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Visions Across the Americas : Short Essays for Composition,9781413016260
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Visions Across the Americas : Short Essays for Composition

by ;
Edition:
6th
ISBN13:

9781413016260

ISBN10:
141301626X
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
3/7/2006
Publisher(s):
Cengage Learning
List Price: $124.95
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Summary

VISIONS ACROSS THE AMERICAS presents 70 cross-cultural essays on diverse topics such as: Language and Culture; the Family; Americans and Immigrants; Education and Intelligence; Lifestyles; Racism, Sexism, and Ageism; American Society, Prejudices and Stereotypes; and Technology, Cyberspace, and the Cosmos. Each chapter provides students with a blueprint for a specific essay type, with pre- and post-reading questions and activities that reinforce an understanding of the rhetorical modes, and encourage them to think and write clearly and critically.

Table of Contents

1. COMMUNICATING IS LANGUAGE AT WORK 1(53)
TIPS ON BECOMING AN ACTIVE READER
2(7)
Toni Morrison, "Writers Together" (annotated)
4(5)
Morrison discusses the dangers faced by authors on a daily basis from censorship to anti-intellectualism and suggests that they might be symptoms of a larger problem or "...perhaps the mood of a terrified, defensive, bullying nation no longer sure of what the point is?"
RESPONDING TO READINGS: CONSTRUCTING PARAGRAPHS AND ESSAYS
9(22)
Generating Ideas and Establishing a Focus
10(7)
Peter Elbow, "Freewriting"
12(12)
Freewriting without stopping for revision or editing is one way to lessen writer's block and develop a natural voice. According to Elbow, "The habit of compulsive, premature editing doesn't just make writing hard. It also makes writing dead."
Structuring Essays
17(2)
Point of View: Position of Authority
19(2)
Lead-Ins and Concluding Sentences
21(2)
Transitions
23(1)
Revising and Editing
24(7)
Joanne Jaime, "Marriage: The Changing Institution" (annotated)
26(10)
In this annotated student essay, Joanne Jaime examines the institution of marriage and finds that the "current high divorce rate in the United States is directly related to our views about marriage, our motives for marriage, and our expectations of marriage."
SPECIAL WRITING ACTIVITIES: THE INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP RESPONSE
31(4)
Journal, Reading/Writing Logs, and Thesis Notebooks
32(1)
Response and Summary
33(1)
Group Activities and Collaborative Writing
34(1)
SUMMATION
35(19)
Pat Mora, "Why I Am a Writer"
36(4)
Mora takes "pride in being a Hispanic writer." She states that "I want to give others what writers have given me, a chance to hear the voices of the people I will never meet."
Ray Bradbury, "The Joy of Writing"
40(7)
Bradbury likens the writing process to a "weather report: Hot today, cool tomorrow," because the first draft of an essay or story should be written with "fire," with "zest" and "gusto," but on subsequent drafts, the writer must "pour cold critical water upon the simmering coals" of content and structure.
Amy Tan, "My Mother's English"
47(7)
Author of the best-selling The Joy Luck Club, Tan examines the different Englishes with which she grew up, especially the English used by her Chinese immigrant mother.
2. NARRATION 54(47)
COMMON ELEMENTS OF NARRATION
54(2)
Creating Chronological Order
54(1)
Developing Character
55(1)
Establishing Mood and Tone
55(1)
TIPS ON WRITING NARRATIVE ESSAYS
56(43)
Maxine Hong Kingston, "Ghosts"
57(5)
Kingston relates one of China's legends, "Sit Dom Kuei," using the atmosphere of a ghost story and explores the characteristics of ghost warriors.
Black Elk, "The Offering of the Pipe" as told to John G. Neihardt (Flaming Rainbow)
62(5)
A holy man of the Oglala Sioux, Black Elk discusses the origin and meaning of the sacred pipe.
Alice Walker, "Journey to Nine Miles"
67(7)
A novelist, poet, and screenwriter takes her family on a pilgrimage to the gravesite of Bob Marley, a legendary reggae artist, and she returns with a renewed outlook on life.
Nguyen Ngoc Ngan, "Saigon, April 1975"
74(8)
Nguyen creates two moods: one of complete depression and panic as the Viet Cong advance on the city, and the other mood of power and destruction.
Alma Luz Villanueva, "Leaps of Faith"
82(8)
As Villanueva stares at the comet Hyakutake, she says, "I imagine my (our) ancestors crossing the Bering Strait, the immense, most incredible leap of faith to push forward." Like these ancestors, Villanueva explains how writers make similar leaps of faith, allowing characters to struggle, discover, dream, create, and recreate.
Arthur C. Clarke, "The Star"
90(13)
In Arthur C. Clarke's short story "The Star," the narrator states, "Once I believed that space could have no power over Faith" in the same way he believed that "the heavens declared God's handiwork." However, now that he had seen that handiwork, his faith as a Jesuit astrophysicist was "sorely troubled."
ADDITIONAL TOPICS AND ISSUES FOR NARRATIVE ESSAYS
99(2)
3. DESCRIPTION 101(46)
DETAILS: APPEALING TO THE FIVE SENSES
101(1)
FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE: APPEALING TO THE IMAGINATION
102(1)
DIALOGUE: REVEALING CHARACTERS THROUGH SPEECH
103(1)
ACTIONS: DESCRIBING PEOPLE BY WHAT THEY DO
103(1)
TIPS ON WRITING DESCRIPTIVE ESSAYS
103(44)
Toshio Mori, "The Woman Who Makes Swell Doughnuts"
105(5)
Mori remembers an elderly woman in his neighborhood that everyone called "Mama." Recalling his many visits with her, he creates a vivid portrait of this woman who could sit and talk for hours with friends.
Maya Angelou, "Champion of the World" from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
110(6)
Angelou describes one night at her Uncle Willie's store when Joe Louis defended his boxing title against a white contender: "The apprehensive mood was shot through with shafts of gaiety, as a black sky is streaked with lightning."
Katherine Barrett, "Old Before Her Time"
116(10)
Barrett writes about a woman who spent three years of her young adulthood in an experiment: "In 1979, Patty Moore—then aged twenty-six—transformed herself for the first of many times into an eighty-five-year-old woman."
N. Scott Momaday, from "The Way to Rainy Mountain"
126(8)
Momaday returns to the land of his people, Kiowa Indians, for his grandmother's funeral. While he hikes near Rainy Mountain, he connects the land, the people, and the life and death of his grandmother.
Barbara Graham, "Confessions of a Quit Addict"
134(6)
After dropping out of New York University only one month into her sophomore year, Graham testifies, "That was the first time I felt the rush of quitting, the instant high of cutting loose, the biochemical buzz of burning my bridges." However, "the charge had nothing to do with leaving college for something else, but with leaving, period—the pure act of making the break."
Langston Hughes, "Salvation"
140(9)
At his Auntie Reed's revival meeting, Langston Hughes began to feel ashamed of himself because he was "holding everything up so long." Therefore, he decided to be like his friend, Westley, and "say that Jesus had come, and get up and be saved," a decision that would haunt him because he had "deceived everyone in the church."
ADDITIONAL TOPICS AND ISSUES FOR DESCRIPTIVE ESSAYS
145(2)
4. ILLUSTRATION AND EXAMPLE 147(42)
DEVELOPING YOUR THESIS
147(1)
CREATING VIVID EXAMPLES
148(1)
TIPS ON WRITING ILLUSTRATION AND EXAMPLE ESSAYS
149(37)
Mark Katz, "Power Children"
151(5)
Why does American society tend to "worship the false god of youth"? Tongue-in-cheek, Katz observes that "today's teenagers hold such a commanding position in our economy, it's only a matter of time before antiquated child-labor laws are inverted to establish a maximum wage and minimum working hours." After all, it would hardly be fair to "keep these kids stuck at home or in a classroom during their peak earning years."
Nikki Giovanni, "My Own Style"
156(5)
Giovanni has her own style of doing things and doesn't care what people think. She says, "I've heard all the jokes about BUMPS Black Upwardly Mobile Professionals—but I like a BUMP Hell, I am one."
Philip K. Chiu, "The Myth of the Model Minority"
161(5)
The myth of the superhuman Chinese American is finally being shown for what it is—a myth. Chiu is glad to see that the negative side of Chinese Americans has shown that members of the "model minority" are just as human as other American citizens.
Ann Scheid, "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?: Is the Human Race Its Own Worst Enemy?"
166(7)
While working diligently to defrost, pollute, and rid the planet of hundreds of animal and plant species daily, the human race, greedy for profit, may be signing its own death warrant.
Russell C. Leong, "Notes from a Son to His Father"
173(5)
Leong struggles to understand his father's ways of doing things by evoking his own memories of childhood. As he does so, Leong realizes that he must become "his own person."
Stephanie Ericsson, "The Ways We Lie"
178(14)
Ericsson uses illustration and example to demonstrate the fact that there are many ways to lie and that Americans tend to lie quite frequently.
ADDITIONAL TOPICS AND ISSUES FOR ILLUSTRATION AND EXAMPLE ESSAYS
186(3)
5. DEFINITION 189(34)
DEFINITION BY EXAMPLE
190(1)
DEFINITION BY HISTORY
190(1)
DEFINITION BY COMPARISON AND CONTRAST
191(1)
DEFINITION BY NEGATION
191(1)
TIPS ON WRITING DEFINITION ESSAYS
192(31)
Isaac Asimov, "What Is Intelligence, Anyway?"
193(4)
A scholar and highly published author, Isaac Asimov reconsiders the relationship between I.Q. tests and real intelligence.
Jo Goodwin Parker, "What Is Poverty?"
197(7)
Using examples drawn from personal experience, Parker explains the meaning of poverty.
Guillermo Gomez-Pena, "Documented/Undocumented"
204(4)
An author who finds himself caught between two cultures defines himself as a "border-crosser."
Richard Rodriguez, "Does America Still Exist?"
208(7)
Does a dream for a single society still exist in America? Has it ever existed? Rodriguez looks at his past and the experiences of immigrants to define and argue what it means to be American.
Lee Herrick, "What Is This Thing Called Family?"
215(10)
Lee Herrick states, "As a Korean adoptee raised by Caucasian parents, I have a unique perspective on the notion of family. It is not defined by physical similarity." He then expands on this point, demonstrating how family is so much more than looking like siblings or parents or being biologically related; "family is about love and struggle and adapting."
ADDITIONAL TOPICS AND ISSUES FOR DEFINITION ESSAYS
221(2)
6. PROCESS ANALYSIS 223(42)
DIRECTIVE PROCESS PAPERS: HOW TO DO SOMETHING
223(1)
INFORMATIONAL PROCESS ESSAYS: HOW SOMETHING IS/WAS DONE
224(1)
TIPS ON WRITING PROCESS ANALYSIS ESSAYS
225(38)
Kathleen Hudson, "Interviews: Stories That Make a Difference"
227(7)
Kathleen Hudson notes that "stories hold people together," and that "those choosing the interview as a way to generate writing, a way to conduct research, or a way to collect important information" should trust in their own vision, their own lives, "whether it's years of experience or an hour's worth of research."
Joyce M. Jarrett, "Freedom"
234(4)
What is freedom? Sometimes it's the ability to do and to be what you want. Other times, the notion of freedom is merely an illusion. Jarrett's first "illusion of freedom came in 1966, many years following the Supreme Court's decision on school desegregation."
Garrison Keillor, "How to Write a Personal Letter"
238(6)
Humorist, essayist, novelist Keillor says, "The first step in writing letters is to get over the guilt of not writing. You don't 'owe' anybody a letter. Letters are a gift."
Malcolm X, "A Homemade Education" from The Autobiography of Malcolm X
244(5)
How does a person become articulate in the English language? Malcolm X discusses the process he used to increase his literacy.
Luis M. Valdez, "Perspectives on 'Borders"'
249(6)
Dramatist, essayist Luis Valdez contemplates the influences of the European, Asian, and African continents on the Americas and notes that ". . . we, our humanity, is a humanity that must pull from within and hold us together, but not without recognizing the four corners of the universe, certainly the four corners of human civilization."
Christine Ng, "Bringing Out the Flirt in You"
255(15)
Freelance writer Christine Ng examines the importance, necessity, and skill of flirting; regardless if a person flirts face to face or online with another, she insists, "be yourself; enjoy the natural pleasures of flirting, and more than anything else, allow your natural confidence and personality to shine through. That way, flirting will make you nobody's fool."
ADDITIONAL TOPICS AND ISSUES FOR PROCESS ANALYSIS ESSAYS
263(2)
7. COMPARISON AND CONTRAST 265(38)
DEVELOPING ESSAYS USING COMPARISON AND CONTRAST
266(1)
IRONY AND VOICE
267(3)
TIPS ON WRITING COMPARISON AND CONTRAST ESSAYS
270(31)
Andrew Lam, "They Shut My Grandmother's Room Door"
271(5)
During a visit to a rest home to visit his grandmother, Lam reflects on the differences between Vietnamese and American attitudes toward death and old age.
E.B. White, "Education"
276(6)
The bus from the private, city school "was as punctual as death: seeing us waiting at the cold curb, it would sweep to a halt, open its mouth, suck the boy in, and spring away with an angry growl." In the country, "all one can say is that the situation is different. . . ."
Suzanne Britt, "That Lean and Hungry Look"
282(6)
Britt ironically comments, "Caesar was right. Thin people need watching. I've been watching them for most of my adult life, and I don't like what I see." Then she develops an essay demonstrating the absurdity of stereotypes by comparing and contrasting thin people and fat people.
Cobie Kwasi Harris, "River of Memory: The Ebb and Flow of Black Consciousness Across the Americas"
288(7)
Harris employs the expository strategy of comparison and contrast to develop his essay on one of the ranking stories in the Americas: the rise of black consciousness from slavery to freedom and how this awareness relates to the slaves' African roots.
Ursula Le Guin, "American SF and The Other"
295(10)
"Male elitism has run rampant in SF [science fiction]," says Le Guin, but "isn't the 'subjugation of women' in SF merely a symptom of a whole which is authoritarian, power-worshipping and intensely parochial?" Her comparative study of "The Other" concludes with a call to all science fiction writers to stop "daydreaming about a return to the age of Queen Victoria" and to replace Baboon mentality with "a little human idealism, and some serious considerations of such deeply radical, futuristic concepts as Liberty, Equality and Fraternity."
ADDITIONAL TOPICS AND ISSUES FOR COMPARISON AND CONTRAST ESSAYS
301(2)
8. DIVISION AND CLASSIFICATION 303(46)
TIPS ON WRITING DIVISION AND CLASSIFICATION ESSAYS
305(36)
Martin Luther King, Jr., "The Ways of Meeting Oppression"
306(6)
Civil rights leader King, a Baptist minister and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, discusses three ways of overcoming oppression: acquiescence, violence, and the one he advocates—nonviolent resistance.
Constance Garcia-Barrio, "Creatures That Haunt the Americas"
312(5)
Demons, monsters, witches, and ghosts haunt this essay, in which Garcia-Barrio discusses the origins of some African-American folktales.
Robertson Davies, "A Few Kind Words for Superstition"
317(6)
In an age where science and reason determine our actions, Canadian playwright, novelist, and scholar Davies sees "superstition in its four manifestations, alive and flourishing among people who are indisputably rational and learned."
Gary Tewalestewa, "American Indians: Homeless in Their Own Homeland"
323(4)
A member of the Alliance of Native Americans, Tewalestewa points out that "There are a lot of American Indians who are homeless; as a matter of fact, 1 out of 18 homeless on skidrow is Indian...."
Bill Swanson, "How Films Feed the Mind or When I'm Hungry, I Don't Want to Eat Candy"
327(14)
Dividing and classifying movies, Swanson explains that "reflection upon powerful and complex films (or other great works of art) encourages the mental focus and tenacious self-examination that is related to personal growth. Eye candy—films full of spectacular special effects and saccharine happy endings—cannot generate much growth in viewers. The best films make for a cinematic diet that enhances the psychological sinews and synapses that are growth producing and life sustaining."
ADDITIONAL TOPICS AND ISSUES FOR DIVISION AND CLASSIFICATION ESSAYS
341(8)
David Bodanis, "What's in Your Toothpaste?"
343(8)
Bodanis divides and classifies toothpaste to demonstrate that it is not a harmless consumer product, but a rather dangerous one comprised of "chalk, water paint, seaweed, antifreeze, paraffin, oil, detergent, peppermint, formaldehyde, and fluoride."
9. CAUSE AND EFFECT 349(34)
STRUCTURING CAUSE-AND-EFFECT ESSAYS
349(1)
CAUSE-AND-EFFECT FALLACIES
350(1)
TIPS ON WRITING CAUSE-AND-EFFECT ESSAYS
351(30)
Megan McGuire, "Growing Up with Two Moms"
352(5)
When she was in high school, growing up with gay parents was difficult for McGuire until she realized that her "home life then was really the same as a straight family's" and that "the hardest thing to deal with is other people's ignorance, not the family part."
Karen Ray, "The Naked Face"
357(6)
Author Ray proclaims that she is a nudist "from the neck up" and that her "nakedness is partly pragmatic and partly philosophical."
Phillip Persky, "Guilt"
363(5)
Persky questions readers, "Do you know the difference between shame and guilt?" Then he explains how "a generation ago the distinction was clearer: Shame was private and guilt was public." With the passage of time, however, he realizes more and more that "difference is a strength rather than a liability, and that shame is the result of discomfort and not a viable social construct for guilt."
Anna Quindlen, "The Jackson 12 Performs: Is Modern Life a Spectator Sport?"
368(5)
Life these days has become a spectator sport as people "with high blood pressure and no muscle tone look on as the sinewy and buff row, run. and scale their way around tropical islands on television." However, according to Anna Quindlen the "oddest manifestation" of the motto "Do what I watch, not what I do," is "in the area of criminal justice."
Carlos Bulosan, "Labor and Capital: The Coming Catastrophe"
373(4)
A voice of early Filipino-American consciousness in the United States, Bulosan takes a cold look at capitalist practices and their effect on laborers.
Rose Anna Higashi, "Eating with Immigrants"
377(8)
Rose Anna Higashi and her husband share a hobby: eating in immigrant restaurants. Yet she finds much more to be gained than just a good meal because "a person who eats in an immigrant restaurant can receive a refresher course in the positive effects that traditional cultures can have on life in America."
ADDITIONAL TOPICS AND ISSUES FOR CAUSE-AND-EFFECT ESSAYS
381(2)
10. COMBINED STRATEGIES 383(2)
TIPS ON WRITING EXPOSITORY ESSAYS
385(48)
Frank LaPeña, "Sharing Tradition"
386(5)
In order to pass on culture and values from generation to generation, LaPeña argues, we must not forget our "oral tradition." We must listen to our elders' stories.
Cynthia Lopez, "Curanderismo: A Healing Art"
391(5)
Lopez reports how Elena Avila, R.N., M.S.N., is a "practitioner of curanderismo, the art of Mexican folk healing," for Avila recognizes that Western medical practices tend to limit people.
Reginald Lockett, "How I Started Writing Poetry"
396(8)
When he was fourteen, author poet Lockett was "going for bad," but "then something strange happened." He began to write poetry and didn't run "up and down the street with the fellas much anymore."
Woody Allen, "Slang Origins"
404(6)
An author, film director, and humorist, Allen takes a "tongue-in-cheek" look at the origins of some slang words.
Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston, "Arrival at Manzanar"
410(10)
Blending cause-and-effect strategies with narrative structure, Houston relates her arrival at Manzanar, a Japanese relocation camp in the United States, during World War II.
Louise Erdrich, "American Horse"
420(20)
In an atmospheric narrative, Native American poet and author Louise Erdrich's characters recount visual and emotional observations of each other when three of them come to claim custody of Buddy, Albertine American Horse's son: "Buddy didn't want to look at the car and the people. He felt his mother's heart beating beneath his ear so fast it seemed to push the satin roses in and out."
ADDITIONAL TOPICS AND ISSUES FOR EXPOSITORY ESSAYS
433(2)
11. ARGUMENTATION: THE LOGICAL APPEAL 435(1)
INDUCTIVE LOGIC
435(1)
DEDUCTION
436(1)
TYPES OF ARGUMENTATION
437(1)
CLEARLY STATED THESIS
438(1)
AVOIDING FALLACIES
438(2)
DOCUMENTING SOURCES
440(1)
TIPS ON WRITING ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAYS
440(45)
Grace Sumabat Mateo, "The Anima of Anime Revisited"
442(10)
Are we "ready for a new level of entertainment and creativity"—entertainment with no guarantee of a happy ending? Mateo thinks so, for she argues that the "beguiling presence of anime within North American culture" represents a revolution in animation with a wide appeal to adults and children alike.
Amiri Baraka, "Soul Food"
452(5)
Baraka asserts that, contrary to what many people believe, Black Americans do have a language and a cuisine unique to their own culture.
Barbara Ehrenreich, "In Defense of Splitting Up"
457(6)
"No one seems much concerned about children when the subject is welfare or Medicaid cuts, but mention divorce, and tears flow from their tender psyches." Sadly, Ehrenreich notes that "if divorce itself hasn't reduced America's youth to emotional cripples, then the efforts to restrict it undoubtedly will."
Paula Gunn Allen, "Who Is Your Mother? Red Roots of White Feminism"
463(5)
Allen argues that—if adopted—traditional Native American views on the importance of one's cultural origins could have a positive impact on American society.
Douglas Laycock, "Peyote, Wine, and the First Amendment"
468(10)
Laycock attacks government intervention, censorship, and frequent ban of rituals and ceremonies of minor religions.
Mark Charles Fissel, "Online Learning and Student Success"
478(11)
In a provocative essay, Fissel argues that there is a definite relationship between online learning and student success in the information age.
ADDITIONAL TOPICS AND ISSUES FOR ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAYS
485(2)
12. PERSUASION: THE EMOTIONAL APPEAL 487(2)
ORGANIZING PERSUASIVE COMPOSITIONS
489(1)
TIPS ON WRITING PERSUASIVE ESSAYS
489(38)
Gore Vidal, "Drugs"
491(5)
Vidal sees the solution to drug addiction as simple in theory but unworkable in a society where "people are as devoted to the idea of sin and its punishment as they are to making money."
Phyllis McGinley, "Women Are Better Drivers"
496(5)
Although McGinley concedes that men are her "favorite gender,"—capable of doing many things better than women—she persuades us that, in addition to having babies, there is one area where women clearly excel: "driving an automobile."
Michael Dorris, "Fetal Alcohol Syndrome"
501(5)
Since the Publication of Dorris's six-year study of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) in The Broken Cord, "several new scientific discoveries have corroborated the dangers of prenatal alcohol use." Now "fetal alcohol syndrome is preventable—it need not ever happen again."
Tammerlin Drummond, "Never Too Old"
506(5)
"Promiscuity is common in senior centers, where the ratio of women to men averages 7 to 1. Since fear of pregnancy is no longer a concern, many seniors don't use condoms. And Viagra has added more fuel to an already volatile mix." However, what most people are unaware of is that senior citizens are "one of the fastest-growing HIV-infected populations in the U.S."
A North Chinese/Vietnamese Elder as told to James M. Freeman, "I Want to Live Without Trouble"
511(7)
During an interview by award-winning author and noted anthropologist Freeman, a North Chinese/Vietnamese Elder takes a critical look at America, his new homeland: "The bad thing about America is that there is too much freedom."
Bruce Henderson, "Beyond the Spin: Sixties Assassinations and the Vietnam War"
518(9)
The "overarching ongoing event embracing" the assassinations of John F Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F Kennedy seems to be the Vietnam War, "escalated in spite of John F. Kennedy's plans to close it down, and continued over the powerful but silenced voiced of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr" Still, as more documentation of the truth surrounding such events becomes public knowledge, greater research and a revised view of history can occur.
ADDITIONAL TOPICS AND ISSUES FOR WRITING PERSUASIVE ESSAYS
527(2)
APPENDIX: MLA DOCUMENTATION 529(10)
Glossary of Literary and Rhetorical Terms
539(6)
Credits
545(2)
Index
547


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