Eighth Edition   ©2016

Rules for Writers with 2016 MLA Update

Diana Hacker (late of Prince George's Community College) , Nancy Sommers (Harvard University)  

  • ISBN-10: 1-319-08349-8; ISBN-13: 978-1-319-08349-6; Format: Spiral Bound, 704 pages

 

Preface for instructors

The Writing Process

1 Exploring, planning, and drafting

a Assess the writing situation.

b Explore your subject.

c Draft and revise a working thesis statement.

d Draft a plan.

e Draft an introduction.

f Draft the body.

g Draft a conclusion.

h Manage your files.

2 Revising, editing, and reflecting

a See revision as a social process.

b Use peer review: Revise with comments.

c Use peer review: Give constructive comments.

d Highlights of one student’s peer review process

e Approach global revision in cycles.

f Revise and edit sentences.

g Proofread the final manuscript.

h Sample student revision

i Prepare a portfolio; reflect on your writing.

3 Building effective paragraphs

a Focus on a main point.

b Develop the main point.

c Choose a suitable pattern of organization.

d Make paragraphs coherent.

e If necessary, adjust paragraph length.

Academic Reading, Writing, and Speaking

4 Reading and writing critically

a Read actively.

Sample annotated article

b Outline a text to identify main ideas.

c Summarize to deepen your understanding.

d Analyze to demonstrate your critical reading.

Writing guide: Analytical essay

e Sample student writing: Analysis of an article

Sample analysis paper

5 Reading and writing about multimodal texts

a Read actively.

Sample annotated advertisement

b Outline to identify main ideas.

c Summarize to deepen your understanding.

d Analyze to demonstrate your critical reading.

e Sample student writing: Analysis of an advertisement

Sample analysis of an advertisement

6 Reading and writing arguments

a Distinguish between reasonable and fallacious argumentative tactics.

b Distinguish between legitimate and unfair emotional appeals.

c Judge how fairly a writer handles opposing views.

d When writing arguments, consider purpose and context.

e View your audience as a panel of jurors.

f In your introduction, establish credibility and state your position.

g Back up your thesis with persuasive lines of argument.

h Support your claims with specific evidence.

i Anticipate objections; counter opposing arguments.

j Build common ground.

k Sample student writing: Argument

Sample argument paper

Writing guide: Argument essay

7 Speaking confidently

a Identify your purpose, audience, and context.

b Prepare a presentation.

c Focus on delivery.

d Remix an essay for a presentation.

Clarity

8 Prefer active verbs.

a Active versus passive verbs 1

b Active versus be verbs

c Subject that names the actor

9 Balance parallel ideas.

a Parallel ideas in a series

b Parallel ideas presented as pairs

c Repetition of function words

10 Add needed words.

a
In compound structures

b that

c In comparisons 

d a, an, and the

11 Untangle mixed constructions.

a Mixed grammar

b Illogical connections

c is when, is where, and reason . . . is because

12 Repair misplaced and dangling modifiers.

a Limiting modifiers

b Misplaced phrases and clauses

c Awkwardly placed modifiers

d Split infinitives

e Dangling modifiers

13 Eliminate distracting shifts.

a Point of view (person, number)

b Verb tense

c Verb mood, voice

d Indirect to direct questions or quotations

14 Emphasize key ideas.

a Coordination and subordination

b Choppy sentences

c Ineffective or excessive coordination

d Ineffective subordination

e Excessive subordination

f Other techniques

15 Provide some variety.

a
Sentence openings

b Sentence structures

c Inverted order

16 Tighten wordy sentences.

a
Redundancies

b Unnecessary repetition

c Empty or inflated phrases

d Simplifying the structure

e Reducing clauses to phrases, phrases to single words

17 Choose appropriate language.

a Jargon

b Pretentious language, euphemisms, "doublespeak"

c Slang, regional expressions, nonstandard English

d Levels of formality

e Sexist language

f Offensive language

18 Find the exact words.

a Connotations

b Specific, concrete nouns

c Misused words

d Standard idioms

e Clichés

f Figures of speech

Grammar

19 Repair sentence fragments.

a Subordinate clauses

b Phrases

c Other fragmented word groups

d Acceptable fragments

20 Revise run-on sentences.

a Revision with coordinating conjunction

b Revision with semicolon, colon, or dash

c Revision by separating sentences

d Revision by restructuring

21 Make subjects and verbs agree.

a Standard subject-verb combinations

b Words between subject and verb

c Subjects joined with and

d Subjects joined with or, nor, either . . . or, or neither . . . nor

e Indefinite pronouns

f Collective nouns

g Subject following verb

h Subject, not subject complement

i who, which, and that

j Words with plural form, singular meaning

k Titles of works, company names, words mentioned as words, gerund phrases

22 Make pronouns and antecedents agree.

a Singular with singular, plural with plural (indefinite pronouns, generic nouns)

b Collective nouns

c Antecedents joined with and

d Antecedents joined with or, nor, either . . . or, or neither . . . nor

23 Make pronoun references clear.

a Ambiguous or remote reference

b Broad reference of this, that, which, and it

c Implied antecedents

d Indefinite use of they, it, and you

e who for persons, which or that for animals or things

24 Distinguish between pronouns such as I and me.

a Subjective case for subjects and subject complements

b Objective case for objects

c Appositives

d Pronoun following than or as

e we or us before a noun

f Subjects and objects of infinitives

g Pronoun modifying a gerund

25 Distinguish between who and whom.

a In subordinate clauses

b In questions

c As subjects or objects of infinitives

26 Choose adjectives and adverbs with care.

a Adjectives to modify nouns

b Adverbs to modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs

c good and well, bad and badly

d Comparatives and superlatives

e Double negatives

27 Choose appropriate verb forms, tenses, and moods in Standard English.

a Irregular verbs

b lie and lay

c -s (or -es) endings

d -ed endings

e Omitted verbs

f Verb tense

g Subjunctive mood

Multilingual Writers and ESL Challenges

28 Verbs

a Appropriate form and tense

b Passive voice

c Base form after a modal

d Negative verb forms

e Verbs in conditional sentences

f Verbs followed by gerunds or infinitives

29 Articles

a Articles and other noun markers

b When to use the

c When to use a or an

d When not to use a or an

e No articles with general nouns

f Articles with proper nouns

30 Sentence structure

a Linking verb between a subject and its complement

b A subject in every sentence

c Repeated nouns or pronouns with the same grammatical function

d Repeated subjects, objects, and adverbs in adjective clauses

e Mixed constructions with although or because

f Placement of adverbs

g Present participles and past participles as adjectives

h Order of cumulative adjectives

31 Prepositions and idiomatic expressions

a Prepositions showing time and place

b Noun (including -ing form) after a preposition

c Common adjective + preposition combinations

d Common verb + preposition combinations

Punctuation

32 The comma

a Independent clauses joined with and, but, etc.

b Introductory elements

c Items in a series

d Coordinate adjectives

e Nonrestrictive and restrictive elements

f Transitions, parenthetical expressions, absolute phrases, contrasts

g Direct address, yes and no, interrogative tags, interjections

h he said, etc.

i Dates, addresses, titles, numbers

j To prevent confusion

33 Unnecessary commas

a Between two words, phrases, or subordinate clauses

b Between a verb and its subject or object

c Before the first or after the last item in a series

d Between cumulative adjectives, an adjective and a noun, or an adverb and an adjective

e Before and after restrictive or parenthetical elements

f Before essential concluding adverbial elements

g After a phrase beginning an inverted sentence

h Other misuses

34 The semicolon

a Between independent clauses not joined with a coordinating conjunction

b Between independent clauses linked with a transitional expression

c In a series containing internal punctuation

d Misuses

35 The colon

a Before a list, an appositive, or a quotation

b Conventional uses

c Misuses

36 The apostrophe

a Possessive nouns

b Possessive indefinite pronouns

c Contractions

d Not for plural numbers, letters, abbreviations, words as words

e Misuses

37 Quotation marks

a Direct quotations

b Quotation within a quotation

c Titles of short works

d Words as words

e With other punctuation marks

f Misuses

38 End punctuation

a The period

b The question mark

c The exclamation point

39 Other punctuation marks

a The dash

b Parentheses

c Brackets

d The ellipsis mark

e The slash

Mechanics

40 Abbreviations

a Titles with proper names

b Familiar abbreviations

c Conventional abbreviations

d Units of measurement

e Latin abbreviations

f Plural of abbreviations

g Misuses

41 Numbers

a Spelling out

b Using numerals

42 Italics

a Titles of works

b Names of ships, spacecraft, and aircraft

c Foreign words

d Words as words, letters as letters, numbers as numbers

43 Spelling

a Spelling rules

b The dictionary

c Words that sound alike

d Commonly misspelled words

44 The hyphen

a Compound words

b Hyphenated adjectives

c Fractions and compound numbers

d With certain prefixes and suffixes

e To avoid ambiguity or to separate awkward double or triple letters

f Word division

45 Capitalization

a Proper vs. common nouns

b Titles with proper names

c Titles and subtitles of works

d First word of a sentence

e First word of a quoted sentence

f First word after a colon

Grammar Basics

46 Parts of speech

a Nouns

b Pronouns

c Verbs

d Adjectives

e Adverbs

f Prepositions

g Conjunctions

h Interjections

47 Sentence patterns

a Subjects

b Verbs, objects, and complements

c Pattern variations

48 Subordinate word groups

a Prepositional phrases

b Verbal phrases

c Appositive phrases

d Absolute phrases

e Subordinate clauses

49 Sentence types

a Sentence structures

b Sentence purposes

Research

50 Thinking like a researcher; gathering sources

a Manage the project.

b Pose questions worth exploring.

c Map out a search strategy.

d Search efficiently; master a few shortcuts to finding good sources.

e Conduct field research, if appropriate.

f Write a research proposal.

51 Managing information; taking notes responsibly

a Maintain a working bibliography.

b Keep track of source materials.

c Take notes carefully to avoid unintentional plagiarism.

52 Evaluating sources

a Think about how sources might contribute to your writing.

b Select sources worth your time and attention.

c Select appropriate versions of online sources.

d Read with an open mind and a critical eye.

e Assess Web sources with care.

f Construct an annotated bibliography.

Writing guide: Annotated bibliography

Writing Papers in MLA Style

53 Supporting a thesis

a Form a working thesis.

b Organize your ideas.

c Use sources to inform and support your argument.

d Draft an introduction for your thesis.

e Draft the paper in an appropriate voice.

54 Citing sources; avoiding plagiarism

a Understand how the MLA system works.

b Avoid plagiarism when quoting, summarizing, and paraphrasing sources.

55 Integrating sources

a
Summarize and paraphrase effectively.

b Use quotations effectively.

c Use signal phrases to integrate sources.

d Synthesize sources.

56 Documenting sources in MLA style

a MLA in-text citations

b MLA list of works cited

c MLA information notes

57 MLA manuscript format; sample research paper

a MLA manuscript format

b Sample MLA research paper

Writing Papers in APA Style

58 Supporting a thesis

a Form a working thesis.

b Organize your ideas.

c Use sources to inform and support your argument.

59 Citing sources; avoiding plagiarism

a Understand how the APA system works.

b Avoid plagiarism when quoting, summarizing, and paraphrasing sources.

60 Integrating sources

a Summarize and paraphrase effectively.

b Use quotations effectively.

c Use signal phrases to integrate sources.

d Synthesize sources.

61 Documenting sources in APA style

a APA in-text citations

b APA list of works cited

62 APA manuscript format; sample paper

a APA manuscript format

b Sample APA research paper

Appendixes

A document design gallery

Glossary of usage

Answers to lettered exercises

Index