Kathleen T. McWhorter
(Niagara County Community College)
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Part 1 An Introduction to Reading, Writing, and Learning in College
1 Reading and Writing for College Success
Writing Quick Start
Factors That Contribute to Success
Reading The New Marshmallow Test: Students Can’t Resist Multitasking, Annie Murphy Paul
Adopt Success Strategies for All Your Courses
Use effective learning strategies.
Use your course syllabus.
Demonstrate academic integrity.
Consult your instructors.
Listen carefully, take notes, and participate in class.
Learn to manage stress.
Manage online courses responsibly.
Don’t let non-academic problems interfere with success.
Academic Reading and Writing: What Should You Expect?
Why Improve Your Reading and Writing Skills?
Adopt Success Strategies for Your Writing Class
Start with a Positive Attitude toward Reading and Writing.
Use the College Writing Center.
Get the Most Out of Writing Conferences.
Keep a Writing Journal.
Understanding Learning Style
Take the Learning Style Inventory
Interpret Your Score
Use Learning Style When Reading and Writing
2 Active Reading and Responding
A Guide to Active Reading
How Writers Read: Active versus Passive Reading
Before Reading: Write to Preview and Create Guide Questions
Activate your background knowledge and experience.
Form questions to guide your reading.
How Writers Read: Active Reading Online
While Reading: Write to Think and Interact
Look for key elements.
Highlight key points.
Work to understand difficult readings.
After Reading: Review and Organize to Consolidate Understanding
Review to consolidate your understanding.
Draw a graphic organizer to examine relationships among ideas.
Applying Your Skills: Read a Selection Actively
A Guide to Responding to a Reading
Summarize to Check Your Understanding
Analyze the Assignment and Decide on an Approach
Generate and Record Ideas: Annotating, Synthesizing, Analyzing, and Evaluating
Annotate to record your impressions.
Synthesize the writer’s ideas with your own.
Analyze and evaluate the reading.
Keep a response journal.
Use a reading-response worksheet.
Try alternative learning styles.
Write a Response Essay
Determine the content and focus of your response essay.
Follow the steps for writing a response essay.
Students Write: "American Jerk": How Rude! (but True), Karen Vaccaro
3 Thinking, Reading, and Writing Critically
Thinking, Reading, and Writing Critically
Analyze the Author’s Ideas
Make reasonable inferences.
How Reader Write: Implied Meanings
Assess the evidence.
How Readers Write: Evidence
Distinguish fact from opinion.
How Readers Write: Fact and Opinion in Academic Writing
Analyze the Author’s Language
Consider denotation versus connotation.
Assess figurative language.
How Readers Write: Figurative Language
Identify euphemisms and doublespeak.
Analyze the author’s tone.
How Readers Write: Tone
Analyze the Author’s Assumptions, Generalizations, and Omissions
Recognize the author’s assumptions.
How Readers Write: Assumptions
Assess the author’s generalizations.
How Readers Write: Generalizations
Look for purposeful omissions.
Use the Patterns of Development to Think and Read Critically
Use Synthesis to Think and Read Critically
Reading Visuals Critically
Think Critically about Photos and Graphics
Just-in-Time Guide to Reading and Responding
1. Getting Started
1a. If I don’t know anything about the subject, what should I do?
1b. What can I do to keep my mind on an unappealing topic or selection?
1c. How can I figure out what I am supposed to learn from an assignment?
1d. What should I do when I feel overwhelmed or completely lost by an assignment?
2. Learning Words
2a. Do I need to learn every unfamiliar word?
2b. What should I do if I don’t know the meaning of a word?
2c. Which online resources are useful for vocabulary development?
2d. How can I learn the words I need to know?
3. Reading Paragraphs: Main Ideas
3a. How do I identify the topic of a paragraph?
3b. How do I find the topic sentence?
3c. How do I figure out the implied main idea of a paragraph?
4. Reading Paragraphs: Details
4a. How do I know which details are worth remembering?
4b. What should I do if I don’t understand a sentence or detail?
5. Reading Essays and Textbook Chapters
5a. What should I do if I just can’t get started on the assignment?
5b. How can I keep from getting lost in a difficult and lengthy reading assignment?
5c. How can I be sure I am understanding what I read?
6a. Should I reread assigned chapters or reading selections to review?
6b. How can I remember what I just read?
6c. How can I prepare for a quiz on a reading assignment?
6d. How can I prepare for class discussions based on a reading assignment?
6e. What should I do if I highlight practically everything?
Part 2 Strategies for Writing Essays
Choose a Topic
Narrow a Topic
Use a branching diagram
Ask questions to narrow a broad topic.
Think about Your Writing Situation
Determine your purpose.
Consider your audience.
Choose a point of view.
Consider the genre and medium.
Discover Ideas to Write About
Draw a map or cluster diagram.
Use the patterns of development.
Visualize or sketch.
How Writers Read: Using Prewriting Strategies to Strengthen Understanding
Research your topic.
Students Write: Latrisha Wilson’s Questioning and Freewriting
5 Developing and Supporting a Thesis
What Is a Thesis Statement?
Develop Your Thesis Statement
Synthesize ideas to generate a working thesis statement.
Write an effective thesis statement.
Place the thesis statement effectively.
Use an implied thesis.
Support Your Thesis Statement with Evidence
Tailor the evidence to your writing situation.
Collect evidence to support your thesis.
Choose the best evidence.
Choose evidence for academic writing.
Checklist: Types of Evidence
Incorporate visuals into an essay.
Select appropriate visuals.
Use sources to support your thesis.
Students Write: Latrisha Wilson’s Working Thesis and Brainstorming
Reading: Internet Addiction, Greg Beato
6 Writing Effective Paragraphs
Structure Your Paragraphs
Write Effective Topic Sentences
A topic sentence should be focused.
A topic sentence may preview the organization of the paragraph.
A topic sentence should support your thesis.
A topic sentence should be strategically placed.
Include Supporting Details
Effective paragraphs have unity.
How Writers Read: Paragraphs
Effective paragraphs are well developed.
Effective paragraphs provide supporting details and arrange them logically.
Use Transitions and Repetition
Students Write: Latrisha Wilson’s First-Draft Paragraph
Reading: Black Men and Public Space, Brent Staples
7 Drafting an Essay
Structure Your Essay
Organize Your Supporting Details
Select a method of organization.
Prepare an outline or a graphic organizer.
Write Your Introduction, Conclusion, and Title
Write a strong introduction.
Write an effective conclusion.
Write a good title.
Students Write: The Threats of Surveillance (Draft), Latrisha Wilson
How Writers Read: Essays
Reading: The Value of Volunteering, Robin Ferguson
8 Revising Content and Organization
Use Revision Techniques
Ask Key Questions for Revision
Analyze your purpose and audience.
Analyze your thesis, topic sentences, and evidence
Analyze your organization.
Analyzing your introduction, conclusion, and title.
Analyze your paragraph development.
Work with Classmates to Revise Your Essay
Find good reviewers.
How Writers Read: Your Own Writing
Get helpful advice
Questions for Peer Reviewers
Give helpful advice.
Use Your Instructor’s Comments
Revise an essay using your instructor’s comments.
Use your instructor’s comments to improve future essays.
Consider Your Learning Style When You Revise
Students Write: No Place Left for Privacy, Latrisha Wilson, and Reviewer’s Comments on Her First Draft
9 Editing Sentences and Words
Analyze Your Sentences
Are Your Sentences Concise?
How Writers Read: Sentences and Paragraphs
Are Your Sentences Varied?
Are Your Sentences Parallel in Structure?
Do your sentences have strong, active verbs?
Analyze Your Word Choice
Are your tone and level of diction appropriate?
Do you use words with appropriate connotations?
Do you use concrete language?
Do you use fresh, appropriate figures of speech?
Evaluate your word choice.
Students Write: An Edited and Revised Paragraph from No Place Left for Privacy, Latrisha Wilson
Part 3 Patterns of Development
10 An Introduction to Patterns of Development
Understand the Patterns of Development
Narration tells a story.
Description creates a word picture.
Illustration explains with examples.
Process analysis explains how something works or is done.
Comparison and contrast shows similarities and differences.
Classification and division groups items into categories or divides one item into its component parts.
Extended definition explains how a term is used of what it means.
Cause and effect uses reasons or results to explain
Argument takes a position on an issue and offers reasons and evidence for or against it.
Combine the Patterns
A Guided Writing Assignment: Multiple Patterns of Development
Reading Against Forgetting: Where Have All the Animals Gone? Derrick Jensen
11 Narration: Recounting Events
Using Narration in College and the Workplace
What Are the Characteristics of a Narrative?
Narratives make a point.
Narratives convey action and detail.
Narratives present a conflict and create tension.
Narratives sequence events.
Narratives use dialogue.
Narratives are told from a particular point of view.
Reading Right Place, Wrong Face, Alton Fitzgerald White
Visualize a Narrative: Create a Graphic Organizer
Reading My Last Day as a Surgeon, Paul Kalanithi
How Writers Read: Narration
Integrate Narration into an Essay
A Guided Writing Assignment: Narration
Readings: Narrative in Action
Student Essay: Being Double, Santiago Quintana
Reading Chop Suey, Ira Sukrungruang
Reading: Narration Combined with Other Patterns Writing about What Haunts Us, Peter Orner
Apply Your Skills: Additional Essay Assignments
12 Description: Portraying People, Places, and Things
Using Description in College and the Workplace
What Are the Characteristics of a Description?
Description uses sensory details.
Description uses active verybs and varied sentence patterns.
Description creates a dominant impression.
Description uses connotative language effectively.
Description uses comparisons.
Description follows a method of organization.
Reading Bad Dog, Rachel Maizes
Visualize a Description: Create a Graphic Organizer
Reading Dreamland, Portland, Ohio, Sam Quinones
Integrate Description into an Essay
A Guided Writing Assignment: Description
Readings: Description in Action
Student Essay: Sometimes, We Give, Maia Nault
Reading I’m Not Leaving Until I Eat This Thing, John T. Edge
Reading: Description Combined with Other Patterns Underground Lair: Inside a Chicken Processing Plant, Gabriel Thompson
13 Illustration: Explaining with Examples
Using Illustration in College and the Workplace
What Are the Characteristics of Illustration Essays?
Illustration supports generalizations.
Illustration explains or clarifies.
Illusration considers purpose and audience.
Illustration uses carefully selected examples.
Illustration uses subexamples to add detail.
Illustration organizes details effectively.
Reading What’s That Supposed to Mean? Deborah Tannen
Visualize an Illustration Essay: Create a Graphic Organizer
Reading Rambos of the Road, Martin Gottfried
How Writers Read: Illustration
Integrate Illustration into an Essay
A Guided Writing Assignment: Illustration
Readings: Illustration in Action
Student Essay: Conforming to Stand Out: A Look at American Beauty, Nick Ruggia
Reading Mascots, Brian Doyle
Reading: Illustration Combined with Other Patterns Why Walking Helps Us Think, Ferris Jabr
14 Process Analysis: Explaining How Something Works or Is Done
Using Process Analysis in College and the Workplace
What Are the Characteristics of a Process Analysis Essay?
Process analyses usually include an explicit thesis statement.
Process analysis is organized chronologically.
Process analysis provide background information helpful to readers.
Process analysis provides an appropriate level of detail.
Process analysis anticipates trouble spots and offers solutions.
Reading: How-It-Is-Done Essay How Not to Say the Wrong Thing, Susan Silk and Barry Goldman
Visualize a Process Analysis Essay: Create a Graphic Organizer
Reading: How-It-Works Essay Shitty First Drafts, Anne Lamott
How Writers Read: Process Analysis
Integrate Process Analysis into an Essay
A Guided Writing Assignment: Process Analysis
Readings: Process Analysis in Action
Student Essay: Going Vegan: How to Have Your Eggless Cake, and Eat It, Too! Justine Appel
Reading The Psychology of Stuff and Things, Christian Jarrett
Reading: Illustration Combined with Other Patterns How to Be the Black Employee, Baratunde Thurston
15 Comparison and Contrast: Showing Similarities and Differences
Using Comparison and Contrast in College and the Workplace
What Are the Characteristics of Comparison and Contrast Essays?
Comparison and contrast has a clear purpose and is written for a specific audience.
Comparison and contrast considers shared characteristics.
Comparison and contrast is organized point by point or subject by subject.
Comparison and contrast fairly examines similarities, differences, or both.
Comparison and contrast makes a point.
Comparison and contrast considers significant and relevant shared characteristics.
Reading Alcohol or Marijuana? A Pediatrician Faces the Question Aaron E. Carrol
Visualize a Comparison and Contrast Essay: Create a Graphic Organizer
Reading What Kind of H2O Should You Drink? We Asked L.A.’s Only Water Sommelier, Sara Rashkin
How Writers Read: Comparison and Contrast
Integrate Comparison and Contrast into an Essay
A Guided Writing Assignment: Comparison and Contrast
Readings: Comparison and Contrast in Action
Student Essay: Border Bites, Heather Gianakos
Reading His Marriage and Hers, Daniel Goleman
Reading: Comparison and Contrast Combined with Other Patterns On a Plate, Tobby Morris
16 Classification and Division: Explaining Categories and Parts
Using Classification and Division in College and the Workplace
What Are the Characteristics of Classification and Division Essays?
Classification groups and division divides ideas according to one principle.
Purpose and audience drive the writer’s choice of a principle.
Categories and parts are exclusive and comprehensive.
Classification or division fully explains each category or part.
Classification or division includes a thesis.
Reading Classification My Secret Life on the McJob: Fast Food Managers, Jerry Newman
Visualize a Classification or Division Essay: Create a Graphic Organizer
Reading How to Read a Potato Chip, Michael Moss
How Writers Read: Classification or Division
Integrate Classification or Division into an Essay
A Guided Writing Assignment: Classification and Division
Student Essay: The Use and Abuse of Facebook, Allison Cava
Reading: Classification Combined with Other Patterns Empower Pupils to Beat the Bullies, Ian Rivers
17 Definition: Explaining What You Mean
Using Definition in College and the Workplace
What Are the Characteristics of Definition Essays?
An extended definition is focused and detailed.
An extended definition often includes a standard definition of the term.
An extended definition makes a point.
An extended definition uses other patterns of development.
An extended definition may use negation and address misconceptions.
Reading Freegans: They Live Off What We Throw Away, Jan Goodwin
Visualize a Definition Essay: Create a Graphic Organizer
Reading Dude, Do You Know What You Just Said? Mike Crissey
How Writers Read: Definition
Integrate Definition into an Essay
A Guided Writing Assignment: Definition
Readings: Extended Definition in Action
Student Essay: Guerrilla Street Art, Kate Atkinson
Reading: Definition Combined with Other Patterns Dating on the Autism Spectrum, Emily Shire
18 Cause and Effect: Using Reasons and Results to Explain
Using Cause and Effect in College and the Workplace
What Are the Characteristics of Cause-and-Effect Essays?
Causal analysis may focus on causes, effects, or both.
Causal analysis includes a clear thesis statement.
Causal analysis is logically organized.
Causal analysis explains each cause or effect fully.
Causal analysis may challenge readers’ assumptions or offer surprising reasons.
Reading Why the Police Are Rarely Indicted for Misconduct, Alex S. Vitale
Visualize a Cause-and-Effect Essay: Create Graphic Organizers
Reading How Labels Like Black and Working Class Shape Your Identity, Adam Alter
How Writers Read: Cause and Effect
Integrate Cause and Effect into an Essay
A Guided Writing Assignment: Cause and Effect
Readings: Cause and Effect in Action
Students Write Is Sharing Files Online Killing Music? Jonathan Adamczak
Reading: Cause and Effect Combined with Other Patterns Why Summer Makes Us Lazy, Maria Konnikova
Part 4 Reading and Writing Arguments
19 Reading Arguments
What Are the Basic Parts of an Argument?
The Issue Is a Controversial Topic
The Claim Is the Writer’s Point
The Support Includes Reasons, Evidence, and Appeals
The Refutation Responds to Alternative Viewpoints
Students Write: Are Students the Best Answer for Animals? Robert Nguyen
Tipping Is an Abomination, Brian Palmer
Analyze the Basic Components of an Argument
Analyze the Writer’s Credibility, Purpose, and Audience
Assess the Emotional Appeals
Evaluate Opposing Artguments
Detect Faulty Reasoning
How Writers Read: Argument
Readings: Argument in Action
Trigger Happy, Jennie Jarvie
The Trigger Warning Myth, Aaron R. Hanlon
20 Writing Arguments
Using Argument in College and the Workplace
What Are the Characteristics of Argument Essays?
Arguments Focus on Arguable, Narrowly Defined Issues
An Argumentative Thesis Makes a Specific Claim and May Call for Action
Effective Arguments Are Logical
Effective Arguments Depend on Careful Audience Analysis
Effective Arguments Present Reasons and Evidence Readers Will Find Compelling
Effective Arguments Appeal to Readers’ Needs and Values
Effective Arguments Recognize Alternative Views
Reading: The Problem with Saying "All Lives Matter," Tyler Huckabee
Visualize an Argument Essay: Create a Graphic Organizer
Reading: Abolish the Penny, William Safire
A Guided Writing Assignment: Argument
Reading: Argument in Action
Students Write: Pull the Plug on Explicit Lyrics, James Sturm
Applying Yor Skills: Additional Essay Assignments
Part 5 Writing with Sources
21 Planning a Research Project and Evaluating Sources
Using Research in College and the Workplace
Write from Sources: Use Sources to Make Your Own Ideas Convincing
Plan Your Research Project
Define the Assignment
Choose an Interesting and Workable Topic
Narrow and Discover Ideas about Your Topic
Write a Working Thesis and List Questions
Consider Source Types
Use Primary and Secondary Sources
Use Scholarly, Popular, and Reference Sources
Use Books, Articles, and Media Sources
Choose Relevant Sources
Choose Reliable Sources
Evaluate Resources in the Digital Landscape
Think Critically about Sources
22 Finding Sources, Taking Notes, and Synthesizing
Get an Overview of Library Sources
Learn Your Way around the Library
Make Use of Reference Librar Librarians
Use Keywords Effectively
Use Appropriate Search Tools
Search for Books and Other Library Holdings
Search for Articles in Your Library’s Databases
Use the Internet for Research, with Caution
Conduct Field Research
Work with Sources: Take Notes, Summarize, and Paraphrase
Take Effective Notes
Take Notes that Summarize, Paraphrase, or Quote
Keep Track of Sources
Work with Sources: Evalutate Your Notes and Synthesize
Evaluate Your Research
Use Categories to Syntesize Information from Sources
Draw a Graphic Organizer to Synthesize Sources
Create an Annotated Bibliography
23 Drafting, Revising, and Formatting a Research Project
Organize Your Research Project
Arrange Your Notes
Develop an Outline or Graphic Organizer
What Is Plagiarism?
Quick Reference Guide to Plagiarism
How Can You Avoid Plagiarism?
What Sources Do You Need to Document?
Draft Your Research Project
Use Research to Support Your Ideas
Use In-Text Citations to Integrate Source Information
Integrate Quotations into Your Research Project
Revise Your Research Project
Analyze and Revise Your Project as a Whole
Analyze and Revise Paragraphs and Sentences
Prepare Your Final Draft
Format Your Research Project
Edit and Proofread Your Research Project
Document Your Sources: MLA Style
Use MLA Style for In-Text Citations
Directory to MLA In-Text Citation Models
Use MLA Style for the List of Works Cited
General Guidelines for Creating Entries in the Works Cited List
Directory to MLA Works-Cited Models
Books and Other Self-Contained Works
Articles in Periodicals and Other Works Contained in Longer Works
Students Write: Do Animals Have Emotions? Nicholas Destino
Document Your Sources: APA Style
Use APA Style for In-Text Citations
Directory to APA In-Text Citation Models
Use APA Style for the List of References
Directory to APA Reference Entries
Articles in Periodicals
Students Write: Schizophrenia: Definition and Treatment, Sonia Gomez
Part 6 Academic and Business Applications
24 Reading and Writing about Literature
Reading: The Bean Eaters, Gwendolyn Brooks
Literature in College and the Workplace
Understand the Language of Literature
Similes, Metaphors, and Personification
Analyze Short Stories
Reading (Short Story): The Story of an Hour, Kate Chopin
Point of View
Worksheet for Analyzing Short Stories
Worksheet for Analyzing Poetry
Reading (Poem): Two Look at Two, Robert Frost
Reading (Poem): How I Discovered Poetry, Marilyn Nelson
Guided Writing Assignment: Literary Analysis
Students Write: The Short, Happy Life of Louise Mallard, Irina Dudnik
25 Essay Examinations and Portfolios
Timed Writing and Portfolios in College and the Workplace
Prepare for and Take Essay Examinations
Prepare for Essay Exams
Take Essay Exams
Analyze Essay Exam Questions
Write Essay Answers
Students Write: Essay Exam Response, Ronald Robinson
Understand Your Purposes for Creating a Writing Portfolio
Decide What to Include in Your Portfolio
Use Your Couse Syllabus as a Guide
Organize and Prepare to Present Your Portfolio
What Should You Avoid?
Students Write: Portfolio Contents and Reflective Letter, Bryan Scott
26 Multimedia Presentations and Business Writing
Multimedia Presentations in College and the Workplace
Develop and Deliver Multimedia Presentations
Plan Your Presentation
Draft Your Presentation
Create Presentation Slides
Rehearse Your Presentation
Overcome Stage Fright
Deliver an Effective Presentation
Prepare and Deliver Online Presentations
Create Effective Business Documents
Prepare a Résumé and Job Application Letter
Use Electronic Media for Business Writing
Part 7 Handbook: Writing Problems and How to Correct Them
Review Basic Grammar
1 Parts of Speech
2 Sentence Structure
Write Grammatically Correct Sentences
3 Sentence Fragments
4 Run-On Sentences and Comma Splices
5 Subject-Verb Agreement
6 Verb Forms
7 Pronoun Problems
8 Shifts and Mixed Constructions
9 Adjectives and Adverbs
10 Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers
Use Punctuation Correctly
11 End Punctuation
15 Quotation Marks
16 Ellipsis Marks
18 Parentheses and Brackets
Manage Mechanics and Spelling
Avoid ESL Troublespots
26 Nouns and Articles
28 The Prepositions in, on, and at
30 Common Sentence Problems
Answers to Even-Numbered Exercises in the Handbook
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