Writing with a Thesis

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  • Edition: 11th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-01-01
  • Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing
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Based on the principle that the ability to develop and support a thesis persuasively is of utmost importance for beginning writers, Writing with a Thesis: A Rhetoric and Reader, 11th Edition, dispenses clear and practical writing advice. Sarah Skwire skillfully weaves humor into her advice and in the text's examples of good professional writing--for a uniquely useful text that remains enjoyable to read and to teach from.

By clearly illustrating how persuasion underlies all good writing, the authors help students understand the need for a thesis statement as well as support of the thesis statement and for detailed, clear writing. Each chapter focuses on the distinct rhetorical patterns that beginning writers need to know, such as description, comparison/contrast, process, and cause and effect.

Best of all, the text's short, easy-to-read essays ensure that your class time will focus not on what the readings mean, but on what they mean for your students' writing.

Table of Contents

The Persuasive Principle
General Subject
Limited Subject
What a Thesis Isn't
A Thesis Is Not a Title
A Thesis Is Not an Announcement of the Subject
A Thesis Is Not a Statement of Absolute Fact
A Thesis Is Not the Whole Essay
What a Good Thesis Is
A Good Thesis Is Restricted
A Good Thesis Is Unified
A Good Thesis Is Specific
Exercises for Review
The Thesis at Work in the Paper
Two Ads on the Community Bulletin Board
Two "Personals." Two Sets of Directions
Two Thank-You Notes
Two Letters of Complaint
Two Replies to the Second Letter of Complaint
Visual Prompt: Tying it Together
Two "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" Essays
Two Freshman English Essays on a Literary Subject
"The Lottery," Shirley Jackson
Office Hours: Basic Tools for Writers
Stress the Story
Remember that a Good Story Has Conflict
Use Plenty of Convincing Realistic Details
Play Fair
Writing Suggestions for Narration Themes
Visual Prompt: Stories
Student Essay: "Big Bully,"
"Free Tibet, Man!,"
What About Your Writing? (paragraph length)
"Foul Shots,"
What About Your Writing? (getting even, settling scores)
"The Perfect Picture,"
What About Your Writing? (overwriting)
"The Happiest Day of My Life,"
What About Your Writing? (preposition at end of sentence)
What About Your Writing? (nostalgia)
"A Cultural Divorce,"
What About Your Writing? (specific details)
"Sitting Duck,"
What About Your Writing? (sentence fragments)
Office Hours: Reading Around
Emotional Appeal
Try a Deliberately Unconventional Thesis
Show Your Powers of Observation by Stressing Specific Details
Use Specific Language
Stress the Psychological Impact of What You Describe
The Persuasive Principle
Writing Suggestions for Description Themes
Visual Prompt: Detail
Student Essay: "Master of Bad Management,"
"Winstead's Best Burgers,"
What About Your Writing? (allusion)
"I Was a Member of the Kung Fu Crew,"
What About Your Writing? (pronoun agreement)
"My Glove: a Biography,"
What About Your Writing? (citation of authority)
"All by Myself,"
What About Your Writing? (comparisons)
"Double Take,"
What About Your Writing? (hyperbole)
"The Loneliness of Rose,"
What About Your Writing? (unstated thesis)
Office Hours: Notebooks: the Writer's Savings Account
are There Enough Examples to Support Your Thesis?
are the Examples Fairly Chosen?
Have You Stuck to Your Thesis?
Have You Arranged Your Examples to Produce the Greatest Impact?
Writing Suggestions for Example Essays
Visual Prompt: Examples
Student Essay: "Broke and Bored: the Summer Job,"
"Always Settle Scores at Noon,"
What About Your Writing? (sentence length)
"Couple Lies,"
What About Your Writing? ("Why didn't I say that?")
"Fruitful Questions,"
What About Your Writing? (rhetorical questions)
"Chores," Debra Marquart
What About Your Writing? (intensifiers)
"How to Speak of Animals,"
What About Your Writing? (parallelism)
Office Hours: Of Course They Count
be Sure You are Writing About a Process
Follow Strict Chronological Order
Before Describing the First Step of the Process, Indicate Any Special Ingredients or Equipment that Will be Needed
be Sure the Process Is Complete
Try to Anticipate Difficulties
If You Need to Handle Many Separate Steps, Arrange Them into Groups When Possible
Define Unfamiliar Terms
Avoid Highly Technical Processes
Avoid Subjects for Which Pictures Work Better Than Words
Writing Suggestions for Process Essays
Visual Prompt: Process
Student Essay: "How Not to Work Out,"
"Corn Bread with Character,"
What About Your Writing? (introductions: how do I get my reader's attention?)
What About Your Writing? (repetition)
"The Exploding Toilet and Other Embarrassments,"
What About Your Writing? (levels of usage)
"Too Many Bananas,"
What About Your Writing? (jargon)
"The Spider and the Wasp,"
What About Your Writing? (announcement of subject)
Office Hours: Uses and Abuses of the Computer
Comparison and Contrast. Patterns
Block Pattern
Alternating Pattern
Which Pattern?
Writing Suggestions for Comparison-and-Contrast Themes
Block Pattern
Visual Prompt: Compare/Contrast Student Essay: "Coming in Last,"
Alternating Pattern
Student Essay: "Dads and Dads,"
"Lassie Never Chases Rabbits,"
What About Your Writing? (conclusions)
"My Real Car,"
What About Your Writing? (onomatopoeia)
"Dearly Disconnected,"
What About Your Writing? (topicality)
"Speaking of Writing,"
What About Your Writing? (thesis at end of essay)
"Love Thy Playstation, Love Thyself,"
What About Your Writing? (humor)
Office Hours: Revision: An Overview
Cause and Effect
Do Not Oversimplify Causes
Do Not Oversimplify Effects
Distinguish Between Direct and Indirect Causes and Effects
Distinguish Between Major and Minor Causes and Effects
Do Not Omit Links in a Chain of Causes and Effects
Play Fair
Writing Suggestions for Cause-and-Effect Papers
Visual Prompt: Cause/Effect
Student Essay: "A Few Short Words,"
"Why We Crave Horror Movies,"
What About Your Writing? (sexism: he)
"Beyond Chagrin,"
What About Your Writing? (elegant variation)
"Cold Autumn,"
What About Your Writing? (finding a subject: work)
"Why I Quit the Company,"
What About Your Writing? (qualifiers, rational tone)
"The Best Years of My Life,"
What About Your Writing? (comma splice)
Office Hours: Revision: Help from the Audience
Division and Classification
Use Only One Principle of Classification
be Consistent
Make the Classifications as Complete as Possible
Acknowledge Any Complications
Follow the Persuasive Principle
Writing Suggestions for Classification Themes
Visual Prompt: Classification
Student Essay: "Bookworm,"
What About Your Writing? (finding a subject: romantic highs and lows)
"Take a Left Turn onto Nowhere Street,"
What About Your Writing? (titles)
"The Seven Lesson Schoolteacher,"
What About Your Writing? (ironic quotation marks)
"A Brush with Reality: Surprises in the Tube,"
What About Your Writing? (specialties of the author)
"Three Kinds of Discipline,"
What About Your Writing? (alliteration)
Office Hours: Revision: the Psychology of it All
A Definition Paper Can Compare and Contrast a Definition Paper Can Classify
A Definition Paper Can Give Examples
A Definition Paper Can Trace a Process
A Definition Paper Can Study Cause-and-Effect Relationships
A Definition Paper Can Use Narration
Writing Suggestions for Definition Essays
Visual Prompt: Defining Terms
Student Essay: "Growing Up," Anonymous
"The Real Thing,"
What About Your Writing? (comic-book punctuation, exclamation points, etc.)
"What Is Intelligence, Anyway?"
What About Your Writing? (simple thesis)
"Cheap Thrills,"
What About Your Writing? (dialogue)
"Sick in the Head,"
What About Your Writing? (puns)
What About Your Writing? (having a gimmick)
Office Hours: Deadlines
Go Easy on Universals--Qualify When Appropriate
Give Consideration to Differing Opinions
be Cautious with Abuse and Ridicule
Devote Most of Your Attention to Supporting Your View, Not Advocating It
Some Common Logical Fallacies
Writing Suggestions for Argumentation Essays
Visual Prompt: Argumentation
Student Essay: "Sing it When it Counts,"
"Thanksgiving's No Turkey,"
What About Your Writing? (taking sides for fun, mental exercise)
"Distracting Miss Daisy,"
What About Your Writing? ("And" at the start of a sentence)
"The Smiley-Face Approach,"
What About Your Writing? (passive voice)
"Working at McDonalds,"
What About Your Writing? (attack on an orthodox view)
"Appeasing the Gods, with Insurance,"
What About Your Writing? ("You")
"Black Athletes on Parade,"
What About Your Writing? (turning tables, beating opponents to the punch)
"A Modest Proposal,"
What About Your Writing? (irony)
Office Hours: What About the Rest of Your Writing?
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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Customer Reviews

Must read for students May 15, 2011
It's a very easy read and extremely helpful. I also really love the way it is divided into the different rhetorical styles of writing. This textbook is good for ESL student. I highly recommend this textbook! Best of all, the text's short, easy-to-read essays ensure that your class time will focus not on what the readings mean, but on what they mean for your students' writing.
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