The Prentice Hall Guide for College Writers

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  • Edition: 9th
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-01-13
  • Publisher: Longman
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The Prentice Hall Guide for College Writers features a brief but comprehensive coverage of the writing process and research.

Each chapter in this sequence is self-contained, with introductions, guidelines, professional and student models, writing process advice, research tips, revising guidelines, peer review questions, and postscript reflections on the assignment. Documentation coverage includes updated MLA and APA guidelines.

Early chapters teach remembering and observing, then the next chapters progress from critical reading, visual analysis, and investigation to exposition and argumentation (explaining, evaluating, problem solving, and arguing). The most important revisions of the ninth edition of The Prentice Hall Guide for College Writers relate to the challenges of digital literacy that students and teachers in the 21st century face; they are designed to help students assess, evaluate, and respond to a wide variety of texts and contexts.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Thematic Contents       




Chapter 1 Writing Myths and Rituals   

Writing Fitness: Rituals and Practice   

Place, Time, and Tools    

Energy and Attitude    

Keeping a Journal    

Reading Entries Ï Write-to-Learn Entries Ï Writing Entries

Warming Up: Journal Exercises   

“On Keeping a Journal” by Roy Hoffman   


Chapter 2 Situations, Purposes, and Processes for Writing   

The Rhetorical Situation   

Elements of the Rhetorical Situation    

The Writer Ï The Occasion Ï Purpose Ï Audience Ï Genre Ï Context

Why the Rhetorical Situation Is Important    

Purposes for Writing   

Writer-Based Purposes    

Subject- and Audience-Based Purposes    

Combinations of Purposes    

Subject, Purpose, and Thesis    

Purpose and Audience   

Audience Analysis    

Purpose, Audience, and Genre   

Analyzing the Rhetorical Situation   

Purpose, Audience, and Context in Two Essays    

“The Struggle to Be an All-American Girl” by Elizabeth Wong   

“I’m OK, but You’re Not” by Robert Zoellner   

Dimensions of the Writing Process   





The Whole Process    

Warming Up: Journal Exercises   

A Writing Process at Work: Collecting and Shaping   

“Athletes and Education” by Neil H. Petrie   

“On Writing ‘Athletes and Education’” by Neil Petrie   

A Writing Process at Work: Drafting and Revising   

From the Rough Draft of  “The Declaration of Independence” by Thomas Jefferson   


Chapter 3 Observing   

Techniques for Writing About Observations   

Observing People    

Observing Places    

Observing Objects    

Warming Up: Journal Exercises   

“Take This Fish and Look at It” by Samuel H. Scudder   

* “Trailing History” by Scott Vogel    

Observing: The Writing Process   

Assignment for Observing   

Choosing a Subject    


Sketching Ï Taking Double-Entry Notes Ï Answering Questions Ï Freewriting


Spatial Order Ï Chronological Order Ï Comparison/Contrast Ï Definition Ï Simile, Metaphor, and Analogy Ï Title, Introduction, and Conclusion


Reread Journal Entries and Notes Ï Reobserve Your Subject Ï Reexamine Purpose, Audience, Dominant Idea, and Shape Ï Create a Draft


Gaining Distance and Objectivity Ï Rereading and Responding to Your Readers Ï Guidelines for Revision Ï Genre Ï Context

Peer Response    

Postscript on the Writing Process   

“Permanent Tracings” by Jennifer Macke (student)   

“Empty Windows” by Stephen White (student)   


Chapter 4 Remembering   

Techniques for Writing About Memories   

Remembering People    

Remembering Places    

Remembering Events    

Warming Up: Journal Exercises   

“Beauty: When the Other Dancer Is the Self” by Alice Walker   

“César Chávez Saved My Life” by Daniel “Nene” Alejandrez   

Remembering: The Writing Process   

Assignment for Remembering   

Choosing a Subject    



Genre Ï Chronological Order Ï Comparison/Contrast Ï Image Ï Voice and Tone Ï Persona Ï Dialogue Ï Title, Introduction, and Conclusion



Guidelines for Revision

Peer Response    

Postscript on the Writing Process   

“The Wind Catcher” by Todd Petry (student)  

“The Red Chevy” by Juli Bovard (student)  


Chapter 5 Reading   

Techniques for Analyzing and Responding to Texts   

Critical Reading Strategies    

Double-Entry Log Ï Critical Rereading Guide

Guidelines for Class Discussion    

Summarizing and Responding to an Essay   

“Teach Diversity–with a Smile” by Barbara Ehrenreich   


Summary of “Teach Diversity–with a Smile”    


Types of Responses Ï Kinds of Evidence

Response to “Teach Diversity–with a Smile”    

Warming Up: Journal Exercises   

“Letter to America” by Margaret Atwood    

Casebook on Responses to Climate Change   

“The IPCC Fourth Assessment” by Jerald L. Schnoor   

* “A Climate Repair Manual” by Gary Stix   

* “The Rise of Renewable Energy” by Daniel M. Kammen   

* “50 Things You Can Do”   

Reading and Writing Processes   

Assignment for Reading/Writing   

Choosing a Subject    

“Teaching Tolerance in America” by Dudley Erskine Devlin   


Text Annotation Ï Reading Log


Avoiding Plagiarism    

Summary Shaping    

Description Ï Paraphrase Ï Direct Quotation Ï Avoiding Plagiarism

Sample Summaries    

Response Shaping    

Analyzing Ï Agreeing/Disagreeing Ï Interpreting and Reflecting

Outlines for Summary/Response Essays    



Guidelines for Revision

Peer Response    

Postscript on the Writing Process   

“Letter to Margaret Atwood” by Dean C. Swift (student)  

“Two Responses to Deborah Tannen” by Jennifer Koester and Sonja H. Browe (students)   


Chapter 6 Analyzing and Designing Visuals   

Techniques for Analyzing Visuals   

Analyzing Visuals    

Composition Ï Focal Point Ï Narrative Ï Themes

Analyzing Visuals with Text    

Analyzing Visuals in Context    

“Progress or Not” by Jonathan Alter    

“Who’s a Looter?” by Tania Ralli    

Analyzing the Genre of the Visual    

Rhetorical Appeals to the Audience    

Appeal to Reason Ï Appeal to Emotion Ï Appeal to Character and Credibility Ï Combined Appeal in an Ad

Techniques for Designing Visuals   

Warming Up: Journal Exercises   

* “Analysis of RosettaStone Ad” by Sarah Kay Hurst (student)    

“Miss Clairol’s ‘Does She … or Doesn’t She?’: How to Advertise a Dangerous Product” by James B. Twitchell    

Processes for Analyzing and Designing Visuals   

Assignment for Analyzing Visuals   

Assignment for Designing Visuals   

Choosing a Subject    



Analysis Focused on the Visual

“Triple Self-Portrait” by Charles Rosen and Henri Zerner    

Analysis Focused on the Social Context

 “Out of the Picture on the Abortion Ban” by Ellen Goodman    

Analysis Focused on the Story

 “Coming Home” by Carolyn Kleiner Butler    


Peer Response    


Guidelines for Revision

Postscript on the Writing Process   

“Some Don’t Like Their Blues at All” by Karyn M. Lewis (student)  

“Weight Loss 101 for the Adult Fitness Program” by Lawrence Fletcher (student)   


Chapter 7 Investigating   

Techniques for Investigative Writing   

Report on a Research Study    

* “Drivers on Cell Phones Are as Bad as Drunks”   

Brief Report with Graphics    

 “Gimme An A (I Insist!)” by Abigail Sullivan Moore   

Profile of a Person    

* “Face to Face” by David Kushner    


* “Henry Louis Gates Jr. Will Now Take Your Questions”     

Warming Up: Journal Exercises   

“Surfin’ the Louvre” by Elizabeth Larsen   

 “The Homeless and Their Children” by Jonathan Kozol   

Investigating: The Writing Process   

Assignment for Investigating    

Choosing a Subject    

Community Service Learning    


Asking Questions Ï Summarizing Ï Citing Sources in Your Text

Research Tips    

Doing Field Research    

Interviewing Ï Writing Questionnaires 


Inverted Pyramid Ï Chronological Order Ï Comparison and Contrast Ï Additional Shaping Strategies Ï Title, Introduction, and Conclusion


Peer Response    


Guidelines for Revision

Postscript on the Writing Process   

“The Hollywood Indian “ by Lauren Strain (student)   

“My Friend Michelle, an Alcoholic” by Bridgid Stone (student)  


Chapter 8 Explaining   

Techniques for Explaining   

Explaining What: Definition   

Explaining How: Process Analysis   

Explaining Why: Causal Analysis  

Warming Up: Journal Exercises   

“Multiracialness” by LaMer Steptoe (student)   

“How to Take Control of Your Credit Cards” by Suze Orman   

“How Male and Female Students Use Language Differently” by Deborah Tannen   

Explaining: The Writing Process   

Assignment for Explaining    

Choosing a Subject    


Questions Ï Branching Ï Observing Ï Remembering Ï Reading Ï Investigating

Research Tips    


Audience and Genre Ï Definition and Classification Ï Example Ï Voice and Tone Ï Chronological Order and Process Analysis Ï Causal Analysis Ï Introduction and Lead-In Ï Lead-In, Thesis, and Essay Map Ï Paragraph Transitions and Hooks Ï Body Paragraphs

Tips for Integrating Images    



Guidelines for Revision

Peer Response    

Postscript on the Writing Process   

* “White Lies: White-Collar Crime in America” by Chris Blakely (student)   

“Anorexia Nervosa” by Nancie Brosseau (student)   


Chapter 9 Evaluating   

Techniques for Writing Evaluations   

Evaluating Commercial Products or Services    

“The Hybrid Grows Up,” by Consumer Reports    

Evaluating Works of Art    

* “’American Gothic,’ Pitchfork Perfect” by Paul Richard   

Evaluating Performances    

* “Slumdog Millionaire” by Manohla Dargis   

Warming Up: Journal Exercises   

“Evaluating a Web Site” by Robin Williams and John Tollett   

“All’s Not Well in Land of ‘The Lion King’” by Margaret Lazarus   

“Today’s Special” by David Sedaris   

Evaluating: The Writing Process   

Assignment for Evaluating    

Choosing a Subject    


Observing Ï Remembering Ï Reading Ï Investigating


Audience and Genre Ï Analysis by Criteria Ï Comparison and Contrast Ï Chronological Order Ï Causal Analysis Ï Title, Introduction, and Conclusion

Research Tips    

Peer Response    



Guidelines for Revision

Postscript on the Writing Process   

“Borrowers Can be Choosy” by Linda Meininger (student)   

* “Vulgar Propriety” by Courtney Klockeman (student)   


Chapter 10 Problem Solving   

Techniques for Problem Solving   

Demonstrating That a Problem Exists    

Proposing a Solution and Convincing Your Readers    

Warming Up: Journal Exercises   

* “Should Educators Use Commercial Services to Combat Plagiarism?” by John Barrie and Rebecca Moore Howard  

“One Thing to Do About Food” by Eric Schlosser, Marion Nestle, Michael Pollan, Troy Duster and Elizabeth Ransom, Peter Singer, and Jim Hightower   

“The Argument Culture” by Deborah Tannen   

Problem Solving: The Writing Process   

Assignment for Problem Solving    

Choosing a Subject    


Identify and Focus on the Specific Problem Ï Demonstrate That the Problem Needs a Solution Ï Discover Possible Solutions Ï Evaluate Possible Solutions Ï Convince Your Readers Ï Answers Possible Objections Ï List Possible Steps for Implementation Ï Observing Ï Remembering Ï Reading and Investigating

Research Tips    


Genres for Problem Solving Ï Outlines for Problem Solving Ï Causal Analysis Ï Criteria Analysis Ï Chronological Order


Peer Response    


Guidelines for Revision

Postscript on the Writing Process   

* “Can Citizen Journalism Pick Up the Pieces?” by Adam Richman (student)   

“New Regulations and You” by Jessica Cook (student)   


Chapter 11 Arguing   

Techniques for Writing Arguments   

Claims for Written Argument    

Claims of Fact or Definition Ï Claims about Cause and Effect Ï Claims about Value Ï Claims about Solutions or Policies

Appeals for Written Argument    

Appeal to Reason Ï Appeal to Character Ï Appeal to Emotion Ï Combined Appeals

Rogerian Argument    

The Toulmin Method of Argument    

Example of a Toulmin Analysis Ï Using the Toulmin Model

Warming Up: Journal Exercises   

 “The Internet: A Clear and Present Danger?” by Cathleen A. Cleaver   

* Multigenre Casebook on Web 2.0   

* “You Have No Friends” by Farhad Manjoo   

* “…And Why I Hate It” by Sarah Kliff   

* “Facebook U.S. Audience Growth”   

* “Teens Feel Safe on MySpace” by Larry D. Rosen   

* “Protect the Willfully Ignorant” by Lily Huang   

* “Think Before You Post” AdCouncil   

* “Wikipedia and the Meaning of Truth” by Simson L. Garfinkel   

* “Can Wikipedia Handle Stephen Colbert’s Truthiness?” by James Montgomery   

* “Why You Can’t Cite Wikipedia in My Class” by Neil L. Waters   

* “Professors Should Embrace Wikipedia” by Mark A. Wilson   

* “Twitter on the Barricades in Iran: Six Lessons Learned” by Noam Cohen            

Arguing: The Writing Process   

Assignment for Arguing

Choosing a Subject   


Remembering Ï Observing Ï Investigating

Analyzing Statistics    


List “Pro” and “Con” Arguments Ï Draw Circle of Alternative Positions Ï Outlines for Arguments Ï Developing Arguments

Research Tips    



Revision Guidelines Ï Revising Fallacies in Logic

Peer Response    

Postscript on the Writing Process   

“Welfare Is Still Necessary for Women and Children in the U.S.” by Crystal Sabatke (student)   

“Standardized Tests: Shouldn’t We Be Helping Our Students?” by Eric Boese (student)   


Chapter 12 Responding to Literature   

Responding to a Short Story   

“The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin   

Responding to a Poem   

“Musée des Beaux Arts” by W. H. Auden   

Techniques for Responding to Literature   

Warming Up: Journal Exercises   

Purposes for Responding to Literature   

Responding to Short Fiction   

Character Ï Plot Ï Narrative Point of View Ï Setting Ï Style Ï Theme

“The Lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara   

Responding to Poetry   

Voice and Tone Ï Word Choice Ï Figures of Speech Ï Sound, Rhyme, and Rhythm Ï Style Ï Theme

Five Contemporary Poems by Aurora Levins Morales, Gary Soto, Joy Harjo, Wislawa Szymborska, and Yusef Komunyakaa 

Responding to Literature: The Writing Process   

Assignment for Responding to Literature    



Explaining Relationships Ï Evaluating Ï Arguing Ï Investigating Changes in Interpretation



Guidelines for Revision

Postscript on the Writing Process   

* “Facing It: Reflections on War” by Grace Rexroth (student)   

“Death: The Final Freedom” by Pat Russell (student)  


Chapter 13 Researching    

Techniques for Researching    

Using Purpose, Audience and Genre as Guides    

Know Your Purpose / Accommodate Your Audience / Consider Your Genre

Finding the Best Sources: Currency, Reliability, and Relevance    

Planning Your Research    

Warming Up: Journal Exercise    

Maintaining Your Voice and Purpose: Effectively Incorporating Sources    

Documenting Your Sources    

Research Processes    

Assignment for Researching    

Choosing a Subject    

Narrowing and Focusing Your Subject

Warming Up: Journal Exercise    

Developing a Research Strategy    

Collecting and Notetaking    

Record Bibliographic Information Ï Note the Source’s Relevance, Reliability, and Currency Ï Summarize Pertinent Source Material Ï Note Key Quotations ÏSynthesize Sources in Your Notes Ï Rethink and Revise Your Hypothesis or Working Thesis

Choosing and Evaluating Sources     

Primary and Secondary Sources Ï Background Information and General Reference Ï The 21st Century Library: Physical and Online Sources Ï Online Database Sources Ï Open Web Sources

Writing Processes    


Plan Ï Working Outline


What Sources to Cite Ï Avoiding Plagiarism Ï How to Cite Sources in Your Text Ï Identify Cited References (MLA Style)


Guidelines for Revision

Documenting Sources    

In-Text Documentation: MLA Style Ï Works Cited List: MLA Style Ï In-Text Documentation: APA Style Ï References List: APA Style

“Foreign Language Study: An American Necessity” by Kate McNerny (student) (MLA Format Research Paper)    


Appendix:  Writing Under Pressure

Know Your Audience                                                                                      

Analyze Key Terms                                                                                         

Make a Sketch Outline                                                                        

Know the Material                                                                                           

Practice Writing                                                                                               

Proofread and Edit                                                                                          

Sample Essay Questions and Responses                                                          



Section 1—Review of Basic Sentence Elements                                               

Section 2—Sentence Structure and Grammar                                       

Section 3—Diction and Style                                                                           

Section 4—Punctuation and Mechanics         




* new to this edition


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Wonderful book April 21, 2011
I ordered this textbook for a college class. It was the required textbook and we are supposed to read chapters each week for class but we rarely talk about what we read so it's hard to say if it's a good textbook to use in a classroom setting. But definitely I'll keep it because it's a wonderful textbook if you want to know how to write better. As for me, I'm very happy to deal with ecampus. This used textbook looks as if it is new and the price was good. Thanks.
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The Prentice Hall Guide for College Writers: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.

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