Wordsmith: A Guide to College Writing, Second Edition

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9780130488961: Wordsmith: A Guide to College Writing, Second Edition

For courses in Developmental Writing and Essay Level Freshman Composition. With a strong focus on writing and the writing process, WORDSMITH groups three appropriate modes together to give students real writing opportunities and exercises. From Chapters entitled "Showing and Telling," to "Limiting and Ordering" and to "Examining Logical Connections," WORDSMITH provides extensive exercises and with a focus on writing, WORDSMITH illustrates how writing process, the modes and grammar are not written in isolation.

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From the Back Cover:

In the REAL WORLD, do we write just ONE mode in isolation?

With a strong focus on writing and the writing process, WORDSMITH: COLLEGE WRITING, Second Edition also groups the methods of development in threes — to better show students the relationships between them, and to give students strategies for using more than one in their papers:

The Showing and Telling chapter covers Description, Narration, and Example.

The Limiting and Ordering chapter covers Definition, Classification, and Process.

The Examining Logical Connections chapter covers Comparison-Contrast, Cause-Effect, and Argument.

Throughout the text, WORDSMITH: A GUIDE TO PARAGRAPHS AND SHORT ESSAYS 2E also provides extensive exercises for students to practice their skills:

Practice and Review Exercises are brief, short-answer style exercises.

Editing, Group and Writing Assignments require working with or creating writing samples.

Progressive Writing Assignments connect writing process concepts from other chapters.

With a focus on writing and a variety of exercises, WORDSMITH: A GUIDE TO COLLEGE WRITING 2E illustrates how the elements of good writing are rarely performed in isolation.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Preface: Updates to the Second Edition

Several changes have been made in the second edition of Wordsmith: A Guide to College Writing.

Updates to Part 1: Composition

  • For the convenience of instructors, the new Instructor's Edition provides answers to exercises as an integral part of the text. The back pages of the Instructor's Edition contain icebreaker activities, suggestions on using the chapters and readings, an examination of grading issues, and model syllabi for ten-week and fifteen-week courses. Additional resources include a website (www.prenhall.com/arlov) and a separate manual that includes chapter tests, pretests, and posttests.
  • The second edition shifts its emphasis more strongly toward essays. Since most instructors who were surveyed indicated that they used the text only as an essay text, the chapter on single-paragraph compositions has been deleted. For instructors who want to review the paragraph before beginning essays, a section called "Review of the Paragraph," complete with paragraph assignments, has been added at the end of Chapter 1. Single-paragraph compositions are addressed at length in the other two books in the Wordsmith series, Wordsmith: A Guide to Paragraphs and Short Essays, Second Edition, and Wordsmith: Essentials of College English.
  • A chapter on writing research papers (Chapter 11) has been added to help students make the transition from personal essays to research-based essays. The chapter includes six strategies for successful academic writing, five steps in research, and a step-by-step guide to writing the research paper, from the formulation of a research question to the formatting of the works cited page. It also contains a section on paraphrasing and summarizing, a brief guide to MLA style, and a model student research paper.
  • The chapter "Revising and Proofreading" is now titled "Revising, Proofreading, and Formatting." A new section on formatting discusses various methods of formatting a paper and provides general instructions on formatting handwritten and word-processed documents.
  • A new Progressive Writing Assignment allows students to choose a topic and develop it as they move from prewriting in Chapter 2 to revised draft in Chapter 7. Each chapter's assignment guides students through one step of the essay. In Chapter 2, students focus on prewriting. In Chapter 3, they complete a thesis and outline, and in Chapter 4, they write an introduction. The Chapter 5 progressive assignment guides students through the process of writing body paragraphs and checking them for direction, unity, coherence, and support. In Chapter 6, students conclude the essay, and in Chapter 7, they revise and proofread. By the time they finish the chapters, they have completed the entire essay, step by step. I have used some form of the Progressive Writing Assignment in my own classes for years. Here are some of the advantages I have found in using the Progressive Writing Assignment:
    • It guides students through each step of the writing process and each part of the essay.
    • It allows students to progress step by step through the crucial and often confusing process of writing the first essay rather than having to produce the entire essay at once.
    • It promotes understanding of how each part of the essay relates to the other parts.
    • It provides the opportunity for instructor or peer feedback at each stage, resulting in a strong, carefully written essay.
    • It emphasizes process and careful crafting.
    • It allows instructors, if they wish, to assign some form of credit to each portion of the assignment, thus placing emphasis on the process as well as the product.
  • Chapters 8, 9, and 10 feature boxes that point out connections between methods of development. Optional "Mixed Methods" assignments at the end of each chapter allow students to mix methods of development in essays or in movie reviews, reports, or human interest stories. The assignments demonstrate the flexibility of the essay format and the application of methods of development beyond the classroom.

Updates to Part 2: Grammar

  • The pronouns chapter has been split into two chapters: "Pronoun Case" and "Pronoun Agreement, Reference, and Point of View." The material on pronoun case has been expanded to include intensive and reflexive pronouns.
  • Practices in the grammar chapters now have titles to remind students exactly which principles are being discussed and practiced.
  • A chart that summarizes five methods of correcting run-on sentences has been added to Chapter 14, "Run-on Sentences."
  • Editing Exercises have been added at the end of three sections: Basic Grammar (Chapters 12 to 17), Advanced Grammar (Chapters 18, 19, and 20), and Punctuation, Word Choice, and Mechanics (Chapters 21 to 27).

Updates to Part 3: Readings

  • Three carefully chosen readings have been added and two old ones removed. The new essays round out the slate of readings, providing a little more diversity in subject matter and style. Maya Angelou's "Complaining" models description, narration, and example and reminds readers of the futility of whining. Mark Twain's classic "Two Ways of Seeing a River" models the comparison-contrast method of development and makes the point that knowing something well involves loss as well as gain. Norman Cousins' controversial argument, "The Right to Die," provides a relevant topic for discussion and writing—a topic that will move further to the forefront as the elderly population increases.

Preface To the Instructor

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.

Features of Wordsmith: A Guide to College Writing

  • A three-part layout allows you the freedom to mix and match writing chapters, grammar chapters, and readings.
  • A structured yet flexible approach to writing encourages clarity and creativity.
  • A direct, conversational, student-friendly approach is used throughout.
  • Lighthearted chapter openings promote a positive and playful approach to learning.

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

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.

Special Features of Part 1: Composition

  • A student essay is presented in all drafts and stages along with a transcript of a student writing group's discussion of the work in progress. (Chapter 1)
  • A section called "If you hate the thought of a step-by-step approach . . ." gives tips to right-brained students who tend to think in terms of the whole. (Chapter 1)
  • The parts of the essay are presented in the order in which most...

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