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Fifty Great Essays



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This is the 5th edition with a publication date of 9/11/2012.

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  • Fifty Great Essays (Penguin Academics Series)
    Fifty Great Essays (Penguin Academics Series)
  • Fifty Great Essays (Penguin Academic Series)
    Fifty Great Essays (Penguin Academic Series)
  • Fifty Great Essays Plus NEW MyCompLab -- Access Card Package
    Fifty Great Essays Plus NEW MyCompLab -- Access Card Package
  • Fifty Great Essays
    Fifty Great Essays
  • Fifty Great Essays (Penguin Academics Series)
    Fifty Great Essays (Penguin Academics Series)


Fifty Great Essays collects one-hundred of the most teachable and rewarding essays used in today's college composition class. The anthology combines classic, commonly taught essays with frequently anthologized contemporary essays by today's most highly regarded writers. The selections are broadly diverse in both subject matter and authorship. Essays have been selected as both models for good writing and useful springboards for student writing. An introductory section discusses the qualities of the essay form and offers instruction on how to read essays critically, and shows students how to use the writing process to develop their own essays

Table of Contents

Gloria Anzaldúa, How to Tame a Wild Tongue

Francis Bacon, Of Studies

James Baldwin, If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me What Is

Dave Barry, Road Warrior

Roland Barthes, Toys

Sven Birkerts, Into the Electronic Millennium

Judy Brady, I Want a Wife

G. K. Chesterton, The Fallacy of Success

Judith Oriz Cofer, Casa: A Partial Remembrance of a Puerto Rican Childhood

Bernard Cooper, Labyrinthine

Joan Didion, On Self-Respect

Annie Dillard, Living Like Weasels

Mark Doty, Souls on Ice

Brian Doyle, Joyas Voladoras

Gretel Ehrlich, About Men

Ralph Ellison, Living with Music

Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point

Ellen Goodman, The Company Man

Michael Hogan, The Colonel

Barbara Holland, Naps

Langston Hughes, Salvation

Zora Neale Hurston, How It Feels to Be Colored Me

Stephen King, Why We Crave Horror Movies

Barbara Kingsolver, Stone Soup

Maxine Hong Kingston, On Discovery

August Kleinzahler, The Dog, The Family: A Household Tale

Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address

John McPhee, Silk Parachute

Herman Melville, The Advocate

Laura Miller, Cat People vs. Dog People

Horace Miner, Body Ritual Among the Nacirema

N. Scott Momaday, The Way to Rainy Mountain

Michelle de Montaigne, Of Smells

George Orwell, Some Thoughts on the Common Toad

Scott Russell Sanders, The Men We Carry In Our Minds

David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty One Day

Lee Siegel, The World Is All That Is the Case

Leslie Marmon Silko, Landscape, History, and the Pueblo Imagination

Susan Sontag, A Woman’s Beauty: Put-Down or Power Source?

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions

Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal

Lewis Thomas, Crickets, Cats, Bats, & Chaos

Henry David Thoreau, Why I Went to the Woods

Sojourner Truth, Ain’t I a Woman?

Mark Twain, Reading the Mississippi River

Alice Walker, Beauty: When the Other Dancer Is the Self

David Foster Wallace, Consider the Lobster

Geoffrey Wolff, The Duke of Deception

Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

Virginia Woolf, The Death of the Moth

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