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Student's Book of College English, MLA Update Edition

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  • Edition: 14th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2016-07-13
  • Publisher: Pearson

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


For courses in English Composition.  
This version of Student’s Book of College English has been updated the reflect the 8th edition of the MLA Handbook (April 2016) *

A complete course in writing, in one comprehensive volume
Acclaimed for its clarity and accessibility, Student’s Book of College English, Fourteenth Edition offers a rhetoric, reader, research guide, and handbook in one cohesive and efficient presentation. The rhetoric appeals to students with its straightforward and jargon-free style. Instructors appreciate its coverage of the writing process, the rhetorical modes (including argumentation), and its chapter on writing about literature.  The reader includes selections from sources ranging from academia to the Internet on timely topics that pique students’ interest. The in-depth coverage of research methods, as well as the complete treatment of grammar and usage, make an ancillary handbook unnecessary, a cost-savings enjoyed by students and teachers alike.  

*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

David Skwire, with degrees from the University of Wisconsin—Madison and Cornell University, taught composition, creative writing, and American literature at Cuyahoga Community College for twenty-five years. He also served on the faculties of Tufts University and Temple University. He acknowledges, however, that his job of most interest to students was a two-year stint as a writer of humorous greeting cards. In addition to his coauthorship of Student’s Book of College English , he is author of the successful Writing with a Thesis . Now retired, Skwire lives near Cleveland.

Harvey S. Wiener taught for many years as professor of English at LaGuardia Community College. He has served in a variety of administrative
positions, most recently as Vice President at Marymount Manhattan College. Dr. Wiener has directed the basic writing program at Pennsylvania State University and has taught at Teachers College, Columbia University, Brooklyn College, Queensborough Community College, and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brooklyn College, Wiener holds a Ph.D. in Renaissance literature from Fordham University. He was founding president of the Council of Writing Program Administrators and was chair of the Teaching of Writing Division of the Modern Language Association. Wiener is the author of many books on reading and writing for college students and their teachers, including The Writing Room. His book for parents, Any Child Can Write, was a Book-of-the-Month Club alternate. His most challenging writing assignment was a test to quality as Chief Writer for a network soap opera by developing the content for six weeks of episodes. He does not regret having lost the job to someone else.

Table of Contents


1. Critical Reading
Why Read?
Tips for Reading Critically
Critical Reading in Action
  Louise Levathes “Everything Is Illuminated”
Reading Academic Writing
Tips for Reading Academic Course Material
  Howard Markel “When Germs Travel”
Reading as Inquiry
Strategy Checklist: Reading Critically
  Leon Botstein “Curtailing High School: A Radical Proposal”
Reading Visual Images
Reading Photographs
Tips for Reading Photographs
Examining a Photo
Reading Advertisements
Tips for Reading Advertisements
Examining an Advertisement
Reading Graphs, Tables, and Charts
Tips for Reading Graphs, Tables, and Charts
Reading Cartoons
Tips for Reading Cartoons
Examining a Cartoon
Reading Web Sites
Tips for Reading and Evaluating Web Sites
Examining a Web Site
Strategy Checklist: Reading and Evaluating Web Sites
Critical Reading with Visuals
  Christopher Caldwell “Intimate Shopping: Should Everyone Know What
You Bought Today?”
Strategy Checklist: Reading and Interpreting Visuals

2. Active Writing
Choosing a Good Topic
Setting Limits on a Topic
Narrowing a Topic in Stages
Determining Your Purpose and Audience
Writing in the Third Person
Strategy Checklist: Prewriting
Organizing Ideas
Tips for Writing a Rough Draft
One Student Writing: First Draft
Strategy Checklist: Getting Started with Writing

3. Finding and Supporting a Thesis
Identifying the Elements of a Good Thesis
Tips for Evaluating a Thesis
Developing Your Thesis
Tips for Developing a Thesis
Evaluating Thesis Statements: Strong or Weak?
Supporting Your Thesis with Details
Using Data: Statistics, Cases, and Expert Testimony
Using Sensory Details
Student Writing: Thesis and Details
  Joseph Anderson, “Getting Juiced” [Student essay]
  Thomas Healey, “You Must Be Crazy!” [Annotated student essay]
Writers and Details 61
  Lindsay Abrams “The Unexpected Ways a Fetus Is Shaped by a Mother’s Environment”
  Langston Hughes “Salvation”
Strategy Checklist: Stating and Supporting a Thesis

4. Planning a Paper: Outlining
Why Outline?
Creating a Rough Outline
Tips for Making a Rough Outline
Making a Formal Outline
Establishing Main Divisions
Adding Details
Formatting a Formal Outline
Writing a Topic Outline
Writing a Sentence Outline
Correcting a Formal Outline
One Student Writing: From Prewriting to Essay
  Percy Bysshe Shelley “Ozymandias” [poem]
  Carla Blake “The Mighty Should Despair” [Student essay]
Preparing Your Formal Outline
Tips for Writing a Formal Outline
Strategy Checklist: Preparing a Formal Outline

5. Writing Your Paper: An Overview
Writing a Strong Introduction
Stating the Thesis
Forecasting the Paper
Using Different Introductory Strategies
Tips for Writing a Strong Introduction
Writing the Body Paragraphs
Writing Topic Sentences
One Student Writing: Topic Sentences
  Charles DeMarco “College Hardships” [Annotated student essay]
Using Transitions
Developing Paragraphs: Unity and Coherence
Tips for Achieving Paragraph Unity
Tips for Achieving Paragraph Coherence
Writing a Strong Conclusion
Tips for Writing a Strong Conclusion

6. Revising, Editing, and Proofreading Your Paper
Revising Your First Draft
Revising to Improve Your Thesis
Revising for Appropriate Supporting Detail
Revising for Better Organization
Revising for Purpose and Audience
Revising the Introduction, Body Paragraphs, and Conclusion
Revising Your Introduction
Revising Your Body Paragraphs
Revising Your Conclusion
Peer Review: Learning from Other Students
One Student Writing: Revising and Editing
  Intermediate Draft, “Too Much Exercise” [Student essay]
Learning from Your Instructor’s Comments
  Intermediate Draft, “Final Paragraphs With Instructor’s Comments” [Student essay]
Tips for Careful Proofreading
Strategy Checklist: Revising and Editing Your Drafts
One Student Writing: Final Draft
  Final Draft, Mike Boyle, “Too Much Exercise” [Student essay]
A Brief Note on Style


7. Description
Writing Your Descriptive Paper
Tips for Writing a Descriptive Essay
Assignment: Description
Student Writing: Description
  Enrique Colon, “Focus. Focus.” [Annotated student essay]
  Nick Fiscina, “Dad’s Disappointment” [Student essay]
Description in the World Around You
Critical Reading: Description
  Esmeralda Santiago, “A Blanco Navidad for New Yorikans” [Annotated professional essay]
  John R. Regan “My Room at the Lilac Inn”
  Roger Angell “On the Ball”
  Joan Didion “Marrying Absurd”
Strategy Checklist: Writing and Revising Your Descriptive Paper

8. Narration
Writing Your Narrative Paper
Tips for Writing a Narrative Essay
Assignment: Narration
Student Writing: Narration
  Pat Melia “Saving a Life”
  Jarrett David Lee Jackson “My Father’s House”
Narrative in the World Around You
Readings for Writing
  Carol K. Littlebrant “Death Is a Personal Matter”
  tanya barrientos, “Se Habla Español”
  Greg Sarris “You Don’t Look Indian”
  Kate Chopin “The Story of an Hour”
  Stephen Crane “I Saw a Man Pursuing the Horizon”
Strategy Checklist: Writing and Revising Your Narrative Paper

9. Example
Writing Your Example Paper
Tips for Writing an Example Essay
Assignment: Example
Student Writing: Example
  Carmen Sepulveda “Waiting Tables Is Hard Work” [Annotated student essay]
Researched Student Writing: Example
  Lawrence Miller “Helping the Environment” [MLA-style essay]
Example in the World Around You
Critical Reading: Example
  margaret foster “College’s Raison d’être: British Literature or Software Engineering?”
Readings for Writing
  Barbara Ehrenreich “What I’ve Learned from Men”
  John Grisham “Boxers, Briefs and Books”
  Judy Brady “I Want a Wife”
Strategy Checklist: Writing and Revising Your Example Paper

10. Process
Writing Your Process Paper
Tips for Writing a Process Essay
Assignment: Example
Student Writing: Process
  Michael Wollan “Coffee Time” [Annotated student essay]
Researched Student Writing: Process
  Omprakash K. Pansara “Preparing for the First Day of Classes” [MLA-style essay]
Process in the World Around You
Readings for Writing
  Mildred Armstrong Kalish ,”Wash Day”
  Scientific American “How to Build a Better Plant”
  Nikki Giovanni “Campus Racism 101”
  Susan Douglas “Remote Control: How to Raise a Media Skeptic”
Strategy Checklist: Writing and Revising Your Process Paper

11. Comparison and Contrast
Writing Your Comparison—Contrast Paper
Tips for Writing a Comparison—Contrast Essay
Assignment: Comparison and Contrast
Student Writing: Comparison—Contrast
Subject-by-Subject Pattern
  Carey Byer, “In the Swim” [Student essay]
Point-by-Point Pattern
  Benjamin Simonovich, “Two Jobs” [Student essay]
Comparison and Contrast in the World Around You
Readings for Writing
  Mark Twain (Samuel L. Clemens) “The Professional”
  Suzanne Britt “That Lean and Hungry Look”
  Rick Nauert “On Tween TV, Girls Need to Look Good, Boys Are Brave”
Youthful Imagination: Two Stories for Comparison and Contrast
  Shirley Jackson “Charles”
  Saki (H. H. Munro) “The Open Window”
Love, Sweet Love: Two Poems for Comparison and Contrast
  William Shakespeare “Sonnet 29”
  William Shakespeare “Sonnet 130”
Strategy Checklist: Writing and Revising Your Comparison—Contrast Paper

12. Classification and Division
Classification and Division in Action
Using Division (or Analysis)
Using Classification
How Are Classification and Division Different?
Reviewing Division Strategies
Writing Your Classification Paper
Tips for Writing a Classification Essay
Assignment: Classification
Student Writing: Classification
  Nick Halikas, “Television Watchers” [Annotated student outline and essay]
Classification in the World Around You
Readings for Writing
  Brandon Griggs “The 12 Most Annoying Types of Facebookers”
  Summer Beretsky “How Do You Classify or Organize Your Panic Attacks?”
  John Holt “Three Kinds of Discipline”
  Cass R. Sunstein “How Polarizing Is the Internet?”
Strategy Checklist: Writing and Revising your Classification Paper

13. Cause and Effect
Writing Your Cause-and-Effect Paper
Tips for Writing a Cause-and-Effect Essay
Assignment: Cause and Effect
Student Writing: Cause and Effect
  Richard S. Smith Cause for Failure [Annotated student outline and essay]
Researched Student Writing: Cause and Effect
  Richard Yee Banning Same-Sex Marriage: An Attack on the American Institution [MLA-style essay]
Cause and Effect in the World Around You
Readings for Writing
  James Hamblin Drunk and Drunker
  Carll Tucker “On Splitting”
  Thomas Jefferson “The Declaration of Independence”
  Ilana Ross “Kids Today: Why Do We Text More Than We Talk?”
Reading and Writing About Poetry
  A. E. Housman “Is my team ploughing …”
Strategy Checklist: Writing and Revising Your Cause-and-Effect Paper

14. Definition
Writing Your Definition Paper
Beginning a Formal Definition
Tips Writing One-Sentence Definitions
Drafting Your Formal Definition Paper
Writing an Informal Definition Paper
Assignment: Definition
Student Writing: Formal Definition
  Harriet Lim “Amnesty” [Student essay]
Student Writing: Informal Definition
  Odette-Marie Shamen “Beyond Wealth and Prosperity” [Annotated student essay]
Definition in the World Around You
Readings for Writing
  David Owen “The Perfect Job”
  Marjorie Garber “What Is “Genius”?”
  American Psychological Association “School Bullying is Nothing New, but Psychologists Identify New Ways to Prevent It”
  Randy Malamud “The Lost Art of Passwords: What We Lost When Hackers Conquered the Internet”
Strategy Checklist: Writing and Revising Your Definition Paper

15. Argumentation
Using Logic
Using Induction and Deduction
Avoiding Logical Fallacies
Making Appeals
Writing Your Argumentation Paper
Writing a Formal Argument
Tips for Writing a Formal Argument
Developing a Debatable Position
Assignment: Argumentation
Student Writing: Argumentation
  Wilson Davis “Say “No” to Drug-Testing School Athletes” [Annotated student essay]
Argumentation: Perspectives on Immigrants in America
  President Barak Obama “A Nation of Immigrants”
  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement “fact vs. fiction”
  J. B. Handlesman “Undocumented Aliens”
  Nick Milano “Citizenship for Christmas”
  Quynh Nguyen “Being a Recent American”
Argumentation: Perspectives on the Death Penalty
  Lauren Heist “Capital Punishment: An Example for Criminals”
  Alex Shalom “Abolish the Death Penalty”
  Death Penalty Information Center “from Death Penalty in 2013: Year-End Report”
  Robert Mankoff “Good News”
Argumentation in the World Around You
Readings for Writing
  James Q. Wilson “Just Take Away Their Guns”
  Meg Greenfield “In Defense of the Animals”
  Emily Zac “Tax Payers and Cheap Burgers”
Strategy Checklist: Writing and Revising Your Argumentation Paper

16. Mixing Methods of Development
Developing Your Paper Through Mixed Modes
Tips for Developing a Mixed Modes Essays
Mixing Methods: Looking at Possibilities
Assignment: Mixed Methods of Development
Student Writing: Mixing Methods in Developing Your Essay
  Brian Jarvis “Against the Great Divide”
Critical Reading: Mixed Methods of Development
  Timothy K. Beal “Bibles du Jour”
Readings for Writing
  Herbert J. Gans “Fitting the Poor into the Economy”
  Reshma Memon Yaqub “You People Did This”
  Amy Crawford “Hush!”
Strategy Checklist: Writing and Revising Your Mixed Modes Paper


17. Literary Analysis
Reading Literature for Analysis
Tips for Reading Literature for Analysis
Skipping the Hunt for Morals
Identifying Themes
Interpreting Symbols
Tips for Avoiding Traps Involving Symbols
Watching for Metaphors and Similes
Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Literary Analysis
Tips for Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Literary Analysis
Student Writing: Literary Analysis
  Shirley Hawkins “The Pains of Frontier Life”
Readings for Writing
  Willa Cather “A Wagner Matinee”
  Edgar Allan Poe “The Tell-Tale Heart”
  O. Henry “The Cop and the Anthem”
Strategy Checklist: Writing and Revising Your Literary Analysis Paper

18. Writing Essay Exams
Preparing for the Exam
Evaluating the Question
Planning and Writing Your Essay
Tips for Planning and Writing Your Essay
Strategy Checklist: Taking an Essay Exam

19. Business Writing: An Overview
Distinguishing Inquiry and Complaint Letters
Letter of Inquiry
Letter of Complaint
Writing and Formatting a Letter
Tips for Writing and Formatting a Letter
Writing a Letter to Apply for a Job
Preparing Your Résumé
Tips for Preparing a Résumé
Writing E-mails
Tips for Successful E-Mails


20. Doing Research
Choosing Your Topic
Doing Preliminary Reading
Searching the Internet
Conducting an Internet Search of Your Subject
Evaluating Online Sources
Tips for Evaluating Web Sites Used in Your Research
Using General Encyclopedias
Using Specialized Reference Works
Preparing Your Preliminary Outline
Taking Advantage of Libraries
Limiting Your Research Topic
Determining a Research Question
Finding Sources and Developing a Working References List
Finding Articles
Finding Books: The Online Library Catalog
Electronic Database Indexes
Keeping Records for Your References
Taking Notes
Note-Taking Options: Pencils or Keyboards?
Evaluating Sources
Tips for Evaluating Your Sources
Recording Quotations
Summarizing and Paraphrasing in Your Notes
Disagreements: Distinguishing Between Facts and Opinions
Developing Your Thesis
Preparing Your Formal Outline
Making a Slug Outline
Writing a Formal Outline
Strategy Checklist: Doing Research

21. Writing Your Research Paper
Writing Your Research Paper: An Overview
The First Draft
Subsequent Drafts
Using Explanatory Notes
Toward the Final Copy
Quoting and Paraphrasing Your Sources
Quoting an Original Source
Paraphrasing an Original Source
Direct Quotations: How Many?
Integrating Quotes into Your Own Writing
Tips for Using Sources Within Your Own Sentences
Avoiding Plagiarism
Documenting Sources in the Humanities: MLA Style
Parenthetical Citations: Special Instances
A List of Works Cited
Preparing the Works Cited List
Tips for Preparing the Works Cited List
Documenting Sources in the Social Sciences: APA Style
Parenthetical Citations
A List of APA References
Preparing Your APA References List
Tips for Preparing an APA References List
Preparing Your Manuscript
Tips for Preparing the Final Copy
Strategy Checklist: Writing Your Research Paper
Frequently Asked Questions about Writing Research Papers
Sample MLA-Style Research Paper


22. Proper Words in Proper Places
Identifying Denotation and Connotation in Words
The Importance of Connotation
Word Sensitivity
Using Concrete Language
Using Specific Details
Using Specific Words and Phrases
Using Comparisons

23. Effective Sentences
Eliminating Wordiness
Cutting Deadwood
Avoiding Pointless Repetition of Meaning
Cutting Wordy Clauses
Avoiding Delay of Subject
Recognizing Passive and Active Verbs
Correcting Faulty Parallelism
What Is Parallelism?
Avoiding Faulty Parallelism
Avoiding Faulty Subordination in Sentence Combining
Improving Sentence Variety
Varying Sentence Length
Varying Sentence Structure

24. Additional Style Problems and Solutions
Avoiding Triteness
Avoiding Euphemisms
Recognizing Effective and Undesirable Repetition
Repetition for Clarity
Repetition for Impact
Undesirable Repetition of Meaning
Undesirable Repetition of the Same Word
Undesirable Repetition of Sounds
Avoiding Slang
Recognizing Fancy Writing
Avoiding Sexist Language
Tips for Avoiding Sexist Language
Distinguishing Special Features of College Writing
Tips for Writing in an Academic Style

Glossary of Problem Words
ESL Pointers: Tips for Non-Native Writers

Verbs and Helping Verbs, Including Modals
Summary Checklist: Principal Parts and Auxiliaries for Three Sample Verbs
Using Helping Verbs and Modals with Principal Parts of Verbs
Phrasal Verbs
Tips and Pointers for Phrasal Verbs
Nouns: Countable and Uncountable
Examples of Nouns You Cannot Count
The Articles a, an, and the
Using in, at, and on
Correction Symbols and Abbreviations
Guide to the Handbook and 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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