The Longman Writer's Companion: MLA Update Edition / Edition 4

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The journey to better grades starts here.

With easy-to-understand answers to the questions you have about grammar, the writing process, the research process, and documentation, The Longman Writer’s Companion, Fourth Edition, will help you succeed in any course that calls for writing and research. With a distinctive focus on writing for different audiences–academic, public, and workplace–The Longman Writer’s Companion will enable you to communicate more effectively, while its superior support for writing across the curriculum and its up-to-date documentation coverage will help you get better grades in all your courses.

The new edition offers the following critical enhancements to help you succeed:

• New coverage of visual argument (Ch. 11)
• New, practical advice about writing in online environments (Ch. 13)
• Expanded coverage of writing across the curriculum, with a new chapter on writing in the social and natural sciences (Ch. 17), an expanded chapter on writing in the humanities and literature (Ch. 16), and new student samples that provide models of different kinds of writing assignments in many disciplines
• Even more help in conducting online research, including expanded coverage of using databases (Ch. 21)
• New “source samples” in both MLA and APA documentation styles show screenshots of actual sources and explain how to cite them.
• Many new citation models (for blogs, podcasts, and more) help you easily cite any type of source in your papers.
• A new chapter on assessing writing (Ch. 60) helps you understand how others read and evaluate your writing, while also guiding you through making informed comments on peers’ papers.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205741816
  • Publisher: Longman
  • Publication date: 6/11/2009
  • Series: English MLA Updated Books Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 544
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Part 1 Writing for Readers

1 Writers, Readers, and Communities

a. Academic, Public, and Work Communities

b. Analyzing Electronic Communities

c. Myths and Realities about Writing

2 Discovering and Planning

a. Discovering Topics

b. Generating Ideas

c. Organizing Information

d. Planning in Digital Environments

3 Purpose, Thesis, and Audience

a. Identifying Your Focus and Purpose

b. Creating a Thesis

c. Understanding Your Readers

4 Drafting

a. Moving from Planning to Drafting

b. Drafting Collaboratively

c. Drafting in Digital Environments

5 Revising, Editing, and Proofreading

a. Making Major Revisions

b. Making Minor Revisions

c. Revising Collaboratively

d. Revising in Digital Environments

e. Editing

f. Editing Collaboratively

g. Proofreading

6 Paragraphs

a. Unfocused Paragraphs

b. Revising for Focus

c. Incoherent Paragraphs

d. Revising for Coherence

e. Poorly Developed Paragraphs

f. Revising for Development

g. Using Special-Purpose Paragraphs

7 Clear and Emphatic Sentences

a. Unclear Sentences

b. Revising for Clear Sentences

c. Revising for Variety and Emphasis

Part 2 Critical Reading, Thinking, and Argument

8 Reasoning Critically

a. Recognizing Critical Reasoning

b. Building a Chain of Reasoning

c. Representing Your Reasoning

9 Reading Critically

a. Reading to Understand

b. Reading to Respond and Evaluate

c. Using Journals to Turn Reading into Writing

10 Arguing Persuasively

a. Recognizing an Issue

b. Developing Your Stance

c. Creating an Argumentative Thesis

d. Developing Reasons and Evidence

e. Acknowledging Other Perspectives

f. Arguing Logically

g. Writing a Position Paper

11 Creating a Visual Argument

a. Presenting an Issue

b. Providing Evidence

Part 3 Presenting Your Work

12 Designing Documents

a. Goals of Document Design

b. Format Choice

c. Layout

d. Type Choice

e. Visuals

f. Sample Documents

13 Writing in Online Communities

a. Online Expectations

b. E-mail Conventions

c. Online Communities

d. Web Pages

e. Avoiding Plagiarism and Behaving Ethically Online

14 Speaking Effectively

a. Oral Presentations

b. Preparing an Oral Presentation

c. Managing Speech Anxiety

d. Fielding Questions

Part 4 Writing for Specific Communities

15 Academic Writing: General Education

a. Goals of General Academic Writing

b. General Academic Audiences

c. General Academic Writing Tasks

d. Types of General Academic Writing

e. Summary

f. Annotated Bibliography

g. Literature Review

h. Essay Exam

i. Short Documented Paper

j. Review

k. Position Paper

l. Oral Presentation

16 Academic Writing: Humanities and Literature

a. Goals of Writing in the Humanities

b. Audiences in the Humanities

c. Writing Tasks in the Humanities

d. Types of Writing in the Humanities

e. Ways of Reading Literary Texts

f. Literary Text Analysis

g. Visual Text Analysis

17 Academic Writing: Social and Natural Sciences

a. Goals of Writing in the Social and Natural Sciences

b. Audiences in the Social and Natural Sciences

c. Writing Tasks in the Social and Natural Sciences

d. Types of Writing in the Social and Natural Sciences

e. Abstract

f. Informative Report

g. Lab Report

h. Research Report

18 Public Writing

a. Goals of Public Writing

b. Public Audiences

c. Public Writing Tasks

d. Types of Public Writing

e. Public Flyer

f. Letter to the Editor

g. Oral Presentation

19 Workplace Writing

a. Goals of Workplace Writing

b. Workplace Audiences

c. Workplace Writing Tasks

d. Types of Workplace Writing

e. Business Letter

f. Memo

g. Résumé and Application Letter

h. Oral Presentation

Part 5 Researching and Writing

20 Getting Started: Researching and Writing

a. Beginning Your Research

b. Types of Research Writing

c. Developing a Research Question

d. Developing a Preliminary Thesis

e. Creating a Research File and a Timeline

f. Reading and Notetaking

g. Summarizing, Paraphrasing, and Synthesizing

21 Library Resources and Research Databases

a. Developing a Search Strategy and Working Bibliography

b. Searching Library Resources and Databases

c. General Resources

d. Books and Online Catalogs

e. Periodicals, Print or Electronic Indexes, and Government Documents

f. Online Databases

g. Evaluating Library Sources

22 Web and Internet Resources

a. Developing a Web and Internet Search Strategy

b. Search Engines

c. Web Sites and Internet Resources

d. Evaluating Web and Internet Sources

23 Fieldwork

a. Interviewing

b. Surveying, Polling, or Using Questionnaires

c. Conducting an Ethnographic Study

d. Obtaining Consent and Approval for Research on Human Subjects

24 Avoiding Plagiarism and Integrating Sources

a. Recognizing Plagiarism

b. The Problem of Intention

c. Recognizing When to Document Sources

d. Working with Common Knowledge

e. Citing Sources Responsibly

f. Citing Sources in Context

g. Integrating Sources for a Specific Purpose

h. Quoting Sources

i. Integrating Information and Ideas

j. Working with Common Knowledge

25 Writing, Revising, and Presenting Your Research

a. Reviewing Your Research Questions

b. Reviewing Your Purpose

c. Building from a Thesis to a Draft

d. Revising and Editing

e. Presenting Your Research

Part 6 Documenting Sources: MLA Style

26 MLA Documentation Style

a. MLA In-Text (Parenthetical) Citations

b. MLA List of Works Cited

c. Sample MLA Paper

Part 7 Documenting Sources: APA Style

27 APA Documentation Style

a. APA In-Text Citations

b. APA Reference List

c. Sample APA Paper

Part 8 Documenting Sources: CMS and CSE Style

28 CMS Documentation Style

a. Using CMS Endnotes or Footnotes

b. Creating CMS Endnotes or Footnotes

c. Creating a CMS Bibliography

d. Sample CMS Paper

29 CSE Documentation Style

a. CSE In-Text Citations

b. CSE Reference List

c. Sample CSE Paper

Part 9 Grammar

30 Words Working in Sentences

a. Nouns and Articles

b. Pronouns

c. Verbs

d. Adjectives

e. Adverbs

f. Prepositions

g. Conjunctions

h. Interjections

31 Sentence Parts and Patterns

a. Subjects and Predicates

b. Phrases

c. Subordinate Clauses

d. Different Types of Sentences

32 Using Verbs

a. Simple Present and Past Tense Verbs

b. Editing Present Tense Verbs

c. Editing Past Tense Verbs

d. Complex Tenses and Helping Verbs

e. Editing Progressive and Perfect Tenses

f. Editing Troublesome Verbs (lie, lay, sit, set)

g. Clear Tense Sequence

h. Subjunctive Mood

i. Active and Passive Voice

33 Using Pronouns

a Pronoun Forms

b. Editing Common Pronoun Forms

34 Making Sentence Parts Agree

a. Agreement

b. Creating Simple Subject-Verb Agreement

c. Creating Complex Subject-Verb Agreement

d. Creating Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement

35 Using Adjectives and Adverbs

a. What Adjectives and Adverbs Do

b. Editing Adjectives and Adverbs

Part 10 Sentence Problems

36 Sentence Fragments

a. Sentence Fragments

b. Editing Sentence Fragments

c. Using Partial Sentences

37 Comma Splices and Fused Sentences

a. Comma Splices

b. Fused Sentences

c. Editing Comma Splices and Fused Sentences

38 Creating Pronoun Reference

a. Unclear Pronoun Reference

b. Editing for Clear Pronoun Reference

39 Misplaced, Dangling, and Disruptive Modifiers

a. Misplaced, Dangling, and Disruptive Modifiers

b. Editing Misplaced, Dangling, and Disruptive Modifiers

40 Making Shifts Consistent

a. Shifts in Person and Number

b. Shifts in Tense and Mood

c. Shifts in Active or Passive Voice

d. Shifts Between Direct and Indirect Quotations

41 Mixed and Incomplete Sentences

a. Mixed Sentences

b. Editing Mixed Sentences

c. Incomplete Sentences

42 Parallelism

a. Faulty Parallelism

b. Editing for Parallelism

43 Coordination and Subordination

a. Creating Coordination

b. Creating Subordination

c. Editing Coordination and Subordination

Part 11 Words and Style

44 Being Concise

a. Common Types of Wordiness

b. Editing for Conciseness

45 Choosing Appropriate Words

a. Demands of Context and Purpose

b. Editing for Precise Diction

46 Using Respectful Language

a. Home and Community Language Varieties

b. Gender Stereotypes

c. Racial, Ethnic, and Cultural Stereotypes

47 Style, Vocabulary, and Dictionaries

a. Style and Community

b. Language Expectations

c. Language Resources for Writers

d. The Dictionary and the Thesaurus

Part 12 Punctuation, Mechanics, and Spelling

48 Commas

a. Joining Sentences

b. Setting Off Sentence Elements

c. Setting Off Nonessential Modifiers

d. Separating Items in a Series

e. Separating Adjectives in a Sequence

f. Dates, Numbers, Addresses, Place Names, People’s Titles, and Letters

g. Commas with Quotations

h. Commas to Make Your Meaning Clear

i. Eliminating Commas that Do Not Belong

49 Semicolons and Colons

a. Semicolons

b. Colons

50 Apostrophes

a. Apostrophes that Mark Possession

b. Apostrophes that Mark Contractions and Omissions

51 Marking Quotations

a. Using Quotation Marks

b. Titles of Short Works

c. Highlighting Words, Special Terms, and Tone of Voice

52 Periods, Question Marks, and Exclamation Points

a. Periods

b. Question Marks

c. Exclamation Points

53 Other Punctuation Marks

a. Parentheses

b. Brackets

c. Dashes

d. Ellipses

e. Slashes

f. Symbols in Electronic Addresses

g. Combining Punctuation Marks

54 Capitalizing

a. Capitalizing to Begin Sentences

b. Capitalizing Proper Names and Titles

55 Italicizing (Underlining)

a. Italics (Underlining) in Titles

b. Italics for Specific Terms

c. Underlining for Emphasis

56 Hyphenating

a. Hyphenating to Join Words

b. Hyphenating to Divide Words

57 Using Numbers

a. Spelling Out Numbers

b. Using Numerals

58 Abbreviating

a. Familiar Abbreviations

b. Proofreading for Appropriate Abbreviations

59 Spelling

a. Starting with Your Spell Checker

b. Watching for Common Patterns of Misspelling

c. Proofreading for Commonly Misspelled Words

60 Assessing Writing

a. Assessing Your Own Writing

b. Assessing Your Peers’ Writing

c. How People Assess your Writing

d. Assessing Writing for Portfolios

Glossary of Usage


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  • Posted March 28, 2010


    A friend of mine recommended this book. I love the layout and I have used it daily. It is easy to navigate and all of the examples are easy to follow. I am a sophmore in High School and I plan to use the book for many years.

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  • Posted October 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Must for Writers !

    I keep this book beside my writing table and computer to help me in my writing. It is invaluable as a reference for punctuation, grammar, creating argument, words and style. I am not a student, I am 54 years old and the parts that address online writing and citing online references are a life saver for me. I bought one for myself and one for each of my
    three kids. I highly recommend this book.

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