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WRITING WITH A THESIS is based on the persuasive principle—the development and support of a thesis in order to persuade a reader, which is exactly the skill the beginning writer in freshman composition needs to develop. The book's 52 professional and 10 student essays are almost all short and easy to read so that class time can be devoted not to what the readings mean, but to what they mean for the student's writing.
1. THE PERSUASIVE PRINCIPLE. General Subject. Limited Subject. Thesis. What a Thesis Isn't. What a Good Thesis Is. The Thesis at Work in the Paper. Two Freshman English Essays on a Literary Subject. Shirley Jackson, The Lottery. Chapter 1 ½ Basic Tools for Writers. 2. NARRATION. Stress the Story. Remember That a Good Story Has Conflict. Use Plenty of Convincing Realistic Details. Play Fair. Readings. *Student Essay: Big Bully" Elizabeth Hiestand. Joanna Connors, Computer Games Anonymous. Rogelio R. Gomez, Foul Shots. Langston Hughes, Salvation. Dick Feagler, My Greatest Day in Baseball. Elizabeth Wong A Cultural Divorce. *J. Bottum, Dakota: A Christmas Memoir. Chapter 2 ½ Reading Around. 3. DESCRIPTION. Emotional Appeal. Organization. Persuasive Principle. *Student Essay: Lauren, Don't Dust My Piano," Lauren Cote. Sarah Bryan Miller, Winstead's Best Burgers. *Rodrigo Ortiz Meoz, The Last Tree House. Cheryl Heckler-Feltz, Say Now, That Was Milo. *Connie Schulz, A Promise in a Lunch Pail. Anna Quindlen, I Am A Catholic. John Steinbeck, Good Used Cars. Chapter 3 ½ Notebooks: The Writer's Savings Account. 4. EXAMPLES. Are There Enough Examples to Support Your Thesis? Are the Examples Fairly Chosen? Have You Stuck to Your Thesis? Have You Arranged Your Examples to Produce the Greatest Impact? *Student Essay: Commuter Rail," Sadie Van Buren. Adair Lara, Couple Lie. Harold Krents, Darkness at Noon. James Sollisch, Fruitful Questions. Umberto Eco, How to Speak of Animals. *Barbara Ehrenreich, What I've Learned from Men. Chapter 4 ½ Of Course They Count. 5. PROCESS. Be Sure You are Writing About a Process. Follow Strict Chronological Order. Before Describing the First Step of the Process, Indicate Any Special Ingredients or Equipment That Will Be Needed. Be Sure the Process Is Complete. Try to Anticipate Difficulties. If You Need to Handle Many Separate Steps, Arrange Them into Groups When Possible. Define Unfamiliar Terms. Avoid Highly Technical Processes. Avoid Subjects for Which Pictures Work Better Than Words. Student Essay: No Bows on the Butt: Choosing Your Wedding Gown," Jennifer Simms-Collins. Don Aslett, How Can I Make My House Look Good in a Hurry? Ronni Lundy, Corn Bread With Character. *Garrison Keillor, How to Write a Personal Letter. Robert Bezilla, Twelve Steps to Quit Smoking. Alexander Petrunkevitch, The Spider and the Wasp. Chapter 5 ½ Uses and Abuses of the Computer. 6. COMPARISON AND CONTRAST. Patterns. Which Pattern? Student Essay: Coming in Last," Annette P. Grossman. Student Essay: Chick Movies and Guy Movies," Edith Renaldo. Kevin Cowherd, Lassie Never Chases Rabbits. *Bailey White, My Real Car. Suzanne Britt, That Lean and Hungry Look. William Zinsser, Speaking of Writing. Nancy Masterson Sakamoto, Conversational Ballgames. Chapter 6 ½ Revision: An Overview. 7. CAUSE AND EFFECT. Do Not Oversimplify Causes. Do Not Oversimplify Effects. Distinguish Between Direct and Indirect Causes and Effects. Distinguish Between Major and Minor Causes and Effects. Do Not Omit Links in a Chain of Causes and Effects. Play Fair. Student Essay: A Few Short Words," Matthew Monroe. Jaime O'Neill, Falling into Place. *Nathan Cobb, The Whoomper Factor. Stephen King, Why We Crave Horror Movies. Betty Rollin, The Best Years of My Life. Aldo Leopold, Thinking Like a Mountain. Chapter 7 ½ Revision: Help From the Audience. 8. DIVISION AND CLASSIFICATION. Division. Classification. Student Essay: Give Them a Little Credit," Harry Pritchard. Kenneth H. Cooper, How Fit Are You? *Kathleen Fury, It's Only a Paper World. Charlotte Latvala, Mother-in-Law. Anne Bernays, Take a Left onto Nowhere Street. John Holt, Three Kinds of Discipline. Chapter 8 ½ Revision: The Psychology of It All. 9. DEFINITION. A Definition Paper Can Compare and Contrast. A Definition Paper Can Classify. A Definition Paper Can Give Examples. A Definition Paper Can Trace a Process. A Definition Paper Can Study Cause-and-Effect Relationships. A Definition Paper Can Use Narration. Student Essay: Growing Up," Anonymous. Frankie Germany, The Real Thing. *Ronald E. Koetzsch, Feast for the Soul. Janice Castro, with Dan Cook and Cristina Garcia, Spanglish. Wayne Muller, Gross Domestic Nonsense. William Raspberry, The Handicap of Definition. Chapter 9 ½ Deadlines. 10. ARGUMENTATION. Go Easy on Universals—Qualify When Appropriate. Give Consideration to Differing Opinions. Be Cautious with Abuse and Ridicule. Devote Most of Your Attention Toward Supporting Your View, Not Advocating It. Some Common Logical Fallacies. Student Essay: Sing It When It Counts," Ben Ruggiero. Robert W. Gardner, Thanksgiving's No Turkey. Rachel L. Jones, What's Wrong With Black English. *Cathy Rindner Tempelsman, Dear Mon, Clear My Calendar. Albert Shanker, The Smiley-Face Approach. Bernard Sloan, Old Folks at Home. Michael Levin, The Case for Torture. Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal. Chapter 10 1/2 What About the Rest of Your Writing? *Denotes selections new to this edition.