Rules of Thumb, 2003 MLA Update Version and Electronic Tutor CD-ROM

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  • Edition: 5th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2003-07-29
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages
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Rule of thumb: "A method or procedure derived entirely from practice or experience . . . a roughly practical method."- Oxford English Dictionary
Brevity and practicality are the hallmarks of Rules of Thumb. The "2003 MLA Update Version "reflects the most current APA and MLA documentation styles and remains the ideal handbook to improve grammar without overwhelming student writers with specialized terminology, or - at under $20 in most bookstores - with expense.

Table of Contents

Part One: Correctness

A Word about Correctness

Confusing Words

One Word or Two?



Abbreviations and Numbers


Consistent Pronouns

Correct Pronouns

Vague Pronouns

Recognizing Complete Sentences

Run-On Sentences and Sentence Fragments




Dashes and Parentheses

Quotation Marks


Shifting Verb Tenses

Verb Agreement

Word Endings: s and ed

Tangled Sentences

Part Two: Putting a Paper Together

What to do When You're Stuck

Addressing Your Audience

Writing in Class

Finding an Organzation for Your Essay


Paragraphs-Long and Short



How to Make a Paper Longer(and When to Make it Shorter)

How to Work on a Second Draft

Proofreading Tips

Format of College Papers

Part Three: The Research Paper

How to Start a Research Project

Three Essential Research Skills

Feature: When You Find Too Many or Too Few Sources

Getting Information at the Library

Getting Information Online

Feature: Sizing Up a Website

Writing the Research Paper

Writing about Literature

Plagirism (Cheating)

Documentation: The MLA Style

Documentation: The APA Style

Documentation: The Chicago Style (Footnotes)

Part Four: Growing as a Writer

Keeping a Journal

Adding Details

Recognizing Cliches

Eliminating Offensive Language

Trimming Wordiness

Using Strong Verbs

Varying Your Sentences

Finding Your Voice

Rewards Program

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