Writing without Formulas (with 2009 MLA Update Card)

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-05-27
  • Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing

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Writing Without Formulas shows students how to write instead of telling them. A non-traditional rhetoric and reader intended for freshman-level composition courses, this book presents writing as an activity rather than a formula dictated by rules and learned by rote. This approach encourages students to make decisions about writing within a context of audience awareness and critical analysis. The pedagogy featured in the text lends itself to collaborative-based classrooms and demonstrates writing to be a process of discovery. The text contains diverse contemporary readings--both student and professional--that do not rigidly conform to rhetorical modes. A focus in many of the selections on popular culture and contemporary social and political issues helps maintain student interest and offers a refreshing change of pace from more traditional readers. Examples include a portrait of "crack babies" who have grown up to create their own literary magazine (challenging both political and social assumptions about the crack epidemic); educator Mike Rose on the class implications of standardized "intelligence" testing; former New York City police officer-turned-journalist Marcus Laffey on the strategy of drug busts; humorist David Sedaris on his tormented early relationship to music lessons; Joyce Carol Oates on the science of laughter; and Stephen L. Carter on ethics and honesty in American political discourse.

Table of Contents

KeyConcepts of Writing
Reasons for Writing
Reading: "Learning to Read"
Writing from Personal Inspiration
Reading: "Letter to a Restaurant Manager"
Writing as a Citizen
Reading: TrueMajority, "'Computer Ate My Vote' Scores
Coast to Coast Wins" (web page)
Writing in College Writing in the Workplace
Reading: "Norming Groups" (office memo/email)
Critical Analysis for Writing Student
Writing: "The Car Accident" (draft)
Student Writing: "The Car Accident"
Interrogating the Obvious
Reading: "Male Body Image in America"
Reading: From The Silent Takeover Investigating Assumptions
Reading: "The False Controversy of Stem Cells"
Seeing Patterns
Reading: From Limbo
Reading: "Curriculum Is a Political Statement" Avoiding Poor Reasoning
Awareness of Audience Student
Writing: "Sexuality Orientation"
Targeting Potential Readers
Reading: "Voices: The Damage Done: Crack Babies Talk Back"
Anticipating Reader Needs
Reading: "Death Penalty's False Promise"
Reading: "From Outside, In" Responding to Possible Objections
Student Writing, "Curse of the Ouija Board"
Using Real Readers in Peer Groups Revision
Strategies for Organizing Your Ideas
Student Writing: "Humor in Society"
Reading: "Tools for Research"
Reading: "The Problem with Being a Thing"
Introducing Your Subject
Transitioning from Ideas
Reading: "The Right Chemistry"
Placing Your Thesis
Reading: "The Same Difference"
Finishing Your Thoughts
Reading: "The Lottery"
Reading: "The Worst-Laid Plans: Why Was Emergency Planning So Awful?"
Reading: "Mommy, What Does 'Nigger' Mean?"
Language Choices in Writing Student
Writing: "Negative Cliques in Schools
Mediating Experiences
Reading: "I Have a Dream"
Describing and Shaping
Reading: From The Mind at Work
Reading: From The Lost Grizzlies Euphemisms
Reading: From Perfectly Legal
Reading: "Life Under the Chief Doublespeak Officer"
Finding Your Voice
Confronting Writing Tasks
Discovering Your Writing Process
Seeing Your Own Patterns Breaking
Through Writer's Block
Reading: From Lau's
Laws on Hitting Discovering Strategies for Drafting and Revision
Reading: From 'Indians': Textualism, Morality, and the Problem of History
Editing and Proofreading
Uses of Collaboration
Reading: "Inside Dope"
Beyond the In-Class Response Group
Assigning Tasks in Group Projects Student
Writing: "Jim's Progress Log" Synthesizing Ideas
Reading: "Nowhere to Roam"
Reading: "How to Live to Be 100"
Taking Responsibility
Purposes and Strategies for Reading
Reading: "Executive Pay in the U.S."
Knowledge, Safety, and Awareness as Consumers Social and Civic Engagement
Reading: Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, "Smearing Anti-War Activists?
NY Times Op-Ed Laments Anti-War Funeral Protests"
Reading: Ohio Department of Public Safety, "Where to Ride on the Road" Information Retrieval
Reading: From The Vanishing Hitchhiker Academic Achievement Developing
Reading Strategies for College Student
Writing: "An Analysis of the Dietary Habits of a Known Bookworm"
Comprehension Student
Writing: "Molly Egan's Freewrite"
Writing with Evidence Student
Writing: "Sex and Religion" Student
Writing: "Instincts vs. Rules" (draft) Student
Writing: "Instincts vs. Rules" Examining Evidence
Reading: "To Hell with Lipitor"
Establishing Criteria for a Claim Checking Information
Integrating Sources
Reading: From Blackbeard and Other Pirates of the Atlantic Coast Student
Writing: "Extract from Claudia's Essay"
Reading: From The Tender Carnivore Student
Writing: "Extract from Sherry's Essay"
Writers and Research Locating
Critical Knowledge
Reading: Trish Boreta, and Project
Censored, "The Top Censored News Stories of 2005-2006"
Evaluating Online Sources
Reading: Green Party website: "2006 Green Party Candidate Spotlight"
When Sources Collide
Reading: "Questioned Marks"
Reading: "Statement to Judge Paul Benson" Giving Credit Where It Is Due
Topics for Writing
Holidays and Celebrations
Reading: "The Symbols of Halloween"
Reading: "The Reformation of Guy Fawkes Day"
Reading: "Festivals, Rites, and Presents"
Reading: "Thanksgiving"
Reading: "A History of Anglo-Saxon Wedding Customs"
Reading: "The Twentieth Anniversary of Earth Day"
Reading: "Risk"
Reading: "Leonard Lauder: The Beauty of Small Things"
Reading: "Con Games"
Reading: "Fantasy World"
Reading: "Giant Dreams, Midget Abilities"
Reading: "Indiana's Potato Chip
Lady: Myrtle Young of Seyfert Foods, Inc."
The Supernatural
Reading: "Whitman's Haunted Bed"
Reading: "UFO's, Skepticism, and Belief"
Reading: "Four Stops on a Bigfoot Hunt"
Reading: "Is God in Our Genes?"
Reading: Associated Press, "Courthouse Camera Captures a Ghost"
Reading: Associated Press, "Courthouse Ghost Identified as Insect"
Reading: "Talking to Heaven
Through Television: How the Mass Media Package and Sell Medium John Edward"
Reading: "Is Laughter Contagious?"
Reading: "The Darwin Awards"
Reading: "Me Talk Pretty One Day"
Reading: "Seriously, the Joke Is Dead"
Reading: "How Laughter Works"
Reading: "All I Think Is That It's Stupid: Dave Barry on Laughing at Very Big Government"
Honesty and Deception
Reading: "The Insufficiency of Honesty"
Reading: "I'm a Bad Liar"
Reading: "The Lightning Struck Lost Mine"
Reading: "The Big Lie"
Reading: "Censor or Victim of Censorship?"
Reading: "We Like Our Bad Guys to Be Honest About It"
Pets, Pests, and Beasts
Reading: "Face of a Spider"
Reading: "Women Like Men Who Like Cats"
Reading: "The Indian Dog"
Reading: "The Snake"
Reading: "Treat It Right"
Reading: "Drainage Ditch"
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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