The Writer's Way, 9th Edition

  • Jack Rawlins California State University at Chico
  • Stephen Metzger California State University at Chico
  • ISBN-10: 128543854X  |  ISBN-13: 9781285438542
  • 448 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2012, 2009, 2009
  • © 2015 | Published
  • List Price = $ 126.95
  • For quantity discounts, Contact your Representative
  • For single copy purchases, visit
  • Newer Edition Available



The spirit of THE WRITER'S WAY remains in the ninth edition, as do its two core principles: (1) good writing begins when writers know their audience and write for the right reasons; and (2) knowing their audience and having good reasons to write will teach users everything they need to know about technique. Based on a “whole language approach,” THE WRITER'S WAY is a dynamic, process-centered paperback rhetoric with readings. While this book is intended to be used in a classroom, it's very much based on the concept that there is little difference between writing in school and writing in the “real world.” Offering frank advice in a supportive, encouraging tone, the authors lead readers step by step through the writing process, from pre-writing to polishing the final draft.

Features and Benefits

  • Writer's Workshop features at the end of many chapters show student writing in progress, discuss practical writing issues, and ask students to apply what they have learned in the chapter to their own writing.
  • The text offers detailed help on overcoming writers' most common problems, such as defeating writer's block, finding topics to write about, and making papers shorter or longer to meet requirements. Other topics covered include critical thinking, peer editing, and titling.
  • A focus on student writing is evident throughout the text, allowing students to see that their peers can and do write wonderful essays. Complete essays and excerpts from actual students provide models for writers and opportunities for editing.
  • Almost all chapters end with exercises that focus on whole-language activities.

Table of Contents

1. Learning to Write.
2. What Makes Writing Effective?
3. Writing in School: An Introduction.
4. Choosing Topics and Getting Started.
5. Thesis, Purpose, and Audience.
6. Style and Tone.
7. Organization: Mapping, Outlining, and Abstracting.
8. The Spirit of Revising.
9. Beginning, Ending, and Titling.
10. Peer Feedback.
11. Editing.
12. Personal Writing.
13. Writing to Inform.
14. Writing an Argument, Stage 1: Thinking Critically.
15. Writing an Argument, Stage 2: Selling the Case.
16. Research.
17. Using Sources.
18. The Academic Research Paper.

What's New

  • The ninth edition reflects current composition pedagogy that emphasizes “inquiry” and focuses more on research and academic writing than did previous editions.
  • New student essays and new pieces by professional writers include work by Dave Barry and Annie Dillard, among others.
  • Chapter 13, “Writing to Inform,” provides additional coverage of informative writing that goes beyond “how to” examples to include profiles as well as guidance on how to write effective ones.
  • Writer's Workshop features at the end of many chapters have been updated, and continue to show student writing in progress, discuss practical writing issues, and ask students to apply what they have learned in the chapter to their own writing.

Efficacy and Outcomes


"The best book I've found for teaching authentic writing processes and developing independent writers."

— David Roloff, The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

"It provides excellent coverage of the main issues and concerns for students in their learning to write. It does so in a clear and personable way. It's a user-friendly text not cluttered by a lot of graphics and inserts or excessive content like so many comp texts."

— Peter Donahue, Wenatchee Valley College at Omak


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

Online Instructor's Manual  (ISBN-10: 1285452941 | ISBN-13: 9781285452944)

Available for download on the book companion website, the Instructor's Manual is designed to enhance the experience of teaching with THE WRITER'S WAY. It digs deeper into the workshop model of classroom activity on which the book is based, providing helpful tips, sample course outlines, and a chapter-by-chapter guide.

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Jack Rawlins

Jack P. Rawlins (Ph.D., Yale University) is Professor of English at the California State University in Chico, where he has taught courses in composition, language education, linguistics, and literature. Writing in the areas of composition pedagogy, Victorian literature, science fiction, and university governance, he has been published by the University of California Press, the Southern Illinois University Press, College English, Studies in English Literature, and Newsweek.

Stephen Metzger

Stephen Metzger has written five guide books (for Avalon Travel Publishing and Globe Pequot Press) and has published articles and essays in a wide range of publications, including skiing, travel, in-flight, and health-and-fitness magazines, as well as the Sunday supplements of several major metropolitan newspapers. He has published poetry and fiction in national and international journals, won awards for his playwriting, and written (and performed in) stage adaptations of stories from James Joyce’s DUBLINERS and chapters from ULYSSES. He also a writes a regular food column for a northern California newspaper. He teaches composition and creative writing in the English department at California State University, Chico, and has taught newswriting, magazine writing, and travel writing for the university’s journalism department.