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Joining the Conversation: A Guide and Handbook for Writers

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2017-01-05
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
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Don't let writer's block win. Joining the Conversation: A Guide and Handbook for Writers gives you confidence as a writer through smart and friendly advice applicable for any type of academic or professional writing.


Author Biography

Mike Palmquist is an Associate Provost at Colorado State University, where he leads university-wide efforts to enhance learning and teaching in face-to-face, blended, and distance courses. A professor of English and University Distinguished Teaching Scholar, he is recognized nationally for his work in computer-supported writing instruction and, in particular, in designing Web-based instructional materials to support writing. His most recent Web-based projects are Writing@CSU (http://writing.colostate.edu), an open-access, educational Web site for writers and writing instructors, and the WAC Clearinghouse (http://wac.colostate.edu), the leading site for communication across the curriculum. He is the author of numerous articles and essays on writing and teaching with technology and writing across the curriculum. In 2004, he received the Charles Moran Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Field, which recognizes "exemplary scholarship and professional service to the field of computers and writing." In 2006, the CCCC Committee on Computers in Composition and Composition named him Outstanding Technology Innovator. From 2009 to 2011, he served on the Executive Committee of the National Council of Teachers of English and as chair of the NCTE’s College Section. He is the author of Joining the Conversation: Writing in College and Beyond (Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010); The Bedford Researcher, Third Edition (Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009); and Designing Writing: A Practical Guide (Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2005).

Table of Contents

Part One: Joining a Conversation

Chapter 1: Understanding Yourself as a Writer 

    Why think of writing as conversation? 

    What should I know about writing situations? 

    What should I know about genre and design? 

    What should I know about writing processes? 

    How can I prepare for a successful writing project?

Chapter 2: Finding and Listening in on Conversations

    How can I analyze an assignment?

    How can I find interesting conversations?

    How can I “listen in” on written conversations?

Chapter 3: Reading to Write  

    How can I read critically? 

    What strategies can I use to read actively?

    How can I read like a writer? 

Chapter 4: Working with Sources 

    How can I take notes? 

    How can I evaluate sources? 

Chapter 5: Working Together

    How can collaborative activities improve my writing? 

    How can I use peer review to improve my writing?  

    How can I conduct an effective peer review?

    What resources can I draw on as I review and collaborate?

Part Two: Contributing to a Conversation

Chapter 6: Writing to Reflect

    What is writing to reflect? 

          The Writer’s Role: Observer

    What kinds of documents are used to share reflections?

          Memoir: Margo Jefferson, Negroland

          Humor: David Sedaris, Keeping Up

          Photo essays: James Mollison, Where Children Sleep

          Literacy narratives: Salvatore Scibona, Where I Learned to Read

Genre Talk: Reflective Writing

    How can I write a reflective essay?

    Student Essay: Mi Famiglia, by Caitlin Guariglia

    Project Ideas

Chapter 7: Writing to Inform

    What is writing to inform? 

          The Writer’s Role: Reporter

    What kinds of documents are used to inform?

          Informative essays: Liana Aghajanian, Stealth Generation

Infographics: INA/Princeton University, Magic Bean Shop/The Fries that Bind Us

Profiles: Rivka Galchen, An Unlikely Ballerina

Radio news reports: Bill Chappell, Four New Elements Are Added to the Periodic Table

Genre Talk: Informative Writing

    How can I write an informative essay?

    Student Essay:  To Spray or Not to Spray: DDT Use for Indoor Residual Spraying, by Ellen Page

    Project Ideas

Chapter 8: Writing to Analyze

    What is writing to analyze? 

          The Writer’s Role: Interpreter

    What kinds of documents are used to present an analysis?

          Articles: Carly Lewis, The Writing on the Virtual Bathroom Wall

Rhetorical analyses: Brooke Gladstone, The Goldilocks Number

Analytical blog posts: Scott Barry Kaufman, Why Creativity Is a Numbers Game

Issue analyses: Peter C. Baker, Reform of the Nerds

    Genres Talk: Analytical Writing

    How can I write an analytical essay?

    Student Essay:  Deadly Force: A Conservative Political Writer Takes On a Quickly Evolving Issue, by Mackenzie Owens 

    Project Ideas

Chapter 9: Writing to Evaluate

    What is writing to evaluate?

          The Writer’s Role: Evaluato

    What kinds of documents are used to share evaluations?

          Scholarly essays:  Eileen Ferrer et al, Playing Music to Relieve Stress in a College Classroom Environment

Media reviews:  Jon Dolan, Adele ‘25’

Evaluative interviews: Kathryn Edin and Luke Shaefer, The Truth about Food Stamps (Hint: They Work and Help Millions)

          Professional reports: High HOPES Campaign, Restorative Justice in Chicago Public School

    Genres in Conversation: Evaluative Writing

    How can I write an evaluative essay?

    Student Essay

          Making Better Choices: Two Approaches to Reducing College Drinking, by Dwight Haynes

    Project Ideas

Chapter 10: Writing to Solve Problems

    What is writing to solve problems? 

          The Writer’s Role: Problem Solver

    What kinds of documents are used to solve problems?

          Problem-solving articles and essays:  Anneke Jong, Leveling the Playing Field: How to Get More Women in Tech

          Proposals: Carpenter, et al, Iowa State Bike Share Studio

          Opinion pieces:  Patrik Jonsson, Five Ways to Reduce Mass Shootings in the U.S.

          Advice:  Chris Colin, Carpe FOMO

    Genre Talk: Problem-Solving Writing

    How can I write a problem-solving essay?

    Student Essay 

          The Truth about Puppy Mills: Exposing a Heartrending Industry, by James Hardjadinata

    Project Ideas

Chapter 11: Writing to Convince or Persuade

    What is writing to convince or persuade?
          The Writer’s Role: Advocate

    What kinds of documents are used to convince or persuade?

          Argumentative essays:  Anu Partenen, What Americans Keep Ignoring about Finland’s School Success

          Advertisements: Men Can Stop Rape, Where Do You Stand?

          Point/Counterpoint editorials:  David W. Kreutzer, Solar Power Presents Significant Environmental Problems;  Don Kusler, We Need to Continue to Invest in Solar

          Open letters: Charlotte Alter, An Open Letter to Open Letter Writers

    Genre Talk: Argumentative Writing

    How can I write an argumentative essay?

    Student Essay: Trigger Warnings in the College Classroom, by Elisabeth Layne

    Project Ideas

Part Three: Conducting Research

Chapter 12: Beginning Your Search

    How should I focus my search for sources?

    How can I develop a search plan?

    How can I keep track of my sources?

    How can I create a bibliography?

Chapter 13: Locating Sources

    How can I locate sources using digital resources?

    How can I locate sources using print resources?

Chapter 14: Conducting Field Research

    When should I use field research methods?

    How can I conduct an interview?

    How can I conduct an observation?

    How can I conduct a survey?

    How can I engage in other forms of field research?

Chapter 15: Avoiding Plagiarism

    What is plagiarism?

    What are research ethics?

    How can I avoid plagiarism?

    What should I do if I’m accused of plagiarism?

Part Four: Crafting and Polishing Your Contribution

Chapter 16: Developing and Supporting Your Thesis Statement

    How can I develop my position on an issue?

    How can I draft my thesis statement?

    How can I support my thesis statement?

Chapter 17: Organizing

    How can I choose an organizing pattern?

    How can I arrange my argument?

    How can I create an outline?

Chapter 18: Drafting and Designing

    How can I use my outline to begin drafting?

    How can I draft an effective document?

    How can I draft my introduction?

    How can I draft my conclusion?

    How can I help my readers follow my argument?

    How can I design my document?

    What should I consider as I design an academic essay?

Chapter 19: Working with Genres  

    How can I choose the right genre?

    How can I write an article?

    How can I create a multimodal essay?

    How can I create a Web page?

Chapter 20: Presenting Your Work 

    How can I make an oral presentation?

    How can I create a multimedia presentation?

    How can I work on group presentations?

    How can I develop a portfolio?

Chapter 21: Using Sources Effectively

    How can I use sources to accomplish my purposes as a writer?

    How can I integrate sources into my draft?

    How can I ensure I’ve avoided plagiarism?

    How should I document my sources?

Chapter 22: Revising and Editing

    What should I focus on when I revise?

    What strategies can I use to revise?

    What should I focus on when I edit?

    What strategies can I use to edit?

Part Five. Documenting Your Sources

Chapter 23: Using MLA Style

    How do I cite sources within the text of my document?

    How do I prepare the list of works cited?

Chapter 24: The APA Documentation System

    How do I cite sources within the text of my document?

    How do I prepare the reference list?

Part Six: Handbook  

Chapter 25: Style: Write Confidently 

    Write clear, logical sentences

    Choose language that will earn you respect

    Choose concise, lively phrasing

Chapter 26: Grammar: Write Skillfully

    Make verbs work for you

   Write in complete sentences, not fragments 

    Avoid run-ons and comma splices

    Use pronouns to help, not confuse, readers

    Use adjectives and adverbs wisely

Chapter 27: Punctuation and Mechanics: Give Your Readers Direction

    Use commas to keep your sentences readable

    Use periods, question marks, and exclamation points correctly

    Use quotation marks when you borrow words

    Use apostrophes in contractions and possessives of nouns

    Use colons to point at what comes next

   Use semicolons between equivalent elements

   Use other punctuation in specific situations

    Use sentence mechanics to convey information

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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