The Practical Writer provides both developmental and first-year composition students with a step-by-step approach to writing, from the one-paragraph essay to the five-paragraph essay to the research paper.
Edward P. Bailey is an active consultant to business and government. He recently retired as Professor of Business Communication (with tenure) from Marymount University, Arlington, VA (1986-2006). While at Marymount University, he received Marymount's Outstanding Faculty award honoring the university's top professor. He received his B.S. from the United States Air Force Academy, his M.A. from the University of Florida, and his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. He is the author of eight books on writing and speaking: WRITING & SPEAKING AT WORK (Prentice Hall); PLAIN ENGLISH AT WORK (Oxford University Press); A PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR BUSINESS SPEAKING (Oxford University Press); PLAIN ENGLISH APPROACH TO BUSINESS WRITING (Oxford University Press); WRITING CLEARLY (Charles E. Merrill); WRITING RESEARCH PAPERS (Holt, Rinehart & Winston); THE PRACTICAL WRITER WITH READINGS (Thomson Heinle, 2008); and THE PRACTICAL WRITER (Thomson Heinle, 2008).
SECTION 1. A Model for Writing. Part I: THE ONE-PARAGRAPH ESSAY (STAGE I). 1. Overview of the One- Paragraph Essay (Stage I). Another Example. A Final Example. 2. Support: Examples, Statistics, Statements by Authorities. Examples. Statistics. Statements by Authorities. Combined Types of Support. Invented Support. 3. Topic Sentence. Limiting the Subject. Stating the Precise Opinion. Writing the Topic Sentence. Refining the Topic Sentence. 4. Unity. 5. Coherence. Explanation of the Support. Reminders of the Opinion in the Topic Sentence. Transitions. 6. Tips on the Writing Process. The Writing Process. What Are Some Ways to Think of Ideas? Part II: THE ONE-PARAGRAPH ESSAY (STAGE II). 7. Overview of the One-Paragraph Essay (Stage II). 8. Support: Subtopic Sentences. Subtopic Sentence: "Why?" Subtopic Sentence: "How?" Subtopic Sentence: "When?" Parallel Subtopic Sentences. Checklist for the One-Paragraph Essay. Part III: THE FIVE-PARAGRAPH ESSAY. 9. Overview of the Five- Paragraph Essay. Parts of a Five-Paragraph Essay. A Sample Five-Paragraph Essay. Preliminary Documentation. Another Sample Five- Paragraph Essay. 10. Alternative Techniques of Layout. Headings. Shorter Paragraphs. Indented Lists. A Sample Five-Paragraph Essay with Alternative Layout. Single Spacing and Double Spacing. 11. Thesis Statement with Blueprint. Thesis Statement. Blueprint. Blueprints Answering "Why?" "How?" "When?" Different Forms of the Thesis with Blueprint. 12. Central Paragraphs. Omission of the Reworded Topic Sentence. Additions to the Topic Sentence. Examples of Central Paragraphs. 13. Introduction. The OppositeOpinion. A Brief Story. An Interesting Statement. 14. Conclusion. Sample Conclusions. An Example of a Five- Paragraph Essay. Checklist for the Five- Paragraph Essay. SECTION 2. Beyond the Model Essay. Part IV: MORE PATTERNS OF DEVELOPMENT. 15. Comparison and Contrast. Thesis. Approaches to Comparison and Contrast. Organizing Your Central Paragraphs. Varying From the Model Essay. 16. Cause and Effect. Examining the Causes. Examining the Effects. Examining the Entire Cause-Effect Statement. Pitfalls of the Cause-Effect Statement. Varying From the Model Essay. 17. Classification. Organization. Thesis. Varying From the Model Essay. 18. Process. Describing How To Do Something (Instructions). Describing How Something Works. Varying From the Model Essay. Part V: THE RESEARCH PAPER. 19. Overview of the Research Paper. The Shape of the Research Paper. The Research Paper's Purpose. A Sample Research Paper. Previewing the Research Paper Process. Possible Topics. 20. Finding Support. Where to Begin. Books. Periodicals. Electronic Sources. Evaluating Your Sources. 21. Taking and Organizing Notes. The Traditional System. The Copy Machine System. Which System Should You Use? 22. Organizing Your Thoughts and Support. Outlining. Headings for Large Papers. A Time-Saver in Writing. Abstract. 23. Using Borrowed Material in Your Paper. Choosing the Type of Presentation. Introducing Borrowed Material. Presenting Borrowed Material. Crediting Your Source. 24. Parenthetical Documentation. Parenthetical Documentation System. Parenthetical References. 25. Works Cited. Works Cited Page Format. What Works Cited Entries Contain. Entries for Books. Entries for Articles in Periodicals. Entries for Miscellaneous Sources. Entries for Portable Electronic Sources. Entries for Online Electronic Sources. Special Rules for Titles. Special Rules for Publishers? Names. Special Rules for Inclusive Page Numbers. SECTION 3. Improving Your Punctuation and Expression. Part VI: PUNCTUATION. 26. Definitions. 27. Sentence Fragment. 28. Comma Splice and Fused Sentence. 29. Comma. 30. Semicolon. 31. Colon. 32. Dash. 33. Apostrophe. 34. Quotation Marks. Part VII: EXPRESSION. 35. Subordination. 36. Sentence Variety. 37. Parallelism. 38. Misused Modifiers. 39. Subject-Verb Agreement. 40. Pronoun Agreement. 41. Passive Voice. 42. Word Choice.