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|To the Instructor||xix|
|To the Student||xxv|
|Chapter 1||The Writing Process||3|
|The Writing Process||4|
|An Important Point||6|
|The Writing Process: Carla's Essay||7|
|Chapter 2||Preparing to Write||20|
|Invisible Writing: A Computer Technique||26|
|Narrowing Your Topic: The Topic-Subtopic Method||28|
|Chapter 3||Writing Paragraphs||34|
|Characteristics of an Effective Paragraph||34|
|Direction: Shaping the Topic Sentence of a Paragraph||35|
|Unity: Sticking to the Point||39|
|Coherence: Holding the Paragraph Together||41|
|Support: Using Specific Detail||47|
|Chapter 4||Building a Framework: Thesis and Organization||56|
|Constructing the Thesis Statement||57|
|Types of Thesis Statements||57|
|Evaluating Your Thesis Points||63|
|Organizing Your Essay||67|
|Chapter 5||Introducing the Essay||73|
|Purposes of an Introduction||73|
|Types of Introduction||74|
|Broad to Narrow||74|
|Narrow to Broad||75|
|Chapter 6||Developing Body Paragraphs||84|
|Characteristics of an Effective Body Paragraph||84|
|Direction: Shaping the Topic Sentences of Body Paragraphs||85|
|Unity: Sticking to the Point of the Essay||90|
|Coherence: Holding the Essay Together||93|
|Support: Using Specific Detail||96|
|Chapter 7||Concluding the Essay||107|
|Methods of Conclusions||107|
|Traps to Avoid||113|
|Chapter 8||Revising and Proofreading||115|
|Checklist for Revision||116|
|The Top-Down Technique||122|
|The Bottom-Up Technique||122|
|The Targeting Technique||122|
|Proofreading the World-Processed Essay||123|
|Chapter 9||Showing and Telling: Description, Narration, and Example||126|
|Establishing a Dominant Impression||130|
|Wordsmith's Corner: Examples of Descriptive Writing||132|
|Techniques for Successful Narration||140|
|Wordsmith's Corner: Examples of Narrative Writing||143|
|Wordsmith's Corner: Examples of Writing Supported by Example||152|
|Chapter 10||Limiting and Ordering: Definition, Classification, and Process||160|
|Wordsmith's Corner: Examples of Writing Developed by Definition||162|
|Establishing a Basis for Classification||169|
|Wordsmith's Corner: Examples of Writing Developed through Classification||173|
|Organizing the Process Essay||180|
|Introducing the Process Essay||181|
|Concluding the Process Essay||181|
|Wordsmith's Corner: Examples of Process Writing||182|
|Chapter 11||Examining Logical Connections: Comparison-Contrast, Cause-Effect, and Argument||189|
|Setting Up the Comparison-Contrast Paragraph||190|
|Wordsmith's Corner: Examples of Writing Using Comparison-Contrast||193|
|Cause and Effect||198|
|Identifying Causes and Effects||199|
|Wordsmith's Corner: Examples of Writing Using Cause and Effect||200|
|Introducing an Argument Essay||206|
|Will You Change Anyone's Mind?||207|
|Wordsmith's Corner: Examples of Writing Using Argument||207|
|Chapter 12||Subjects and Verbs||217|
|Action and Linking Verbs||217|
|Recognizing Subjects and Verbs||220|
|Finding the Verb||220|
|Finding the Subject||222|
|Recognizing Prepositional Phrases||224|
|Regular and Irregular Verbs||225|
|Chapter 13||Subject-Verb Agreement||236|
|The Basic Pattern||236|
|Problems in Subject-Verb Agreement||240|
|Prepositional Phrase between Subject and Verb||240|
|Indefinite Pronouns as Subjects||241|
|Subject Following the Verb||242|
|Chapter 14||Run-On Sentences||250|
|What Is a Run-On Sentence?||250|
|Method 1||Period and Capital Letter||252|
|Method 2||Comma and FANBOYS Conjunction||253|
|Method 4||Semicolon and Transitional Expression||255|
|Method 5||Dependent Word||256|
|A Special Case: The Word That||258|
|Chapter 15||Sentence Fragments||265|
|What Is a Sentence Fragment?||265|
|Dependent Clause Fragments||266|
|Verbal Phrase Fragments (to, -ing, and -ed)||267|
|Example and Exception Fragments||272|
|Subject and Object Pronouns||280|
|Pronoun Agreement, Reference, and Point of View||286|
|Pronoun Point of View||296|
|Chapter 17||Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers||303|
|Chapter 18||Parallel Structure||317|
|Chapter 19||Verb Shifts||326|
|Shifts in Tense||326|
|Avoiding Unnecessary Tense Shifts||327|
|Providing Necessary Tense Shifts||329|
|Active and Passive Voice||330|
|Uses of Active and Passive Voice||332|
|Writing Sentences in Active and Passive Voice||333|
|Correcting Shifts in Voice||335|
|Punctuation, Word Choice, and Mechanics|
|Commas to Set Off Introductory Words, Phrases, and Clauses||343|
|Commas to Join Items in a Series||344|
|Commas to Join Independent Clauses||345|
|Commas Around Interrupters||347|
|Commas with Direct Quotations||347|
|Commas in Names and Dates||348|
|Chapter 21||Other Punctuation||354|
|End Punctuation: Period, Question Mark, and Exclamation Point||354|
|The Question Mark||355|
|The Exclamation Point||355|
|Semicolon to Join Independent Clauses||356|
|Semicolon to Join Items in a List||357|
|Colons and Dashes: Formal and Informal Punctuation||358|
|Parentheses: Tools of Understatement||359|
|Chapter 22||Word Choice||365|
|Chapter 23||Words Commonly Confused||380|
|Words Commonly Confused||380|
|Chapter 24||Capital Letters||389|
|Capital Letters to Begin Sentences||389|
|Capitalization of Words Referring to Individuals||390|
|Names and the Pronoun I||390|
|Capitalization of Words Referring to Groups||391|
|Religions, Geographic Locations, Races, and Nationalities||391|
|Organizations, Businesses, and Agencies||392|
|Capitalization of Words Referring to Time and Place||393|
|Dates, Days, Holidays, and Seasons||393|
|Capitalization of Words Referring to Things and Activities||395|
|Apostrophes in Contractions||400|
|Apostrophes to Show Possession||402|
|Making Nouns Possessive||402|
|Distinguishing Possessives from Simple Plurals||405|
|Possessive Forms of Pronouns||406|
|Proofreading for Apostrophe Errors||407|
|Chapter 26||Quotation Marks, Underlining, and Italics||414|
|Quotation Marks to Signal Quotations||414|
|Quotation Marks, Italics, or Underlining to Set Off Titles||418|
|Italics and Underlining||419|
|2||The Brutal Business of Boxing||433|
|3||Growing Up Bilingual||439|
|4||The Game of My Life||446|
|5||Rebel with a Dye Job||452|
|6||Coping with Procrastination||458|
|8||When Words Get in the Way||471|
|9||Letting in Light||477|
|10||Date Rape: Exposing Dangerous Myths||484|
|11||That Lean and Hungry Look||491|
|13||Should College Athletes Be Paid?||504|
|14||The Fears That Save Us||511|
|15||Reading, Writing, and...Ethics?||519|
Several changes have been made in the second edition of Wordsmith: A Guide to College Writing.
Thank you for choosing Wordsmith: A Guide to College Writing, Second Edition, as your textbook.
Like you, I am a teacher of writing. Like you, I struggle to find the best way to teach a subject that, on its surface, seems as simple as touching pen to paper. Yet writing is remarkably complex, incorporating the personality and experience of each writer and each reader. It requires adherence to agreed-upon rules of grammar, punctuation, and form. It is, in fact, a craft that might best be taught to a small group of students in a series of unhurried sessions and individual conferences over an extended period of time. But our reality is the fifty-minute hour, the class of twenty or more, the term that is measured in weeks. How best to handle that reality?
Most of us constantly refine our teaching methods, striving to make difficult concepts clear and tedious details interesting. Most of all, we try to ignite the spark that will help our students see writing as a meaningful, life-enriching activity. A good textbook should reinforce our efforts. I have spent considerable time trying to analyze what a good textbook should do, above and beyond presenting information in a given field. Here is what I have come up with: The book should be orderly and user-friendly, with a flexible format. Explanations should be clear and supported by numerous exercises and examples. The book should contain much more than is strictly necessary: it should be a smorgasbord, not just a meal. Finally, if it includes a little bit of fun, so much the better--for us and for our students. I have written Wordsmith with those principles in mind.
Although each of you will use the book in a different way and adapt to your own students' needs, the following overview of each section may give you some ideas. To give you more choices, I include more material than can comfortably be covered in one term. Use what you need and what your students need, and leave the rest. If you don't like "leftovers," look at the suggestions in the Instructor's Manual for making use of the whole book.
Part 1, Composition, begins with an overview of the writing process and a review of the paragraph (Chapter 1), followed by a chapter on prewriting (Chapter 2). Planning and drafting, the next two steps in the writing process, are addressed in Chapters 3 through 6. Finally, Chapter 7 addresses revising and proofreading.
Chapters 8 through 10 address methods of development. I have sacrificed some flexibility by grouping the methods, so let me explain why. The first reason is philosophical. I believe it is more realistic to group the modes, since they are seldom used in isolation in "real-world" writing. Modes with a similar purpose are grouped together, and the optional "Mixed Methods" assignments at the end of the chapter show how the modes can be used together in a single piece of writing. The second reason for grouping modes is more practical. No matter how hard I try, I can never cover nine rhetorical modes in one term. Grouping them allows me to assign a chapter containing three modes and address only one or two in depth. If all three rhetorical modes chapters are- assigned, students are ex
Chapter 11 provides a step-by-step guide to writing a research paper, including locating and evaluating sources, paraphrasing effectively, and formatting a paper in MLA style.
Part 2, Grammar, can be used in a variety of ways: with direct, in-class instruction, in a lab setting, as a supplement to lab assignments, or for independent study. It also, works well for instructors who want to combine methods by addressing more difficult topics in class while assigning easier material or review material for independent study.
In the grammar chapters, explanations are clear and each topic is taken one skill at a time, with numerous practice exercises for each skill. At the end of each chapter are review exercises in increasing order of difficulty, ending with a paragraph-length editing exercise.
Part 3, Readings, offers essays by professional writers. In any craft, the works of accomplished artisans can inspire the apprentice. These essays model writing at its best: entertaining, challenging, and thought-provoking. Each reading is followed by a comprehension exercise that includes questions about content, questions about the writer's techniques, and related topics for discussion and writing. Diversity in authorship, subject matter, and rhetorical method is emphasized.
The interview for your first postcollege job has gone well. You have dressed for success, researched the company, asked intelligent questions, and--you hope--given intelligent answers. As the interviewer shakes your hand, you feel optimistic.
"Here's some paperwork to fill out," she says. "Just leave it with my assistant as you go." You fill out the first sheet, which seems pretty standard. Then you flip the page. There is a blank sheet, with one question at the top: "Where do you see yourself, personally and professionally, in five years? Please answer as completely as possible."
What kind of cruel trick is this? You thought you had left essay questions behind in college. Couldn't the interviewer have asked that question during the interview?
Surprise, surprise. Your writing ability is being tested. Companies like to hire people who write clearly, concisely, and correctly. If you have good writing skills, you have a good chance at the job. If your writing skills are poor, you'll probably lose out, no matter how well your interview seemed to go.
Writing is not the only skill you will need in your future, but it's one of the more important ones. Writing can help you develop the skills needed to get ahead: thinking logically, considering all the possibilities, and communicating clearly.
In any field, those who stand out are usually good writers. They write clearly, they state their ideas completely, and they don't embarrass themselves with poor grammar or misspelled words.
You may feel like you are already a pretty good writer. Or maybe you have some distance to go to meet your future employer's standards-and your own. Maybe you realize that your grammar is not up to par. Or perhaps you go blank when you see an empty page in front of you, waiting to be filled.
But there's good news. Whether you are a good writer already or need a bit--or even a lot--of work, you can be a better writer. Writing is not a talent bestowed by fate. It is a skill, like driving a car, playing a guitar, or designing a Web page on the computer. It is built through your own hard work and improved by practice.
How can you become a better writer? You're in the right place, enrolled in a writing course, and you are holding the right object in your hand--this textbook. But the real key is not the course, the textbook, or even your instructor. The key is you. If you take guitar lessons but never practice, how well will you play? Or think of weight training--if you buy a book about it but never exercise your muscles, how much change will occur? You have a book on writing and a "personal trainer"--your instructor--ready to help you, so exercise your writing muscles as much as possible. If you work at it, you will amaze yourself.
There's no time like the present to shape your future.
Wordsmith: A Guide to College Writing, Second Edition, is designed to help you on your journey to becoming the writer you want to be, the writer your future demands. Read on to find out how each section can help you develop your writing skills.
Part 1, Composition, gives you an overview of the writing process and provides step-by-step instructions for writing a five-paragraph essay. The five-paragraph essay is a flexible tool. It's not just for use in your English class. Shrink it down a bit and you can use it to answer a question on an essay test. Expand it and you can use it to write a research paper, a term paper, or even a master's thesis.
In addition to introducing the essay, Part 1 presents nine methods of development: description, narration, example, definition, classification, process, comparison-contrast, cause-effect, and argument. You may not write each of the nine essay types this term, but this section provides a handy reference when you need it.
Finally, Part 1 provides a step-by-step guide to writing a research paper, including locating and evaluating sources, paraphrasing effectively, and formatting a paper in MLA style.
Part 2, Grammar, provides wide coverage of grammar and punctuation. Some of the concepts covered are probably review for you while others are new. The chapters are user-friendly and take a step-by-step approach, so you can work with them in class or on your own.
Feel free to use the chapters in this section as a reference. If you aren't sure of a comma rule, look it up in Chapter 21, "Commas." If you aren't sure of your subject-verb agreement, check it out in Chapter 13, "Subject-Verb Agreement." You will gain knowledge as you improve your writing.
You can also use the chapters as a way to improve your grammar. If your instructor marks several sentence fragments on your paper, don't wait until the topic is covered in class. Work through Chapter 15, "Sentence Fragments," on your own so that you can correct the problem now.
Part 3, Readings, contains readings from professional writers. You will notice differences between the journalistic writing of these professionals and the academic form you are encouraged to use. The journalistic essays are longer and don't necessarily have an overtly stated thesis. The language is often informal. But these are merely differences of place--essays written in the academic world and for an academic audience are expected to be more formal than journalistic essays written for a general audience. You will see similarities, too. The essays have many of the qualities you are encouraged to incorporate in your essays--direction, unity, coherence, and support--and the writers use some of the same introductory and concluding techniques that you will find in this book.
Good readers make good writers. The more you read, the better your writing becomes.
Writing is hard work. But it is also worthwhile. The more, you write, the more skilled you become. This process is a lifelong one. Whatever your vocation, writing will serve you well. May this book mark just the beginning of your journey as a writer.