The Practical Guide to Writing with Readings and Handbook (8th Edition)

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9780321023919: The Practical Guide to Writing with Readings and Handbook (8th Edition)

The esteemed authors of this classic 3-in-1 rhetoric include samples of their own writing, student writing, and the writing of some 50 essayists to help readers form and develop ideas, and communicate those ideas clearly on paper. Stressing writing as a process involving both reading and critical thinking, the text helps students to create skillful essays in exposition, analysis, and persuasion. Professional essays and student pieces alike stimulate readers and provide them with models of a variety of writing samples.

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From the Back Cover:

The Eighth Edition of this classic rhetoric, reader, and handbook helps students to write effective college essays. Because college writing is a process that includes both reading and critical thinking. The Practical Guide to Writing offers more than 50 essays-by students and by professional writers-that provide not only subjects for analysis but also examples of effective writing.

New Features in the English Edition:

  • An extensively revised Chapter 2, "Drafting and Revising," provides a series of drafts and revisions by the journalist and historian Frances FitzGerald
  • .
  • A new chapter, Chapter 7, "The Writer's Voice," not only offers advice on developing style but also discusses stylistic differences among the academic disciplines
  • .
  • A thoroughly revised and updated Chapter 16, "The Research Essay," offers up-to-date coverage of online research strategies, including guidance on evaluating Internet material; it also includes the latest MLA guidelines for documenting electronic sources
  • .
  • Chapter 17, "Writing About Literature," includes stories by Isabel Allende and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a new series of drafts and revisions by a student writer, and a brief discussion of current critical approaches to literature
  • .
  • New essays on topics students are likely to encounter in other courses (the Internet, plagiarism, Vietnam), as well as new work by such writers as Steve Martin, Robert B. Reich, Debra Dickerson, and Patricia J. Williams
  • .
  • A list of Frequently Asked Questions, on the inside front cover, to help students and instructors quickly locate answers to their most important writing questions
  • .
Other Important Features
  • An opening chapter, "Discovering Ideas," that addresses students' anxiety about writing and shows them how to begin
  • .
  • An effective and often-imitated chapter on analysis, Chapter 8, "Analytic Thinking and Writing."
  • .
  • Three engaging (and thorough) chapters on sentence-level revision
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  • Detailed practical advice on writing essay examinations, writing book reviews, and writing essays based on interviews
  • .
  • A concise, readable handbook
  • .
  • Visual material, including drawings, photographs, and cartoons
  • .

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Preface

The book is designed for college courses in which students write essays, instructors read them, and students and instructors together discuss them. We hope we offer a practical guide to all three activities. The student, looking for information about choosing a topic, writing an analysis, constructing a paragraph, using a semicolon, can use the text as a guide to the week's writing assignment. The instructor can suggest chapters or passages the student should consult in revising a draft or in starting the next assignment. Students and instructors together can discuss the exercises, the techniques used in the reprinted essays, the assumptions we make, and the suggestions we offer.

Although we include discussions and examples of description and narration, we emphasize analysis, exposition, and argument because those are the chief activities, usually rolled into one, that we all engage in, both in school and later. When students write papers, or professors write articles, or social workers write case studies, most of what they write explains ideas and how the writers arrived at them. Because they want to be believed, they present their ideas and evidence persuasively.

In addition to including many examples from the writing of our students, we have included more than fifty short essays—a third of them new to this edition— as well as numerous paragraphs from books and essays, the work for the most part of first-rate contemporary writers, both academic and popular. There are also a sample book review, a sample music review, a summary, two essays based on interviews, and two research papers. We include all these readings both to illustrate ways of writing and to provide students with something to write about. The suggested topics for writing often require the students to write about something outside of themselves. Some writing topics do present opportunities for introspection, and all of them in fact require it, but we think that much of a student's writing should be directed outward, not solely a look into the heart but a look around— at people, at places, and especially at ideas.

We have tried therefore to balance the advice "Trust your feelings," "Ask yourself questions," with prescriptions: "Keep your reader in mind," "Avoid cliches." We have tried to increase the student's awareness that writing is both an exploration of self ("Choose a topic you can write about honestly") and a communication with others <"Revise for clarity").

Chapter 1 includes three essays by students, a brief article by Philip Roth, and some informal exercises. Chapter 2 focuses on revision; it includes an example of peer review and a case history of a student paper from assignment through several revisions; it also offers a series of notes, drafts, and revisions by a professional writer. Instructors may find these chapters useful for the first few class meetings. During the first week of the semester, we commonly suggest that students browse through the book from beginning to end, reading what interests them, skimming the rest, and generally familiarizing themselves with the book's contents and organization. But because each chapter can stand by itself, the instructor can assign chapters for study in whatever seems a suitable order. Similarly the student can consult whatever passages seem most relevant to drafting, revising, or editing a particular essay.

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