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Short Takes

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  • Edition: 11th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-06-18
  • Publisher: Pearson

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Supplemental Materials

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This lively collection of fifty-three short, readable selections by both student and professional writers provides useful models of the rhetorical modes. In addition to familiar names such as Barbara Ehrenreich, Richard Rodriguez, and William Raspberry, this reader features many fresh voices such as Anchee Min, Thomas Sowell, Anna Quindlen, Michael Chabon, and Dave Barry. Detailed chapter openers offer strategies for using each rhetorical mode, including short examples from the readings within each chapter. Headnotes for each essay give a brief biography of its author, explain its context, and pinpoint one of the writer’s techniques. Questions on “Organization and Ideas” and “Technique and Style” and many suggestions for writing journal entries and essays follow each selection. Each chapter ends with additional writing assignments that ask students to compare two or more of the essays.

Table of Contents

Freeze Frame: Reading and Writing


Chapter 1: Description and Narration


Lori Jakiela, “You’ll Love the Way We Fly”

*Ellen A. Laird, Prime Suspect, Second Row Center

Kelly Ruth Winter, "Tommy”

Mary Roach, “A Terrible Thing to Waste: You Do Not Need Brains To Go To The Harvard Brain Bank, Only A Brain”

* Alex Abadi, “What Is So Close, Yet So Far, Alex?” (student selection)

Flavius Stan, “The Night of Oranges” (student selection)*

* Matthew Gooi, Coming to America

Magdoline Asfahani, “Time to Look and Listen” (student selection)

* Ann Telnaes, And Women Are Created Equal (editorial cartoon)


Chapter 2: Example


Lena Williams, “A Black Fan of Country Music Finally Tells All”

* Gina Barreca, Why English Professors Love Country Music

Stacey Wilkins, “Stop Ordering Me Around”

Allison Silverman, “Have Fun”

* Richard O’Mara, Baltimore Tales


Chapter 3: Definition


Diane Ackerman, “Chocolate Equals Love”

Henry Han Xi Lau, “I Was a Member of the Kung Fu Crew” (student selection)

William Raspberry, “The Handicap of Definition”

* Derek Jensen, High on Progress

* Rick Kirkman, Jerry Scott, “Baby Blues” (cartoon)


Chapter 4: Comparison, Contrast, Division, and Classification


Lynnika Butler, “Living on Tokyo Time”

* Frank Deford, Watching the Clock: A Sport All Its Own

Denise Leight, “Playing House” (student selection)

* Wise Geek, What Are the Different Types of Social Networks

* John C. Abell, Five Reasons Why E-Books Aren’t There Yet

Frank Deford, “Who’s Watching? Reality TV and Sports”

* David Pierce, Top Tablet Comparison: iPad vs. Xoom vs. TouchPad vs. Playbook 

Russell Baker, “The Plot Against People”

* Mike Twohy, “Very, Sort of, Very Sort of” (cartoon)

* Steve Kelley and Jeff Parker, “Dustin” (cartoon)


Chapter 5: Process


Laura Carlson, “Runner” (student selection)

* Kate Hopper,Becoming a Sanvicenteña: Five Stages

Dave Barry, “Independence Day”

Naomi Wolf, “A Woman’s Place”


Chapter 6: Cause and Effect


Bjorn Skogquist, “Tiffany Stephenson — An Apology” (student selection)

Oliver Sacks, “When Music Heals Body and Soul”

* Alexandar Reinaldo Perez, “On the Gettysburg Address” (student selection)

Andrew Sullivan, “We Have Retreated into the iWorld”

Visual: John Deering, “The Class of 2008” (cartoon)


Chapter 7: On Using Argument


Barbara Ehrenreich, “Dance, Dance, Revolution”

* Patricia J. Williams, “Freshman Specimen”

Anne Applebaum, “Veiled Insult”

Jay Bookman, “Guest Workers and the U.S. Heritage”

Robert J. Samuelson, “We Don’t Need ‘Guest Workers’”

Darrin Bell, “All These Illegal’s,” (comic strip)

Steve Kelley, “Americans and Jobs” (cartoon)

* Sandra Steingraber,When Cowboys Cry: In Today’s Wild West, Energy Corporations are the New Outlaws”

* Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association, “Protecting the Environment”

* Mindy Lubber, “Drilling Down Deep

* Signe Wilkinson “Would Madam Care for Water?” (cartoon)

* EnergyTomorrow.org, “With Smart Policies, Secure Supplies From the United States and Canada Could Provide 92% of America’s Liquid Fuel Needs by 2030.” (ad)


Chapter 8: Multiple Modes: Two Topics, Six Views



* Johon Wideman, Life in ‘My Town”    

* Stuart Overlin, Paducah, Kentucky  

Mario Suarez, El Hoyo


Freedom, Censorship, and Education

Ursula LeGuin, "Whose Lathe?" 

Anna Quindlen, “With a No. 2 Pencil, Delete”

Michael Chabon, “Solitude and the Fortress of Youth”



Index of Authors, Essays, and Terms


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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