Real Writing Interactive

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-08-30
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
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Real Writing Interactive offers practical coverage of writing skills and step-by-step guidance on crafting paragraphs and essays in a brief, interactive, and affordable format. The print component offers the essentials of Anker’s accessible writing instruction along with select exercises; additional exercises are available online in LearningCurve, adaptive, game-like quizzing that helps students focus on the material they most need help with. As with all books in the Anker series, Real Writing Interactive motivates students with its message that writing is an essential and achievable skill and encourages students to connect what they learn with their own goals and with the needs and expectations of the larger world.

Author Biography

Susan Anker (BA, MEd, Boston University) brings a unique perspective to the teaching of the developmental writing course. She taught English and developmental writing before entering college publishing, where she worked for eighteen years: as a sales representative and English/ESL editor at Macmillan Publishing Company; as developmental English/ESL editor, executive editor, and editor in chief at St. Martin’s Press; and as vice president and editor in chief for humanities at Houghton Mifflin Company. In each of these positions, she worked with developmental writing instructors and students, maintaining her early interest in the field.  Since the publication of the first edition of Real Writing in 1998, Anker has traveled extensively to campuses across the country, continuing her conversations with instructors and students and giving workshops and presentations. She believes that the writing course is, for many students, their first, best opportunity to learn the skills they will need to succeed in college and achieve their goals.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Part One: College Thinking, Reading, and Writing

1. Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing: Making Connections

Critical Thinking

Critical Reading

Preview the Reading

Read the Piece: Find the Main Point and the Support

main point and purpose


Pause to Think

Review and Respond

A Critical Reader at Work

Writing Critically about Reading





2. Getting Ready to Write: Form, Process, and Purpose

Note: Avoiding Plagiarism

Paragraph and Essay Form

Paragraph Form

Essay Form

The Writing Process

Audience and Purpose

Finding, Narrowing, and Exploring Your Topic

Narrowing a Topic

Exploring Your Topic





using the internet

keeping a journal

3. Organizing Your Main Point and Support: Arranging Your Ideas

Topic Sentences and Thesis Statements

Fitting the Size of the Assignment

Focusing on a Single Main Point

Being Specific

Using an Idea You Can Show, Explain, or Prove

Being Forceful

Supporting for Your Main Point

Key Features of Good Support

Support in Paragraphs Versus Essays

Generating Support

Selecting the Best Primary Support

Adding Secondary Support

Arrange Your Ideas

Use Time Order to Write about Events

Use Space Order to Describe Objects, Places, or People

Use Order of Importance to Emphasize a Particular Point

Planning Your Draft

4. Drafting and Revising Paragraphs and Essays: Putting Your Ideas Together

Drafting Paragraphs

Use Complete Sentences

Consider Introductory Techniques

End with a Concluding Sentence

Title Your Paragraph

Sample Student Paragraph

Drafting Essays

Write Topic Sentences and Draft the Body of the Essay

Write an Introduction

Write a Conclusion

Title Your Essay

Sample Student Essay

Revising Paragraphs and Essays

Revise for Unity

Revise for Detail and Support

Revise for Coherence

Sample Student Paragraph: Revised

Sample Student Essay: Revised

Peer Reviewing

Part Two: Writing Different Kinds of Paragraphs and Essays

5. Narration

Understand What Narration Is

Main Point in Narration

Support in Narration

Organization in Narration

Read and Analyze Narration

Narration in the Real World

Student Narration Paragraph

Professional Narration Essay

Write Your Own Narration

Checklist: How to Write Narration

6. Illustration

Understand What Illustration Is

Main Point in Illustration

Support in Illustration

Organization in Illustration

Read and Analyze Illustration

Illustration in the Real World

Student Illustration Paragraph

Professional Illustration Essay

Write Your Own Illustration

Checklist: How to Write Illustration

7. Description

Understand What Description Is

Main Point in Description

Support in Description

Organization in Description

Read and Analyze Description

Description in the Real World

Student Description Paragraph

Professional Description Essay

Write Your Own Description

Checklist: How to Write Description

8. Process Analysis

Understand What Process Analysis Is

Main Point in Process Analysis

Support in Process Analysis

Organization in Process Analysis

Read and Analyze Process Analysis

Process Analysis in the Real World

Student Process Analysis Paragraph

Professional Process Analysis Paragraph

Write Your Own Process Analysis

Checklist: How to Write Process Analysis

9. Classification

Understand What Classification Is

Main Point in Classification

Support in Classification

Organization in Classification

Read and Analyze Classification

Classification in the Real World

Student Classification Paragraph

Professional Classification Essay

Write Your Own Classification

Writing about College, Work, and Everyday Life

Writing Critically about Classification

Checklist: How to Write Classification

10. Definition

Understand What Definition Is

Main Point in Definition

Support in Definition

Organization in Definition

Read and Analyze Definition

Definition in the Real World

Student Definition Paragraph

Professional Definition Essay

Write Your Own Definition

Checklist: How to Write Definition

11. Comparison and Contrast

Understand What Comparison and Contrast Is

Main Point in Comparison and Contrast

Support in Comparison and Contrast

Organization in Comparison and Contrast

Read and Analyze Comparison and Contrast

Comparison and Contrast in the Real World

Student Comparison-and-Contrast Paragraph

Professional Comparison-and-Contrast Essay

Write Your Own Comparison and Contrast

Checklist: How to Write Comparison and Contrast

12. Cause and Effect

Understand What Cause and Effect Is

Main Point in Cause and Effect

Support in Cause and Effect

Organization in Cause and Effect

Read and Analyze Cause and Effect

Cause and Effect in the Real World

Student Cause-and-Effect Paragraph

Professional Cause-and-Effect Essay

Write Your Own Cause and Effect

Checklist: How to Write Cause and Effect

13. Argument

Understand What Argument Is

Main Point in Argument

Support in Argument

Organization in Argument

Read and Analyze Argument

Argument in the Real World

Student Argument Essay 1

Student Argument Essay 2

Write Your Own Argument

Checklist: How to Write Argument

Part Three: Grammar, Punctuation, and Mechanics

14. Basic Grammar

The Parts of Speech

The Basic Sentence



action verbs

linking verbs

helping verbs

Complete Thoughts

Six Basic English Sentence Patterns

15. Four Most Serious Errors


Fragments That Start with Prepositions

Fragments That Start with Dependent Words

Fragments That Start with –
ing Verb Forms

Fragments That Start with
to and a Verb

Fragments That Are Examples or Explanations


Correct Run-on by Adding a Period or a Semicolon

Correct Run-on by Adding a Comma and a Coordinating Conjunction

Correct Run-on by Adding a Dependent Word

Problems with Subject-Verb Agreement

The Verb Is a Form of Be, Have, or Do

Words Come between the Subject and the Verb

prepositional phrase between the subject and the verb

dependent clause between the subject and the verb

The Sentence Has a Compound Subject

The Subject Is an Indefinite Pronoun

The Verb Comes before the Subject

Problems with Verb Tense

Regular Verbs

present-tense endings: -s and no ending

past tense ending: -ed or –d

Irregular Verbs

Past Participles

16. Other Grammar and Style Concerns


Check for Pronoun Agreement

indefinite pronouns

collective nouns

Make Pronoun References Clear

repetitious pronoun reference

Using the Right Type of Pronoun

subject pronouns

object pronouns

possessive pronouns

pronouns used with compound subjects and objects

pronouns used in comparisons

choosing between who and whom

Make Pronouns Consistent in Person

Adjectives and Adverbs

Adjectives and Adverbs in Comparisons

Good, Well, Bad, and Badly

Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers

Misplaced Modifiers

Dangling Modifiers

Coordination and Subordination




Sentence Variety

Start Some Sentences with Adverbs

Join Ideas Using an
–ing Verb

Join Ideas Using a Past Participle

Join Ideas Using an Appositive

Join Ideas Using an Adjective Clause

Word Choice

Vague and Abstract Words


Wordy Language


Sexist Language

17. Punctuation and Capitalization


Commas between Items in a Series

Commas between Coordinate Adjectives

Commas in Compound Sentences

Commas after Introductory Words

Commas around Appositives and Interrupters

Commas around Adjective Clauses

Commas with Quotation Marks

Commas in Addresses

Commas in Dates

Commas with Names

Commas with
Yes or No


Apostrophes to Show Ownership

Apostrophes in Contractions

Apostrophes with Letters, Numbers, and Time

Quotation Marks

Quotation Marks for Direct Quotations

No Quotation Marks for Indirect Quotations

Quotation Marks for Certain Titles







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