The Little, Brown Compact Handbook, MLA Update Edition

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  • Edition: 9th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 8/1/2016
  • Publisher: Pearson

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For courses in English Composition.

This version of The Little, Brown Compact has been updated to reflect the 8th Edition of the MLA Handbook (April 2016)*


The gold standard of handbooks—unmatched accuracy, currency, reliability

The Little, Brown Compact maintains the authority of its best-selling parent (The Little, Brown Handbook) in a briefer book with spiral binding, tabbed dividers, and over 150 exercise sets. While keeping pace with rapid changes in writing and its teaching, the 9th Edition offers the most comprehensive research and documentation available, with grammar coverage that is second to none. “Culture-Language” notes explore the most common issues faced by non-native English speakers with dialect interference; rather than segregating this material, coverage is integrated so that readers don’t feel compartmentalized. With detailed discussions of critical reading, media literacy, academic writing, and argument, as well as writing as a process, writing in the disciplines, and writing beyond the classroom, this handbook addresses writers of varying experience and in varying fields in a format that is brief and convenient.


* The 8th Edition introduces sweeping changes to the philosophy and details of MLA works cited entries. Responding to the “increasing mobility of texts,” MLA now encourages writers to focus on the process of crafting the citation, beginning with the same questions for any source. These changes, then, align with current best practices in the teaching of writing which privilege inquiry and critical thinking over rote recall and rule-following.


Table of Contents

Preface for Instructors 




1          The Writing Situation  

            a          Assessment

            b          Subject

            c          Purpose

            d          Audience

            e          Genre


2          Invention  

            a          Keeping a journal

            b          Observing

            c          Freewriting

            d          Brainstorming

            e          Drawing

            f           Asking questions


3          Thesis and Organization   

            a          Thesis statement

            b          Organization


4          Drafting  

            a          Starting to draft

            b          Maintaining momentum

            c          Sample first draft


5          Revising

            a          Reading your work critically

            b          Revising collaboratively

            c          Writing a title

            d          Sample revision


6          Editing, Formatting, and Proofreading

a          Editing the revised draft

b          Formatting and proofreading


d          Preparing a writing portfolio



7          Paragraphs  

            a          Relating paragraphs in the essay

            b          Unity

            c          Coherence

            d          Development

            e          Introductions and conclusions


8          Presenting Writing  

            a          Academic writing

            b          Visuals and other media

            c          Web writing

                        SAMPLE HOME PAGE 

                        SAMPLE BLOG POST 





9          Academic Writing  

            a          Purpose and audience

            b          Genre

            c          Structure and content

            d          Using sources with integrity

            e          Academic language

            f           Communicating in an academic setting


10        Critical Reading and Writing 

            a          Techniques of critical reading

            b          Summarizing

            c          Critical response

            d          Viewing visuals critically


11        Argument  

            a          Elements of argument

            b          Reasonableness

            c          Organization

            d          Visual arguments

            e          SAMPLE ARGUMENT  


12        Essay Exams  

            a          Preparing

            b          Planning

            c          Starting

            d          Developing

            e          Rereading


13        Oral Presentations  

            a          Organization

            b          Delivery


14        Public Writing  

            a          Social media

            b          Business letters

                        SAMPLE LETTER AND RÉSUMÉS  

            c          Job applications

                        SAMPLE MEMO AND REPORT  

            d          Memos, reports, and proposals

                        SAMPLE FLYER AND NEWSLETTERS

            e          Community work





15        Emphasis  

            a          Effective subjects and verbs

            b          Sentence beginnings and endings

            c          Coordination

            d          Subordination


16        Parallelism  

            a          With and, but, or, nor, yet

            b          With bothand, notbut, etc.

            c          In comparisons

            d          With lists, headings, and outlines


17        Variety and Details  

            a          Sentence length

            b          Sentence structure

            c          Details


18        Appropriate and Exact Language  

            a          Appropriate language

            b          Exact language


19        Completeness  

          a          Compounds

            b          Needed words


20        Conciseness  

            a          Focusing on subject and verb

            b          Cutting empty words

            c          Cutting repetition

            d          Reducing modifiers

            e          Revising there is or it is

            f           Combining sentences

            g          Rewriting jargon





Basic Grammar

21        Parts of Speech  

          a          Nouns

            b          Pronouns

            c          Verbs

            d          Adjective and adverbs

            e          Connecting words: prepositions and conjunctions

            f           Interjections


22        The Sentence  

            a          Subject and predicate

            b          Predicate patterns


23        Phrases and Subordinate Clauses  

            a          Phrases

            b          Subordinate clauses


24        Sentence Types  

            a          Simple sentences

            b          Compound sentences

            c          Complex sentences

            d          Compound-complex sentences



25        Forms  

            a          Sing/sang/sung and other irregular verbs

            d          Sit/set, lie/lay, rise/raise

            c          -s and -ed forms

            d          Be, have, and other helping verbs

            e          Verbs + gerund or infinitive: stop eating vs. stop to eat

            f           Verb + participle: look up, look over, etc.


26        Tenses  

            a          Present tense: sing

            b          Perfect tense: have/had/will have sung

            c          Progressive tenses: is/was/will be singing

            d          Consistency

            e          Sequence


27        Mood  

            a          Subjunctive: I wish I were

            b          Consistency


28        Voice  

            a          She wrote it (active)

            b          It was written (passive)

            c          Consistency


29        Subject-Verb Agreement  

            a          -s and -es endings

            b          Intervening words

            c          Subjects with and

            d          Subjects with or or nor

            e          Everyone and other indefinite pronouns

            f           Team and other collective nouns

            g          Who, which, that as subjects

            h          News and other singular nouns ending in -s

            i           Verb preceding subjects

            j           Is, are, and other linking verbs

            k           Titles and words being defined



30        Case  

            a          She and I vs. her and me

            b          It was she

            c          Who vs. whom 

            e          Other constructions


31        Pronoun-Antecedent  

            a          Antecedents with and 

            b          Antecedent with or or nor

            c          Everyone, person, and other indefinite words

            d          Team and other collective nouns


32        Pronoun Reference  

            a          Clear reference

            b          Close reference

            c          Specific reference

            d          Appropriate you

            e          Consistency



33        Adjectives and Adverbs  

            a          Adjectives vs. adverb

            b          Adjective with linking verb: felt bad

            c          Comparatives (bigger) and superlatives (biggest)

            d          Double negatives

            e          Present and past participles: boring vs. bored

            f           A, an, the, and other determiners


34        Modifier and Dangling Modifiers  

            a          Misplaced modifiers

            b          Dangling modifiers


Sentence Faults

35        Fragments  

            a          Tests

            b          Revision

            c          Acceptable fragments


36        Comma Splices and Fused Sentences  

            a          Main clauses without and, but, etc.

            b          Main clauses with however, for example, etc.


37        Mixed Sentences  

            a          Reason is because and other mixed meanings

            b          Tangled grammar

            c          Repeated subjects and other parts





38        End Punctuation  

            a          Period

            b          Question mark 

            c          Exclamation point


39        The Comma  

            a          Main clauses with and, but, etc.

            b          Introductory elements

            c          Nonessential elements

            d          Items in a series

            e          Two or more adjectives

            f           Dates, addresses, place names, long numbers

            g          She said, etc., with quotations

            h          Misuses

                        1 Between subject-verb, verb-object, preposition-object

                        2 In compound subject, predicate, etc.

                        3 After conjunction

                        4 Around essential elements

                        5 Around series

                        6 Before indirect quotation


40        The Semicolon  

            a          Main clauses without and, but, etc.

            b          Main clauses with however, for example, etc.

            c          Main clauses or series items with commas

            d          Misuses


41        The Colon  

            a          Concluding explanation, series, etc.

            b          Salutation of business letter, title and subtitle, divisions of time

            c          Misuses


42        The Apostrophe  

            a          Possession

            b          Misuses

                        1 Plural nouns: Joneses, not Jones’

                        2 Singular verbs: makes, not make’s

                        3 Possessive personal pronouns: its, not it’s

                        4 Contractions

                        5 Plural abbreviations, etc.


43        Quotation Marks  

            a          Direct quotations

            b          Quotation within quotation

            c          Dialog

            d          Titles of works

            e          Words used in a special sense

            f           Misuses

            g          With other punctuation


44        Other Marks  

            a          Dash or dashes

            b          Parentheses

            c          Ellipsis mark

            d          Brackets

            e          Slash





45        Spelling and the Hyphen  

            a          Typical spelling problems

            b          Spelling rules

            c          The hyphen


46        Capital Letters  

            a          First word of sentence

            b          Proper nouns and adjectives

            c          Titles and subtitles of words

            d          Online communication


47        Italics or Underlining  

            a          Titles of works

            b          Ships, aircraft, spacecraft, trains

            c          Foreign words

            d          Words or characters names as words

            e          Emphasis

            f           Online communication


48        Abbreviations  

            a          Titles before and after proper names

            b          Familiar abbreviations and acronyms

            c          BC, BCE, AD, CE, AM, PM, no., $

            d          Latin abbreviations

            e          Inc., Bros., Co., &

            f           Units of measurement, names, etc.


49        Numbers  

            a          Numerals vs. words

            b          Dates, addresses, etc.

            c          Beginning sentences




50        Research Strategy  

            a          Planning

            b          Research journal

            c          Researchable subject and question

            d          Goals for sources

            e          Working, annotated bibliography



51        Finding Sources  

            a          Your library’s Web site

            b          Searching electronically

            c          Reference works

            d          Books

            e          Periodicals

            f           The Web

            g          Social media

            h          Government publications

            i           Visals, audio, and video

            j           Your own sources        


52        Working with Sources  

            a          Evaluating sources

            b          Synthesizing sources

            c          Gathering information

            d          Using summary, paraphrase, and quotation

            e          Integrating sources


53        Avoiding Plagiarism  

            a          Deliberate and accidental plagiarism

            b          What not to acknowledge

            c          What must be acknowledged

            d          Obtaining permission


54        Documenting Sources  

            a          Discipline styles for documentation    

            b          Bibliography software


55        Writing the Paper  

            a          Focusing and organizing

            b          Drafting, revising, editing, and formatting


56        Reading and Writing about Literature  

            a          Methods and evidence

            b          Writing assignments

            c          Tools and language

            d          Documentation and format

            e          SAMPLE LITERARY ANALYSIS


57        Writing in Other Disciplines  

            a          Humanities

            b          Social sciences

            c          Natural and applied sciences


58        MLA Documentation and Format                   

                        Indexes to models

            a          Parenthetical text citations

            b          List of works cited

            c          Format of paper

            d          SAMPLE MLA PAPER


59        APA Documentation and Format

                        Indexes to models

            a          Parenthetical text citations

            b          List of references

            c          Format of paper

            d          SAMPLE APA PAPER


60        Chicago Documentation        

                        Index to models

            a          Notes and bibliography entries

            b          Models


61        CSE Documentation   

                        Index to models

            a          Name-year text citations

            b          Numbered text citations          

            c          List of references





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