Building Writing Skills the Hands-on Way 1st Edition

Jenia Walter

  • Copyright 2017
  • Published
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  • Aplia

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BUILDING WRITING SKILLS THE HANDS-ON WAY, 1st Edition, is a developmental English resource that teaches fluency in writing, reading, and critical thinking. With exercises that activate multiple learning styles, it covers basic skills, engaging students with hands-on activities. It also addresses the challenges of teaching sentence-level and composition skills in a limited timeframe to student needs. Adaptable to your needs, it includes a reading skills section and high-interest anthology.

Meet the Author

Jenia Walter, Aims Community College, Greeley, Colorado

Jenia Walter, who has been writing stories since she could hold a pen, first found her way into publishing as an editorial assistant at North Point Press in Berkeley, California. Discovering her interest in teaching English while traveling overseas in 1992, she received a certificate from a Cambridge University TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) program in Portugal, returning to the U.S. to teach refugees and youth-at-risk at a social service agency in Sacramento. After teaching community college classes in rural northern California, she returned to graduate school at Northern Arizona University (NAU) to earn a Master's degree in English in 1999. At NAU, her fascination with grammar led her to work as a research assistant on Douglas Biber's LONGMAN GRAMMAR OF SPOKEN AND WRITTEN ENGLISH. At the same time, working as a Writing Center tutor and graduate teaching assistant in freshman comp classrooms, she began to investigate helpful learning methods for linguistically diverse students with nontraditional academic backgrounds, and she has been researching effective writing instruction for adult learners ever since. She spent over a decade conducting action research on hands-on learning as an Associate Professor of English at San Juan College in northern New Mexico, where she conducted a grant-funded developmental writing research study and was awarded a NISOD National Award for Teaching Excellence. Since relocating to Fort Collins, Colorado, in 2012, she has continued her exploration of interactive online teaching methods while teaching developmental writing and composition (including Accelerated Learning Program cohorts) in the classroom at Aims Community College in Greeley, researching the effectiveness of hands-on learning at every level.

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Features & Benefits

  • Part I is focused on the writing process (paragraph and essay) and Part II is focused on sequenced sentence-level skills, which students can put to use editing the work produced in Part I.
  • All grammar activities are grounded in the context of meaningful writing.
  • Each core chapter of Part II includes "Building Editing Skills" and/or "Writing in Daily Life" guided editing activities with scaffolded exercises and awareness-building questions.
  • Each Part II chapter ends with a section on "Working with the Real Thing," in which students receive specific, scaffolded guidance in transferring chapter skills into their own writing.
  • The text includes a strong chapter on reading skills, prefacing a diverse anthology of scaffolded academic readings. The readings (with vocabulary definitions, pre- and post-reading questions, and writing prompts) include excerpts from academic textbooks, published articles and essays, and student essays, with paired argument essays.
  • Content themes draw on topics of high interest and relevance to diverse adult learners. The diversity of the text is also reflected in rural, western, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American contemporary themes less well represented in many textbooks. In addition, "Reality Check" features share observations and learning tips from real students, which helps to foster confidence and a sense of community among learners from a variety of backgrounds.
  • Learn by Doing! activities combine kinesthetic/tactile, visual, and auditory learning preferences to help students overcome the "print barrier" and make grammar concepts easier to learn.

Table of Contents

Building Writing Skills the Hands-on Way


1. Freewriting: Thoughts into Words.
2. Generating and Organizing Ideas: Your Raw Materials.
3. Developing Powerful Paragraphs: A Structure for Ideas.
4. Crafting Purposeful Paragraphs: Strategies and Patterns.
5. Building an Essay: Concepts and Skills.
6. Writing for a Purpose: Essay Strategies and Structures.
7. The Revision Process: Refining Your Work.
8. The Editing Process: Polishing Your Work.
9. Overview of Parts of Speech: A Crash Course.
10. Simple Sentence Structure: The Basic Construction Unit.
11. Using Commas Correctly: Working within the Sentence.
12. Compound Sentence Structure: Key to Understanding Punctuation.
13. Catching Run-ons: Using Sentence Structure Tools to Fix Errors.
14. Complex Sentences: Final Pieces of the Sentence Structure Puzzle.
15. Fixing Fragments: Editing Incomplete Ideas.
16. Modifiers: Expanding and Adding to Sentences.
17. Sentence Types: Creating Variety.
18. Nouns: The Stuff That Everything Is Made of.
19. Pronouns: Stand-ins for Nouns.
20. Verbs: The Action That Is in Every Sentence.
21. Adjectives and Adverbs: Words that Add More.
22. A Guide to Punctuation Patterns.
23. Research Skills for Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Citing Sources.
24. Tips on Language and Style.
25. An Overview of Vocabulary Skills.
26. Building Reading Skills.
A-1. Ways of Learning, Challenges, and the Brain.
A-2. Grammar and Usage Tips: Especially for ESL.
A-3. Employment Document Skills.
R-1. Conjunction Families.
R-2. Pronoun Lists.
R-3. Helping Verbs.
R-4. Common Irregular Verbs.
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Instructor's Web Site

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