The Longman Writer's Companion MLA Update Edition

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  • Edition: 4th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-05-20
  • Publisher: Longman
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A comprehensive reference to grammar, writing, research, and documentation, "The Longman Writer's Companion" offers a unique emphasis on how to write for different audiences - academic, workplace, and public. No matter what you are trying to write - an essay for college, a business proposal for your boss, an email memo, or a letter - "The Longman Handbook" will give you the help you need.

Table of Contents

Part 1  Writing for Readers


1        Writers, Readers, and Communities

a.          Academic, Public, and Work Communities

b.          Analyzing Electronic Communities

c.          Myths and Realities about Writing


2        Discovering and Planning

a.          Discovering Topics

b.          Generating Ideas

c.          Organizing Information

d.          Planning in Digital Environments


3        Purpose, Thesis, and Audience

a.          Identifying Your Focus and Purpose 

b.          Creating a Thesis

c.          Understanding Your Readers


4        Drafting

a.          Moving from Planning to Drafting

b.          Drafting Collaboratively

c.          Drafting  in Digital Environments


5        Revising, Editing, and Proofreading

a.          Making Major Revisions

b.          Making Minor Revisions

c.          Revising Collaboratively

d.          Revising in Digital Environments

e.          Editing

f.          Editing Collaboratively

g.         Proofreading


6        Paragraphs

a.          Unfocused Paragraphs

b.          Revising for Focus

c.          Incoherent Paragraphs

d.          Revising for Coherence

e.          Poorly Developed Paragraphs

f.           Revising for Development

g.          Using Special-Purpose Paragraphs


7       Clear and Emphatic Sentences

a.         Unclear Sentences

b.         Revising for  Clear Sentences

c.         Revising for Variety and Emphasis


Part 2  Critical Reading, Thinking, and Argument


8       Reasoning Critically

a.         Recognizing Critical Reasoning

b.         Building a Chain of Reasoning

c.         Representing Your Reasoning


9       Reading Critically

a.         Reading to Understand

b.         Reading to Respond and Evaluate

c.         Using Journals to Turn Reading into Writing


10      Arguing Persuasively

a.         Recognizing an Issue

b.         Developing Your Stance

c.         Creating an Argumentative Thesis

d.         Developing Reasons and Evidence

e.         Acknowledging Other Perspectives

f.          Arguing Logically

g.         Writing a Position Paper


11     Creating a Visual Argument

a.         Presenting an Issue

b.         Providing Evidence


Part 3  Presenting Your Work


12     Designing Documents

a.         Goals of Document Design

b.         Format Choice

c.         Layout

d.         Type Choice

e.         Visuals

f.          Sample Documents


13     Writing in Online Communities

a.         Online Expectations

b.         E-mail Conventions

c.         Online Communities

d.         Web Pages

e.         Avoiding Plagiarism and Behaving Ethically Online


14     Speaking Effectively

a.         Oral Presentations

b.         Preparing an Oral Presentation

c.         Managing Speech Anxiety

d.         Fielding Questions


Part 4  Writing for Specific Communities


15     Academic Writing: General Education

a.         Goals of General Academic Writing

b.         General Academic Audiences

c.         General Academic Writing Tasks

d.         Types of General Academic Writing

e.         Summary

f.          Annotated Bibliography

g.         Literature Review

h.         Essay Exam

i.          Short Documented Paper

j.          Review

k.         Position Paper

l.          Oral Presentation


16     Academic Writing: Humanities and Literature

a.         Goals of Writing in the Humanities

b.         Audiences in the Humanities

c.         Writing Tasks in the Humanities

d.         Types of Writing in the Humanities

e.         Ways of Reading Literary Texts

f.          Literary Text Analysis

g.         Visual Text Analysis


17     Academic Writing: Social and Natural Sciences

a.         Goals of Writing in the Social and Natural Sciences

b.         Audiences in the Social and Natural Sciences

c.         Writing Tasks in the Social and Natural Sciences

d.         Types of Writing in the Social and Natural Sciences

e.         Abstract

f.          Informative Report

g.         Lab Report

h.         Research Report


18      Public Writing

 a.         Goals of Public Writing

 b.         Public Audiences

 c.         Public Writing Tasks

 d.         Types of Public Writing

 e.         Public Flyer

 f.          Letter to the Editor

 g.         Oral Presentation


19     Workplace Writing

a.         Goals of Workplace Writing

b.         Workplace Audiences

c.         Workplace Writing Tasks

d.         Types of Workplace Writing

e.         Business Letter

f.          Memo

g.         Résumé and Application Letter

h.         Oral Presentation


Part 5  Researching and Writing


20     Getting Started: Researching and Writing

a.          Beginning Your Research

b.         Types of Research Writing

c.         Developing a Research Question

d.         Developing a Preliminary Thesis

e.         Creating a Research File and a Timeline

f.         Reading and Notetaking

g.         Summarizing, Paraphrasing, and Synthesizing


21     Library Resources and Research Databases

a.         Developing a Search Strategy and Working Bibliography

b.         Searching Library Resources and Databases

c.         General Resources

d.         Books and Online Catalogs

e.         Periodicals, Print or Electronic Indexes, and Government Documents

f.         Online Databases

g.         Evaluating Library Sources


22     Web and Internet Resources

a.         Developing a Web and Internet Search Strategy

b.         Search Engines

c.         Web Sites and Internet Resources

d.         Evaluating Web and Internet Sources


23     Fieldwork

a.         Interviewing

b.         Surveying, Polling, or Using Questionnaires

c.         Conducting an Ethnographic Study

d.         Obtaining Consent and Approval for Research on Human Subjects


24     Avoiding Plagiarism and Integrating Sources

 a.        Recognizing Plagiarism

 b.        The Problem of Intention

 c.        Recognizing When to Document Sources

 d.        Working with Common Knowledge

 e.        Citing Sources Responsibly

 f.         Citing Sources in Context

 g.        Integrating Sources for a Specific Purpose

 h.        Quoting Sources

 i.         Integrating Information and Ideas

 j.          Working with Common Knowledge



25     Writing, Revising, and Presenting Your Research

a.         Reviewing Your Research Questions

b.         Reviewing Your Purpose

c.         Building from a Thesis to a Draft

d.         Revising and Editing

e.         Presenting Your Research


Part 6  Documenting Sources: MLA Style


26     MLA Documentation Style

a.         MLA In-Text (Parenthetical) Citations

b.         MLA List of Works Cited

c.         Sample MLA Paper


Part 7  Documenting Sources: APA Style


27     APA Documentation Style

a.         APA In-Text Citations

b.         APA Reference List

c.         Sample APA Paper


Part 8  Documenting Sources: CMS and CSE Style


28     CMS Documentation Style

a.        Using CMS Endnotes or Footnotes

b.        Creating CMS Endnotes or Footnotes

c.        Creating a CMS Bibliography

d.        Sample CMS Paper


29     CSE Documentation Style

a.         CSE In-Text Citations

b.         CSE Reference List

c.         Sample CSE Paper



Part 9  Grammar


30     Words Working in Sentences

a.         Nouns and Articles

b.         Pronouns

c.         Verbs

d.         Adjectives

e.         Adverbs

f.          Prepositions

g.         Conjunctions

h.         Interjections


31     Sentence Parts and Patterns

a.         Subjects and Predicates

b.         Phrases

c.         Subordinate Clauses

d.         Different Types of Sentences


32     Using Verbs

a.         Simple Present and Past Tense Verbs

b.         Editing Present Tense Verbs

c.         Editing Past Tense Verbs

d.         Complex Tenses and Helping Verbs

e.         Editing Progressive and Perfect Tenses

f.          Editing Troublesome Verbs (lie, lay, sit, set)

g.        Clear Tense Sequence

h.         Subjunctive Mood

i.          Active and Passive Voice


33     Using Pronouns

a          Pronoun Forms

b.         Editing Common Pronoun Forms


34     Making Sentence Parts Agree

a.         Agreement

b.        Creating Simple Subject-Verb Agreement

c.         Creating Complex Subject-Verb Agreement

d.         Creating Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement


35     Using Adjectives and Adverbs

a.         What Adjectives and Adverbs Do

b.         Editing Adjectives and Adverbs



Part 10  Sentence Problems


36     Sentence Fragments

a.         Sentence Fragments

b.         Editing Sentence Fragments

c.         Using Partial Sentences


37     Comma Splices and Fused Sentences

a.         Comma Splices

b.         Fused Sentences

c.         Editing Comma Splices and Fused Sentences


38     Creating Pronoun Reference

a.         Unclear Pronoun Reference

b.         Editing for Clear Pronoun Reference


39     Misplaced, Dangling, and Disruptive Modifiers

a.         Misplaced, Dangling, and Disruptive Modifiers

b.         Editing Misplaced, Dangling, and Disruptive Modifiers


40     Making Shifts Consistent

a.         Shifts in Person and Number

b.         Shifts in Tense and Mood

c.         Shifts in Active or Passive Voice

d.         Shifts Between Direct and Indirect Quotations


41     Mixed and Incomplete Sentences

a.         Mixed Sentences

b.         Editing Mixed Sentences

c.         Incomplete Sentences


42     Parallelism

a.         Faulty Parallelism

b.         Editing for Parallelism


43     Coordination and Subordination

 a.        Creating Coordination

 b.        Creating Subordination

 c.         Editing Coordination and Subordination



Part 11  Words and Style


44     Being Concise

 a.        Common Types of Wordiness

 b.        Editing for Conciseness


45     Choosing Appropriate Words

a.         Demands of Context and Purpose

b.         Editing for Precise Diction


46     Using Respectful Language

a.         Home and Community Language Varieties

b.        Gender Stereotypes

c.         Racial, Ethnic, and Cultural Stereotypes


47     Style, Vocabulary, and Dictionaries

a.         Style and Community

b.         Language Expectations

c.         Language Resources for Writers

d.         The Dictionary and the Thesaurus



Part 12  Punctuation, Mechanics, and Spelling


48     Commas

 a.         Joining Sentences

 b.         Setting Off Sentence Elements

 c.         Setting Off Nonessential Modifiers

 d.         Separating Items in a Series

 e.         Separating Adjectives in a Sequence

 f.          Dates, Numbers, Addresses, Place Names, People’s Titles, and Letters

 g.         Commas with Quotations

 h.         Commas to Make Your Meaning Clear

 i.          Eliminating Commas that Do Not Belong


49      Semicolons and Colons

a.          Semicolons

b.          Colons


50     Apostrophes

a.         Apostrophes that Mark Possession

b.         Apostrophes that Mark Contractions and Omissions


51     Marking Quotations

a.         Using Quotation Marks

b.         Titles of Short Works

c.         Highlighting Words, Special Terms, and Tone of Voice


52     Periods, Question Marks, and Exclamation Points

a.         Periods

b.         Question Marks

c.         Exclamation Points


53     Other Punctuation Marks

a.         Parentheses

b.         Brackets

c.         Dashes

d.         Ellipses

e.         Slashes

f.          Symbols in Electronic Addresses

g.         Combining Punctuation Marks


54     Capitalizing

a.         Capitalizing to Begin Sentences

b.         Capitalizing Proper Names and Titles


55     Italicizing (Underlining)

a.         Italics (Underlining) in Titles

b.         Italics for Specific Terms

c.         Underlining for Emphasis


56     Hyphenating

a.         Hyphenating to Join Words

b.         Hyphenating to Divide Words


57     Using Numbers

a.         Spelling Out Numbers

b.         Using Numerals


58     Abbreviating

a.         Familiar Abbreviations

b.         Proofreading for Appropriate Abbreviations


59     Spelling

a.         Starting with Your Spell Checker

b.         Watching for Common Patterns of Misspelling  

c.         Proofreading for Commonly Misspelled Words


60     Assessing Writing

a.         Assessing Your Own Writing

b.         Assessing Your Peers’ Writing

c.         How People Assess your Writing

d.         Assessing Writing for Portfolios


Glossary of Usage


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