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The Little Penguin Handbook



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The Little Penguin Handbook continues to revolutionize the way pocket handbooks present information. With more visuals and sample documents than other pocket handbooks, this handy full-color reference gives students just what they need to know about the writing and research processes, while providing extensive coverage of documentation and grammar. With a reorganized and expanded plagiarism chapter, new visual “maps” of the writing and research processes, an updated section on writing in the disciplines, and a new chapter on composing in online genres, The Little Penguin Handbook continues to be an invaluable resource for students in composition courses and in courses across the curriculum.

Author Biography

Lester Faigley holds the Robert Adger Law and Thos. H. Law Professorship in Humanities at the University of Texas at Austin. He was the founding director of the Division (now Department) of Rhetoric and Writing at Texas in 1993, and he served as the 1996 Chair of the Conference on College Composition and Communication. Faigley has published over twenty books and editions, including Fragments of Rationality (Pittsburgh, 1992), which received the MLA Mina P. Shaughnessy Prize.

Table of Contents

Part 1    Composing

1             Think as a Writer    

a Think About the Process of Communication   

b Think About Your Audience   

c Think About Your Credibility   


2             Read and View with a Critical Eye    

a Become a Critical Reader   

b Become a Critical Viewer   


3             Plan and Draft    

a Establish Goals and Find a Topic   

b Write a Working Thesis   

c Determine Your Organization   

d Focus Your Paragraphs   

e Write Effective Beginning and Ending Paragraphs   


4             Revise, Edit, and Proofread    

a Evaluate Your Draft   

b Learn Strategies for Rewriting   

c Edit for Specific Goals

d Proofread Carefully

e Review the Writing of Others


5             Write Arguments    

a Position Arguments and Proposal Arguments   

b Find an Arguable Topic and Make a Claim   

c Organize and Write a Position Argument

d Make a Proposal

e Organize and Write a Proposal Argument


6             Write in Academic Genres    

a Write an Observation   

b Write a Case Study

c Write a Rhetorical Analysis   

d Write an Essay Exam   


7             Write in Online and Multimedia Genres    

a Compose Blogs and Discussion Posts   

b Create Multimedia Projects   


PART 2 Planning Research and Finding Sources


Research Map: Conducting Research   


8          Plan Your Research    

            a Analyze the Research Task   

            b Find and Narrow a Topic   

            c Determine What Kind of Research You Need   

            d Draft a Working Thesis   

            e Create a Working Bibliography 


9          Find Sources    

            a Develop Strategies for Finding Sources   

            b Find Sources in Databases   

            c Find Sources on the Web   

            d Find Print Sources   

            e Keep Track of Sources   


10        Evaluate Sources      

            a Determine the Relevance of Sources   

            b Evaluate Database and Print Sources   

            c Evaluate Web Sources   


11        Plan Field Research      

            a Know What You Can Obtain from Field Research   

            b Conduct Interviews   

            c Administer Surveys   

            d Make Observations   


PART 3 Incorporating and Documenting Sources


12 Use Sources Effectively and Avoid Plagiarism   

a Decide When to Quote and When to Summarize and Paraphrase   

b Take Notes Effectively  

c Use Quotations Effectively  

d Integrate Quotations

e Use Summaries and Paraphrases Effectively  


13 Understand and Avoid Plagiarism  

a What Is Plagiarism?   

b Which Sources Do You Need to Acknowledge?   


14        MLA Documentation    

            MLA Documentation Map    

            a Citing Sources in an MLA-Style Project  

            b Creating the List of Works Cited  

            c In-text Citations in MLA Style  

            d Illustrated Samples and Index of Works Cited  

            e Journals, Magazines Newspapers, and Other Print Sources   

            f Books   

            g Library Database Sources   

            h Web Sources and Other Online Sources   

            i Visual Sources   

            j Multimedia Sources   

            k Sample Research Paper with MLA Documentation   


15        APA Documentation    

            a In-text Citations in APA Style  

            b Illustrated Samples and Index of References  

            c Periodical Sources   

            d Books  

            e Online Sources  

            f Visual and Multimedia Sources

            g Sample Pages from a Research Paper with APA Documentation


16        CMS Documentation 

            a The Elements of CMS Documentation

            b Books and Nonperiodical Sources

            c Periodical Sources

            d Online Sources

              e Sample Pages with CMS Documentation


17        CSE Documentation 

            a In-Text References in CSE Style

            b Books and Nonperiodical Sources

            c Periodical Sources

            d Online Sources

              e Sample Pages with CSE Documentation



Part 4  Effective Style and Language

18        Write with Power 

            a Recognize active and passive voice  

            b Use action verbs  

            c Find agents  

            d Vary your sentences  


19        Write Concisely 

            a Eliminate unnecessary words  

            b Reduce wordy phrases  

            c Simplify tangled sentences  


20          Write with Emphasis 

            a Manage emphasis within sentences  

            b Forge links across sentences  

            c Use parallel structure with parallel ideas  


21        Find the Right Words 

            a Be aware of levels of formality  

            b Be aware of denotation and connotation  

            c Use specific language  

            d Write to be inclusive  

            e Recognize international varieties of English  


Part 5  Understanding Grammar

22        Fragments, Run-ons, and Comma Splices 

            a Fragments  

            b Run-on sentences  

            c Comma splices  


23        Subject-Verb Agreement 

            a Agreement in the present tense  

            b Singular and plural subjects  

            c Indefinite pronouns as subjects  

            d Collective nouns as subjects  

            e Inverted word order  

            f Amounts, numbers, and pairs  


24        Verbs 

            a Basic verb forms  

            b Irregular verbs  

            c Transitive and intransitive verbs  


25        Pronouns 

            a Pronoun case  

            b Pronoun agreement  

            c Avoiding sexist pronouns  

            d Vague reference  


26        Shifts 

            a Shifts in tense  

            b Shifts in mood  

            c Shifts in voice  

            d Shifts in person and number  


27        Modifiers 

            a Choose the correct modifier  

            b Place adjectives carefully  

            c Place adverbs carefully  

            d Hyphens with compound modifiers  

            e Revise dangling modifiers  


28        Grammar for Multilingual Writers 

            a Nouns  

            b Articles  

            c Verbs  


Part 6  Understanding Puncutation and Mechanics

29        Commas 

            a Commas with introductory elements  

            b Commas with compound clauses  

            c Commas with nonrestrictive modifiers  

            d Commas with items in a series  

            e Commas with coordinate adjectives  

            f Commas with quotations  

            g Commas with dates, numbers, titles, and addresses  

            h Commas to avoid confusion  

            i Unnecessary commas  


30          Semicolons and Colons 

            a Semicolons with closely related main clauses  

            b Semicolons together with commas  

            c Colons in sentences  

            d Colons with lists  


31        Dashes and Parentheses 

            a Dashes and parentheses to set off information  

            b Dashes and parentheses versus commas  

            c Other punctuation with parentheses  


32        Apostrophes 

            a Possessives  

            b Contractions and omitted letters  

            c Plurals of letters, symbols, and words referred to as words  


33        Quotation Marks 

            a Direct quotations  

            b Titles of short works  

            c Other uses of quotation marks  

            d Other punctuation with quotation marks  

            e Misuses of quotation marks  


34        Other Punctuation Marks 

            a Periods  

            b Question marks  

            c Exclamation points  

            d Brackets  

            e Ellipses  

            f Slashes  


35        Capitalization, Italics, Abbreviations, Numbers 

            a Capital letters  

            b Italics  

            c Abbreviations  

            d Acronyms  

            e Numbers  


Glossary of Grammatical Terms and Usage 



Revision Guide 

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