Joining the Conversation: A Guide and Handbook for Writers with 2020 APA Update

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  • Edition: 4th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2020-06-15
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's

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Supplemental Materials

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Grounded in the best practices of effective writing instruction, Joining the Conversation’s rhetorical approach teaches students the key critical thinking skills they will draw on as they begin to explore and respond thoughtfully to the complex conversations around them. From reflective and informative to analytical and persuasive writing, chapters follow real student writers as they find a conversation, develop, revise, and document their writing. Thoroughly revised, the fourth edition includes new student projects and more support for academic reading, critical thinking, and assessing credibility and bias.

Table of Contents

PART ONE: Joining a Conversation 
Why think of writing as conversation?
You already know how conversations work?—?online and off 
Conversations help you share information, ideas, and arguments 
Conversations allow you to adopt roles 
What should I know about writing situations? 
Writing situations are rhetorical situations 
Writing has a purpose 
Readers have purposes, needs, interests, knowledge, and backgrounds 
Writing builds on the work of others 
Writing takes place in context 
Writing situations are an important area of scholarly inquiry 
What should I know about genre and design? 
Genres are general categories of documents 
Design is a writing tool 
Genre and design are related 
Genres and design help writers achieve their goals 
What should I know about writing processes? 
Writing is like other complex activities 
It takes time and effort to become a good writer 
Writing processes vary from project to project 
Writing processes are recursive 
Writing and critical thinking are related 
Writing processes are studied intensely 
How can I prepare for a successful writing project? 
Take ownership 
Create a writer’s notebook 
Manage your time 
In Summary: Understanding Yourself as a Writer 
2 Finding and Listening In on Conversations 
How can I analyze an assignment?
Assess your writing situation 
Determine your purpose 
Determine who your readers are and what motivates them 
Consider the role of sources 
Identify the context and genre 
Note requirements, limitations, and opportunities 
How can I find interesting conversations? 
Generate ideas 
Blindwrite or dictate 
Use sentence starters 
Ask questions 
How can I “listen in” on written conversations? 
Discuss the topic with others 
Observe the topic firsthand 
Read what others have written 
Review your sources 
In Summary: Finding and Listening In on Conversations 
3 Reading to Write 
How can I read critically?
Read with an attitude 
Consider writing situations 
Draw on critical thinking skills 
What strategies can I use to read actively? 
Skim for an overview 
 Peter Johnston, Guiding the Budding Writer 
Mark and annotate 
Pay attention 
Recognize the genre 
Consider illustrations 
Record new information and challenging ideas 
Identify similarities and differences 
Evaluate and reflect on what you’ve learned 
Understand the writer’s argument 
Identify the main point 
Find reasons and evidence that support the main point 
How can I read like a writer? 
Read to understand 
 Nancy Sommers, Living Composition 
Main-point summaries 
Key-point summaries 
Outline summaries 
Read to respond 
Agree/disagree responses 
Reflective responses 
Analytic responses 
Read to make connections 
 Literature reviews 
In Summary: Reading to Write 
4 Working with Sources 
How can I decide whether a source is appropriate a credible?
Explore connections to your conversation 
Verify your sources and the information they provide 
Pop the information bubble 
How can I take notes?
Quote directly 
Use notes to improve your understanding of an issue
Record your reactions and impressions 
Compare sources 
Classify sources 
Plan your document 
How can I evaluate sources? 
Determine relevance 
Consider the use of evidence 
Identify the author 
Learn about the publisher 
Establish timeliness 
Assess comprehensiveness 
Consider genre and medium 
Use genre to understand purposes and audiences 
Evaluate digital sources 
Evaluate field sources 
In Summary: Working with Sources 
5 Working Together 
How can collaborative activities improve my writing? 
Work together to generate ideas 
Group brainstorming 
Work together to collect and work with information 
Work together to refine your argument 
How can I use peer review to improve my writing? 
Use peer review to enhance your writing process 
Use peer review to improve your document 
Use peer review to succeed on a major project 
How can I conduct an effective peer review? 
Consider context 
Consider technology 
Consider your needs as a writer 
Consider your role as a reviewer 
What resources can I draw on as I review and collaborate? 
Use technological tools 
Consult instructors, classmates, friends, and family 
In Summary: Working Together 
PART TWO: Contributing to a Conversation 
6. Writing to Reflect 
What is writing to reflect?

What kinds of documents are used to share reflections?
Reflective essays 
David Sedaris, Keeping Up 
Photo essays 
James Mollison, Where Children Sleep 
Literacy narratives 
Salvatore Scibona, Where I Learned to Read 
Margo Jefferson, Are We Rich? 
Genre Talk: Reflective Writing 
How can I write a reflective essay? 
In Process: A Reflective Essay about a Family Vacation
Find a conversation and listen in 
Explore your experiences 
Ask questions about promising subjects 
Conduct an observation 
IN PROCESS: Conducting an Observation 
Reflect on your subject 
Examine your subject 
Collect details 
Find significance 
IN PROCESS: Making Comparisons 
Prepare a draft 
Convey your main idea 
Tell a story 
Go into detail 
Choose your point of view 
Consider genre and design 
Frame your reflections 
Review and improve your draft 
Ensure that your main idea is clear 
Examine the presentation of your observations 
Review dialogue 
IN PROCESS: Adding Dialogue 
Show, don’t tell 
Respond to feedback from your instructor 
 IN PROCESS: Responding to Instructor Feedback 
PEER REVIEW: Improve Your Reflective Essay 
* Student Essay
Caitlin Guariglia, Mi Famiglia 
* Project Ideas 
In Summary: Writing a Reflective Essay 
7 Writing to Inform 
What is writing to inform? 
What kinds of documents are used to inform?
Informative essays and articles 
Katrina Booker, “I Was Devastated”: The Man Who Invented the Internet Has Some Regrets 
International Network Archive, The Magic Bean Shop and The Fries That Bind Us 
Rivka Galchen, An Unlikely Ballerina: The Rise of Misty Copeland 
News reports 
Beth Mole, Ebola Outbreak Over in Democratic Republic of the Congo, but It Can Lurk In Survivors, New Study Shows 
Genre Talk: Informative Writing 
How can I write an informative essay? 
IN PROCESS: An Informative Essay about the Use of DDT to Prevent Malaria
Find a conversation and listen in 
Explore your interests 
Use your library 
IN PROCESS: Using the Library Catalog 
Ask questions about promising subjects 
Gather information 
Create a search plan 
IN PROCESS: Asking Questions 
Collect sources 
Evaluate your sources 
Take notes 
IN PROCESS: Evaluating Sources 
Conduct an interview 
Prepare a draft 
Present your main point 
Develop supporting points and evidence 
IN PROCESS: Developing Support 
Consider genre and design 
Frame your information 
Review and improve your draft 
Focus your discussion 
Ensure clarity 
Review your use of sources 
Assess your introduction and conclusion 
Respond to Feedback from your instructor 
 IN PROCESS: Responding to Instructor Feedback 
PEER REVIEW: Improve Your Informative Essay 
* Student Essay
Ellen Page, To Spray or Not to Spray: DDT Use for Indoor Residual Spraying 
* Project Ideas 
In Summary: Writing an Informative Essay 
8 Writing to Analyze 
What is writing to analyze? 
THE WRITER’S ROLE: Interpreter 
What kinds of documents are used to present an analysis?
Carly Lewis, The Writing on the Virtual Bathroom Wall 
Issue analyses 
Peter C. Baker, Reform of the Nerds, Starring Arthur Chu 
Rhetorical analyses 
Brooke Gladstone, The Goldilocks Number 
Analytical blog posts 
Scott Barry Kaufman, Why Creativity Is a Numbers Game 
Genre Talk: Analytical Writing 
How can I write an analytical essay? 
IN PROCESS: An Analysis of a Cultural Trend
Find a conversation and listen in 
Explore your surroundings 
Ask interpretive questions 
Search databases 
IN PROCESS: Searching Databases 
Conduct your analysis 
Refine your question 
Seek a fuller understanding of your subject 
Apply an interpretive framework 
IN PROCESS: Applying Interpretive Frameworks 
Prepare a draft 
Make an interpretive claim 
Explain your interpretation 
IN PROCESS: Supporting Reasons with Evidence 
Consider genre and design 
Frame your analysis 
Review and improve your draft 
Ensure that your claim is debatable 
Challenge your conclusions 
Examine the application of your interpretive framework 
PEER REVIEW: Improve Your Analytical Essay 
Assess your organization 
Respond to feedback from your instructor 
 IN PROCESS: Responding to Instructor Feedback 
* Student Essay 

Kelsey Smith, Art Theft on the Rise with Social Media 
* Project Ideas 
In Summary: Writing an Analytical Essay 
9 Writing to Evaluate 
What is writing to evaluate? 
What kinds of documents are used to share evaluations?
Scholarly articles 
Eileen Ferrer et al., Playing Music to Relieve Stress in a College Classroom Environment 
Web-based articles 
Marie-Helen Maras, 4 Ways ‘Internet of Things’ Toys Endanger Children 
Media reviews 
Justin Kanoya, Thoughts on Crazy Rich Asians: How Representation Impacts Self-Worth 
Progress reports 
National Cancer Institute, Excerpts from Cancer Trends Progress Report 
Genre Talk: Evaluative Writing 
How can I write an evaluative essay? 
IN PROCESS: An Evaluative Essay about the Effectiveness of a Media Production
Find a conversation and listen in 
Explore your needs, interests, and concerns 
Search the Web 
IN PROCESS: Searching the Web 
Narrow your focus by asking questions 
IN PROCESS: Focusing on a Subject 
Conduct your evaluation 
Define your criteria 
Identify evidence 
Make your judgments 
IN PROCESS: Making Judgments 
Prepare a draft 
State your overall judgment 
Present your evaluation 
IN PROCESS: Using Evidence to Support Judgments 
Consider genre and design 
Frame your evaluation 
Review and improve your draft 
Review your criteria 
Reconsider your evidence 
Ensure that your judgments are fair and reasonable 
Respond to feedback from your instructor 
    IN PROCESS: Responding to Instructor Feedback 
PEER REVIEW: Improve Your Evaluative Essay 
* Student Essay
Brooke Shannon, Is Wicked All That Wicked?  
* Project Ideas 
In Summary: Writing an Evaluative Essay 
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 
Dave Krepcho, Grant Proposal for Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida 
Opinion pieces 
Patrik Jonsson, Five Ways to Reduce Mass Shootings in the US 
Savannah Peterson, Advice for Generation Z from a Millennial 
Genre Talk: Problem-Solving Writing 
How can I write a problem-solving essay? 
IN PROCESS: A Problem-Solving Essay about Puppy Mills
Find a conversation and listen in 
Explore difficulties 
Ask questions about promising subjects 
Conduct a survey 
Develop a solution 
Define the problem 
Consider potential solutions 
IN PROCESS: Developing a Survey 
IN PROCESS: Defining a Problem 
Assess the practicality of your solution 
IN PROCESS: Developing a Solution 
Prepare a draft 
Explain the problem 
Propose your solution 
Explain your solution 
IN PROCESS: Providing Support for Key Points 
Consider genre and design 
Frame your essay 
IN PROCESS: Using a Figure to Support a Point 
Review and improve your draft 
Reassess your problem definition 
Review the presentation of your solution 
Check the feasibility of your solution 
Consider objections and alternative solutions 
Respond to feedback from your instructor 
     IN PROCESS: Responding to Instructor Feedback 
PEER REVIEW: Improve Your Problem-Solving Essay 
* Student Essay
James Hardjadinata, The Truth about Puppy Mills: Exposing a Heartrending Industry 
* Project Ideas 
In Summary: Writing a Problem-Solving Essay 
11 Writing to Convince or Persuade 
What is writing to convince or persuade? 
What kinds of documents are used to convince or persuade? 
Argumentative essays 
Anu Partanen, What Americans Keep Ignoring about Finland’s School Success 
Men Can Stop Rape, Where Do You Stand? 
Point/counterpoint articles 
Katherina Nieswandt, Point: Basic Income after Automation? That’s Not How Capitalism Works!
Ben Block, Counterpoint: Tax Robots and Universal Basic Income 
Open letters 
Angela Nickerson, An Open Letter to Lands’ End 
Genre Talk: Argumentative Writing 
How can I write an argumentative essay? 
IN PROCESS: An Argumentative Essay about Trigger Warnings
Find a conversation and listen in 
Explore disagreements 
IN PROCESS: Generating Ideas about Conversations 
Track online conversations 
Ask questions about promising issues 
Build your argument 
IN PROCESS: Locating Sources 
Define your overall claim 
Develop reasons to accept your overall claim 
Choose evidence to support your reasons 
IN PROCESS: Choosing Evidence 
Identify and consider opposing claims 
Ensure the integrity of your argument 
Prepare a draft 
Make an argumentative claim 
Appeal to your readers 
Address counterarguments 
Consider genre and design 
Frame your argument 
Review and improve your draft 
Consider your overall claim 
Review your reasons, evidence, and appeals 
Examine your treatment of counterarguments 
Ensure the integrity of your argument 
Respond to feedback from your instructor 
     IN PROCESS: Responding to Instructor Feedback 
PEER REVIEW: Improve Your Argumentative Essay 
* Student Essay
Elisabeth Layne, Trigger Warnings on College Campuses 
* Project Ideas 
In Summary: Writing an Argumentative Essay 
PART THREE: Conducting Research 
12 Beginning Your Search 
How should I focus my search for sources? 
Consider your purpose and role 
Look for gaps in the conversation 
Generate questions about your issue 
Select and refine your question 
Consider your writing situation 
Refer to shared assumptions and existing conditions 
Narrow your scope 
Tech Tip: Conduct Preliminary Searches 
How can I develop a search plan? 
Identify relevant types of sources 
Consider the scope of your conversation 
Consider the timeliness of your subject 
Consider what you need to learn 
Consider the evidence you’ll need 
Identify appropriate search tools and research methods 
Review and refine your plan 
How can I keep track of my sources? 
Manage print materials 
Manage digital materials 
Copying and pasting 
Using e-mail 
Tech Tip: Taking photos, making recordings, and saving notes 
Saving bookmarks and favorites in your browser 
Using Web Tools 
Backing up your files 
How can I create a bibliography? 
List sources in a working bibliography 
Summarize sources in an annotated bibliography 
In Summary: Beginning Your Search 
13 Locating Sources 
How can I locate sources using digital resources? 
Generate search terms
Choose search strategies 
Plan basic searches 
Tech Tip: Plan advanced searches 
Search library catalogs 
Search databases 
Identify relevant databases 
Search within database fields 
Search the Web 
Use Web search engines 
Use meta search sites 
Use news search sites 
Use reference sites 
Use government search sites and directories 
Tech Tip: Use eBook sites 
Search blogs 
Search social media sites 
Search media sites 
Use image search sites and directories 
Use audio search sites 
Use video search sites 
Keep track of your searches 
How can I locate sources using print resources? 
Discuss your search plan with a librarian 
Visit the library stacks 
Tech Tip: Use interlibrary loan 
Browse periodicals 
Check reference works 
Consult bibliographies 
Review indexes 
Check biographies 
Browse specialized encyclopedias 
Consult handbooks 
Review almanacs 
Scan atlases 
In Summary: Locating Sources 
14 Conducting Field Research 
When should I use field research methods? 
How can I conduct an interview?
Plan your interview 
Identify interview candidates 
Develop interview questions 
Decide how to conduct your interview 
Decide how to record and take notes 
Conduct your interview 
Analyze your results 
How can I conduct an observation? 
Plan your observation 
Determine what, how, and how often to observe 
Determine whether to ask permission to observe 
Conduct your observation 
Analyze your results 
How can I conduct a survey? 
Plan your survey 
Identify potential survey respondents 
Decide what to ask and how to ask it with integrity 
Determine whether you are asking your questions clearly 
Distribute your survey 
Analyze your results 
How can I engage in other forms of field research? 
Engage in correspondence 
Attend public events 
Collaborate with others 
In Summary: Conducting Field Research 
15 Avoiding Plagiarism 
What is plagiarism? 
Unintentional plagiarism 
Intentional plagiarism 
Plagiarism in group projects 
What are research ethics? 
Understand common knowledge 
Ask permission to use a source 
How can I avoid plagiarism? 
Conduct a knowledge inventory 
Take notes carefully 
Attribute ideas appropriately 
Identify your sources 
Understand why writers plagiarize 
What should I do if I’m accused of plagiarism? 
In Summary: Avoiding Plagiarism 
PART FOUR: Crafting and Polishing Your Contribution 
16 Developing and Supporting Your Thesis Statement 
How can I develop my position on an issue? 
Review your notes 
Consider your writing situation 
How can I draft my thesis statement? 
Consider your genre 
Identify important information, ideas, and arguments related to your position 
Draft alternatives 
Focus your thesis statement 
How can I support my thesis statement? 
Choose reasons to accept your thesis statement 
Select evidence to support your reasons 
In Summary: Developing and Supporting Your Thesis Statement 
17 Organizing 
How can I choose an organizing pattern? 
Understand the types of organizing patterns 
Reflect on your writing situation 
How can I arrange my argument? 
How can I create an outline? 
Create an informal outline 
Create a formal outline 
What if I’m not ready to organize my ideas? 
 Create a zero draft 
 Create an outline or a map from a zero draft 
In Summary: Organizing 
18 Drafting and Designing 
How can I use my outline or map to write a first draft? 
How can I draft an effective document? 
Create paragraphs that focus on a central idea 
Create paragraphs that use appropriate organizing patterns 
Integrate information from sources effectively 
Write clearly and concisely 
Engage your readers 
Use details to capture your readers’ attention 
Create transitions within and between paragraphs 
How can I draft my introduction? 
Frame your introduction 
Select an introductory strategy 
State the topic 
Establish the context 
State your thesis 
Define a problem 
Make a surprising statement 
Ask a question 
Tell a story 
Provide a historical account 
Lead with a quotation 
Draw a contrast 
Provide a map 
How can I draft my conclusion? 
Reinforce your points 
Select a concluding strategy 
Offer additional analysis 
Speculate about the future 
Close with a quotation 
Close with a story 
Close with a question 
Call your readers to action 
Link to your introduction 
Reinforce your efforts to frame your subject or issue 
How can I help readers follow my argument? 
Let readers know where your document is taking them 
Give readers a map 
Build on readers’ experiences 
Keep related ideas together 
Keep the flow of your document moving forward 
Say things just once 
How can I design my document? 
Understand design principles 
Design for a purpose 
Design for your readers 
Design to address genre conventions 
Use design elements effectively 
Use fonts, line spacing, and alignment 
Use page layout elements 
Use color, shading, borders, and rules 
Use illustrations 
Use navigation tools 
What should I consider as I design an academic essay? 
Consider how design can help you achieve your goals 
Consider reader expectations 
Consider your context 
View an essay 
In Summary: Drafting and Designing 
19 Working with Genres 
How can I choose the right genre?
Analyze your assignment 
Reflect on your purpose, role, readers, and context 
Consider your writing resources 
How can I write an article? 
Analyze your target publication 
Develop and organize your argument 
Collect and work with sources 
Draft, design, and review your article 
View an article 
How can I create a multimodal essay? 
Build on your experiences writing academic essays 
Develop and organize your argument 
Collect and work with sources 
Choose among media sources 
Place and stage media sources 
Import or link to media sources 
Choose composing tools 
Tech Tip: Compose your essay with a multimedia presentation program 
Develop a consistent design 
View a multimodal essay 
How can I create a website? 
Plan your site 
Create content 
Choose navigation tools 
Design your site 
Create your site 
Tech Tip: Create a website with a word-processing program 
Put your site online 
View Web pages 
In Summary: Working with Genres 
20 Presenting Your Work 
How can I make an oral presentation? 
Consider your purpose, role, and audience 
Narrow your scope 
Create a bare-bones outline 
Think about language 
Prepare speaker’s notes 
Engage with your audience 
View speaker’s notes 
How can I create a multimedia presentation? 
Plan your presentation 
Choose your sources 
Choose composing tools 
Develop a consistent design 
Organize your presentation 
Make your presentation 
View a presentation 
How can I work on a group presentation? 
Understand the purposes of working in a group 
Understand potential problems and develop solutions 
Establish ground rules 
Create a plan 
How can I develop a portfolio? 
Select your materials 
Organize and design your portfolio 
Introduce and reflect on your work 
View a reflective statement from a portfolio 
In Summary: Presenting Your Work 
21 Using Sources Effectively 
How can I use sources to accomplish my purposes as a writer?
Introduce a point 
Contrast ideas 
Provide evidence 
Align yourself with an authority 
Define a concept, illustrate a process, or clarify a statement 
Set a mood 
Provide an example 
Amplify or qualify a point 
How can I integrate sources into my draft? 
Identify your sources 
Use attributions and in-text citations 
Provide a context 
Quote strategically 
Use partial, complete, or block quotations 
Modify quotations appropriately 
Punctuate quotations correctly 
Paraphrase information, ideas, and arguments 
Ensure the accuracy and fairness of each paraphrase 
Integrate each paraphrase into your document 
Summarize sources 
Summarize an entire source 
Summarize specific information and ideas from a source 
Summarize a group of sources 
Present numerical information 
Use images, audio, and video 
How can I ensure I’ve avoided plagiarism? 
Quote, paraphrase, and summarize accurately and appropriately 
Distinguish between your ideas and ideas in your sources 
Check for unattributed sources in your document 
How should I document my sources? 
Choose a documentation system 
Provide in-text references and publication information 
In Summary: Using Sources Effectively 
22 Revising and Editing 
What should I focus on when I revise? 
Consider your writing situation 
Consider your argument and ideas 
Consider your use, integration, and documentation of sources 
Consider the structure and organization of your document 
Consider genre and design 
What strategies can I use to revise? 
Save multiple drafts 
Highlight your main point, reasons, and evidence 
Challenge your assumptions 
Put yourself in the place of your readers 
Play devil’s advocate 
Play the “So what?” game 
Scan, outline, and map your document 
Ask for feedback 
What should I focus on when I edit? 
Focus on accuracy 
Focus on economy 
Focus on consistency 
Focus on style 
Focus on spelling, grammar, and punctuation 
What strategies can I use to edit? 
Read carefully 
Mark and search your document 
Use spelling, grammar, and style tools with caution 
Ask for feedback 
In Summary: Revising and Editing 
PART FIVE: Documenting Sources 
23 Using MLA Style 
How do I cite sources within the text of my document? 
How do I prepare the list of works cited?
Sources in journals, magazines, and newspapers 
Reference works 
Field sources 
Media sources 
Other Digital sources 
24 Using APA Style 
How do I cite sources within the text of my document? 
How do I prepare the references list? 
Sources in journals, magazines, and newspapers 
Reference works 
Field sources 
Media sources 
Other Digital sources 
Other sources 
PART SIX: Handbook 
25 Style: Writing Confidently 
Write clear, logical sentences
Choose the right sentence structures 
Put your main ideas in main clauses 
To give multiple ideas equal weight, use a compound sentence 
To emphasize one idea over another, use a complex sentence 
Combine coordination and subordination in a compound-complex sentence 
Write in complete sentences 
Watch out for subordinate clauses posing as sentences 
Watch out for verbals posing as verbs 
Watch out for fragments that begin with prepositions 
Watch out for fragments consisting of examples 
Avoid run-ons and comma splices 
Use a comma and a coordinating conjunction 
Use a semicolon 
Break the sentence in two 
Subordinate one of the clauses 
Use parallel structures to help readers understand your ideas 
When you write a series, make all the elements in it parallel 
Compare like with like 
Connect elements in a series to the rest of the sentence 
Let readers know where your sentence is going 
Use conjunctions and transition words as signposts 
Keep related ideas together 
Keep the flow of the sentence moving forward 
Avoid dangling words and phrases 
Avoid dangling modifiers 
Avoid dangling prepositions 
Choose language that will earn you respect 
Match your style to your writing situation 
Choose the right level of formality 
Avoid unnecessarily technical language 
Use language that is free of bias and stereotyping 
Avoid exaggeration 
Use only words you know 
Choose lively, concise phrasing 
To be vivid, be specific 
Give every word a job to do 
Favor the active voice 
Look for alternatives to forms of the verb to be 
If you want to use figures of speech, invent your own 
Pay attention to relationships among words 
Avoid using too many -tion, -ing, and -ly endings 
Make a habit of stating things in an affirmative way 
In Summary: Style: Writing Confidently 
26 Grammar: Writing Skillfully 
Make verbs work for you 
Match the number of a verb to the number of its subject 
Watch out for words that come between the subject and verb 
Treat most compound subjects as plural 
Match the number of the verb to the nearer or nearest of alternative subjects 
Make the subject and verb agree, even when the verb comes first 
Do not confuse the subject with a noun complement 
Use singular verbs with singular indefinite pronouns 
Use the right verb forms with collective nouns 
Watch out for nouns that look plural but are not 
Use verb tense and mood to convey timing and possibility 
Don’t get tripped up by irregular verbs 
Use verbs in special moods in special cases 
Use pronouns to help readers 
Match subject pronouns with subjects and object pronouns with objects 
Watch out when using subject or object pronouns together or with a name 
Use who for subjects and whom for objects 
Use reflexive pronouns to refer to the subject of the sentence or clause 
Choose the right pronouns in comparisons 
Use a subject pronoun for a subject complement 
Make pronouns agree with their antecedents 
Watch out for indefinite pronouns 
Watch out for collective nouns 
Avoid vague or ambiguous pronoun references 
Watch out for pronouns whose antecedents are whole clauses or sentences 
Avoid using the same pronoun when referring to different things 
Avoid using a pronoun when it might refer to more than one thing 
Use the pronoun you only when you mean your readers 
Use they only to refer to particular people or things 
Use the placeholder pronoun it sparingly 
Use adjectives and adverbs to clarify your ideas 
Use adjectives to modify nouns and pronouns 
Use adverbs to modify verbs, adjectives, and adverbs 
Know when to use good, well, bad, and badly 
Use -est, most, or least only when comparing three or more items 
Watch out for adverbs with absolute concepts 
In Summary: Grammar: Writing Skillfully 
27 Punctuation and Mechanics: Giving Your Readers Direction 
Use commas to keep your sentences organized and readable
Use a comma and a coordinating conjunction to separate two main clauses 
Use commas to set off introductory elements 
Use commas to set off detours 
Use commas in series 
Use commas to set off most quotations 
Use commas in other places where readers expect them 
Use periods, question marks, and exclamation points correctl
End most sentences with periods 
Reserve question marks for actual questions 
Use exclamation points sparingly 
Use quotation marks when you borrow words 
Put quotation marks around direct quotations 
Put quotation marks around new terms and words used as words 
Put quotation marks around the titles of short works 
Place quotation marks correctly with other punctuation 
Use apostrophes in contractions and possessives 
Use an apostrophe in contractions 
Use apostrophes to show possession 
Distinguish among possessives, adjectives, and attributive nouns 
Give possessive pronouns special treatment 
Use colons to point to what comes next 
Use semicolons between equivalent elements 
Use other punctuation marks in specific situations 
Use hyphens mainly to help readers understand relationships between adjacent words 
Check a dictionary 
Use hyphens to make compound adjectives 
Do not add hyphens to Internet addresses 
Hyphenate between syllables at the end of a line 
Use dashes for breaks in thought that are larger than commas suggest 
Use parentheses for explanatory and other minor asides 
Use brackets inside parentheses and quotations 
Use ellipsis marks to indicate omissions 
Use a slash when quoting poetry or song lyrics and sparingly for alternatives 
Use sentence mechanics to help readers follow your ideas 
Use capitalization to mark beginnings 
Capitalize proper names 
Capitalize titles that immediately precede a person’s name 
Capitalize adjectives derived from proper names 
Capitalize most words in the titles of works 
Follow the specialized capitalization style of organizations and brands 
Use italics for titles of substantial works, for foreign words, and sparingly for emphasis 
Italicize the titles or names of substantial works 
Italicize foreign words 
Use italics for emphasis 
Use abbreviations and acronyms to help, not frustrate, readers 
Use standard abbreviations 
Use acronyms to simplify and clarify 
In Summary: Punctuation and Mechanics: Giving Your Readers Direction 

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