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WRITING IN THE WORKS (WITW) uses a real-world writing approach to intrigue and inspire users of all ages and backgrounds--showing you how to produce well-written pieces that people will want to read. The book's 10 Assignment chapters cover real-world genres such as application essays, news articles, editorials, proposals, public service messages, and film reviews. WITW is motivating and sophisticated, with dynamic visuals, timely readings, and obvious relevance and connection to the real world. Throughout, the authors don't treat you as a learner, but as a serious writer who is capable of writing for an actual audience. In all of the book's writing tasks, you are asked to write as if your work will be submitted for publication--or to actually do so. With this as the end result, you learn genre conventions, audience, purpose, research, critical thinking, and style--skills directly transferable to all kinds of writing, including writing you may do for work and community.
Table of Contents
PART I: THE WRITER'S CRAFT. 1. The Rhetorical Situation. Writers' Choices. Choosing the Right Genre. Identifying Your Purpose. The General Purpose. The Big Idea. TIPS ABOUT THE BIG IDEA. FAQS ABOUT THE BIG IDEA. Engaging Your Audience. Creating Your Voice. Tone: Formal, Personal, Lyrical, or Plainspoken. Stylistic Choices and the Writer's Voice: Lewis Thomas in The Lives of a Cell. TEN TIPS FOR A CLEAR WRITING STYLE. Deciding on Media and Design: Packaging Your Message. Considering Your Media. FAQS ABOUT PACKAGES FOR MESSAGES. Designing Your Message. Layout. Color. Design Checklist. ASSIGNMENT: Writing about the Rhetorical Situation. Reading: John Pareles, New York Times, "Lavish Worlds, and the Headwear to Match" (Review of Lady Gaga). 2. The Writer's Process. The Writing Process. Getting Started. Finding Your Own Writing Process. THREE STUDENTS REFLECT ON WRITING RITUALS THAT HELP THEM GET STARTED. Keeping a Writer's Notebook. TECHNIQUES FOR GETTING UNSTUCK, GETTING STARTED, AND GETTING REFRESHED. Planning and Shaping. Creating a Research Path. Developing a Working Thesis: The Specific Focus of Your Big Idea. Organizing Your Material. Sample Student Outline. Writing the First Draft. Reading: Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird [First Drafts]. Developing Paragraphs. Introduction. Body. Conclusion. Using Rhetorical Strategies. Narration. Description. Examples. Process Analysis. Comparison and/or Contrast. Classification. Causes and/or Effects. Definition. Linking Ideas Clearly with Effective Transitions. ASKING QUESTIONS ABOUT THE RHETORICAL SITUATION. Revising. FIVE STEPS OF REVISION. Revising for Style. The Rhythm of Sentences. The Sound of Words. Figures of Speech. ASSIGNMENT: Writing the Literacy Narrative. Reading: Stephen King, On Writing [Beginnings]. 3. Collaboration, Peer Review, and Writing as a Public Act. Peer Review. The Process. The Writer. The Peer Reviewer. TEN QUESTIONS FOR PEER REVIEW. One Student's Writing Process: Justin Lin. Sample Freewrite. Annotated First Draft. Sample Peer-Review Log Sheet. Final Draft. Writing Portfolios. TIPS FOR BUILDING A WRITING PORTFOLIO. Publishing. Reading: Andrew Waite (Student), "Recovery Is Not Something You Get Over". Q&A with Andrew Waite: Writing, Marketing, and Publishing a Classroom Assignment. 4. Reading, Thinking, and Writing Critically. TEN QUESTIONS FOR CRITICAL THINKING AND READING. Developing a Healthy Skepticism: Believing and Doubting. Ask Questions about the Text. Determine the Bias of Sources. Ask Questions about the Writer's Background and Publication Type. Ask Questions about the Way the Material Is Written. Distinguish Fact from Opinion. Reading Actively. Underlining Key Points. Sample Student Underlining. Annotating and Making Marginal Notes. Reading: Joel Preston Smith, "Hardscrabble Salvation" (Annotated). Outlining or Clustering. Sample Student Reading Outline. Paraphrasing. Sample Student Paraphrase. Summarizing. Sample Student Summary. Analyzing and Synthesizing. Analysis. Irony. Metaphors and Other Figures of Speech. ANALYZING IMAGES THAT COME WITH TEXT. Synthesis. Understanding Logical Appeals. ASSIGNMENT: Writing a Rhetorical Analysis. STEPS IN WRITING A RHETORICAL ANALYSIS. Annotated Student Rhetorical Analysis (Elizabeth Ramsey-Vidales, "A Rhetorical Analysis of 'Hardscrabble Salvation'"). PART II: WRITING TO EXPLORE. 5. Writing a Personal Statement: Application Essays. Process Plan. Understanding the Writing Project. Anatomy of a Personal Statement: Nitya K. Venkataraman (Student), "That Other Part" (Annotated). Q&A with Nitya K. Venkataraman: How one student envisioned her audience to tap into her creativity. The Rhetorical Situation: Thinking about Your Readers and Your Purpose. Research Paths: Using Research to Appeal to Your Audience. Finding Your Focus in the Application Question. Past Experiences and Achievements. Future Plans. Values or Personal Philosophy. General Knowledge. Ability to Analyze Ideas. The Big Idea: The Thesis of an Application Essay. THESIS IN AN APPLICATION ESSAY. Choosing a Development Strategy. Narration. NARRATIVE DRAWS THE READER INTO THE SCENE. Analysis. ANALYSIS EXPLAINS AND INTERPRETS EXPERIENCE. Argumentation. ARGUMENT SHOWS REASONING ABILITY AND DEMONSTRATES IDEAS AND EXPERIENCE. Making Your Essay Stand Out. The Opening Sentence. The Last Sentence. Personal Voice. MORE TIPS ON GIVING YOUR APPLICATION ESSAY THE PERSONAL EDGE. DIY MEDIA AND DESIGN: THE RÉSUMÉ AND APPLICATION LETTER. Sample Annotated Resume. Sample Annotated Application Letter. Readings. Tess Langan (Student), "Looking for Students Like Me". Jessica Polanski (Student), Scholarship application letter. Anny Chih, "500 Words or Less". Writing and Revision Strategies. Writer's Notebook Suggestions. Peer-Review Log. Revision Checklist. 6. Writing a Narrative: Memoirs. Process Plan. Understanding the Writing Project. Anatomy of a Memoir. Reading: Antonya Nelson, "All Washed Up" (Annotated). Q&A with Antonya Nelson: Discovering Voice and Developing Style in Narrative Writing. The Rhetorical Situation: Personal Stories for Public Audiences. Creating a Vivid Picture: Showing and Telling. Summary: Tells. Narrative Description: Shows. Internal Monologue: Tells. Dialogue: Shows. Research Paths: Finding Details That Bring Your Story to Life. VISUAL LITERACY: SNAPSHOTS. Narrative Elements: Setting, Conflict, Character, Point of View. Setting. Character. CREATING CHARACTER THROUGH DIALOGUE. Conflict. Point of View. The Narrative Arc (Plot): Set-Up, Rising Action, Climax, Resolution. TIPS FOR BUILDING A NARRATIVE ARC IN YOUR STORY. The Big Idea: Theme. THEME VS. MORAL. DIY DESIGN AND MEDIA: THE GRAPHIC MEMOIR. Readings. David Tankelfsky (Student), "Duties of Adulthood". Melissa Hochman (Student), "Unrolling a Twisted Impression". David Sedaris, "Let It Snow". Writing and Revision Strategies. Writer's Notebook Suggestions. Peer-Review Log. Revision Checklist. 7. Writing about Others: Profiles. Process Plan. Understanding the Writing Project. Anatomy of a Profile. Reading: Cynthia Anderson, "Of Carpenters and Scrabble Kings" (Annotated). Q&A with Cynthia Anderson: The Interview Process and Writing "Scenelets". The Rhetorical Situation: The Writer's Stance. Choosing a Good Profile Subject. Finding Your Topic. Finding Your Focus. FIVE QUESTIONS TO HELP FOCUS YOUR PROFILE. The Big Idea: The Nut Graf or Interpretive Thesis. KEY ELEMENTS IN EFFECTIVE PROFILES. VISUAL LITERACY: ANALYZING PORTRAITS. Research Paths. Social Media. Online Searches and Databases. Direct Observation. Interviews. TIPS FOR GOOD INTERVIEWERS. Multiple Points of View. Beginnings and Endings. Beginnings. Setting Lead. Anecdotal Lead. Generalization Lead. Endings. DIY DESIGN AND MEDIA: ORAL HISTORY: A SPOKEN WORD PROJECT. Readings. Jack Falla, "The Top Drill Instructor in Boot Camp 101". Thanos Matthai (Student), "A Fine Balance: The Life of a Muslim Teenager". J.R. Moehringer, "A Hidden and Solitary Soldier". Writing and Revision Strategies. Writer's Notebook Suggestions. Peer Editing Log. Revision Checklist. PART III: WRITING TO INFORM. 8. Writing an Exposition: Short Articles. Process Plan. Understanding the Writing Project. Anatomy of an Exposition. Reading: Charles Fishman, "The Scoop on Disney's Dirty Laundry" (Annotated). Q&A with Charles Fishman: What Readers Want. The Rhetorical Situation: Why Readers Will Stay with You. The Big Idea in Short Articles: Writing a Thesis. VISUAL LITERACY: FINDING A THESIS IN A PHOTO ESSAY. What Should I Write About?--Ways of Looking at a Subject. Research Paths: Use Primary and Secondary Sources. Organize Your Thinking and Structure Your Writing. Induction or Deduction? Introduction. Body. SHOW DON'T TELL: "STICKY STUFF". Conclusion. DIY DESIGN AND MEDIA: THE HYBRID ESSAY--WORDS AND PICTURES. Readings. Janet Rae-Dupree, "How Bullets Tell a Tale". Katie Koch (Student), "Reading at Grade Level". Gunjan Sinha, "Genetics: The Moistness of Your Earwax is Controlled by a Single Gene--and That May Be More Important Than You Think". Lauren Wilcox, "Going with the Grain". Charles Fishman, "Mighty Mice". Writing and Revision Strategies. Writer's Notebook Suggestions. Peer-Review Log. Revision Checklist. 9. Writing a Report: News for Print, Web, and Social Media. Process Plan. Understanding the Writing Project. Anatomy of a Report. Reading: Katherine Donnelly (Student), "Concussions: A Hidden, but Potentially Deadly, Sports Injury Gets a Closer Look" (Annotated). Q&A with Katherine Donnelly: Writer and Soccer Player Katherine Donnelly on Using Personal Experience--Her Own and Her Teammates'--to Help Write News. The Rhetorical Situation: The Voice of Objectivity. Newsworthiness. Research Paths: Current, Accurate, and Reliable. TIPS ON SOURCES FOR NEWS. VISUAL LITERACY: EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS: BRINGING YOUR READER INTO THE MOMENT WITH PHOTOGRAPHS THAT TELL STORIES. Developing the Big Idea: Thesis or Angle in a News Story. Clear and Concise: Two Types of Summaries. The News Lead. WRITE A SUMMARY: THE NEWS LEAD. READING: "BP GULF OF MEXICO SPILL RESPONSE". The Abstract. WRITE A SUMMARY: THE ABSTRACT. READING: "LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACTIONS TO PREVENT CHILDHOOD OBESITY". The Body of the News Story: The Devil in the Details. USING PARAPHRASE AND QUOTATION. Ending the News Story. Finding an Audience: Flash Communications and Using Social Media. SOME TIPS FOR HEADLINE AND SOCIAL MEDIA WRITING. DIY DESIGN AND MEDIA: WRITING FOR A BLOG: AN INSIDER'S VIEW. Reading: Lee Feiner, "Strode chases Open dream in qualifying draw". Readings. Philanthropy Journal, "Teach for America impact studied". Zeyu Xu, Jane Hannaway, and Colin Taylor, "Making a Difference? The Effects of Teach for America in High School". Lauren McKown, "Bearing the Burden". Writing and Revision Strategies. Writer's Notebook Suggestions. Peer-Review Log. Revision Checklist. PART IV: WRITING TO ANALYZE. 10. Writing an Evaluation: Film Reviews. Process Plan. Understanding the Writing Project. Anatomy of a Film Review. Reading: Ty Burr, the Boston Globe, "Avatar" (Annotated). Q&A with Ty Burr: A Film Critic Talks about the Reviewer's Responsibilities to His Readers. The Rhetorical Situation: Considering Voice and Audience. Research Paths: Find Out about the Making of the Film. The Big Idea: Evaluating the Film's Themes. How to View with a Critical Eye: The Elements of Film. Story Elements: Character, Plot, Theme. Characters. ACTING AND CHARACTER. Plot. Theme. Visual Elements: Cinematography, Editing, Production Design, and Special Effects. Cinematography. VISUAL LITERACY: FRAMING A SHOT. Editing. Production Design. Special Effects. Sound Elements: The Soundtrack. The Review: Plot Summary Plus Evaluation. Plot Summary. Evaluation: The Rave, the Pan, and the Mixed Review. THE PLAYERS. DIY DESIGN AND MEDIA: A SCENE IN A SCREENPLAY. Reading: Tom McCarthy, scene from "The Visitor". Readings. Janet Maslin, Chicago Sun-Times, "Such a Very Long Way from Duvets to Danger". Roger Ebert, New York Times, "Fight Club". Ryan Conrath (Student), "Scorcese Back at Film School, The Departed". Writing and Revision Strategies. Writer's Notebook Suggestions. Peer-Review Log. Revision Checklist. 11. Writing a Causal Analysis: Long Researched Articles. Process Plan. Understanding the Writing Project. Anatomy of an Analysis. Reading: Vivian Ho (Student), "The New Trend in College Admissions: Using Social Media" (Annotated). Q&A with Vivian Ho: How I Find Topics and Sources. The Rhetorical Situation: The Ethos of Speculating with Authority. TIPS FOR ESTABLISHING YOUR ETHOS. Choosing a Good Topic. QUESTIONS FOR TESTING YOUR TOPIC. The Big Idea: The Analytical Thesis. Research Paths: Organizing Your Investigation of Causes and Effects. KEEPING TRACK OF YOUR RESEARCH. Books. Social Media. Internet Search Engines and Directories. Internet Databases. Interviews. CHECKLIST FOR AUTHORITY, CURRENCY, BIAS. A Journalist's Tips for Showing the Human Side of Data. Using Logic to Analyze Cause and Effect: Avoid Jumping to Conclusions. The Post Hoc Fallacy. Assigning Singular Cause. Reading Statistics with a Critical Eye. VISUAL LITERACY: INFOGRAPHICS--THE VISUAL INFORMATION OF DATA. Revision: Making Your Logic Airtight. Big Idea Reminders. Restatements of Previous Topics. Single Word Transitions. DIY DESIGN AND MEDIA: INFOGRAPHICS. Readings. Susan Saulny, New York Times, "Race Remixed: Black? White? Asian? More Americans Choose All of the Above". Meredith Jeffries, "Chasing the Blues Away: Use of Antidepressants among Teens". Anthony Kuhn, "For Japanese Women, the Past Is the Latest Fad". Matt Richtel, New York Times, "Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction". Writing and Revision Strategies. Writer's Notebook Suggestions. Peer-Review Log. Revision Checklist. PART V: WRITING TO ARGUE. 12. Writing an Argument: Editorials, Commentaries, and Blogs. Process Plan. Understanding the Writing Project. Anatomy of an Argument. Reading: Stephen Budiansky, "Math Lessons for Locavores" (Annotated). Q&A with Stephen Budiansky: On Being Reasonable. The Rhetorical Situation: Appealing to Your Audience. Use Logical Appeals to Make a Reasonable Case. Use Emotional Appeals to Create Empathy. Use Ethical Appeals to Create a Trustworthy Tone. TEN TIPS ON AVOIDING PITFALLS IN LOGIC: FALLACIES. Circular Argument. Post Hoc Fallacy. Ad Hominem Fallacy. Hasty Generalization. The Either-Or Fallacy. The Red Herring. Slippery Slope. Non Sequitur. Apples and Oranges. Bandwagon Appeal. VISUAL LITERACY: SEEING ARGUMENTS. Taking an Arguable Position. The Big Idea: Claim and Argumentative Thesis. Research Paths: Supporting Arguments with Evidence. HOW MUCH BACKGROUND INFORMATION SHOULD YOU INCLUDE? Types of Evidence. Evaluating Evidence. Reliability. Timeliness. Accuracy. Relevance. Acknowledging Opposing Views and Refuting Them. SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE ARGUMENTS. DIY DESIGN AND MEDIA: A FACEBOOK PAGE FOR AN EVENT AROUND AN ISSUE. Readings. David Brooks, "Gangsta, in French". Jody Rosen, "David Brooks, Playa Hater: The New York Times Columnist Grapples with 'Gangsta Rap'". New York Times, "Room for Debate: Too Much Free Time on Campus" (Phillip Babcock, "Falling Standards in Universities"; Raphael Pope-Sussman, "We Are Not Lazy"; Anya Kamenetz, "With a Job on the Side"). Caryl Rivers and Rosalind C. Barnett, "The Difference Myth". Writing and Revision Strategies. Writer's Notebook Suggestions. Peer-Review Log. Revision Checklist. 12. Creating a Visual Argument: Public Service Messages. Process Plan. Understanding the Writing Project. Anatomy of a Public Service Message. Reading: Tom Fauls, "Adopt Us Kids". Q&A with Tom Fauls: Getting to the "Aha" Moment. The Rhetorical Situation: How Images and Words Work Together to Target Your Audience. Understanding Your Audience. Choosing Your Medium. TIPS FOR CHOOSING THE BEST MEDIUM FOR YOUR MESSAGE. Words+Images in Visual Arguments. VISUAL LITERACY: TEXT AS IMAGE. Research Paths: Finding Your Research Strategy through the Mission Statement. Your "Client" or Advocacy Group. The Mission Statement. Searches and Sources. The Big Idea: The Concept behind the Message. The Persuasion Path. Attract Attention and Generate Interest: Headlines and Visuals. POETRY AND ADVERTISING COPY. Appeal to Hearts and Minds (Pathos, Logos, Ethos). Using Pathos. Using Logos. Using Ethos. Provide Reasons in Your Argument. Call Your Reader to Action. Presenting Your Work: The Pitch Letter. TIPS FOR WRITING PITCH LETTERS. Sample Student Pitch Letter. DIY: THE YOUTUBE ADVOCACY VIDEO. Readings. MADD, High School Posters. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, "Think before You Post". Klicksafe, "The Visitors". Sample Student PSA: Jenna Livingston, Sarah Bomie Chae, Michael Thill, and Alexandria McManus, "South Shore Women's Center PSA". Writing and Revision Strategies. Writer's Notebook Suggestions. Peer-Review Log. Revision Checklist. 14. Writing for Your Community: Proposals. Process Plan. Understanding the Writing Project. Anatomy of a Proposal. Reading: Garland Waller, "Proposal for The Silent Screams: Court-Ordered Abuse of Children" (Annotated). Q&A with Garland Waller: The Role of Research in Proposal Writing. The Rhetorical Situation: Different Media (Old and New), Different Audiences. Identifying Your Audience. Going Public with Your Proposal. VISUAL LITERACY: HOW IMAGES PERSUADE. TIPS FOR USING MULTIMEDIA IN YOUR PROPOSAL. Identifying a Problem. The Big Idea: From Concept to Plan. Research Paths: Troubleshooting Your Topic and Using Evidence. Avoiding Pitfalls of Past Proposals. Evidence That Provides Context: Facts, Statistics, and Studies. Evidence That Makes You Credible: Citing Reliable Sources. FIVE QUESTIONS FOR DETERMINING CREDIBILITY OF YOUR SOURCES. Evidence That Presents a Human Face: Anecdotes, Quotations, and Visuals. USING EVIDENCE TO APPEAL TO YOUR AUDIENCE. Formulating a Clear and Feasible Solution. TIPS FOR SELLING YOUR SOLUTION. Providing Reasons. Explaining the Benefits. DIY: THE POWERPOINT PROPOSAL. Readings. Superior Skatepark Coalition, "Waterfront Skatepark Proposal" [PowerPoint Proposal]. Jessica Hollander, "Stopping Teen Dating Violence". Sample Student Proposal: Dana Benjamin, Joanna Mayhew, Alexandra Mayer-Hohdahl, and Peter Myers, "Proposal to Help End Slavery in Sudan". Writing and Revision Strategies. Writer's Notebook Suggestions. Peer-Review Log. Revision Checklist. PART VI: RESEARCH AND DOCUMENTATION. 15. Research. Understanding Research. Brainstorming: Researching to Discover Topics. WIKIPEDIA. VIRTUAL LIBRARY: THE ONLINE SUBJECT CATALOG. Primary Sources. Secondary Sources. Narrowing Your Topic and Formulating a Specific Research Question. DATABASES. Creating a Working Bibliography. Reading with Focus: Taking Useful Notes and Avoiding Plagiarism. TIP FOR AVOIDING PLAGIARISM. Sample Notecard. TIPS FOR AVOIDING PLAGIARISM OF INTERNET SOURCES. The Rhetorical Situation: Evaluating Your Sources. A NOTE ABOUT WIKIS, BLOGS, AND MESSAGE BOARDS. CRITERIA FOR EVALUATING SOURCES. Authority. Scholarship. Bias. Currency. QUICK EVALUATION FOR WEB SITES. The Search: Secondary Sources. Using Books. How to Find Books on Your Subject. What a Catalog Tells You. Evaluating Books. Using Periodicals: Academic Journals, Trade Journals, and Popular Magazines. Using Newspapers. The Search: Primary Sources. Using Surveys and Polls. Using Interviews. TIPS FOR CONDUCTING INTERVIEWS. ASSIGNMENT: Creating an Annotated Bibliography. Kinds of Annotations. Summary. Evaluation. Personal Commentary. Organizing Your Annotated Bibliography. TIPS FOR READING SOURCES AND WRITING ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHIES. Anatomy of an Annotated Bibliographic Entry. Sample Annotated Bibliography. 16. Documentation (MLA and APA Guidelines). PART VII: GRAMMAR AND STYLE HANDBOOK. 17. Grammar Refresher. 18. Punctuation. 19. Common Errors. 20. Trouble Spots for Nonnative Speakers.