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Overview

Reliable and straightforward, this text has helped thousands of students learn to write well. Jean Wyrick's rhetorically organized STEPS TO WRITING WELL, Eleventh Edition, is known for its student-friendly tone and the clear way it presents the basics of essay writing in an easy-to-follow progression of useful lessons and activities. Through straightforward advice and thoughtful assignments, the text gives students the practice they need to approach writing well-constructed essays with confidence. With Wyrick's precise instruction and the book's professional samples by both well-known classic and contemporary writers, STEPS TO WRITING WELL, Eleventh Edition, sets students on a solid path to writing success. Everything students need to begin, organize, and revise writing--from choosing a topic to developing the essay to polishing prose--is right here! In the eleventh edition, Wyrick updates and refines the book's successful approach, adding useful new discussions, readings, exercises, essay assignments, and visual images for analysis.

Jean Wyrick, Professor Emerita, Colorado State University

Jean Wyrick is Professor Emerita of English at Colorado State University, where she was Director of Composition for 11 years. She has more than 25 years of experience teaching writing, training writing teachers, and designing writing/writing-across-the-curriculum programs. Her other textbooks include THE RINEHART READER and DISCOVERING IDEAS. She has presented over a hundred workshops and papers on the teaching of writing, American literature, American Studies, and Women's Studies.
  • A completely revised Chapter 14, "Writing a Paper Using Research," traces a student's process from topic (new to this edition) through various kinds of updated library and online research to a completed essay. This chapter contains the very latest MLA guidelines, additional advice regarding reliable sources, and new exercises. The chapter's new and complete student essay, which illustrates MLA guidelines, is ALSO developed with APA documentation (including the most current APA guidelines)--a feature many instructors requested for their students in the social sciences.
  • Edition's many new exercises and assignments include one or more collaborative classroom activities in each chapter of Parts One through Four that help students throughout the writing process; some chapters contain team assignments that provide experience with co-authored writing tasks common in today's workplace. New exercises on editing, proofreading, and sentence errors are also included, as well as new "Handbook" sections on the parts of speech and sentence components.
  • A new section on the various kinds and functions of collaborative writing in Chapter 5, "Drafting and Revising," includes step-by-step advice for small group activities that parallels the discussion of peer revision workshops.
  • Six new readings include selections by both classic and contemporary authors, such as Langston Hughes and Annie Dillard.
  • New advice in Chapter 7, "Word Logic," for understanding appropriate audiences for texting and Internet language is included, as well as new material throughout the book, such as new visual images as writing prompts, and additional advertisements for analysis, and new icons that indicate cross-references.
  • The author's clear guidelines help students develop the kinds of essays that are frequently assigned in composition classes and other college courses.
  • The many student and professional samples throughout (including new ones in this edition) illustrate topics under discussion, giving students clear models that expand their understanding of rhetorical and stylistic choices.
  • Skill-building exercises, classroom group activities, and writing assignments--many new to this edition--give students repeated opportunities to practice, apply, and review what they have learned.
  • A straightforward approach makes STEPS TO WRITING WELL, Eleventh Edition, easy for instructors of all experience levels and backgrounds to deliver a quality instruction.
Part I: THE BASICS OF THE SHORT ESSAY.
1. Prewriting.
Getting Started (or Soup-Can Labels Can Be Fascinating). Selecting a Subject. Finding Your Essay''s Purpose and Focus. Pump-Primer Techniques. After You''ve Found Your Focus. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Discovering Your Audience. How to Identify Your Readers. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Assignment. Keeping a Journal (Talking to Yourself Does Help). Chapter 1 Summary.
2. The Thesis Statement.
What Is a Thesis? What Does a "Working Thesis" Do? Can a "Working Thesis" Change? Guidelines for Writing a Good Thesis. Avoiding Common Errors in Thesis Statements. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Assignment. Using the Essay Map. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Assignment. Chapter 2 Summary.
3. The Body Paragraphs.
Planning the Body of Your Essay Composing the Body Paragraphs. The Topic Sentence. Focusing Your Topic Sentence. Placing Your Topic Sentence. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Assignment. Applying What You''ve Learned to Your Writing. Paragraph Development. Paragraph Length. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Assignment. Applying What You''ve Learned to Your Writing. Paragraph Unity. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Applying What You''ve Learned to Your Writing. Paragraph Coherence. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Paragraph Sequence. Transitions between Paragraphs. Applying What You''ve Learned to Your Writing. Chapter 3 Summary.
4. Beginnings and Endings.
How to Write a Good Lead-in. Avoiding Errors in Lead-ins. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Assignment. How to Write a Good Concluding Paragraph. Avoiding Errors in Conclusions. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Assignment. How to Write a Good Title. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Assignment. Applying What You''ve Learned to Your Writing. Chapter 4 Summary.
5. Drafting and Revising: Creative Thinking, Critical Thinking.
What Is Revision? When Does Revision Occur? Myths about Revision. Can I Learn to Improve My Revision Skills? Preparing to Draft: Some Time-Saving Hints. Writing with Computers. Writing Centers, Computer Classrooms, and Electronic Networks. A Revision Process for Your Drafts. I. Revising for Purpose, Thesis, and Audience. II. Revising for Ideas and Evidence. III. Revising for Organization. IV. Revising for Clarity and Style. V. Editing for Errors. VI. Proofreading. A Final Checklist for Your Essay. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Assignment. Applying What You''ve Learned to Your Writing. Collaborative Activities: Group Work, Peer Revision Workshops, and Team Projects. Benefiting from Collaborative Activities Guidelines for Peer Revision Workshops Guidelines for Small-Group Work. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Assignment. Some Last Advice: How to Play with Your Mental Blocks. Chapter 5 Summary.
6. Effective Sentences.
Developing a Clear Style. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Developing a Concise Style. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Assignment. Developing a Lively Style. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Assignment. Developing an Emphatic Style. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Assignment. Applying What You''ve Learned to Your Writing. Chapter 6 Summary.
7. Word Logic.
Selecting the Correct Words. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Selecting the Best Words. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Assignment. Applying What You''ve Learned to Your Writing. Chapter 7 Summary.
8. The Reading-Writing Connection.
How Can Reading Well Help Me to Become a Better Writer? How Can I Become an Analytical Reader? Steps to Reading Well. Sample Annotated Essay: "Our Youth Should Serve." Practicing What You''ve Learned. Assignment. Writing a Summary. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Benefiting from Class Discussions. Chapter 8 Summary.
Part One Summary: The Basics of the Short Essay.
Part II: PURPOSES, MODES, AND STRATEGIES.
9. Exposition.
The Strategies of Exposition. Strategy One: Development by Example. Developing Your Essay. Problems to Avoid. Essay Topics. A Topic Proposal for Your Essay. Sample Student Essay. Professional Essay: "So What''s So Bad about Being So-So?" The drive for perfection is preventing too many people from enjoying sports and hobbies, says author Lisa Wilson Strick (who proudly plays the piano badly but with great pleasure). A Revision Worksheet. Reviewing Your Progress. Strategy Two: Development by Process Analysis. Developing Your Essay. Problems to Avoid. Essay Topics. A Topic Proposal for Your Essay. Sample Student Essay. Professional Essay (Informative Process): "To Bid the World Farewell." By describing the embalming process in vivid, step-by-step detail, social critic and author Jessica Mitford questions the value--and necessity--of the entire procedure. Professional Essay (Directional Process): "Preparing for the Job Interview: Know Thyself." Career-search consultant Katy Piotrowski offers a thoughtful six-step procedure to help job-seekers plan for successful interviews. A Revision Worksheet. Reviewing Your Progress. Strategy Three: Development by Comparison and Contrast. Developing Your Essay. Which Pattern Should You Use? Problems to Avoid. Essay Topics. A Topic Proposal for Your Essay. Sample Student Essay (Point-by-Point Pattern). Sample Student Essay (Block Pattern). Professional Essay (Point-by-Point Pattern): "Grant and Lee: A Study in Contrasts." Noted historian Bruce Catton compares and contrasts the two great generals of the Civil War, concluding that their roles at Appomattox made possible "a peace of reconciliation." Professional Essay (Block Pattern): "Two Ways of Viewing the River." A Revision Worksheet. A Special Kind of Comparison: The Analogy. Reviewing Your Progress. Strategy Four: Development by Definition. Why Do We Define? Developing Your Essay. Problems to Avoid. Essay Topics. A Topic Proposal for Your Essay. Sample Student Essay. Professional Essay: "The Munchausen Mystery." A Revision Worksheet Reviewing Your Progress. Strategy Five: Development by Division and Classification. Division. Classification. Developing Your Essay. Problems to Avoid. Essay Topics A Topic Proposal for Your Essay. Sample Student Essay. Professional Essay (Classification): "The Plot against People." Professional Essay (Division): "What is REALLY in a Hotdog? And How Unhealthy are They?" A Revision Worksheet Reviewing Your Progress. Strategy Six: Development by Causal Analysis. Developing Your Essay. Problems to Avoid. Essay Topics A Topic Proposal for Your Essay. Sample Student Essay. Professional Essay: "Some Lessons from the Assembly Line." A Revision Worksheet Reviewing Your Progress.
10. Argumentation.
Developing Your Essay. Problems to Avoid. Common Logical Fallacies. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Assignment. Essay Topics. A Topic Proposal for Your Essay. Sample Student Essay. Professional Essays (Pro/Con): "Four is Not Enough" and "We Like the Four-day Week."Analyzing Advertisements. Conflicting Positions: Gun Control. Competing Products: Sources of Energy. Popular Appeals: Spending Our Money. A Revision Worksheet. Reviewing Your Progress.
11. Description.
How to Write Effective Description. Problems to Avoid. Practicing What You''ve Learned: "Snake" by Annie Dillard. Assignment: "Birthday" by Marc Chagall. Essay Topics. A Topic Proposal for Your Essay. Sample Student Essay. Professional Essay: "Still Learning from My Mother." A Revision Worksheet. Reviewing Your Progress.
12. Narration.
Writing the Effective Narrative Essay. Problems to Avoid. Practicing What You''ve Learned: "Tornado over Kansas" by John Steuart Curry. Essay Topics. A Topic Proposal for Your Essay. Sample Student Essay. Professional Essay: "Salvation" by Langston Hughes. A Revision Worksheet. Reviewing Your Progress.
13. Writing Essays Using Multiple Strategies.
Choosing the Best Strategies. Problems to Avoid. Sample Student Essay. Professional Essay: "Don''t Let Stereotypes Warp Your Judgments." A Revision Worksheet Reviewing Your Progress.
Part III: SPECIAL ASSIGNMENTS.
14. Writing a Paper Using Research.
Focusing Your Topic. Beginning Your Library Research. General Reference Works. Online Catalogs. Indexes. Databases. The Internet. Special Collections. Conducting Primary Research. The Personal Interview. The Questionnaire. Preparing a Working Bibliography. Choosing and Evaluating Your Sources. Preparing an Annotated Bibliography. Taking Notes. Distinguishing Paraphrase from Summary. Incorporating Your Source Material. Avoiding Plagiarism. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Assignment. Choosing the Documentation Style for Your Essay. MLA Style. APA Style. Footnote and Bibliography Form. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Using Supplementary Notes. Sample Student Paper Using MLA Style. Student Sample Using APA Style.
15. Writing in Class: Exams and "Response" Essays.
Steps to Writing Well under Pressure. Problems to Avoid. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Assignment. Writing the Summary-and-Response Essay. Sample Student Essay. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Assignment.
16. Writing about Literature.
Using Literature in the Composition Classroom. Suggestions for Close Reading of Literature. Steps to Reading a Story. Annotated Story: "The Story of an Hour." Sample Student Essay. Steps to Reading a Poem. Annotated Poem: "When I Heard the Learn''d Astronomer." Sample Student Essay. Guidelines for Writing about Literature. Problems to Avoid. Practicing What You''ve Learned (Stories): "Geraldo No Last Name" by Sandra Cisneros; "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe. Practicing What You''ve Learned (Poems): "Those Winter Sundays" by Robert Hayden; "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost. Suggestions for Writing.
17. Writing about Visual Arts.
Using Visual Arts in the Composition Classroom. Suggestions for Analyzing Paintings. Additional Advice about Sculpture and Photography. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Guidelines for Writing about Artworks. Problems to Avoid. Annotated Painting: Nighthawks. Sample Student Essay. Suggestions for Writing.
18. Writing about Film.
Using Film in the Composition Classroom. Guidelines for Writing about Film. Problems to Avoid. Sample Student Essay. Practicing What You''ve Learned: "Cinematic Riches in Millionaire" by Ty Burr. Suggestions for Writing. Glossary of Film Terms.
19. Writing in the World of Work.
Composing Business Letters. Business Letter Format. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Assignment. Sample Business Letter. Creating Memos. Sending Professional E-Mail. Problems to Avoid. Designing Cover Letters and Résumés. Critique Your Page Appeal. Problems to Avoid. Sample Résumés. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Assignment. Preparing Interview Notes and Post-Interview Letters.
Part IV: A CONCISE HANDBOOK.
Parts of Speech.
Sentence Parts and Classifications.
20. Major Errors in Grammar.
Errors with Verbs. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Errors with Nouns. Errors with Pronouns. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Errors with Adverbs and Adjectives. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Errors in Modifying Phrases. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Errors in Sentences. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Assignment. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Practicing What You''ve Learned.
21. A Concise Guide to Punctuation.
The Period. The Question Mark. The Exclamation Point. Practicing What You''ve Learned. The Comma. Practicing What You''ve Learned. The Semicolon. Practicing What You''ve Learned. The Colon. Practicing What You''ve Learned. The Apostrophe. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Assignment. Quotation Marks. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Parentheses. Brackets. The Dash. Practicing What You''ve Learned. The Hyphen. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Italics and Underlining. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Ellipsis Points. The Slash. Practicing What You''ve Learned.
22. A Concise Guide to Mechanics.
Capitalization. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Abbreviations. Numbers. Practicing What You''ve Learned. Assignment. Spelling.

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  • ISBN-10: 1133379052
  • ISBN-13: 9781133379058
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For additional instructor support materials, go to login.cengage.com. The instructor’s manual provides teaching suggestions, suggested answers to exercises, and a sample course syllabus to assist instructors in teaching the course.