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The many handbooks on the market share in a common irony: they intimidate and confuse at least as much as they help. This book grew out of its teacher-authors' dissatisfaction with such works — and the unenlightened fixities they're filled with, the overdose of rules they dispense, and the resulting linguistic disabilities they perpetuate. Students can read this book straight through as a general introduction to the conventions of writing. They'll also learn about linguistic myths and about the critical role of context in a writer's choicemaking.
In this second edition, practices (not exercises) are included to give students samples of the suggestions discussed in the text. A new chapter to this edition also addresses the special needs and concerns of ESL students.
Ideal as the primary rhetoric text in college writing courses, the second edition of The Right Handbook:
Debunking Myths: Languages and Dialects; Grammar Books and Handbooks; The Truth About Language
Paragraphs: Paragraphs and Ideas; Paragraphs "Say" and "Do"; Paragraph Length
Sentences: Run-ons; Fragments; Sentence Structure; Active/Passive Voice; Subordination; Parallel Structure; Comparisons; Misplaced Modifiers and Dangling Participles; Sentence-Ending Prepositions; Variety; Major Surgery ("Awk"); Punctuation
Phrases: Subject-Verb Agreement; Double Negatives; Double Comparisons; Split Infinitives; Pronouns
Words: Verbs; Irregular Verbs; Nouns; Adjectives and Adverbs; Slang; Colloquialisms; Dialects and Regionalisms; Repetition; Common Errors
Mechanics: Capitalization; Underlining (Italics) and Quotation Marks; Spelling; Abbreviations; Typed Manuscript Form; Documentation (Footnotes and Bibliography)
If English Is Not Your First Language
Research: Choosing a Topic; Looking for Information; Taking Notes; Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing
A Writer's Tools: Word Processors; Dictionaries; Thesauruses; Spelling Aids; Usage and Style Handbooks
Writing Outside the English Class: In-School and Out-of-School