An Insider's Guide to Academic Writing: A Rhetoric and Reader

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2018-09-14
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Praised for its accessible approach to teaching disciplinary writing, the first edition of An Insider’s Guide to Academic Writing was embraced by instructors and students at two-year and four-year schools alike.

With its flexible, transferable frameworks and unique Insiders video interviews with scholars and peers, the text enables students -- and their instructors -- to adapt to a variety of writing situations in different disciplinary discourse communities.In the second edition, the authors build on that proven pedagogy with additional support for the writing process, critical reading, and reflection, to give students even more help with academic writing, no matter the discipline. Featuring two books in one, an innovative rhetoric for academic writing (available as its own book) and a thematic reader with readings from the disciplines, An Insider’s Guide to Academic Writing is based on the best practices of a first-year composition program that has trained hundreds of teachers who have instructed thousands of students. Also new to the second edition: a Launchpad with a complete e-book, in addition to modules about writing in applied fields.

Table of Contents


1.  Inside Colleges and Universities
What is Higher Education?
     How do Colleges and Universities Differ from One Another?
          Inside Work:  Choosing a College
     What is the Purpose of College?
          Inside Work: Writing about College
What are Academic Disciplines?
     How Many Different Academic Disciplines Are There?
          Inside Work:  Understanding Disciplinarity
     Why Do Academics Write?
          Insider’s View:  Undergraduate Students on Academic Writing
          Inside Work:  Thinking about What Academics Write
How Does Writing in College Compare with Writing in Other Contexts?
          Insider’s View; Karen Keaton Jackson, Writing Studies
          Inside Work:  Understanding the Goals of Your Writing Course
     What Do You Already Know about Writing in Different Contexts?
          WRITING PROJECT: Composing a Literacy Narrative
          WRITING PROJECT: Interviewing a Scholar
          Insider Example: Student Interview with a Faculty Member
Tip Sheet: Inside Colleges and Universities

2.  Reading and Writing Rhetorically
Understanding Rhetorical Context
          Insider’s View: Karen Keaton Jackson, Writing Studies
          Inside Work:  Identifying Rhetorical Context
Understanding Genres
          Insider’s Link
Reading Rhetorically
Reading Visuals Rhetorically
          Inside Work:  Reading Rhetorically
Writing Rhetorically
          Inside Work:  Analyzing Rhetorical Context
Rhetorical Writing Processes
          Insider’s View:  Jody Baumgartner and Jonathan Morris, Political Science
          Insider’s View: Patrick Bahls, Mathematics
Writing a Rhetorical Analysis
          George H.W. Bush, Letter to Saddam Hussein
          Insider Example: Student Rhetorical Analysis
          Sofia Lopez, The Multiple Audiences of George H.W. Bush’s Letter to Saddam Hussein
          WRITING PROJECT:  Analyzing the Rhetorical Features of a Text
Tip Sheet: Reading and Writing Rhetorically

3.  Developing Arguments
Understanding Proofs and Appeals
          Inside Work:  Writing About Arguments
Making Claims
     Thesis versus Hypothesis
Developing Reasons
          Inside Work:  Constructing Thesis Statements
Supporting Reasons with Evidence
          Insider’s View: Moriah McCracken, Writing Studies
          Inside Work: Analyzing Audience Expectations 
Understanding Assumptions 
          Inside Work:  Considering Assumptions and Audience
Anticipating Counterarguments
          Insider’s View: Mike Brotherton, Astronomy
          Inside Work:  Dealing with Counterarguments
Analyzing Arguments
          Insider Example: Professional Analysis of an Advertisement
               Jack Solomon, from “Masters of Desire: The Culture of American Advertising” 
          Insider Example: Student Analysis of an Advertisement
              Timothy Holtzhauser, Rhetoric of a 1943 War Bonds Ad 
          WRITING PROJECT: Composing a Rhetorical Analysis of an Advertisement
Tip Sheet: Developing Arguments
4. Academic Research
Conducting Research
     Developing a Research Question
          Inside Work: Writing a Research Question
     Choosing Primary and Secondary Sources 
          Insider’s Link
          Insider’s View: Moriah McCracken, Writing Studies
          Inside Work:  Collecting Primary Evidence
          Inside Work: Using Primary and Secondary Sources
     Searching for Sources
          Identifying Search Terms
          Inside Work:  Generating Search Terms
          Using Journal Databases 
          Searching for Journal Articles by Discipline 
     Evaluating Sources
          Distinguishing between Scholarly and Popular Sources 
          Insider’s View: Jonathan Morris, Political Science
          Inside Work:  Evaluating Sources
     Summarizing, Paraphrasing and Quoting from Sources
          Inside Work: Summarizing, Paraphrasing, and Quoting from Sources
     Avoiding Plagiarism
          Insider’s View: Karen Keaton Jackson, Writing Studies
          Inside Work: Understanding Plagiarism
     Understanding Documentation Systems
          WRITING PROJECT: Writing an Annotated Bibliography
          WRITING PROJECT:  Developing a Supported Argument on a Controversial Issue
Insider Example: Student Researched Argument on a Controversial Issue
     Ashlyn Sims, “Condom Distribution in High School”
Tip Sheet: Academic Research


5.  Reading and Writing in Academic Disciplines

          Research in the Disciplines
          Conventions of Writing in the Disciplines
          Genres in the Disciplines
          Insider’s View: Karen Keaton Jackson, Writing Studies
Analyzing Genres and Conventions of Academic Writing
          Insider’s View:  Moriah McCracken, Writing Studies
Adapting to Different Rhetorical Contexts: An Academic Writer at Work
          Insider’s View: Mike Brotherton, Astronomy
          Inside Work:  Reflecting on a Discipline
Using Rhetorical Context to Analyze Writing for a Non-Academic Audience
          Mike Brotherton, from “Hubble Space Telescope Spies Galaxy/Black Hole Evolution in Action”
          Insider’s View: Mike Brotherton, Astronomy
          Inside Work: Reflecting on Rhetorical Context 
Using Structure, Language, and Reference to Analyze Academic Writing
          M. S. Brotherton, Wil van Breughel, S. A. Stanford, R. J. Smith, B. J. Boyle, Lance Miller, T.
          Shanks, S. M. Croom, and Alexie V. Filipenko, From, A Spectacular Poststarburst Quasar
          Insider’s View:  Mike Brotherton, Astronomy
          Inside Work: Reflecting on Disciplinary Writing  
          WRITING PROJECT:  Writing a Rhetorical Analysis of an Academic Article
          WRITING PROJECT:  Writing a Comparative Rhetorical Analysis
          WRITING PROJECT: Comparing Scholarly and Popular Articles
Translating Scholarly Writing for Different Rhetorical Contexts
          Insider Example: Student Translation of a Scholarly Article
          Jonathan Nastasi, Life May Be Possible on Other Planets
          WRITING PROJECT:  Translating a Scholarly Article for a Public Audience
Tip Sheet: Reading and Writing in Academic Disciplines

6. Reading and Writing in the Humanities
Introduction to the Humanities
          Insider’s View:  John McCurdy, History
     Texts and Meaning
          Inside Work:  Thinking about Texts
     Observation and Interpretation
          Inside Work: Observing and Asking Questions
Research in the Humanities
          Inside Work: Observing and Interpreting Images
     The Role of Theory in the Humanities
     Close Reading in the Humanities
          Insider Example: Professional Close Reading
          Dale Jacobs, “More than Words:  Comics as a Means of Teaching Multiple Literacies”
     Strategies for Close Reading and Observation
          Kate Chopin, from “The Story of an Hour
          Inside Work: Annotating a Text
          Kate Chopin, “The Story of an Hour”
          Inside Work:  Preparing a Content/Form-Response Grid
     Responding to the Interpretations of Others
Conventions of Writing in the Humanities
          Insider’s View:  Shelley Garrigan, Spanish Language and Literature
     Structural Conventions
     Developing Research Questions and Thesis Statements
          Insider’s View: Karen Keaton Jackson, Writing Studies
          Inside Work: Developing Why, What, and How Questions
     Developing Effective Thesis Statements 
          Inside Work: Drafting Thesis Statements
     Five-Paragraph Essays and Other Thesis-Driven Templates
     Other Structural Conventions in the Humanities
     Language Conventions in the Humanities
     Reference Conventions in the Humanities
           Inside Work:  Analyzing Scholarly Writing in the Humanities
Genres of Writing in the Humanities
          Insider’s View:  Shelley Garrigan, Spanish Language and Literature
     Textual Interpretation
          WRITING PROJECT: Interpreting a Text
          Insider Example: Student Interpretation of a Text
          Sarah Ray, “ ‘Til Death Do Us Part’: An Analysis of Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour”
     Artistic Texts
          WRITING PROJECT: Creating an Artistic Text
Tip Sheet: Reading and Writing in the Humanities

7. Reading and Writing in the Social Sciences
Introduction to the Social Sciences
          Insider’s View:  Kevin Rathunde, Social Science
          Inside Work:  Observing Behavior
Research in the Social Sciences
     The Role of Theory
          Insider Example:  Exploring Social Science Theory
          Kalervo Oberg, from “Culture Shock: Adjustments to New Cultural Environments”
          Inside Work: Tracing a Theory’s Development
     Research Questions and Hypotheses  
          Inside Work:  Developing Hypotheses
          Insider’s View:  Kevin Rathunde, Social Science
     Quantitative Methods 
     Qualitative Methods 
     Mixed Methods 
          Inside Work:  Considering Research Methods
     The IRB Process and Use of Human Subjects
Conventions of Writing in the Social Sciences
          Insider’s View: Aya Matsuda, Linguistics
     Structural Conventions and IMRAD Format
     Other Structural Conventions
          Inside Work:  Observing Structural Conventions
     Language Conventions
          Inside Work:  Observing Language Features
     Reference Conventions
          Inside Work:  Observing Reference Features
Genres of Writing in the Social Sciences 
          Insider’s View:  Aya Matsuda, Linguistics 
     The Literature Review 
          Insider Example: An Embedded Literature Review
     Writing a Literature Review
          WRITING PROJECT:  Writing a Literature Review
          Insider Example:  Student Literature Review
          William O’Brien, “Effects of Sleep Deprivation: A Literature Review”
     Theory Response Essay
          WRITING PROJECT:  Writing a Theory Response
          Insider’s Example: Student Theory Response Paper
          Matt Kapadia, “Evaluation of the Attribution Theory”
Tip Sheet: Reading and Writing in the Social Sciences

8. Reading and Writing in the Natural Sciences
Introduction to the Natural Sciences
          Insider’s View:  Sian Proctor, Geology
Research in the Natural Sciences
          Insider’s View:  Page Geiger, Molecular and Integrative Physiology
          Inside Work:  Considering a Natural Science Topic
     Observation and Description in the Natural Sciences
          Inside Work: Thinking about Systematic Observation in the Sciences
     Moving from Description to Speculation
          Inside Work: Practicing Description and Speculation  
          Inside Work: Developing Research Questions and a Hypothesis
     Designing a Research Study in the Natural Sciences
          Insider’s View:  Michelle LaRue, Conservation Biologist
          Inside Work:  Freewriting about an Experiment
Conventions of Writing in the Natural Sciences
          Insider’s View:  Michelle LaRue, Conservation Biology
          Inside Work:  Looking for Conventions of Objectivity  
          Inside Work:  Looking for Conventions of Replicability and Recency
     Collaboration and Cooperation
Genres of Writing in the Natural Sciences
          Insider’s View:  Page Geiger, Molecular and Integrative Physiology
     An Observation Logbook
          WRITING PROJECT:  An Observation Logbook
          Insider Example:  Student Observation Logbook
          Kedric Lemon, “Comparing Efficiency of Various Batteries Being Used Over Time”
     Research Proposal
          WRITING PROJECT:  Research Proposal
          Insider Example:  Research Proposal
          Gary Ritchison, “Hunting Behavior, Territory Quality, and Individual Quality of American
     Lab Report
          WRITING PROJECT:  Composing a Lab Report
          Insider Example:  Student Lab Report
          Kedric Lemon, “Which type of battery is the most effective when energy is being drawn from the
          battery rapidly?”
Tip Sheet:  Reading and Writing in the Natural Sciences

9. Reading and Writing in the Applied Fields
Introduction to the Applied Fields
     What Are Applied Fields? 
          Inside Work: Defining and Solving Problems
          Inside Work: Considering Applied Fields
Rhetoric and the Applied Fields
Genres in Selected Applied Fields
          Insider’s View: Janna Dieckman, Nursing 
          Insider Example: Professional Research Report in Nursing
               Margaret Shandor, Diane Holditch-Davis, Suzanne Thoyre, and Linda Beeber, from “Rural  
               African-American Mothers Parenting Prematurely Born Infants: An Ecological Systems 
          Insider Example: Discharge Instructions
               “Discharge Instructions for Heart Attack”
          Inside Work: Nurse for a Day 
          Insider Example: Student Lesson Plan
          Myra Moses, “Lesson Plan”
          Insider Example: Student IEP
          Myra Moses, “Student Individualized Example”
          Inside Work: Teacher for a Day
          Insider Example: Student Memorandum
          James Blackwell, “Investigative Report on Hazen and Sawyer”
          Insider Example: Student Business Plan
          Daniel Chase Mills, “A Business Plan for the Electricity Monitor Company”
          Inside Work: CFO for a Day
          Insider Example: Professional Legal Brief
          From “Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin et al”
          Insider Example: E-Mail Correspondence from Attorney
          Joseph E. Miller, Jr., “Re: Proposed gift to the XYZ Foundation”
          Inside Work: Lawyer for a Day
          WRITING PROJECT: Discovering Genres of Writing in an Applied Field
Tip Sheet: Reading and Writing in the Applied Fields


10. Love, Marriage, and Family
     Andrew Cherlin, How American Family Life Is Different
     “Both pictures, contradictory as they may be, are part of the way that Americans live their family 
     lives. Together they spin the American merry-go-round of intimate partnerships.”

     Susan Krauss Whitbourne,. “The Myth of the Helicopter Parent.”
     “The findings lead to a new understanding of parent-child support in the years of emerging

     Brian Powell, Catherine Bolzehnhahl, Claudia Geist and Lala Carr Steelman,. “Change Counts,
     Counting Change”

     “The United States includes a rich diversity of families whether or not they are officially recognized
     as such. In fact, “the family,” although still invoked far too often in public and scholarly venues, is an
     increasingly untenable and obsolete concept.”

     Susan Saulny, “In Strangers’ Glances at Family, Tensions Linger.”

     “Many mixed-race youths say they feel wider acceptance than past generations, particularly on
     college campuses and in pop culture. . . .when they are alone, the family strives to be colorblind.
     But  what they face outside their home is another story.”

Academic Case Study:  Perspectives on Love
     Humanities: Warren E Milteer, Jr., “The Strategies of Forbidden Love: Families across Racial   
     Boundaries in Nineteenth-Century North Carolina”

     Social Sciences: Marissa A. Harrison and Jennifer C. Shortall. “Women and Men in Love: Who
     Really Feels It and Says It First?

     Natural Sciences: Donatella Marazzitia and Domenico Canale. “Hormonal changes when falling in

     Applied Fields: Cara O. Peters, Jane B. Thomas, and Richard Morris, “Looking for Love on  
     Craigslist: An Examination of Gender Differences in Self-Marketing Online”

WRITING PROJECT:  Contributing to a Scholarly Conversation
WRITING PROJECT: Writing a Comparative Analysis of Research Methodologies

11.  Crime, Punishment, and Justice
     Barbara Bradley Hagerty, “Inside a Psychopath’s Brain: The Sentencing Debate

     “Neuroscience and neuroimaging is going to change the whole philosophy about how we punish
     and how we decide who to incapacitate and how we decide how to deal with people.”

     Sophia Kerby, “The Top 10 Most Startling Facts about People of Color and Criminal Justice in the
     United States: A Look at the Racial Disparities Inherent in Our Nation’s Criminal-Justice System.”

     “It is imperative that criminal-justice reform evolves as the civil rights issue of the twenty-first

     Clark Merrefield, “Should Juvenile Criminals Be Sentenced Like Adults?”

     “While some teenagers can be astonishingly mature and others inconceivably childish, middle
     adolescence—roughly, ages 14 to 18—might be the worst time in a person’s life for rational 
     decision making.”

     Jennifer Wilkov, as reported to Abigail Pesta, “I Survived Prison: What Really Happens Behind

     “I’m about to become a prisoner in a massive penitentiary, and I feel an overwhelming sense of
     dread. I’m surrounded by people who have been here before, who know the system, who know
     how to work the guards. But I know nothing.”
Academic Case Study: Capital Punishment
  Michael Owen Jones “Dining on Death Row: Last Meals and the Crutch of Ritual”

     Social Sciences:
Benedikt Till and Peter Vitouch, “Capital Punishment in Films: The Impact of
     Death Penalty Portrayals on Viewers’ Mood and Attitude Toward Capital Punishment.”

     Natural Sciences:
  Teresa A. Zimmers, Jonathan Sheldon, David A. Lubarsky, Francesco Lopez-
     Munoz, Linda Wateman, Richard Weisman, Leonidas G. Koniaris.,  “Lethal Injection for
     Execution: Chemical Asphyxiation?”

     Applied Fields:
Cyndy Caravelis Hughes and Matthew Robinson, “Perceptions of Law
     Enforcement Officers on Capital Punishment in the United States”

WRITING PROJECT:  Preparing a Brief Annotated Bibliography
WRITING PROJECT: Composing an Evaluative Rhetorical Analysis

12. Food, Sustainability, and Social Class
     Gustavo Arellano, “Taco U.S.A.: How Mexican Food Became More American Than Apple Pie”

     “Food is a natural conduit of change, evolution, and innovation. Wishing for a foodstuff to remain
     static, uncorrupted by outside influence—especially in these United States—is as ludicrous an idea
     as barring new immigrants from entering the country.”

     Brent Cunningham, “Pastoral Romance”

     “The reality of America’s food past is far more complicated, and troubling, than is suggested by the
     romantic image at the heart of our foodie nostalgia.”
     Dana Goodyear, “Grub”  

     “Standing before a plate of brownies fortified with a mash of the sautéed mealworms, he said
     despondently, ‘This is the future! You’ll eat worms and like it. You gotta eat something.’”

     Michael Pollan, “Why Cook?”

     “Cooking has the power to transform more than plants and animals: It transforms us, too, from
     mere consumers into producers.”

Academic Case Study:  Genetically Modified Food
:  Daniel Gregorowius, Petra Lindemann-Matthies, and Markus Huppenbauer,
     “Ethical Discourse on the Use of Genetically Modified Crops: A Review of Academic Publications
     in the Fields of Ecology and Environmental Ethics"

     Social Sciences: John C. Bernard, Katie Gifford, Kristin Santora, and Daria J. Bernard,
     “Willingness to Pay for Foods with Varying Production Traits and Levels of Genetically Modified

     Natural Sciences:  Aziz Aris and Samuel Leblanc, “Maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides
     associated to genetically modified foods in Eastern Townships in Quebec, Canada”

     Applied Fields: Sherry Seethaler and Marcia Linn, “Genetically Modified Food in Perspective:  An
     Inquiry-Based Curriculum to Help Make Sense of Tradeoffs”

WRITING PROJECT:  Crafting a Persuasive Narrative
WRITING PROJECT:  Translating a Scholarly Work for a Popular Audience

13. Global Climate Change and Natural Catastrophes
     Sharon Begley, “Are You Ready for More?”

     “From these and other extreme-weather events, one lesson is sinking in with terrifying certainty. The
     stable climate of the last 12,000 years is gone.”

     Daniel Sarewitz  and Roger A. Pielke Jr. “Rising Tide.”

     “Global climate change is real, and developing alternative energy sources and reducing global
     carbon-dioxide emission is essential. But the claim that action to slow climate change is justified by
     the rising toll of natural disasters . . . is both scientifically and morally insupportable.”

     John Broome, “The Ethics of Climate Change.”
     How should we—all of us living today—evaluate the well-being of future generations? . . . How
     should we respond to the small but real chance that climate change could lead to worldwide

     Ted Steinberg, “Disasters and Deregulation.”
     “From a statistical perspective, our nation’s recent hurricane problem comes down to a case of bad
     luck. . . . But we can help load the dice in our favor by understanding what has gone wrong with the
     federal government’s approach to natural hazards.”

Academic Case Study: Hurricane Katrina
Zenia Kish, “My FEMA People: Hip-Hop as Disaster Recovery in the Katrina

     Social Sciences: Barbara L Allen, “Environmental justice, local knowledge, and after-disaster
     planning in New Orleans”

     Natural Sciences: Tingzhi Su, Shi Shu, Honglan Shi, Jianmin Wang, Craig Adams, and Emitt C.
     Witt,  “Distribution of toxic trace elements in soil/sediment in post-Katrina New Orleans and
     Louisiana Delta.”

     Applied Fields: Jacqueline Rhoads, Fave Mitchell, and Susan Rick, “Posttraumatic Stress
     Disorder After Hurricane Katrina”

WRITING PROJECT:  Composing a Research Proposal
WRITING PROJECT: Writing a Comparative Rhetorical Analysis of Popular and Academic Sources

Appendix: Introduction to Documentation Styles




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