Rules of Thumb: A Guide for Writers

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Overview

Rules of Thumb: A Guide for Writers, Third Edition, is a brief, easy-to-use, and affordable handbook. Designed to accommodate real writing needs, Rules of Thumb offers advice on the writing process as a whole, as well as specific guidance on punctuation, mechanics, usage, and a wide variety of common writing assignments.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780070575646
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 7/1/1990
  • Pages: 144

Meet the Author

A graduate of Amherst College and the University of Virginia, Jay Silverman has received fellowhsips from the Fulbright-Hayes Foundation, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has taught at Vriginia Highlands Community College and at Nassau Community College where he received the Honors Program award for Excellence in Teaching.

Elaine Hughes came to New York City from Mississippi in 1979 to attend a National Endowment for the Humanities seminar at Columbia Uniersity. She has taught writing for more than 25 years—primarily at Hinds Community College in Raymond, Mississippi, and at Nassau Community College—and has conducted writing workshops for many organizations. She is the author of WRITING FROM THE INNER SELF.

As Chair of the English Department of Nassau Community College for six years, Diana Roberts Wienbroer coordinated a department of 150 faculty members and served on the Executive Council of the Association of Departments of English. Besides teaching writing for over thirty years, both in Texas and New York, she has studied and taught film criticism. She is also the author of THE McGRAW-HILL GUIDE TO ELECTRONIC RESEARCH AND DOCUMENTATION, 1997.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
How to Use Rules of Thumb
Pt. I Correctness
A Word about Correctness 3
Confusing Words [to and too, their and there] 5
One Word or Two? [a lot] 9
Spelling [ie or ei? One p or two?] 12
Capitalization 15
Abbreviations and Numbers 17
Apostrophes ['s] 19
Consistent Pronouns [he or she, they, one] 20
Correct Pronouns [I vs. me] 23
Vague Pronouns [which, it, this, that, and who] 25
Recognizing Complete Sentences 27
Sentence Fragments and Run-on Sentences 30
Commas [,] 36
Semicolons [;] 38
Colons [:] 39
Dashes and Parentheses [ - ] 40
Quotation Marks [" "] 42
Underlining or Quoting Titles 46
Verb Tenses 47
Shifting Verb Tenses [moved, had moved] 52
Verb Agreement 54
Word Endings: s and ed 55
Tangled Sentences [Parallel Structure, Danglers] 57
Pt. II Meeting Specific Assignments
Format of College Papers 61
Writing in Class 64
Writing about Literature 68
How to Quote From Your Sources 73
Using the College Library 75
Writing Research Papers 79
Plagiarism Cheating 86
Documentation 87
Pt. III Putting a Paper Together
What to Do When You're Stuck 101
Finding an Organization for Your Essay 105
How to Work on a Second Draft 108
How to Make a Paper Longer And When to Make It Shorter 111
Introductions and Conclusions 113
Paragraphs - Long and Short 116
Transitions 119
Proofreading Tips 121
Pt. IV Writing With Elegance
Keeping a Journal 125
Finding Your Voice 128
Adding Details 129
Recognizing Cliches 131
Eliminating Biased Language 133
Trimming Wordiness 135
Varying Your Sentences 138
Postscript 143
About the Authors 145
Index 147
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