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Simon & Schuster Handbook for Writers, MLA Update

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  • Edition: 11th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2017-01-20
  • Publisher: Pearson

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


For courses in first-year composition.  

This version of Simon & Schuster Handbook for Writers has been updated to reflect the 8th Edition of the MLA Handbook (April 2016)* 

The most balanced coverage of the writing process, grammar, research, and other issues important to today’s students.

Perfect for students seeking support at any stage of the writing process, Simon & Schuster Handbook for WritersEleventh Edition continues its emphasis on critical thinking and reading as fundamental skills, integral to quality writing and sound research practices. Trusted authors Lynn Troyka and Doug Hesse provide everything that composition students need — how to write college papers, use and document sources, write online, write with visuals, master grammar, and use correct punctuation. Designed for easy use and speedy entry into all topics, this book welcomes students into a conversation about becoming better writers.

* The 8th Edition introduces sweeping changes to the philosophy and details of MLA works cited entries. Responding to the “increasing mobility of texts,” MLA now encourages writers to focus on the process of crafting the citation, beginning with the same questions for any source. These changes, then, align with current best practices in the teaching of writing which privilege inquiry and critical thinking over rote recall and rule-following.

Author Biography

Lynn Quitman Troyka, Adjunct Professor of English in the MA Program in Language and Literature at the City College (CCNY) of the City University of New York (CUNY), taught freshman English and basic writing for many years at Queensborough Community College. Dr. Troyka is a past chair of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC); the College Section of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE); and the Writing Division of the Modern Language Association (MLA). She has won many awards for teaching, scholarship, and service, and has conducted hundreds of faculty workshops about teaching writing and its relation to college-level reading. 

“This information,” says Dr. Troyka, “tells what I’ve done, not who I am. I am a teacher. Teaching is my life’s work, and I love it.”


Doug Hesse is Professor of English and Executive Director of Writing at the University of Denver, one of only thirty writing programs to receive the CCCC Certificate of Excellence. Dr. Hesse is a past chair of the CCCC, the nation’s largest association of college writing instructors. A past president, as well, of the Council of Writing Program Administrators (WPA), Dr. Hesse edited WPA: Writing Program Administration. He has served on the NCTE executive committee, chaired the MLA Division on Teaching as a Profession, and served on the MLA Committee on Contingent Labor.  Author of nearly sixty articles and book chapters, he has been named University Distinguished Scholar at the University of Denver.

“Of various awards I’ve received,” says Dr. Hesse, “the one that matters most is Distinguished Humanities Teacher. That one came from my students and suggests that, in however small a way, I’ve mattered in their education and lives.”

Table of Contents


1. Ten Top Tips for College Writers

1.     Be specific: use RENNS.

2.     Record writing ideas.

3.     Check Part 2, “Frames for College Writing,” for ideas.

4.     Focus on purpose and audience.

5.     Use logical, ethical, and emotional appeals.

6.     Engage your readers.

7.     Play the “believing game” and “doubting game.”

8.     Develop your ability as a critical reader and thinker.

9.     Record source information.

10.   Welcome feedback.

2. Ten Troublesome Mistakes Writers Make

1.     Sentence fragments

2.     Comma splices and run-ons

3.     Mistakes in subject—verb agreement

4.     Mistakes in pronoun—antecedent agreement

5.     Unclear pronoun reference

6.     Sentence shifts

7.     Misplaced modifiers

8.     Mistakes with homonyms

9.     Comma errors

10.   Apostrophe errors

3. Essential Processes for Reading

A     Importance of reading

B     Purposes for college reading

C     SQ3R reading process

D     Reading comprehension strategies

4. Reading and Thinking Critically

A     What “critical” means

B     Rhetorical appeals

C     Levels of meaning

D     Critical thinking and reading processes

E     Close and active reading

F     Analyzing

G     Synthesizing and evaluating

H     Inductive and deductive reasoning

I     Reading images critically

J     How images persuade

K     Analyzing words with images

5. Understanding College and Other Writing Situations

A     Writing situations

B     Purpose

C     Audience

D     Role

E     Genre

F     Context and special requirements

6. Essential Processes for Writing

A     Writing processes

B     Thinking like a writer

C     Starting to plan

D     Developing ideas

E     Thesis statement

F     Outlining

G     First draft

H     Writer’s block

I      Revising

J     Editing

K     Proofreading

L     Student’s draft essay

7. Writing Paragraphs, Shaping Essays

A     Shaping essays

B     How paragraphs work

C     Introductory paragraphs

D     Body paragraphs

E     Topic sentences

F     Developing body paragraphs

G     Coherence

H     Rhetorical patterns

I     Transitional paragraphs

J     Concluding paragraphs

8. Designing Documents

A     Document design

B     Principles of design

C     Text

D     Headings

E     Photographs

F     Other visuals

G     Page layout

9. Creating a Writing Portfolio

A     Writing portfolio

B     What to include

C     Self-reflection

D     Format

10. Writing with Others

A     Writing with others

B     Collaboration

C     Giving feedback

D     Benefiting from others’ help

E     Online discussions


11. Personal Essays

A     Personal essays

B     Planning and revising

C     Frame for a personal essay

D     Sentence and paragraph guides

E     Student essay example

12. Informative Essays

A     Informative essays

B     Planning and revising

C     Frame for an informative essay

D     Sentence and paragraph guides

E     Student essay example

13. Process Essays

A     Process essays

B     Planning and revising

C     Frame for a process essay

D     Sentence and paragraph guides

E     Student essay example

14. Essays Analyzing Cause or Effect

A     Essays analyzing cause or effect

B     Planning and revising

C     Frame for essays that analyze cause or effect

D     Sentence and paragraph guides

E     Student essay example

15. Essays Analyzing a Text

A     Textual analysis

B     Generating ideas

C     Frame for a textual analysis

D     Sentence and paragraph guides

E     Student essay example

16. Argument Essays

A     Arguments

B     Planning and revising

C     Logical fallacies

D     Frames for arguments

E     Sentence and paragraph guides

F     Student essay example

17. Proposal or Solution Essays

A     Proposal or solution essays

B     Planning and revising

C     Frame for a proposal or solution essay

D     Sentence and paragraph guides

E     Student essay example

18. Evaluation Essays

A     Evaluation essays

B     Planning and revising

C     Frame for an evaluation essay

D     Sentence and paragraph guides

E     Student essay example


19. Avoiding Plagiarism

A     Plagiarism

B     Avoiding plagiarism

C     Avoiding patchwriting

D     Intellectual property

E     Documenting ideas

F     Internet sources

G     What not to document

20. Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing

A     Integrating sources

B     Quoting sources

C     Paraphrasing sources

D     Summarizing sources

E     Signal words for integrating sources

F     Synthesizing sources

G     Relationships between sources

21. Writing About Readings

A     Typical assignments

B     Summary essay

C     Response essay

D     Analysis or interpretation essays

E     Essays that apply readings


22. Starting and Planning Research Projects

A     Research

B     Sources

C     Research papers

D     Planning a research project

E     Choosing a research topic

F     Research question

G     Research log

H     Writing situation and the research paper

I      Types of research papers

J     Choosing a documentation style

K     Search strategy

L     Field research

M     Working bibliography

N     Documentation software

O     Annotated bibliography

P     Content notes 

23. Finding Published Sources

A     Kinds of published sources

B     Libraries

C     Search engines and databases

D     Using search engines and databases

E     Finding books

F     Finding periodicals

G     Using reference works

H     Finding images

I     Finding government documents

24. Evaluating Sources

A     Location of a source

B     Credibility of the publisher

C     Credibility of the author

D     Use of evidence

E     Other critical thinking tests

F     Combined evaluation strategies

25. Drafting and Revising a Research Paper

A     Writing process

B     Drafting a thesis statement

C     Outlining

D     Drafting

E     Frames for research papers

F     Revising

G     Editing and formatting

26. MLA Documentation with Case Study

MLA In-Text Citation Directory

MLA Works Cited List Directory

A     MLA documentation style

B     MLA in-text parenthetical documentation

C     MLA examples for parenthetical citations

D     MLA Works Cited list

E     MLA examples for sources in a Works Cited list

F     MLA format guidelines for research papers

G     MLA-style student research paper

27. APA Documentation with Case Study

APA In-Text Citations Directory 

APA References List Directory 

A     APA documentation style

B     APA in-text parenthetical citations

C     APA examples for in-text citations

D     APA guidelines for a References list

E     APA examples for sources in a References list

F     APA guidelines for an abstract

G     APA guidelines for content notes

H     APA format guidelines for research papers

I      APA-style student research paper

28. Chicago Manual (CM) and Council of Science Editors (CSE) Documentation

A     CM-style documentation

B     CM examples for bibliographic notes

C     CSE-style documentation

D     CSE examples for sources in a list of references


29. Parts of Speech and Sentence Structures 

Parts of Speech
A     Parts of speech 
B     Nouns

C     Pronouns

D     Verbs

E     Verbals

F     Adjectives

G     Adverbs

H     Prepositions

I      Conjunctions

J     Interjections

Sentence Structures

K     What a sentence is

L     Subject and predicate

M     Direct and indirect objects

N     Complements, modifiers, and appositives

O     Phrases

P     Clauses

Q     Four sentence types

30. Verbs

A     What verbs do

Verb Forms

B     Forms of main verbs

C     The -s, or -es, form

D     Regular and irregular verbs

E     Auxiliary verbs

F     Intransitive and transitive verbs

Verb Tense

G     Verb tense

H     Simple present tense

I     Perfect tenses

J     Progressive forms

K     Tense sequences


L     What “mood” is

M     Subjunctive forms


N     What “voice” is

O     Active rather than passive voice

P     Proper uses of passive voice

31. Pronouns: Case and Reference

Pronoun Case

A     What “case” means

B     Personal pronouns

C     Pronouns and case

D     Case when and connects pronouns

E     Case with appositives

F     Case after linking verbs

G     Whowhoeverwhom, and whomever

H     Case after than or as

I      Pronouns before infinitives

J     Pronouns with -ing words

K     Case with -self pronouns

Pronoun Reference

L     What pronoun reference is

M     Clear pronoun reference

N     Unclear pronoun reference

O     Pronouns with itthatthis, and which

P     They and it

Q     It

R     You for direct address

S     Thatwhich, and who

32. Agreement

A     What agreement is


Subject-Verb Agreement

B     What subject—verb agreement is

C     Final -s or -es in a subject or verb

D     Words between a subject and its verb

E     Subjects connected by and

F     Each and every

G     Subjects connected by or

H     Inverted word order

I      Indefinite pronoun subjects

J     Collective noun subjects

K     Linking verbs and subject complements

L     Verbs with who, which, and that

M     Verbs with amounts, fields of study, and other special nouns

N     Verbs with titles, company names, and words as words

Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement

O     What pronoun—antecedent agreement is

P     When and connects antecedents

Q     When or connects antecedents

R     When antecedents are indefinite pronouns

S     Nonsexist pronouns

T     When antecedents are collective nouns

33. Adjectives and Adverbs

A     Adjectives versus adverbs

B     When to use adverbs as modifiers

C     Double negatives

D     Adjectives or adverbs after linking verbs

E     Comparative and superlative forms

F     Avoiding a long string of nouns as modifiers

34. Sentence Fragments

A     What a sentence fragment is

B     Recognizing a sentence fragment

C     Fragment that starts with a subordinating word

D     Fragment that lacks a verb

E     Fragment that lacks a subject

F     Fragment that’s part of a compound predicate

G     List that is a fragment

H     Intentional fragments

35. Comma Splices and Run-On Sentences

A     What comma splices and run-ons are

B     Recognizing comma splices and run-ons

C     Period to correct comma splices and run-ons

D     Semicolon to correct comma splices and run-ons

E     Comma and coordinating conjunction to correct comma splices and run-ons

F     Revising clauses to correct comma splices and run-ons

G     Using adverbs and transitions to correct comma splices and run-ons

36. Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers

Misplaced Modifiers

A     What a misplaced modifier is

B     Avoiding split infinitives

C     Avoiding other splits in sentences


Dangling Modifiers

D     Avoiding dangling modifiers

E     Proofreading for misplaced and dangling modifiers

37. Shifting and Mixed Sentences

Shifting Sentences

A     What a shifting sentence is

B     Shifts in person and number

C     Shifts in subject and voice

D     Shifts in tense and mood

E     Shifts between indirect and direct discourse

Mixed Sentences

F     What a mixed sentence is

G     Mixed sentence due to faulty predication

H     Elliptical constructions

I      Comparisons

J     Proofreading for omitted words


38. Effective Words, Tone, and Sentences

A     What style and tone are

Word Choice

B     Standard edited English

C     Formality and tone

D     Exact diction

E     Specific words

F     Figurative language

G     Gender-neutral language

H     Language to avoid

Sentence Variety

I     Sentence length

J     Cumulative and periodic sentences

K     Modifiers

L     Other ways to create variety and emphasis

39. Coordination and Subordination

A     What coordination and subordination are

B     Coordination in sentences

C     Structure of a coordinate sentence

D     Coordinating conjunctions

E     Effective coordination

F     Subordination in sentences

G     Structure of a subordinate sentence

H     Subordinating conjunctions

I      Effective subordination

J Coordination and subordination together

40. Parallelism

A     What parallelism is

B     Words, phrases, and clauses in parallel form

C     Impact of parallelism

D     Avoiding faulty parallelism

E     Parallelism in outlines and lists

41. Conciseness

A     What conciseness is

B     Common expressions that are not concise

C     Sentence structures that work against conciseness

D     Revising for conciseness

E     Verbs and conciseness


42. Periods, Question Marks, and Exclamation Points


A     Periods ending a sentence

B     Periods with abbreviations


Question Marks

C     When to use a question mark

D     Question marks in parentheses


Exclamation Points

E     When to use an exclamation point

F     Overuse of exclamation points

43. Commas

A     The role of the comma

B     Commas with coordinating conjunctions

C     Commas with introductory clauses, phrases, and words

D     Commas with items in a series

E     Commas with coordinate adjectives

F     Commas with nonrestrictive elements

G     Commas with parenthetical expressions, contrasts, words of direct address, and tag sentences

H     Commas with quoted words

I      Commas in dates, names, addresses, correspondence, and numbers

J     How commas clarify meaning

K     Misusing commas

L     Avoiding comma errors

44. Semicolons

A     Uses of a semicolon

B     Semicolon, not period, between independent clauses

C     When else to use a semicolon between independent clauses

D     Semicolons with coordinating conjunctions

E     Semicolons between items in a series

F     Avoiding semicolon errors

45. Colons

A     Uses of a colon

B     Colons introducing a list, appositive, or quotation

C     Colons between two independent clauses

D     Standard formats requiring a colon

E     When a colon is wrong

46. Apostrophes

A     Role of the apostrophe

B     Apostrophe to show a possessive noun

C     Apostrophe with possessive pronouns

D     Apostrophe with contractions

E     Apostrophe with possessive indefinite pronouns

F     Plural of miscellaneous elements

G     When an apostrophe is wrong

47. Quotation Marks

A     Role of quotation marks

B     Quotation marks with short direct quotations

C     Quotation marks with long quotations

D     Quotation marks for quotations within quotations

E     Quotation marks for quotations of poetry and dialogue

F     Quotation marks with titles of short works

G     Quotation marks for words used as words

H     Quotation marks with other punctuation

I      When quotation marks are wrong

48. Other Punctuation Marks


A     Dash



B     Parentheses



C     Brackets


Ellipsis Points

D     Ellipsis points



E     Slash



F     Hyphen

G    Hyphen at the end of a line

H     Hyphen with prefixes and suffixes

I     Hyphen with compound words

49. Capitals, Italics, Abbreviations, and Numbers


A     Capitals for a “first” word

B     Capitals with listed items

C     Capitals with sentences in parentheses

D     Capitals with quotations

E     Capitals for nouns and adjectives



F     What italics are

G     Italics versus quotation marks

H     Italics for special emphasis



I      Standard practices for using abbreviations

J     Abbreviations with months, time, eras, and symbols

K     Abbreviations for other elements

L     When to use etc.



M     When to use spelled-out numbers

N     Standard practices for writing numbers

50. Spelling

A     What makes a good speller

B     Proofreading for spelling and hyphen use

C     How plurals are spelled

D     How suffixes are spelled

E     The ieei rule

F     Why commonly confused words and homonyms are misspelled

G     Compound words  


Our Message to Multilingual Writers          

51.       The Challenges of Writing in English          

A       Expectations of U.S. writing instructors          

B       Expectations for analysis of readings  

C       Improving sentence structure            

D       Improving word choice (vocabulary)   

E       English errors from other languages  

F       Correcting errors


52.       Singulars and Plurals           

A       Count and noncount nouns    

B       Determiners with singular and plural nouns    

C       One of, nouns as adjectives, and states in names or titles      

D       Nouns with irregular plurals    


53.       Articles          

A       Aan, or the with singular count nouns           

B       Articles with plural nouns and noncount nouns          

C      The with proper nouns and gerunds   


54.       Word Order    

A       Standard and inverted word order      

B       Placement of adjectives          

C       Placement of adverbs             


55.       Prepositions  

A       Recognizing prepositions        

B       Prepositions with expressions of time and place        

C       Prepositions in phrasal verbs  

D       Prepositions with past participles        

E       Prepositions in expressions    


56.       Gerunds, Infinitives, and Participles          

A       Gerunds and infinitives as subjects    

B       Using a gerund, not an infinitive, as an object

C       Using an infinitive, not a gerund, as an object

D       How meaning changes when certain verbs are followed by a gerund or an infinitive  

E       How meaning is unchanged when a gerund or an infinitive follows sense verbs        

F       -ing and -ed forms for adjectives        


57.       Modal Auxiliary Verbs           

A       Conveying ability, necessity, advisability, possibility, and probability with modals      

B       Conveying preferences, plans, and past habits with modals   

C       Modals in the passive voice    



58.       An Overview of Writing Across the Curriculum     

A       Writing across the curriculum 

B       Audience and purpose across the curriculum 


59.       Writing About the Humanities        

A       What the humanities are        

B       Types of papers in the humanities      

C       Documentation in the humanities      

D       Writing about literature           

E       Different types of papers about literature         

F       Special rules for writing about literature         

G       Documentation in writing about literature        

H       A student’s essay about literature      


60.       Writing in the Social and Natural Sciences

A       What the social sciences are  

B       Types of papers in the social sciences

C       Documentation in the social sciences

D       What the natural sciences are

E       Types of papers in the natural sciences          

F       Documentation in the natural sciences          


61.       Writing Under Pressure       

A       Writing under pressure           

B       Preparing for essay exams      


62.       Making Presentations          

A       What presentations are          

B       Using situation to focus a presentation          

C       Adapt the message to the audience   

D       Organize a presentation          

E       Using multimedia in presentations     

F       Presentation styles     

G      Collaborative presentations    


63.       Writing for Digital Environments    

A       What digital environments are

B       Blogs   

C       Wikis   

D       Photographs   

E       Video and sound recordings   

F       Web sites        

G       Netiquette      

H       Social networking        


64.       Writing for Work       

A       Who writes in the workplace, and why

B       Features of work correspondence      

C       Work e-mail    

D       Memos

E       Business letters          

F       Business proposals     

G       Résumés        

H       Job application letters 

   Usage Glossary    

   Terms Glossary    



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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