Keys to Successful Writing: A Handbook for College and Career

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KEYS TO SUCCESSFUL WRITING: A HANDBOOK FOR COLLEGE AND CAREER provides career-oriented students with guidance on writing, research, grammar, style, usage and the importance of writing in their future success. Spiral-bound and tabbed for easy reference, each section provides a profile of the role writing plays in a variety of professions that students might find surprising -- a chef, an accountant, an industrial designer, a nurse, a paralegal, a police officer, an information technology professional, an arts professional, a brand manager, and an engineer. Examples from these professions and others appear throughout the book so that students can see the importance of writing in their areas of professional interest, as well as in their college work. Exercises are provided for additional support at the end of tabbed sections and are cross-referenced to the relevant material. "Key Point" boxes are included for quick-reference summaries of essential information.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"KEYS is more than a handbook for writing. It is a book that could be used as a main textbook for a college composition class."

"This book is a one-stop shop for getting students all the content they need, from grammar to critical thinking to writing basics. Wow!"

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781111353698
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 1/1/2012
  • Format: Spiral Bound
  • Edition description: Indexed
  • Pages: 608
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Ann Raimes, a respected authority on writing, research, grammar, and ESL, created the KEYS FOR WRITERS family of handbooks (Cengage Learning) to be the most accessible, user-friendly handbooks available.

Maria Jerskey teaches at a large community college and understands many of the issues facing career school students.

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Table of Contents

Part I: PROCESS AND PRESENTATION (The Chef, the Writer). 1. Purpose, Audience, and Presentation. Purpose, audience, voice, and media. Everyday writing and writing for college and community. Email in academic and business settings. Presenting your work honestly. 2. Generating a Topic, Thesis, and Plan. Getting started as a writer, reader, and critical thinker. Ways to generate a topic and ideas. Ways to present your thesis or claim. Writing with others. 3. Developing Paragraphs and Essays. Paragraph basics. Unified paragraphs and topic sentences. Using transitions and links for coherence. Eight examples of paragraph development. Writing introductions and conclusions. 4. Revising, Editing, and Proofreading. Strategies for revising. Giving and getting feedback. Drafting and revising a title. Editing. A student's annotated drafts. 5. Document Design. Formatting a college essay (print). Formatting academic writing (online). Typefaces. Color. Headings and columns. Lists. Academic design features in Word. Part II: CRITICAL THINKING AND WRITING (The Accountant, the Writer) 6. Thinking Critically. Reading words and images critically. Thinking critically about arguments. Logical reasoning, logical fallacies. 7. Writing Critically. Constructing an argument. Four questions for constructing an argument (Toulmin). Topic and claim (thesis). Reasons and evidence. Appeals and Assumptions. Common ground and opposing views. 8. Using Visual Arguments and Visual Evidence. Visual arguments. Tables. Graphs and charts. Multimedia arguments. Images and copyright issues. Honesty in visuals. 9. Sample Paper: A Student's Argument Essay. PART III: RESEARCH/SOURCES (NURSE) 10. The Research Process: A Conversation with Sources. Know what's involved in a research paper. Set a schedule. Use primary and secondary sources. Consult print and online reference works to get you started. Move from research to question to working thesis. Write a purpose statement or a proposal. Tips for writing, revising, and editing a research paper. 11. Searching for Sources. Starting the search for sources on a topic. Search engines and keyword searching. Getting the most out of Google, advanced searches, and online alerts. Databases. Print sources: Books and articles. Web sources. Visual sources. 12. How to Evaluate Sources. Read sources critically. Recognize a scholarly article in print. Recognize a scholarly article online. Evaluate works originating in print. Evaluate Web sources and learn to recognize junk. 13. How to Avoid Plagiarizing. The seven sins of plagiarism. How to avoid even the suspicion of plagiarism. Know why, how, and what to cite. Keep track of sources. Record information and set up a working bibliography. Use bibliographical software, databases, and Word 2007 to help you keep records. 14. How to Use, Integrate and Document Sources. Interact with your sources: Annotate and make notes. Put yourself in your paper, and synthesize sources. Organize your essay by ideas, not sources. Summarize and paraphrase. Quote accurately. Indicate the boundaries of a source citation in your text. Introduce and integrate source material. Document to fit the discipline. One source, two systems of documentation. Part IV: APA DOCUMENTATION (The IT [Information Technology] Professional, the Writer. 15. Citing Sources in Your Paper, APA Style (American Psychological Association). Basic features of APA style. How to cite sources (author/year) in your paper. Notes, tables, figures, and headings (APA). 16. APA List of References. How to set up an APA list of references. How to list authors in the APA reference list. Sample APA listings: Print books, pamphlets and parts of books. Sample APA listings: Online sources. 17. Sample Paper: A Student's Research Paper, APA Style. PART V: MLA STYLE (THE ARTS PROFESSIONAL) 18. Citing Sources in Your Paper, MLA Style. Basic Features of MLA Style. How to cite sources in your paper, MLA author/page style. MLA explanatory footnotes and endnotes. 19. The MLA List of Works Cited. How to set up and organize the MLA list. How to list authors in the MLA list of works cited. Sample MLA listings: Print books, parts of books, and pamphlets. Sample MLA listings: Print articles in periodicals. Sample MLA listings: Works in online databases. Sample MLA listings: Source found on the Web. Sample MLA listings: Visual, performance, multimedia, and miscellaneous sources (live, print, and online). 20. Sample Paper: A Student's Research Paper, MLA Style. Part VI: GENRES OF WRITING IN COLLEGE AND COMMUNITY (The Industrial Designer, the Writer). 21. Writing in All Your Courses. Writing under pressure: Essay exams and short-answer tests. Writing and researching across the curriculum. Writing and researching in the social sciences. Writing and researching in the natural sciences. Writing and researching in the humanities and arts. Writing about literature. Sample paper: A student's literature paper. Writing about community service. 22. Online Communication Forums. E-mail discussion lists, discussion boards, and online communities. Other forums: Blogs, wikis, and virtual classrooms. 23. Multimedia Writing. Web site design. Sample Web site: A student's community service project. Multimedia presentations. 24. Portfolios: Hard copy and electronic. Preparing a portfolio (hard copy). Preparing an e-portfolio. A student's e-portfolio. Preparing a portfolio in the visual arts. 25. Writing for the World of Work. Resumes and Letters of Application. Business Letters. Memos. Reports. Proposals. Flyers, Brochures, and Newsletters. Part VII: STYLE: THE FIVE C'S (The Brand Manager, the Writer). 26. The First C: Cut. Cut repetition and wordiness. Cut formulaic phrases. Cut references to your intentions. 27. The Second C: Check for Action. Show "Who's doing what" as subject and verb. Scrutinize sentences beginning with there or it. Avoid unnecessary passive voice construction. 28. The Third C: Connect. Connect with consistent subjects and topic chains. Use logical connections with coordination, subordination, and transitions. Perhaps begin a sentence with "and" or "but". Connect paragraphs. 29. The Fourth C: Commit. Commit to an appropriate and consistent tone. Commit to a confident stance. 30. The Fifth C: Choose the Best Words. Use exact words and connotations. Monitor the language of speech, region, and workplace. Use figurative language for effect, but don't overuse it. Avoid sexist, biased, and exclusionary language. Avoid tired expressions (cliches) and pretentious language. Part VIII: COMMON SENTENCE PROBLEMS. 31. Students' FAQs - and where to find answers. 32. Fixing a Sentence Fragment. What a sentence needs. How to fix a phrase fragment with no subject and/or verb. How to fix a dependent clause fragment. How to fix a fragment with a missing subject after "and," "but," or "or". Intentional fragments. 33. Run-ons and Comma splices. How to identify run-on (or fused) sentences and comma splices. Five ways to correct run-on sentences and comma splices. 34. Sentence Snarls. Tangles: Mixed constructions, confusing comparisons, and convoluted syntax. Misplaced modifiers: Phrases, not, only, split infinitives. Dangling modifiers. Shifts: From statements to commands, from indirect to direct quotations, and in point of view. Mismatch of subject and predicate. Definitions and reasons ("is when" and "is because"). Because and when clauses as subjects. Unnecessary restated subject. Structures not parallel. 35. Verbs. Regular and irregular verb forms in Edited American English. Verbs commonly confused. Auxiliary verbs. Verb tenses: Overview. Present tenses. Past tenses. "-ed" endings: Past tense and past participle forms. Tense shifts. Tenses in indirect quotations. Verbs in conditional sentences, wishes, requests, demands, and recommendations. 36. Passive Voice. When to use the passive voice. How to form the passive voice. Overuse of the passive voice. The passive voice as connector. 37. Subject-Verb Agreement. Basic principles for an -s ending. What to do when words come between the subject and verb. Agreement with linking verbs (be, seem, appear). What to do when the subject follows the verb. Collective noun as subject. Subjects containing and, or, or nor. Indefinite pronouns (anyone, everybody, nobody, etc.). Quantity words. Agreement with this, than, these, those, mine, ours, etc. Agreement with subject clauses beginning with what or other question words. 38. Pronouns. Forms of personal pronouns (I or me, he or him, her or hers?). Pronoun reference to a clear antecedent. Making a pronoun agree with its antecedent. The use of the pronoun you. Intensive and reflexive pronouns. Who/whom, whoever/whomever. 39. Adjectives and Adverbs. Forms of adjectives and adverbs. When to use adjectives and adverbs. Compound adjectives. No double negatives. Comparative and superlative forms of adjectives and adverbs. PART IX: PUNCTUATION, MECHANICS, AND SPELLING (The Police Officer, the Writer). 40. Commas. Checklists: Comma yes and comma no. Use a comma before a coordinating conjunction (and, but, etc.) that connects independent clauses. Use a comma after most introductory phrases and clauses. Use commas to set off an extra (nonrestrictive) phrase or clause. Use commas to set off transitional expressions and explanatory insertions. Use commas to separate three or more items in a series. Use commas to separate certain (coordinate) adjectives. Use a comma between a direct quotation and the preceding or following clause. Special uses of commas. 41. Apostrophes. Checklists: Apostrophe yes and apostrophe no. When to use -'s to signal possession. Use only an apostrophe to signal possession in plural nouns already ending in -s. Distinguish between "it's" and "its". 42. Quotation Marks. Guidelines for using quotation marks. Punctuating introducing and ending a quotation. Quotation marks in a dialogue. A quotation within a quotation. Quotation marks with titles, definitions, and translations. When not to use quotation marks. 43. Semicolons and Colons. Checklists: Semicolon yes and semicolon no. Checklists: Colon yes and colon no. 44. Other Punctuation Marks. Periods. Question marks, exclamation points. Dashes. Parentheses. Brackets. Slashes. Ellipses dots. 45. Italics/Underlining. When to italicize the title of long, whole works. When not to italicize titles. Transportation. Italicize letters, numerals, and words referring to the words themselves, not to what they represent. Words from languages not adopted in English. Not for emphasis. 46. Capitalization. Capitalize I and the first word of a sentence. Capitalize proper nouns and proper adjectives. Capitalize a title before a person's name. Capitalize major words in a title. Capitals with colons and quotations. 47. Abbreviations. Abbreviate titles used with people's names. Abbreviate the names of familiar institutions, countries, tests, diseases, diplomas, individuals, and objects. Abbreviate terms used with numbers. Abbreviate common Latin terms. Do not abbreviate familiar words to save time and space. Use -s (not '-s) for the plural form of an abbreviation. 48. Numbers. Use the conventions of the discipline in which you are writing. Spell out numbers that begin a sentence. Note for Multilingual Writers: Number before Hundred, Thousand and Million. Use numerals for giving the time and dates and in other special instances. 49. Hyphens. Hyphens with prefixes. Hyphens in compound words. Hyphens in spelled-out numbers. End-of-line hyphens. 50. Online Guidelines. Punctuation in URLs. Capital letters online. Italics online. Part X: WRITING ACROSS CULTURES (The Engineer, the Writer). 51. Diversity and Edited American English: Challenges for Multilingual Writers. Englishes and other languages. Editing guide to multilingual transfer patterns. Editing guide to vernacular Englishes. 52 Nouns and Articles. Categories of nouns. Uncountable nouns. Basic rules for a, an, and the. The for a specific reference. Which article? Four basic questions to ask. 53. Verbs and Verb Forms. Infinitive after verbs and adjectives. Verbs followed by an -ing verb form used as a noun. Verbs followed by an infinitive or an -ing verb form. -ing and -ed forms used as adjectives. 54. Sentence Structure and Word Order. A subject in every clause. Order of sentence elements. Direct and indirect objects. Direct and indirect quotations and questions. Clauses beginning with although and because. 55. Words to Watch For: Glossary of Usage. 56. Glossary of Grammatical Terms. Index. Text Credits. List of Boxes and Source Shots. Common Editing and Proofreading Marks. Correction Guide. Contents.
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