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When students routinely use their handbook in the course, they see its value, find that it’s a faster way to get answers than search engines like Google, learn to rely on it as a reference, and are more likely to achieve the goals of the course. And when that handbook is Rules for Writers, you can be sure the advice they find is practical and reliable—with help for composing and revising, writing arguments, analyzing texts, using grammar and punctuation correctly, and working with sources. In revising the eighth edition, Nancy Sommers has woven a new emphasis on reading critically throughout the first section of the handbook, introduced advice for analyzing multimodal texts, and added help for public speaking. New practical Writing Guides support students working through college assignments in a variety of genres. And new peer review advice helps students effectively comment on drafts and apply feedback to revisions of their own work. All of these improvements help student writers—but they also save you time and effort. You can draw from Rules for Writers for planning class discussions, conducting in-class workshops, and providing feedback on student work that they can easily apply. Rules for Writers even comes with a complete instructor’s manual, Teaching with Hacker Handbooks, with stepped-out lesson plans to customize and sample assignments, syllabi, and rubrics from your peers.This easy-to-navigate tabbed version of Rules for Writers includes an additional section with instruction on how to write about literature.
Diana Hacker personally class-tested her handbooks with nearly four thousand students over thirty-five years at Prince George’s Community College in Maryland, where she was a member of the English faculty. Hacker handbooks, built on innovation and on a keen understanding of the challenges facing student writers, are the most widely adopted in America. Hacker handbooks, all published by Bedford/St. Martin’s, include The Bedford Handbook, Ninth Edition (2014); A Writer’s Reference, Eighth Edition (2015); Rules for Writers, Eighth Edition (2016); and A Pocket Style Manual, Seventh Edition (2015).
Nancy Sommers, who has taught composition and directed composition programs for thirty years, now teaches writing and mentors new writing teachers at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. She led Harvard’s Expository Writing Program for twenty years, directing the first-year writing program and establishing Harvard’s WAC program. A two-time Braddock Award winner, Sommers is well known for her research and publications on student writing. Her articles "Revision Strategies of Student and Experienced Writers" and "Responding to Student Writing" are two of the most widely read and anthologized articles in the field of composition. Her recent work involves a longitudinal study of college writing to understand the role writing plays in undergraduate education. Sommers is the lead author on Hacker handbooks, all published by Bedford/St. Martin’s, and is coauthor of Fields of Reading, Tenth Edition (2013).
Table of Contents
Preface for instructors 000The Writing Process 11 Exploring, planning, and drafting 3a Assess the writing situation. 3b Explore your subject. 12 c Draft and revise a working thesis statement. 14 d Draft a plan. 19e Draft an introduction. 22f Draft the body. 24g Draft a conclusion. 25h Manage your files. 292 Revising, editing, and reflecting 30a See revision as a social process. 30b Use peer review: Revise with comments. 30c Use peer review: Give constructive comments. 33d Highlights of one student’s peer review process 35e Approach global revision in cycles. 38f Revise and edit sentences. 43g Proofread the final manuscript. 44h Sample student revision 45i Prepare a portfolio; reflect on your writing. 483 Building effective paragraphs 49a Focus on a main point. 49b Develop the main point. 52c Choose a suitable pattern of organization. 52d Make paragraphs coherent. 59e If necessary, adjust paragraph length. 63Academic Reading, Writing, and Speaking 654 Reading and writing critically 66a Read actively. 66Sample annotated article 67b Outline a text to identify main ideas. 71c Summarize to deepen your understanding. 72d Analyze to demonstrate your critical reading. 73Writing guide: Analytical essay 76e Sample student writing: Analysis of an article 77Sample analysis paper 785 Reading and writing about multimodal texts 80a Read actively. 81Sample annotated advertisement 83b Outline to identify main ideas. 84c Summarize to deepen your understanding. 85d Analyze to demonstrate your critical reading. 86e Sample student writing: Analysis of an advertisement 88Sample analysis of an advertisement 886 Reading and writing arguments 91a Distinguish between reasonable and fallacious argumentative tactics. 92b Distinguish between legitimate and unfair emotional appeals. 98c Judge how fairly a writer handles opposing views. 100d When writing arguments, consider purpose and context. 103e View your audience as a panel of jurors. 103f In your introduction, establish credibility and state your position. 105g Back up your thesis with persuasive lines of argument. 106h Support your claims with specific evidence. 107i Anticipate objections; counter opposing arguments. 109j Build common ground. 111k Sample student writing: Argument 111Sample argument paper 112Writing guide: Argument essay 1187 Speaking confidently 119a Identify your purpose, audience, and context. 120b Prepare a presentation. 120c Focus on delivery. 122d Remix an essay for a presentation. 123Clarity 1258 Prefer active verbs. 126a Active versus passive verbs 126 b Active versus be verbs 127c Subject that names the actor 1289 Balance parallel ideas. 129a Parallel ideas in a series 130b Parallel ideas presented as pairs 130c Repetition of function words 13210 Add needed words. 133 a In compound structures 133b that 134c In comparisons 134 d a, an, and the 13611 Untangle mixed constructions. 137a Mixed grammar 137b Illogical connections 138c is when, is where, and reason . . . is because 13912 Repair misplaced and dangling modifiers. 140a Limiting modifiers 140b Misplaced phrases and clauses 141 c Awkwardly placed modifiers 142d Split infinitives 142e Dangling modifiers 14413 Eliminate distracting shifts. 147a Point of view (person, number) 147b Verb tense 148c Verb mood, voice 149d Indirect to direct questions or quotations 150 14 Emphasize key ideas. 152a Coordination and subordination 152b Choppy sentences 157c Ineffective or excessive coordination 158 d Ineffective subordination 160e Excessive subordination 160f Other techniques 16215 Provide some variety. 163 a Sentence openings 163b Sentence structures 164c Inverted order 16416 Tighten wordy sentences. 166 a Redundancies 166b Unnecessary repetition 166c Empty or inflated phrases 167d Simplifying the structure 168 e Reducing clauses to phrases, phrases to single words 16917 Choose appropriate language. 170a Jargon 171b Pretentious language, euphemisms, "doublespeak" 171 c Slang, regional expressions, nonstandard English 174d Levels of formality 175e Sexist language 176f Offensive language 17918 Find the exact words. 180a Connotations 180b Specific, concrete nouns 181c Misused words 181d Standard idioms 182e Clichés 184f Figures of speech 185Grammar 18719 Repair sentence fragments. 188a Subordinate clauses 190b Phrases 191c Other fragmented word groups 192d Acceptable fragments 194 20 Revise run-on sentences. 195a Revision with coordinating conjunction 197b Revision with semicolon, colon, or dash 198c Revision by separating sentences 199d Revision by restructuring 20021 Make subjects and verbs agree. 202a Standard subject-verb combinations 202b Words between subject and verb 202c Subjects joined with and 203d Subjects joined with or, nor, either . . . or, or neither . . . nor 206e Indefinite pronouns 206f Collective nouns 207g Subject following verb 209 h Subject, not subject complement 209 i who, which, and that 210j Words with plural form, singular meaning 211k Titles of works, company names, words mentioned as words, gerund phrases 211 22 Make pronouns and antecedents agree. 213a Singular with singular, plural with plural (indefinite pronouns, generic nouns) 213b Collective nouns 215c Antecedents joined with and 215d Antecedents joined with or, nor, either . . . or, or neither . . . nor 21623 Make pronoun references clear. 218a Ambiguous or remote reference 218b Broad reference of this, that, which, and it 219c Implied antecedents 219d Indefinite use of they, it, and you 220e who for persons, which or that for animals or things 22124 Distinguish between pronouns such as I and me. 222a Subjective case for subjects and subject complements 223b Objective case for objects 223c Appositives 224d Pronoun following than or as 225e we or us before a noun 225f Subjects and objects of infinitives 225g Pronoun modifying a gerund 22625 Distinguish between who and whom. 227a In subordinate clauses 228b In questions 229c As subjects or objects of infinitives 22926 Choose adjectives and adverbs with care. 230a Adjectives to modify nouns 231b Adverbs to modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs 232c good and well, bad and badly 233d Comparatives and superlatives 234e Double negatives 23527 Choose appropriate verb forms, tenses, and moods in Standard English. 237a Irregular verbs 237b lie and lay 241c -s (or -es) endings 242d -ed endings 245e Omitted verbs 246f Verb tense 247g Subjunctive mood 252 Multilingual Writers and ESL Challenges 25528 Verbs 256a Appropriate form and tense 256b Passive voice 259c Base form after a modal 261 d Negative verb forms 264e Verbs in conditional sentences 265 f Verbs followed by gerunds or infinitives 267 29 Articles 270a Articles and other noun markers 270 b When to use the 271c When to use a or an 274d When not to use a or an 276e No articles with general nouns 277 f Articles with proper nouns 27730 Sentence structure 279a Linking verb between a subject and its complement 280b A subject in every sentence 280 c Repeated nouns or pronouns with the same grammatical function 281d Repeated subjects, objects, and adverbs in adjective clauses 282e Mixed constructions with although or because 283f Placement of adverbs 284g Present participles and past participles as adjectives 285h Order of cumulative adjectives 28731 Prepositions and idiomatic expressions 288a Prepositions showing time and place 288b Noun (including -ing form) after a preposition 290c Common adjective + preposition combinations 291d Common verb + preposition combinations 291Punctuation 29332 The comma 294a Independent clauses joined with and, but, etc. 294b Introductory elements 295c Items in a series 297d Coordinate adjectives 297e Nonrestrictive and restrictive elements 299f Transitions, parenthetical expressions, absolute phrases, contrasts 303g Direct address, yes and no, interrogative tags, interjections 305hhe said, etc. 305i Dates, addresses, titles, numbers 306j To prevent confusion 30733 Unnecessary commas 308a Between two words, phrases, or subordinate clauses 308b Between a verb and its subject or object 309c Before the first or after the last item in a series 309d Between cumulative adjectives, an adjective and a noun, or an adverb and an adjective 309 e Before and after restrictive or parenthetical elements 310f Before essential concluding adverbial elements 310g After a phrase beginning an inverted sentence 311h Other misuses 31134 The semicolon 313a Between independent clauses not joined with a coordinating conjunction 313b Between independent clauses linked with a transitional expression 314c In a series containing internal punctuation 315d Misuses 31535 The colon 317a Before a list, an appositive, or a quotation 317b Conventional uses 318c Misuses 31836 The apostrophe 319a Possessive nouns 319b Possessive indefinite pronouns 320c Contractions 321d Not for plural numbers, letters, abbreviations, words as words 321e Misuses 32237 Quotation marks 323a Direct quotations 324b Quotation within a quotation 325c Titles of short works 325d Words as words 325e With other punctuation marks 326f Misuses 32838 End punctuation 330a The period 330b The question mark 331c The exclamation point 33139 Other punctuation marks 332a The dash 332b Parentheses 333c Brackets 334d The ellipsis mark 334e The slash 335Mechanics 33740 Abbreviations 338a Titles with proper names 338b Familiar abbreviations 338c Conventional abbreviations 339d Units of measurement 339e Latin abbreviations 340f Plural of abbreviations 340g Misuses 34041 Numbers 341a Spelling out 341b Using numerals 34242 Italics 343a Titles of works 343b Names of ships, spacecraft, and aircraft 344c Foreign words 344d Words as words, letters as letters, numbers as numbers 34443 Spelling 345a Spelling rules 345 b The dictionary 347c Words that sound alike 351d Commonly misspelled words 35144 The hyphen 353a Compound words 353b Hyphenated adjectives 354c Fractions and compound numbers 354d With certain prefixes and suffixes 355e To avoid ambiguity or to separate awkward double or triple letters 355f Word division 35545 Capitalization 356a Proper vs. common nouns 356 b Titles with proper names 358c Titles and subtitles of works 358d First word of a sentence 359e First word of a quoted sentence 359f First word after a colon 359Grammar Basics 36146 Parts of speech 362a Nouns 362b Pronouns 363c Verbs 365d Adjectives 367e Adverbs 368f Prepositions 369g Conjunctions 370h Interjections 37147 Sentence patterns 375a Subjects 375b Verbs, objects, and complements 378c Pattern variations 38248 Subordinate word groups 383a Prepositional phrases 384b Verbal phrases 385c Appositive phrases 388d Absolute phrases 388e Subordinate clauses 38949 Sentence types 392a Sentence structures 392b Sentence purposes 394Research 39550 Thinking like a researcher; gathering sources 396a Manage the project. 396b Pose questions worth exploring. 398c Map out a search strategy. 401d Search efficiently; master a few shortcuts to finding good sources. 402e Conduct field research, if appropriate. 406f Write a research proposal. 40851 Managing information; taking notes responsibly 408a Maintain a working bibliography. 409b Keep track of source materials. 410c Take notes carefully to avoid unintentional plagiarism. 41052 Evaluating sources 416a Think about how sources might contribute to your writing. 416b Select sources worth your time and attention. 418c Select appropriate versions of online sources. 421d Read with an open mind and a critical eye. 422e Assess Web sources with care. 424f Construct an annotated bibliography. 427Writing guide: Annotated bibliography 428Writing Papers in MLA Style 43153 Supporting a thesis 435a Form a working thesis. 435 b Organize your ideas. 436 c Use sources to inform and support your argument. 437d Draft an introduction for your thesis. 439e Draft the paper in an appropriate voice. 44054 Citing sources; avoiding plagiarism 441a Understand how the MLA system works. 441b Avoid plagiarism when quoting, summarizing, and paraphrasing sources. 442 55 Integrating sources 445 a Summarize and paraphrase effectively. 446b Use quotations effectively. 447c Use signal phrases to integrate sources. 450d Synthesize sources. 45456 Documenting sources in MLA style 458a MLA in-text citations 458b MLA list of works cited 468c MLA information notes 51257 MLA manuscript format; sample research paper 513a MLA manuscript format 513b Sample MLA research paper 516Writing Papers in APA Style 52758 Supporting a thesis 530a Form a working thesis. 530 b Organize your ideas. 531c Use sources to inform and support your argument. 53259 Citing sources; avoiding plagiarism 534a Understand how the APA system works. 534b Avoid plagiarism when quoting, summarizing, and paraphrasing sources. 53560 Integrating sources 537a Summarize and paraphrase effectively. 538b Use quotations effectively. 539c Use signal phrases to integrate sources. 541d Synthesize sources. 54561 Documenting sources in APA style 546a APA in-text citations 547b APA list of works cited 55362 APA manuscript format; sample paper 580a APA manuscript format 581b Sample APA research paper 584Appendixes 597A document design gallery 597Glossary of usage 608Answers to lettered exercises 622Index 636Writing about LiteratureL1 Reading to form an interpretationa a Read actively. b Form an interpretation. L2 Planning the papera a Draft a thesis. b Sketch an outline. L3 Writing the papera a Draft an introduction. b Support your interpretation; avoid simple plot summary. L4 Observing conventionsa a Refer to authors, titles, and characters. b Use the present tense. c Use MLA style to format quotations. L5 Integrating quotations from the texta a Distinguish between the author and a narrator or speaker. b Provide context for quotations. c Avoid shifts in tense. d Indicate changes in a quotation: use brackets and the ellipsis mark. e Enclose embedded quotations in single quotation marks. f Use MLA style to cite passages from the work.L6 Using secondary sourcesa a Document sources. b Avoid plagiarism. L7 Sample papersAn analysis of a poemPoem: "Ballad of the Landlord," by Langston HughesAn analysis of a short story (with secondary sources)Short story: "A Jury of Her Peers," by Susan GlaspellIndex for Writing about Literature