Sin Boldly: Dr. Dave's Guide to Writing the College Paper

Overview


Cheeky, original, and decidedly practical to boot, Sin Boldly! is unlike any other writing handbook available. Jammed with sage advice, genuine encouragement, and surprising examples (of how to write and how not to write), this book gives beginning writers and confident students alike an easy-to-follow roadmap for improving one of the most important skills for success. En route to Sin Boldly!-induced, A+ paper bliss, readers encounter such topics as· Choosing a Topic and Telling Your Story ("K.I.S.S.-Keep It ...
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Sin Boldly!: Dr. Dave's Guide To Writing The College Paper

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Overview


Cheeky, original, and decidedly practical to boot, Sin Boldly! is unlike any other writing handbook available. Jammed with sage advice, genuine encouragement, and surprising examples (of how to write and how not to write), this book gives beginning writers and confident students alike an easy-to-follow roadmap for improving one of the most important skills for success. En route to Sin Boldly!-induced, A+ paper bliss, readers encounter such topics as· Choosing a Topic and Telling Your Story ("K.I.S.S.-Keep It Simple, Stupid")· Literary Games (featuring "Francobabble for Freshman")· Choosing a Voice ("Dissing the Prof")· Grammatical Horrors ("A does not equal they")· Common Mistakes ("Hopefully and Other Controversies")Fully revised and updated with new examples, quizzes, and tips, Sin Boldly! is not only a comprehensive guide, but also a fantastic, fun read for anyone who wants to write clearly and effectively .
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Veteran college professor Dr. David Williams knows how to keep our attention. In Sin Boldly!, his strategies are varied. One minute, he's explaining symbolic meaning by alluding to a Slovakian Easter tradition in which men visit homes to whip their female occupants; the next, he's citing the advice of drug smugglers he encountered on a tramp steamer. Along the way, he quotes the founder of MacDonald's; suggests that Charles Manson might qualify for tenure at Berkeley ("a different kind of life sentence than the one he now serves") and explains what Pat Buchanan can teach us. Whether you agree or disagree with all of its premises, Sin Boldly! is a college writing guide that incoming freshmen will never forget.
KLIATT
It was Martin Luther who wrote that since all men are sinners, we must "sin boldly!" That is exactly what Dr. Dave does in this funny, sometimes irreverent, but informative guide. There are many similar guides on the market. This one is more likely to be read, not because it offers more or better advice, but because its presentation will appeal to a youthful audience. Williams adopts the voice of a cool professor offering the inside scoop to a clueless freshman. He covers all the expected issues, including choosing a topic, choosing the right word, topic sentences, grounding analysis on solid evidence, proper punctuation, and procedures for documentation, among others. He explains non sequitur as well as misplaced modifier. He asks the reader to "imagine Jesse Jackson, Jesse Helms, and Jesse Ventura each writing a history of the Clinton presidency" to emphasize his point that all writing in the humanities is subjective. Another example of good advice for the student writer is the recommendation to avoid the use of "Cliffs and Monarch and other shortcuts to an easy C," noting that teachers read them, and that some teachers actually write them. Similar advice is given regarding the purchase of papers on the Internet. The avoidance of spelling errors would be standard fare for any guide. The difference is in the way Williams makes his point. Reminding the reader of the inadequacy of spell checkers, he writes, "They cannot sea misspellings that our other words and thus can't save you're hide." Of particular note is the chapter on "Literary Games," which attempts to explain in simple terms the viewpoints of New Critics, existentialists, deconstructionists, and postmodernists, somethingwhich most guides would not even attempt. Dr. Dave reminds his readers that "literacy is a far better tool and symbol of empowerment than any other, even money." With this guide, he has made a significant contribution to the advancement of literacy in our schools. KLIATT Codes: A—Recommended for advanced students and adults. 20??, Perseus, Basic Books, 226p. index., Ages 17 to adult.
—Anthony Pucci
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465091591
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 8/9/2004
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,426,850
  • Product dimensions: 8.74 (w) x 11.16 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author


David R. Williams, a.k.a. Dr. Dave, earned a Masters at Harvard Divinity School trying to figure out the meaning of the word "God," and a Ph.D. in American Civilization at Brown University, where his weekly newspaper column offended every faction on campus. He teaches full-time as a part-time English professor at George Mason University, where he was honored with the 2000 Teaching Excellence Award. He lives in Swampoodle, Virginia. Visit his web site at www.sinboldly.com.
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Table of Contents

Introduction : what it's all about
1 Some really crude basics 1
2 Choosing a topic and telling your story 9
3 In the beginning ... pulling your creation out of the void 28
4 Choosing a voice 39
5 Plain-style American populism 54
6 Choosing words 67
7 Arguing your case 87
8 How to lose your case 102
9 For instance : three examples 110
10 Literary games 127
11 The social sciences 158
12 Grammatical horrors 171
13 Some common stupid mistakes 180
14 "Punct'uation!?!" 194
15 Citing sources successfully 204
16 Some sample quizzes - just for fun! 211
17 Concluding sermon 216
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