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A Troubleshooting Guide for Writers: Strategies and Process,9780072876895

A Troubleshooting Guide for Writers: Strategies and Process

by
Edition:
4th
ISBN13:

9780072876895

ISBN10:
0072876891
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
5/27/2004
Publisher(s):
McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages
List Price: $38.94
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Summary

A Troubleshooting Guide for Writers: Strategies and Process is a brief rhetoric and reference for academic and business writers that provides over 280 specific writing strategies for solving problems at every stage of the writing process--from idea generation through editing. The book's practical approach not only helps writers with the broad challenges of planning and organization, but also with the specific challenges of style and grammar.

Table of Contents

Myths about writing an introduction 1(1)
Don't Believe Everything You Hear 2(1)
How to Become a Better Writer 3(13)
A Sample Essay: "The Uniform Solution" 16(5)
PART I A Troubleshooting Guide to Prewriting 21(24)
CHAPTER ONE "I don't know what to write"
23(12)
Freewrite
23(1)
Use Looping
24(1)
Try Clustering
24(2)
Write a List
26(1)
Brainstorm
27(1)
Examine Your Topic from Different Angles
27(1)
Use Questionnaires
28(1)
Write an Exploratory Draft
28(1)
Relate the Topic to Your Own Experience
28(1)
Talk into a Tape Recorder
29(1)
Talk to Other People
29(1)
Write a Poem
29(1)
Write about Your Block
29(1)
Put Your Writing on the Back Burner
29(1)
Identify Your Purpose and Audience
30(1)
Keep a Journal
30(1)
Combine Techniques
31(1)
Develop Your Own Writing Topic
31(2)
Troubleshooting with a Computer
33(2)
CHAPTER TWO "How do I write a thesis?"
35(3)
Study Your Idea Generation Material
35(1)
Write a Two-Part Thesis
35(1)
Note the Main Points That Will Be Made in Your Essay
36(1)
Limit Your Topic to Something Manageable
36(1)
Express Your Assertion in Specific Words
36(1)
Avoid Factual Statements
37(1)
Avoid Announcing Your Intentions
37(1)
Consider Your Thesis to Be Tentative
37(1)
Troubleshooting with a Computer
37(1)
CHAPTER THREE "How do I get my ideas to Fit together?"
38(7)
Check Your Thesis
38(1)
Write a Scratch Outline
39(1)
Construct an Outline Tree
39(1)
Complete an Outline Worksheet
40(1)
Write an Informal Outline
40(2)
Construct an Outline Map
42(1)
Write an Abstract
42(1)
Troubleshooting with a Computer
42(3)
PART II A Troubleshooting Guide to Drafting 45(26)
CHAPTER FOUR "I know what I want to say, but I can't say it."
47(5)
Get Rid of Distractions
47(1)
Set Intermediate Goals for Yourself
47(1)
Allow Your Draft to Be Rough
48(1)
Write in a New Place
48(1)
Switch Your Writing Tools
48(1)
Write on a Daily Schedule
48(1)
Write a Letter to a Friend
48(1)
Write for Yourself Instead of for a Reader
49(1)
Use a Natural Style
49(1)
Speak into a Tape Recorder
49(1)
Reread Often
49(1)
Walk Away
49(1)
Write the Introduction Last
50(1)
Begin in the Middle
50(1)
Concentrate on What You Can Do and Skip What You Can't Do
50(1)
Resist the Temptation to Rewrite as You Draft
50(1)
Write Fast and Don't Look Back
50(1)
Write an Outline
51(1)
Return to Idea Generation
51(1)
Troubleshooting with a Computer
51(1)
CHAPTER FIVE "I'm having trouble with my introduction."
52(4)
Explain Why Your Topic Is Important
52(1)
Provide Background Information
52(1)
Tell a Story
53(1)
Use an Interesting Quotation
53(1)
Provide Relevant Statistics
54(1)
Find Some Common Ground with Your Reader
54(1)
Describe Something
54(1)
Begin with the Thesis and the Points You Will Discuss
54(1)
Keep It Short
55(1)
Write It Last
55(1)
Troubleshooting with a Computer
55(1)
CHAPTER SIX "How do I back up what I say?"
56(7)
Use Your Own Experience
56(1)
Use What You Observe
56(1)
Tell a Story
57(1)
Describe People and Places
57(1)
Give Examples
58(1)
Give Reasons
58(1)
Show Similarities or Differences
59(1)
Explain Causes or Effects
60(1)
Explain How Something Is Made or Done
60(1)
Explain What Would Happen if Your View Were Not Adopted
61(1)
Consider Opposing Views
61(1)
Use Material from Outside Sources
62(1)
Troubleshooting with a Computer
62(1)
CHAPTER SEVEN "I don't know how to end."
63(4)
Explain the Significance of Your Main Point
63(1)
Provide a Helpful Summary
64(1)
Explain the Consequences of Ignoring Your Thesis
64(1)
Conclude with a Point You Want to Emphasize
64(1)
Restate Your Thesis for Emphasis
64(1)
Suggest a Course of Action
65(1)
Ask a Question
65(1)
Look to the Future
65(1)
Combine Approaches
66(1)
Keep It Short
66(1)
Troubleshooting with a Computer
66(1)
CHAPTER EIGHT "I cant Think of the right word."
67(4)
Write in a Natural Style
67(1)
Use ITTS
68(1)
Substitute a Phrase or a Sentence for a Troublesome Word
68(1)
Ask Around
68(1)
Freewrite for Three Minutes
68(1)
Skip the Problem and Return to It Later
68(1)
Use Simple, Specific Words
69(1)
Use the Thesaurus and Dictionary Wisely
69(1)
Troubleshooting with a Computer
69(2)
PART III A Troubleshooting Guide to Revising 71(42)
CHAPTER NINE "I thought my draft was better Than This."
74(4)
Be Realistic
74(1)
Walk Away
74(1)
Share Your Draft
74(1)
Listen to Your Draft
75(1)
Identify Two Changes That Will Improve Your Draft
75(1)
Write a Second Draft without Looking at the First
75(1)
Do Not Despair if You Must Start Over
75(1)
Try to Salvage Something
75(1)
Do the Best You Can with What You Have
76(1)
Troubleshooting with a Computer
76(1)
Examining a Draft
77(1)
CHAPTER TEN "I don't know what to change."
78(7)
Walk Away
78(1)
Construct a Reader Profile
78(1)
Think Like Your Reader
79(1)
Describe Your Draft Paragraph by Paragraph
79(1)
Type Your Draft
80(1)
Listen to Your Draft
80(1)
Underline Main Points
80(1)
Outline Your Draft after Writing It
80(1)
Revise in Stages
80(1)
Share Your Introduction and Conclusion
81(1)
Share Your Draft
81(1)
Pretend to Be Someone Else
82(1)
Use a Revising Checklist
82(1)
Trust Your Instincts
83(1)
Do Not Edit Prematurely
83(1)
Troubleshooting with a Computer
83(1)
Examining a Draft
84(1)
CHAPTER ELEVEN "Is It cheating if someone helps me?"
85(4)
Choose Your Readers Carefully
85(1)
Give Your Readers a Legible Draft
85(1)
Give Your Readers Guidance
85(2)
Get More Than One Opinion
87(1)
Ask for Specific Revision Strategies
87(1)
Ask Readers to Point Out Strengths as Well as Weaknesses
87(1)
Evaluate Responses Carefully
87(1)
Troubleshooting with a Computer
87(1)
Examining a Draft
88(1)
CHAPTER TWELVE "My ideas seem all mixed up."
89(4)
Use Topic Sentences
89(1)
Write a Postdraft Outline
89(1)
Use Transitions
90(1)
Repeat Key Words
90(1)
Use Synonyms
90(1)
Use Outline Cards
91(1)
Troubleshooting with a Computer
91(1)
Examining a Draft
92(1)
CHAPTER THIRTEEN "My draft is too short."
93(5)
Underline Major Points
93(1)
Show after You Tell
94(1)
Add Description
94(1)
Add Examples
94(1)
Add Dialogue
94(1)
Evaluate the Significance of an Idea
95(1)
Share Your Draft with a Reliable Reader
95(1)
Return to Idea Generation
95(1)
Check Your Thesis
96(1)
Troubleshooting with a Computer
96(1)
Examining a Draft
97(1)
CHAPTER FOURTEEN "My draft is too long."
98(4)
Check Your Thesis
98(1)
Eliminate Unnecessary Points
98(1)
Outline Your Draft
99(1)
Eliminate Wordiness
99(1)
Do Not Overwrite Your Introduction or Conclusion
100(1)
Troubleshooting with a Computer
100(1)
Examining a Draft
101(1)
CHAPTER FIFTEEN "My writing seems boring"
102(5)
Replace General Words with Specific Ones
102(1)
Use Active Voice
103(1)
Substitute Action Verbs for Forms of To Be
103(1)
Rewrite Cliches
103(1)
Eliminate Obvious Statements
103(1)
Include Dialogue
104(1)
Add Description
104(1)
Add Examples
104(1)
Tell a Story
104(1)
Check Your Thesis
105(1)
Troubleshooting with a Computer
105(1)
Examining a Draft
106(1)
CHAPTER SIXTEEN "My writing sounds choppy"
107(6)
Use Different Sentence Openers
107(1)
Vary the Placement of Transitions
108(1)
Combine Short Sentences
108(1)
Follow Long Sentences with Short Ones and Short Sentences with Long Ones
109(1)
Use Parallel Constructions
109(1)
Use Your Ear
109(1)
Troubleshooting with a Computer
110(1)
Examining a Draft
110(3)
PART IV A Troubleshooting Guide to Editing 113(52)
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN "I don't Find my mistakes."
116(5)
Edit Last
116(1)
Leave Your Work for a While
116(1)
Point to Each Word and Punctuation Mark
116(1)
Use a Ruler
117(1)
Prepare a Fresh, Word-Processed Copy
117(1)
Listen to Your Draft
117(1)
Learn Your Pattern of Error
117(1)
Use an Editing Checklist
118(1)
Trust Your Instincts
118(1)
Edit More than Once
118(1)
When in Doubt, Check It Out
118(1)
Learn the Rules
119(1)
Get Help
119(1)
Troubleshooting with a Computer
119(2)
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN "I used a period and a capital letter, so why isn't this a sentence?"
121(5)
Understand What a Sentence Fragment Is
121(1)
Isolate Everything You Are Calling a Sentence
122(1)
Read Your Draft Backward
122(1)
Check -ing and -ed Verb Forms
122(1)
Check for Fragment Warning Words
123(1)
Watch Out for Who, Whom, Whose, Which, and Where
123(1)
Eliminate the Fragments
124(1)
Troubleshooting with a Computer
125(1)
CHAPTER NINETEEN "How can this be a run-on or a comma splice? It's Not even long."
126(3)
Understand What Run-On Sentences and Comma Splices Are
126(1)
Understand How to Seperate Independent Clauses
127(1)
Study Sentences Individually
127(1)
Underline Warning Words
127(1)
Forget about Long and Short
127(1)
Troubleshooting with a Computer
128(1)
CHAPTER TWENTY "It is I; it is me-what's the difference"
129(6)
Cross Out Everything in the Phrase but the Pronoun
129(1)
Cross Out Words That Rename
130(1)
Add the Missing Words in Comparisons
130(1)
Use They, Their, and Them with Plural Nouns
131(1)
Remember That the -Body, -One, and -Thing Words Are Singular
131(1)
Circle Who and Whom and Underline the Rest of the Clause
132(1)
Determine Who You Refers To
132(1)
Check It and They
132(1)
Avoid Unclear Reference
133(1)
Be Careful of This and Which
133(1)
Troubleshooting with a Computer
133(2)
CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE "How do I know which verb Form to use?"
135(5)
Cross Out Phrases before the Verb
135(1)
Rewrite Questions
136(1)
Rewrite Sentences Beginning with Here and There
136(1)
Watch Out for Subjects Joined by Or and Either/Or
136(1)
Watch Out for Indefinite Pronouns
137(1)
Understand Verb Tenses
137(1)
Listen to Your Verb Tenses
138(1)
Troubleshooting with a Computer
139(1)
CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO "I'm unsure about modifiers."
140(4)
Know When to Use an Adjective and When to Use an Adverb
140(1)
Remember that Good Is an Adjective and Well Is an Adverb-with One Caution and One Exception
141(1)
Do Not Use More or Most with an -er or -est Form
142(1)
Check Sentences That Open with -ing or -ed Verb Forms
142(1)
Move Modifiers near the Words They Describe
143(1)
Troubleshooting with a Computer
143(1)
CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE "Can't I Just place a comma wherever I pause?"
144(4)
Find the Subject and Look in Front of It
144(1)
Find the Coordinating Conjunction, and Then Look Left and Right
145(1)
Look for Series
145(1)
Identify Nonessential Elements
146(1)
Troubleshooting with a Computer
146(2)
CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR "What IF I want to quote somebody?"
148(3)
Consider Where in the Sentence the Quotation Occurs
148(1)
Determine Whether the Quotation or the Entire Sentence Asks a Question
149(1)
Reproduce a Person's Thoughts as a Quotation
149(1)
Be Sure You Really Have Exact Words
149(1)
Troubleshooting with a Computer
149(2)
CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE "I have 'trouble with apostrophes."
151(3)
Identify the Missing Letter(s) in a Contraction
151(1)
Use It's Only When You Can Substitute It is or It Has
151(1)
Avoid Contractions
151(1)
Use the "Of" Test
152(1)
For Possessive Forms, Ask Two Questions
152(1)
Watch Out for Possessive Pronouns
153(1)
Troubleshooting with a Computer
153(1)
CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX "I never know what to capitalize."
154(3)
Capitalize the Names of Animals, People, and the Titles before People's Names
154(1)
Capitalize Titles of Relatives Substituted for Names
154(1)
Capitalize Specific Geographic Locations, Names of Nationalities, and Adjectives Delivered from Them
154(1)
Capitalize Religions, Sacred Books, and Words and Pronouns that Refer to God
155(1)
Capitalize Specific Days, Months, and Holidays
155(1)
Capitalize Specific Brand Names
155(1)
Capitalize Specific Organizations, Companies, and Buildings
155(1)
Capitalize Specific Historic Events, Documents, and Periods
155(1)
Capitalize Titles Correctly
156(1)
Troubleshooting with a Computer
156(1)
CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN "I can't spell."
157(8)
When in Doubt, Check It Out
157(1)
Buy Two Dictionaries
157(1)
Use a Pronunciation Dictionary
157(1)
Use a Spelling Dictionary
158(1)
Use a Pocket Spell Checker
158(1)
Learn Correct Pronunciations
158(1)
Break a Word into Parts
158(1)
Break a Word into Syllables
158(1)
Look for Prefixes
158(1)
Use Memory Tricks
159(1)
Learn the Homophones
160(2)
Underline Words to Check Later
162(1)
Deep a Spelling List
162(1)
Troubleshooting with a Computer
162(3)
PART V A Troubleshooting Guide to Research 165(18)
CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT "How do I Find good sources-and why do I need them?"
161(10)
Get to Know Your Campus Library
167(1)
Consider Your Needs
168(1)
Use Reference Works
168(1)
Use the Computerized Catalog to Locate Books
168(1)
Use Indexes to Locate Magazine, Journal, and Newspaper Articles
169(1)
Search the Internet
169(1)
Use High-Quality Sources
170(1)
CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE "What do I do with the sources I Find?"
171(8)
Skim Your Sources to Determine Their Usefulness
171(1)
Paraphrase Important Ideas
171(1)
Use Summary when Appropriate
172(1)
Use Quotations Appropriately
173(1)
Combine Sources with Each Other and Your Ideas
174(1)
Document Source Material Appropriately
174(4)
Avoid Plagiarism
178(1)
CHAPTER THIRTY "What does an essay with sources look like?"
179(4)
Student Essay: "The Benefits of School Consolidation"
180(3)
PART VI Appendixes 183
Appendix A Ideas For Writing
184(3)
Appendix B Taking Essay Examinations
187


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