Wordsmith : A Guide to Paragraphs and Essays

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2004-01-01
  • Publisher: Pearson College Div
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LISTEN FOR: a rhetoric, writing in other courses COMPARES WELL TO: Kirzner: Foundations First (BSM),

Table of Contents


1. The Writing Process.
2. Preparing to Write.
3. Writing Paragraphs: The Topic Sentence.
4. Writing Paragraph Support.
5. Writing Paragraphs: Unity and Coherence.
6. Revising, Proofreading, and Formatting.
7. Showing and Telling: Description, Narration, and Example.
8. Limiting and Ordering: Definition, Classification, and Process.
9. Examining Logical Connections: Comparison-Contrast, Cause-Effect, and Argument.
10. Writing an Essay.
11. Writing a Summary Report.


12. Verbs and Subjects.
13. Subject-Verb Agreement.
14. Verb Shifts.
15. Sentence Variety.
16. Run-On Sentences.
17. Sentence Fragments.
18. Pronoun Case.
19. Pronoun Agreement, Reference, and Point of View.
20. Adjectives, Adverbs, and Articles.
21. Capital Letters.
22. Words Commonly Confused.
23. Word Choice.
24. Commas.
25. Other Punctuation.
26. Apostrophes.
27. Quotation Marks, Underlining, and Italics.


1. Action Hero, Rulon Openshaw.
2. Setting boundaries, Cara DiMarco.
3.Against the Wall—Knight-Ridder, Tribune Information Services.
4. Older and Wiser—or Just Older? William Raspberry.
5. Barbie Madness, Cynthia Tucker.
6. Living at Warp Speed, Michael Ashcraft.
7. Spanish Spoken Here, Janice Castro, with Dan Cook and Cristina Garcia.
8. Recipe for a Sick Society, Donna Britt.
9. Don't Blame Me! The New “Culture of Victimization,” John J. Macionis.
10. How 'bout Us? Leonard Pitts.
11. Mixed Blessings, Jim Auchmutey.
12. One for the Books, Rheta Grimsley Johnson.
13. American Space, Chinese Place, Yi-Fu Tuan.
14. Disorders R Us, Michael Skube.
15. Civil Rites, Caroline Miller.
16. All the Rage, Dave Barry.
17. Conversational Ballgames, Nancy Masterton Sakamoto.
18. I Wonder: Was It Me, or Was It My Sari? Shoba Narayan.
19. Music: A Universal Language, Candace Dyer.
20. What If My Friends Hadn't Run? Bill Pippin .


Preface: Updates to the Second Edition For the convenience of instructors, the new Instructor's Edition provides answers to exercises as an integral part of the text. The back pages of the Instructor's Edition contain icebreaker activities, suggestions on using the chapters and readings, an examination of grading issues, and model syllabi for ten-week and fifteen-week courses. Updates to Part 1: Composition The section on writing paragraphs has been expanded.The number of exercises has doubled, and there are now three chapters on paragraph writing instead of one. Separate chapters on writing a topic sentence, supporting the essay, and providing unity and coherence allow students to focus separately on each aspect of the paragraph. A chapter on writing a summary report has been added to help students make the transition, from personal writing to academic writing.The chapter includes a discussion of the differences between academic and personal writing, a section on paraphrasing and summarizing, and a model summary report. The chapter "Revising and Proofreading" is now titled "Revising, Proofreading, and Formatting."It discusses various methods of formatting a paper and provides general instructions on formatting handwritten and word-processed documents. A new Progressive Writing Assignment allows students to choose a topic and develop it as they move from prewriting in Chapter 2 to revised draft in Chapter 6.Each chapter's assignment guides students through one step of the paragraph. In Chapter 2, students focus on prewriting. In Chapter 3, students complete a topic sentence and outline, and in Chapter 4, they provide support for the topic sentence. The Chapter 5 Progressive Writing Assignment guides students through the process of checking for unity and coherence, and in Chapter 6, students revise and proofread. By the time they finish the chapters they have a completed the entire paragraph, step by step. I have used some form of the Progressive Writing Assignment in my own classes for years. Here are some of the advantages I have found in using a Progressive Writing Assignment: It guides students through each step of the writing process and each part of the paragraph. It promotes understanding of how each part of the paragraph relates to the other parts. It provides the opportunity for instructor or peer feedback at each stage, resulting in a strong, carefully written composition. It emphasizes process and careful crafting. It allows instructors, if they wish, to assign some form of credit to each portion of the assignment, thus placing emphasis on the process as well as the product. Boxes in the methods of development chapters (Chapters 7, 8, and 9) specifically point out connections among the methods of development.In addition, these chapters now end with assignments headed "Mixed Methods." These assignments deliberately direct students to mix the methods in the chapters. For example, an assignment in Chapter 7, "Showing and Telling: Description, Narration, and Example," asks students to use techniques of narration and example in a single paragraph. Updates to Part 2: Grammar Practices in the grammar chapters now have titles to remind students exactly which principles are being discussed and practiced. Minor changes have been made throughout the text. For example, a chart summarizing five methods for correcting run-on sentences has been added to Chapter 16, "Run-on Sentences." Eight Editing Exercises have been added at the end of the Part 2, Grammar. Updates to Part 3: Readings Three carefully chosen readings have been added and three old ones removed. The additions include Cara DiMarco's "Setting Boundaries," which discusses the process of setting personal boundaries and models the techni

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