Wordsmith: A Guide to College Writing / Edition 4

Wordsmith: A Guide to College Writing / Edition 4

by Pamela Arlov

ISBN-10: 0136050549

ISBN-13: 9780136050544

Pub. Date: 01/16/2009

Publisher: Prentice Hall

Giving readers the tools and know-how to confidently write an effective essay, this complete, step-by-step guide to the composition and grammar structure of an essay addresses all parts of the classic five-paragraph essay - thesis, introduction, body and conclusion - in separate sections, and includes myriad examples and practice exercises to help hone each element.


Giving readers the tools and know-how to confidently write an effective essay, this complete, step-by-step guide to the composition and grammar structure of an essay addresses all parts of the classic five-paragraph essay - thesis, introduction, body and conclusion - in separate sections, and includes myriad examples and practice exercises to help hone each element. Direct and conversational, it includes an entire section on grammar, and a selection of twenty readings - complete with reading comprehension questions and writing assignments. Presents the writing steps in the order in which writers use them; i.e., begins with a chapter on prewriting, moves on to individual chapters on the thesis, introduction, supporting paragraphs, and conclusion - then follows through chapters on revising and proofreading. Offers a clear, step-by-step presentation of grammar that is easily referenced. Provides a varied and relatively short selection of readings that can be used for comparison in structure and content. Adds levity and interest to the subject with lighthearted, fun and informative boxes, and motivates users to hone their writing skills with numerous journal, paragraph, and essay writing assignments throughout. For anyone wishing to develop their composition/developmental essay writing skills.

Product Details

Prentice Hall
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.40(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

To the Instructorxix
To the Studentxxv
Part 1Composition
Chapter 1The Writing Process3
The Writing Process4
An Important Point6
The Writing Process: Carla's Essay7
Chapter 2Preparing to Write20
Why Prewrite?21
Prewriting Methods22
Invisible Writing: A Computer Technique26
Narrowing Your Topic: The Topic-Subtopic Method28
Journal Writing32
Chapter 3Writing Paragraphs34
Characteristics of an Effective Paragraph34
Direction: Shaping the Topic Sentence of a Paragraph35
Unity: Sticking to the Point39
Coherence: Holding the Paragraph Together41
Support: Using Specific Detail47
Chapter 4Building a Framework: Thesis and Organization56
Constructing the Thesis Statement57
Types of Thesis Statements57
Evaluating Your Thesis Points63
Organizing Your Essay67
Emphatic Order67
Sandwich Order69
Chronological Order71
Chapter 5Introducing the Essay73
Purposes of an Introduction73
Types of Introduction74
Broad to Narrow74
Narrow to Broad75
Contrasting Idea80
Chapter 6Developing Body Paragraphs84
Characteristics of an Effective Body Paragraph84
Direction: Shaping the Topic Sentences of Body Paragraphs85
Unity: Sticking to the Point of the Essay90
Coherence: Holding the Essay Together93
Support: Using Specific Detail96
Chapter 7Concluding the Essay107
Methods of Conclusions107
Full Circle110
Traps to Avoid113
Starched Prose114
Chapter 8Revising and Proofreading115
Checklist for Revision116
The Top-Down Technique122
The Bottom-Up Technique122
The Targeting Technique122
Proofreading the World-Processed Essay123
Chapter 9Showing and Telling: Description, Narration, and Example126
Sense Impressions127
Spatial Order129
Establishing a Dominant Impression130
Wordsmith's Corner: Examples of Descriptive Writing132
Techniques for Successful Narration140
Wordsmith's Corner: Examples of Narrative Writing143
Wordsmith's Corner: Examples of Writing Supported by Example152
Chapter 10Limiting and Ordering: Definition, Classification, and Process160
Wordsmith's Corner: Examples of Writing Developed by Definition162
Establishing a Basis for Classification169
Wordsmith's Corner: Examples of Writing Developed through Classification173
Organizing the Process Essay180
Introducing the Process Essay181
Concluding the Process Essay181
Wordsmith's Corner: Examples of Process Writing182
Chapter 11Examining Logical Connections: Comparison-Contrast, Cause-Effect, and Argument189
Setting Up the Comparison-Contrast Paragraph190
Wordsmith's Corner: Examples of Writing Using Comparison-Contrast193
Cause and Effect198
Identifying Causes and Effects199
Wordsmith's Corner: Examples of Writing Using Cause and Effect200
Taking Sides206
Introducing an Argument Essay206
Will You Change Anyone's Mind?207
Wordsmith's Corner: Examples of Writing Using Argument207
Part 2Grammar
Basic Grammar
Chapter 12Subjects and Verbs217
Action and Linking Verbs217
Action Verbs218
Linking Verbs218
Recognizing Subjects and Verbs220
Finding the Verb220
Finding the Subject222
Recognizing Prepositional Phrases224
Regular and Irregular Verbs225
Puzzling Pairs229
Chapter 13Subject-Verb Agreement236
The Basic Pattern236
Problems in Subject-Verb Agreement240
Prepositional Phrase between Subject and Verb240
Indefinite Pronouns as Subjects241
Subject Following the Verb242
Compound Subjects243
Chapter 14Run-On Sentences250
What Is a Run-On Sentence?250
Correcting Run-Ons252
Method 1Period and Capital Letter252
Method 2Comma and FANBOYS Conjunction253
Method 3Semicolon254
Method 4Semicolon and Transitional Expression255
Method 5Dependent Word256
A Special Case: The Word That258
Chapter 15Sentence Fragments265
What Is a Sentence Fragment?265
Dependent Clause Fragments266
Verbal Phrase Fragments (to, -ing, and -ed)267
Missing-Subject Fragments271
Example and Exception Fragments272
Prepositional-Phrase Fragments274
Chapter 16Pronouns280
Subject and Object Pronouns280
Subject Pronouns281
Object Pronouns283
Pronoun Agreement, Reference, and Point of View286
Pronoun Agreement286
Pronoun Reference291
Pronoun Point of View296
Advanced Grammar
Chapter 17Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers303
Misplaced Modifiers304
Single-Word Modifiers305
Dangling Modifiers308
Chapter 18Parallel Structure317
Chapter 19Verb Shifts326
Shifts in Tense326
Avoiding Unnecessary Tense Shifts327
Providing Necessary Tense Shifts329
Active and Passive Voice330
Uses of Active and Passive Voice332
Writing Sentences in Active and Passive Voice333
Correcting Shifts in Voice335
Punctuation, Word Choice, and Mechanics
Chapter 20Commas343
Commas to Set Off Introductory Words, Phrases, and Clauses343
Commas to Join Items in a Series344
Commas to Join Independent Clauses345
Commas Around Interrupters347
Commas with Direct Quotations347
Commas in Names and Dates348
Chapter 21Other Punctuation354
End Punctuation: Period, Question Mark, and Exclamation Point354
The Period354
The Question Mark355
The Exclamation Point355
The Semicolon356
Semicolon to Join Independent Clauses356
Semicolon to Join Items in a List357
Colons and Dashes: Formal and Informal Punctuation358
The Colon358
The Dash358
Parentheses: Tools of Understatement359
Chapter 22Word Choice365
Pretentious Writing370
Chapter 23Words Commonly Confused380
Words Commonly Confused380
Chapter 24Capital Letters389
Capital Letters to Begin Sentences389
Capitalization of Words Referring to Individuals390
Names and the Pronoun I390
Family Relationships390
Professional Titles391
Capitalization of Words Referring to Groups391
Religions, Geographic Locations, Races, and Nationalities391
Organizations, Businesses, and Agencies392
Capitalization of Words Referring to Time and Place393
Dates, Days, Holidays, and Seasons393
Place Names393
Compass Points394
Capitalization of Words Referring to Things and Activities395
School Subjects395
Consumer Products396
Chapter 25Apostrophes400
Apostrophes in Contractions400
Apostrophes to Show Possession402
Making Nouns Possessive402
Distinguishing Possessives from Simple Plurals405
Possessive Forms of Pronouns406
Proofreading for Apostrophe Errors407
Chapter 26Quotation Marks, Underlining, and Italics414
Quotation Marks to Signal Quotations414
Direct Quotations414
Indirect Quotations417
Quotation Marks, Italics, or Underlining to Set Off Titles418
Quotation Marks418
Italics and Underlining419
Part 3Readings
1Babies Suck427
2The Brutal Business of Boxing433
3Growing Up Bilingual439
4The Game of My Life446
5Rebel with a Dye Job452
6Coping with Procrastination458
7Migraine Blues464
8When Words Get in the Way471
9Letting in Light477
10Date Rape: Exposing Dangerous Myths484
11That Lean and Hungry Look491
12Education Unplugged498
13Should College Athletes Be Paid?504
14The Fears That Save Us511
15Reading, Writing, and...Ethics?519

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