Wordsmith: A Guide to Paragraphs and Short Essays / Edition 1

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Focusing on developmental writing at the paragraph level, this comprehensive guide offers a clear and systematic presentation of writing and grammar, with myriad examples and exercises to support concepts and hone skills. Covering all steps of the writing process in the order in which a writer uses them, it provides strategies for creating topic sentences and writing paragraphs, and presents nine different methods of development with model paragraphs. It devotes an entire section to grammar, and finishes with a selection of short, entertaining readings -- complete with reading comprehension questions and writing assignments - that helps users take advantage of the strong connection between reading and writing. Offers consecutive chapters on prewriting, writing the paragraph, revising, and proofreading, and addresses the concepts of direction, unity, coherence and support as an integral part of writing supporting paragraphs. Explains grammatical concepts in a systematic and easy-to-understand manner, with many review exercises and interesting side boxes. Provides twenty brief, interesting readings that reinforce reading skills and illustrate different writing techniques. Includes lighthearted chapter-opening boxes, a running sample paragraph in progress, and tips for right-brained writers. For anyone wishing to strengthen their writing skills communicate more clearly.
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Editorial Reviews

This textbook is intended for college level writing courses, but seems suitable to those of a rather elementary level. It may well be ideal for advanced-placement high school courses. The text is comprised of separate sections on composition and grammar, as well as another section containing readings by the likes of Maya Angelou, Dave Barry, and others; the chapters of each section can be combined by the instructor in a manner appropriate to the course at hand. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR booknews.com
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130951038
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 7/14/1999
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 495
  • Product dimensions: 7.53 (w) x 9.15 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Table of Contents

To the Instructor xix
To the Student xxv
Part 1 Composition
Chapter 1 The Writing Process 3
The Writing Process 4
Prewriting 4
Planning 4
Drafting 4
Revising 5
Proofreading 5
An Important Point 6
The Writing Process: Stephanie's Paragraph 6
Writing for Right-Brained Writers 12
Chapter 2 Preparing to Write 15
Prewriting 16
Prewriting Methods 16
Brainstorming 16
Freewriting 17
Invisible Writing: A Computer Technique 19
Clustering 19
Narrowing Your Topic: The Topic-Subtopic Method 21
Outlining 23
Journal Writing 24
Chapter 3 Writing Paragraphs 26
Characteristics of an Effective Paragraph 26
Direction: Shaping the Topic Sentence of a Paragraph 27
Unity: Sticking to the Point 33
Coherence: Holding the Paragraph Together 36
Support: Using Specific Detail 43
Chapter 4 Revising and Proofreading 52
Revising 52
Checklist for Revision 53
Proofreading 56
The Top-Down Technique 57
The Bottom-Up Technique 57
The Targeting Technique 57
Proofreading the Word-Processed Paragraph 58
Chapter 5 Showing and Telling: Description, Narration, and Example 60
Description 60
Sense Impressions 61
Spatial Order 63
Establishing a Dominant Impression 65
Wordsmith's Corner: Sample Descriptive Paragraphs 66
Narration 70
Steps to Writing a Successful Narrative 70
Wordsmith's Corner: Sample Narrative Paragraphs 73
Examples 76
The Short Example 76
The Sentence-Length Example 77
The Extended Example 79
Wordsmith's Corner: Paragraphs Developed by Example 80
Chapter 6 Limiting and Ordering: Definition, Classification, and Process 84
Definition 84
Setting Up Your Definition Paragraph 85
Wordsmith's Corner: Sample Definition Paragraphs 86
Classification 90
Establishing a Basis for Classification 90
Wordsmith's Corner: Sample Classification Paragraphs 93
Process 96
Organizing the Process Paper 97
Wordsmith's Corner: Sample Process Paragraphs 97
Chapter 7 Examining Logical Connections: Comparison-Contrast, Cause-Effect, and Argument 102
Comparison-Contrast 103
Setting Up the Comparison-Contrast Paragraph 103
Wordsmith's Corner: Sample Comparison-Contrast Paragraphs 107
Cause and Effect 110
Identifying Causes and Effects 111
Wordsmith's Corner: Sample Cause-Effect Paragraphs 112
Argument 115
Taking Sides 115
Wordsmith's Corner: Sample Argument Paragraphs 117
Chapter 8 Writing a Five-Paragraph Essay 121
Parts of a Five-Paragraph Essay 121
The Five-Paragraph Essay 122
Sample Five-Paragraph Essay 123
Meeting the Challenge of Essay Writing 124
Characteristics of an Effective Essay 124
The Five-Paragraph Essay: Construction and Assembly 125
Providing Direction: Writing the Thesis Statement 125
Getting Started: Introducing the Essay 128
The Body Paragraphs: Unity 130
The Body Paragraphs: Support 131
The Body Paragraphs: Coherence 134
A Graceful Exit: The Conclusion 135
Wordsmith's Corner: Sample Five-Paragraph Essays 136
Checklist for Revision 141
Part 2 Grammar
Chapter 9 Subjects and Verbs 145
Action and Linking Verbs 145
Actions Verbs 146
Linking Verbs 146
Recognizing Subjects and Verbs 148
Finding the Verb 148
Finding the Subject 150
Recognizing Prepositional Phrases 151
Regular and Irregular Verbs 153
Puzzling Pairs 157
Chapter 10 Subject-Verb Agreement 165
The Basic Pattern 165
Problems in Subject-Verb Agreement 169
Prepositional Phrase between Subject and Verb 169
Indefinite Pronouns as Subjects 170
Subject Following the Verb 171
Compound Subjects 173
Chapter 11 Verb Shifts 180
Shifts in Tense 180
Avoiding Unnecessary Tense Shifts 181
Active and Passive Voice 183
Uses of Active and Passive Voice 186
Writing Sentences in Active and Passive Voice 186
Correcting Shifts in Voice 188
Chapter 12 Sentence Variety 197
Power Tools for Writing Sentences 197
Power Tool 1 Be Concise 197
Power Tool 2 Vary Sentence Openings 199
Power Tool 3 Connect Ideas through Coordination 203
Power Tool 4 Connect Ideas through Subordination 206
Chapter 13 Run-On Sentences 215
What Is a Run-On Sentence? 215
Correcting Run-Ons 216
Method 1 Period and Capital Letter 217
Method 2 Comma and FANBOYS Conjunction 218
Method 3 Semicolon 219
Method 4 Semicolon and Joining Word 220
Method 5 Dependent Word 222
Chapter 14 Sentence Fragments 230
What Is a Sentence Fragment? 230
Dependent Clause Fragments 231
Verbal Phrase Fragments (to, -ing, and -ed) 233
Missing-Subject Fragments 236
Example and Exception Fragments 238
Prepositional-Phrase Fragments 239
Chapter 15 Pronoun Case 247
Subject and Object Pronouns 247
Subject Pronouns 248
Object Pronouns 250
The -self Pronouns--Intensive and Reflexive Pronouns 251
Chapter 16 Pronoun Agreement, Reference, and Point of View 257
Pronoun Agreement 258
Problems in Pronoun Agreement 259
Pronoun Reference 263
Pronoun Reference Problem: No Antecedent 263
Pronoun Reference Problems with this 264
Pronoun Point of View 266
Chapter 17 Adjectives, Adverbs, and Articles 274
Adjectives 274
Adjective Forms: Positive, Comparative, and Superlative 275
Adverbs 278
Puzzling Pairs--good and well, bad and badly 280
Puzzling Pairs--worse and worst 281
Articles 282
Using a and an 282
For International Students: Three Rules for a, an, and the 283
Chapter 18 Capital Letters 293
Capital Letters to Begin Sentences 293
Capitalization of Words Referring to Individuals 294
Names and the Pronoun I 294
Family Relationships 294
Professional Titles 295
Capitalization of Words Referring to Groups 296
Religions, Geographic Locations, Races, and Nationalities 296
Organizations, Businesses, and Agencies 296
Capitalization of Words Referring to Time and Place 297
Dates, Days, Holidays, and Seasons 297
Place Names 298
Capitalization of Words Referring to Things and Activities 299
School Subjects 299
Titles 300
Consumer Products 300
Abbreviations 300
Chapter 19 Words Commonly Confused 305
Words Commonly Confused 305
Chapter 20 Word Choice 314
Slang 314
Cliches 316
Wordiness 317
Chapter 21 Commas 326
Commas to Set Off Introductory Words, Phrases, and Clauses 326
Commas to Join Items in a Series 327
Commas to Join Independent Clauses 329
Commas Around Interrupters 330
Commas with Direct Quotations 331
Commas in Names and Dates 332
Chapter 22 Other Punctuation 339
End Punctuation: Period, Questions Mark, and Exclamation Point 339
The Period 339
The Question Mark 340
The Exclamation Point 340
The Semicolon 341
Semicolon to Join Independent Clauses 341
Semicolon to Join Items in a List 342
Colons and Dashes: Formal and Informal Punctuation 343
The Colon 343
The Dash 344
Parentheses: Tools of Understatement 344
Chapter 23 Apostrophes 351
Apostrophes in Contractions 351
Apostrophes to Show Possession 353
Making Nouns Possessive 353
Distinguishing Possessives from Simple Plurals 356
Possessive Forms of Pronouns 357
Proofreading for Apostrophe Errors 358
Chapter 24 Quotation Marks 366
Quotation Marks to Signal Quotations 366
Direct Quotations 366
Indirect Quotations 368
Quotations Marks and Underlining to Set Off Titles 370
Part 3 Readings
1 Action Hero 381
2 Complaining 386
3 Against the Wall 390
4 Older and Wiser--or Just Older? 396
5 Barbie Madness 401
6 Living at Warp Speed 406
7 Spanglish Spoken Here 411
8 Recipe for a Sick Society 417
9 Don't Blame Me! The New "Culture of Victimization," 422
10 How 'bout Us? 429
11 Mixed Blessings 434
12 One for the Books 439
13 American Space, Chinese Place 443
14 Disorders R Us 448
15 Civil Rites 454
16 All the Rage 459
17 Conversational Ballgames 464
18 Muhammad Ali: Still the Greatest 471
19 Music: A Universal Language 477
20 Prison Studies 483
Acknowledgments 489
Index 491
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