Rules of Thumb / Edition 9

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Rules of Thumb is a concise, user-friendly, and affordable handbook developed around students' real writing needs. An invaluable companion for writers at all levels, it gives students the advice they need on writing, research, grammar, and style in a clear and engaging voice. Reflecting the most current APA documentation styles, the eighth edition remains the ideal handbook for improving grammar without overwhelming student writers with specialized terminology.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780073405964
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Higher Education
  • Publication date: 5/4/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 9
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 64,966
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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 xiii

The Meaning of "Rule of Thumb" xvi

How to Use Rules of Thumb xvii

Part 1 The Basics: Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar

A Word about Correctness 2

Commonly Confused Words 3

One Word or Two? 11

Spelling 13

Capitalization 16

Abbreviations and Numbers 18

Apostrophes 20

Consistent Pronouns 21

I vs. Me, She vs. Her, He vs. Him, Who vs. Whom 24

Vague Pronouns 26

Recognizing Complete Sentences 28

Period or Comma? Run-on Sentences and Sentence Fragments 31

Feature: Using But, However, Although 37

Commas 38

Semicolons 40

Colons 41

Dashes and Parentheses 42

Quotation Marks 44

Titles: Italics, Underlines, or Quotation Marks 48

Shifting Verb Tenses 49

Verb Agreement 54

Word Endings: -s and -ed 56

Parallel Structure 58

Dangling Constructions 59

Mixed Sentence Patterns 60

Part 2 Putting a Paper Together

What to Do When You're Stuck 63

Addressing Your Audience 67

Writing with a Thesis 69

Finding an Organization for Your Essay 72

Introductions 75

Paragraphs-Long and Short 77

Transitions 80

Incorporating Quotations 82

Conclusions 84

How to Make a Paper Longer (and When to Make It Shorter) 85

How to Work on a Second Draft 87

Shortcuts for "Word" 90

Proofreading Tips 93

Format of College Papers 95

Special Case: Writing an Essay in Class 98

Special Case: Writing about Literature 101

Part 3 The Research Paper

Seven Steps to a Research Paper 111

How to Conduct Research 112

Feature: Sizing Up a Website 117

Getting Information Online and at the Library 121

Feature: When You Find Too Few or Too Many Sources 125

Writing the Research Paper 126

Feature:PowerPoint Presentations 130

Plagiarism (Cheating) 132

What Is Documentation? 133

Feature: Where to Find Specific Entries for Works Cited, References, and Bibliography 135

Documentation: The MLA Style 136

Documentation: The APA Style 150

Documentation: Footnotes, Endnotes, and Bibliography 159

Part 4 Style

Finding Your Voice 165

Adding Details 166

Repetition: Bad, Not-So-Bad, and Good 168

Eliminating Inappropriate Language 170

Trimming Wordiness 172

Using Strong Verbs 174

Varying Your Sentences 176

Recognizing Cliches 181

Keeping a Journal 182

Postscript 185

A List of Valuable Sources 187

About the Authors 191

Index 193

Troubleshooting Guide 204

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