping a research log

d Finding your way

23 Conducting Library Research

a Planning library research

b Finding sources of information

c Taking notes

24 Conducting Internet Research

a Search engines

b Limiting your search

c Search strategies

d E-mail, lists, and newsgroups

25 Conducting Field Research

a Planning

b Interviewing

c Surveying

d Observing

26 Evaluating Research Sources

a Evaluating library sources

b Evaluating Internet sources

c Evaluating field sources

27 Using Research Sources

a Controlling sources

b Organizing sources

c Integrating information

d Paraphrasing and summarizing

e Incorporating visual images

28 Avoiding Plagiarism

a What plagiarism is

b What plagiarism is not

c Recognizing and avoiding plagiarism


Writing in the Disciplines

29 Understanding the College Curriculum

a Differences among disciplines

b Similarities among disciplines

30 MLA: Writing in Languages and Literature

a Aims

b Style

c Writing about texts

d MLA style: Documenting sources

e Conventions for list of Works Cited

f Sample MLA research paper

31 APA: Writing in the Social Sciences

a Aims

b Style

c Writing about texts

d APA style: Documenting sources

e Sample APA research paper

32 CMS: Writing in the Humanities

a Aims

b Style

c Writing about texts

d CMS style: Documenting sources

e Sample page with endnotes

f Sample page with footnotes

33 Writing in the Physical Sciences

a Aims

b Style

c Writing about texts

d Number systems: Documenting sources

34 Writing in Business

a Aims

b Style

c Common forms of writing in business

d Documentation and format conventions




35 The Editing Process

a Editing techniques

b The meaning of “error”

c Working with others

d Editing on a computer

e Proofreading

f Editing when English is your second language

g Using Part Eight

36 Shaping Paragraphs

a Unity

b Organization

c Coherence

37 Improving Openings and Conclusions

a Engaging openings

b Strong openings

c Satisfying conclusions

d Strong conclusions

38 Strengthening Sentences

a Coordinating ideas

b Using subordination

c Using parallelism

39 Creating Emphasis and Variety

a First and final positions

b Sentence length

c Sentence types

d Sentence openings

e Deliberate repetition

f Elliptical constructions

40 Building Vital Sentences

a Concrete, specific nouns

b Strong verbs

c Active or passive voice

d Vital modifiers

41 Being Concise

a Vague generalities

b Idle words

c Simplifying grammatical constructions

d Redundancy

e Pretentious language

f Euphemism

42 Adjusting tone

a Appropriate tone

b Point of view

c Level of formality

d Consistent tone

43 Choosing the Right Word

a The history of English

b Using the dictionary and thesaurus

c Expanding your vocabulary

d Connotations

e Confusing words

f Prepositions and particles

g Slang, regionalisms, and jargon

h Figurative language

i Cliches

44 Eliminating Biased Language

a Stereotypes

b Labels

c Nonsexist language


45 Eliminating Sentence Fragments

a Fragments lacking subjects or verbs

b Dependent clause fragments

c Fragments for special effects

46 Fixing Fused Sentences and Comma Splices

a Comma and a coordinating conjunction

b Adding a semicolon

c Colon

d Separate sentences

e Subordinating one clause

f Creating independent clauses

47 Using Verbs Correctly

a Understanding forms

b Standard verb forms

c Auxiliary verbs

d Understanding tense

e Appropriate sequence

f Understanding mood

g Subjunctive mood

h Agreement

i Intervening words

j Subject following verb

k Linking verbs

l Making verbs agree with subjects joined by and

m Or, nor

n Collective nouns

o Indefinite pronouns

p Who, which, that

q Amounts

r Noun phrases and clauses

s Titles, words used as words

t Subjects ending in -s

u Troublesome plurals

48 Using Modifiers Correctly

a Adjectives or adverbs

b After linking verbs

c Confusing modifiers

d Double negatives

e Comparatives and superlatives

f Placing modifiers

g Dangling modifiers

h Disruptive modifiers

49 Using Pronouns Correctly

a Clear antecedents

b Explicit antecedents

c It, they, you

d Who, which, that

e Unneeded pronouns

f Agreement

g Joined by and

h Joined by or, nor

i Collective nouns

j Indefinite antecedents

k Choosing case

l And, or, nor

m Appositive pronouns

n Us, we

o Verbals

p Than, as

q Who, whom

r Reflexive pronouns

50 Consistent and Complete Sentences

a Unnecessary shifts

b Mixed constructions

c Missing words


51 End Punctuation

a Periods

b Question marks

c Exclamation points

52 Commas

a Coordinating conjunctions

b Introductory elements

c Nonrestrictive elements

d Parenthetical expressions and elements of contrast

e Tag sentences, direct address, and interjections

f Items in a series

g Coordinate adjectives

h Quotations

i Numbers, dates, names, and places

j To prevent misreading

k Misuse

53 Semicolons

a Between independent clauses

b In a series

54 Colons

a Marks of introduction

b Marks of separation

55 Apostrophes

a Possessive nouns and indefinite pronouns

b Plurals of words used as words, letters, numbers, and symbols

c Omission of letters

56 Quotation Marks

a Direct quotations

b Dialogue

c Titles

d Translations, special terms, irony, and nicknames

e With other punctuation

57 Other Punctuation

a Parentheses

b Dashes

c Ellipsis points

d Brackets

e Slashes


58 Spelling

a Confusing words

b Spelling rules

59 Capitalization

a First word of a sentence

b Quotations and lines of poetry

c Proper nouns

d Titles

60 Hyphenation

a Ends of lines

b Prefixes

c Compound words

d Numbers, fractions, and units of measure

61 Italics

a Titles

b Individual trains, ships, airplanes, and spacecraft

c For emphasis

d Words, numerals, and letters used as words

e Foreign words

62 Numbers and Abbreviations

a Figures and words

b Conventional uses

c In nontechnical terms

d Titles and degrees

e Time, dates, amounts, and symbols

f Geographic names

g Latin terms

h Initials and acronyms



63 Glossary of Terms

64 Glossary of Usage




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