The St. Martin's Guide to Writing with 2009 MLA Update

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  • Edition: 8th
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-08-05
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
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The best-selling college rhetoric for over 20 years,The St. Martin's Guidehas an unparalleled record of proven success. From the beginning, Axelrod and Cooper have taken the best of classic and contemporary theory, filtered it through their own and their colleagues' classroom experience, and then blended the result into a flexible classroom tool. Their step-by-step guides to writing specific kinds of essays were a groundbreaking concept and changed the way writing is taught in American colleges. The course continues to change, and Axelrod and Cooper continue to innovate: source-based writing, analysis of argument, online teaching, and visual rhetoric are some of the focuses of this latest revision. By seamlessly incorporating practical, class-tested solutions to these new challenges, Axelrod and Cooper have once again provided the best foundation for college writing.

Author Biography

RISE B. AXELROD is McSweeney Professor of Rhetoric and Teaching Excellence and director of English composition at the University of California, Riverside.She has previously been professor of English at California State University, San Bernardino, director of the College Expository Program at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and assistant director of the Third College Composition Program at the University of California, San Diego.

CHARLES R. COOPER is an emeritus professor in the department of literature at the University of California, San Diego, where he served as coordinator of the Third College Composition Program, Dimensions of Culture Program, and Campus Writing Programs. He has also been codirector of the San Diego Writing Project, one of the National Writing Project Centers.?He is coeditor, with Lee Odell, of Evaluating Writing and coauthor, with Susan Peck MacDonald, of Writing the World (Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2000).

For Bedford/St. Martin’s, Axelrod and Cooper have coauthored Axelrod & Cooper’s Concise Guide to Writing, Fourth Edition (2006), and, with Alison M. Warriner, California State University, East Bay, Reading Critically, Writing Well, Seventh Edition (2008).

Table of Contents

Note: Chapters 3-10 have the same basic structure as Chapter 2. For the sake of brevity, the recurring structure is not repeated in this abridged table of contents.


For Students: How to Use The St. Martin’s Guide

1. Introduction

Why Writing Is Important

Writing Influences the Ways You Think

Writing Contributes to Learning

Writing Fosters Personal Development

Writing Connects You to Others

Writing Promotes Success in College and at Work

How Writing Is Learned



Conditions for Reading and Writing

Thinking Critically


2. Remembering Events

In College Courses

In the Community

In the Workplace


Jean Brandt, Calling Home (annotated student essay)

Annie Dillard, An American Childhood

Tobias Wolff,
On Being a Real Westerner

Rick Bragg, 100 Miles per Hour, Upside Down and Sideways

Purpose and Audience

Basic Features: Remembering Events

Guide to Writing

The Writing Assignment

Invention and Research

Planning and Drafting

Critical Reading Guide


Editing and Proofreading

A Writer at Work

From Invention to Draft to Revision

Designing Your Work

Thinking Critically about What You Have Learned

Reflecting on Your Writing

Reviewing What You Learned from Reading

Considering the Social Dimensions of Essays about Remembered Events

3. Writing Profiles


Brian Cable, The Last Stop (annotated student essay)

John T. Edge, I’m Not Leaving Until I Eat This Thing

]Amanda Coyne, The Long Good-Bye: Mother’s Day in Federal Prison

]John McPhee, The New York Pickpocket Academy

4. Explaining a Concept


Linh Kieu Ngo, Cannibalism: It Still Exists (annotated student essay)

Anastasia Toufexis, Love: The Right Chemistry

]Richard A. Friedman, Born to Be Happy, Through a Twist of Human Hard Wire

]Bob Holmes, In the Blink of an Eye

]5. Explaining Opposing Positions


]Alexander Cheung, The Perfect Crime (annotated student essay)

]Amos Esty, Investigating a Mega-Mystery

]Noah Feldman, America’s Church-State Problem

]Athena Alexander, No Child Left Behind: ÒHistoric InitiativeÓ or ÒJust an Empty PromiseÓ
(student essay)

6. Arguing a Position


Jessica Statsky,
Children Need to Play, Not Compete (annotated student essay)

Richard Estrada, Sticks and Stones and Sports Team Names

Amitai Etzioni, Working at McDonald’s

]Karen Stabiner, Boys Here, Girls There; Sure, If Equality’s the Goal

7. Proposing a Solution


Patrick O’Malley, More Testing, More Learning (annotated student essay)

]Karen Kornbluh, Win-Win Flexibility

]Matthew Miller, A New Deal for Teachers

]Gian-Claudia Sciara, Making Communities Safe for Bicycles

8. Justifying an Evaluation


]Wendy Kim, Grading Professors (annotated student essay)

Christine Romano, ÒChildren Need to Play, Not Compete,Ó by Jessica Statsky: An Evaluation (student essay)

]A. O. Scott, News in Black, White, and Shades of Gray

Jonah Jackson, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

9. Speculating about Causes


]Sheila McClain, Fitness Culture: A Growing Trend in America (annotated student essay)

Stephen King,
Why We Crave Horror Movies

]Erica Goode, The Gorge-Yourself Environment

]Bill Saporito, Why Fans and Players Are Playing So Rough

10. Interpreting Stories

An Anthology of Short Stories

Kate Chopin, The Story of an Hour

Bel Kaufman, Sunday in the Park

William Carlos Williams, The Use of Force

]Don DeLillo, Videotape

James Joyce, Araby

Sally Crane, Gazing into the Darkness

David Ratinov, From Innocence to Insight: ÒArabyÓ as an Initiation Story


11. A Catalog of Invention Strategies



12. A Catalog of Reading Strategies


Martin Luther King Jr., An Annotated Sample from ÒLetter from Birmingham JailÓ

Taking Inventory






Exploring the Significance of Figurative Language

Looking for Patterns of Opposition

Reflecting on Challenges to Your Beliefs and Values

Evaluating the Logic of an Argument

Recognizing Emotional Manipulation

Judging the Writer’s Credibility


13. Cueing the Reader

Orienting Statements


Cohesive Devices


Headings and Subheadings

14. Narrating

Narrating Strategies

Narrating a Process

15. Describing




Using Sensory Description

Creating a Dominant Impression

16. Defining

Sentence Definitions

Extended Definitions

Historical Definitions

Stipulative Definitions

17. Classifying

Organizing Classification

Illustrating Classification

Maintaining Clarity and Coherence

18. Comparing and Contrasting

Two Ways of Comparing and Contrasting


19. Arguing

Asserting a Thesis

Giving Reasons and Support


Logical Fallacies


20. Field Research




21. Library and Internet Research

Integrating Library and Internet Research

Orienting Yourself to the Library

A Library Search Strategy

Keeping Track of Your Research

Getting Started

Identifying Subject Headings and Keywords

Searching Online Library Catalogs and Databases

Locating Sources

Using the Internet for Research

Finding the Best Information Online

Using e-mail and Online Communities for Research

Reading Sources with a Critical Eye

22. Using and Acknowledging Sources

Using Sources

Acknowledging Sources

Some Sample Research Papers

An Annotated Research Paper


23. Essay Examinations

Preparing for an Exam

Reading the Exam Carefully

Some Typical Essay Exam Questions

Planning Your Answer

Writing Your Answer

Model Answers to Some Typical Essay Exam Questions

24. Writing Portfolios

The Purpose of a Writing Portfolio

Assembling a Portfolio for Your Composition Course


25. Designing Documents

Elements of Document Design

Sample Documents

26. Oral Presentations

Be Ready

Understand the Kind of Oral Presentation You Have Been Asked to Give

Assess Your Audience and Purpose

Determine How Much Information You Can Present in the Allotted Time

Use Cues to Orient Listeners

Prepare Effective and Appropriate Visuals

Verify That You Will Have the Correct Equipment and Supplies

Rehearse Your Presentation

Deliver the Oral Presentation Professionally

End Your Presentation Graciously

27. Working with Others

Working With Others on Your Individual Writing Projects

Working With Others on Your Joint Writing Projects

28. Writing in Your Community

Using Your Experience as Source Material

HANDBOOK (Clothbound Edition Only)

S Sentence Boundaries

G Grammatical Sentences

E Effective Sentences

W Word Choice

P Punctuation

M Mechanics

L ESL Troublespots

R Review of Sentence Structure

GL Glossary of Frequently Misused Words

Author and Title Index

Subject Index

Index for ESL Writers

] new to this edition

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