Higher Education

Practical English Handbook, 11th Edition

  • includes 2009 MLA Update Card
  • Floyd C. Watkins Emory University
  • William B. Dillingham Emory University
  • John Hiers Valdosta State University
  • ISBN-10: 0495899712  |  ISBN-13: 9780495899716
  • 528 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2001
  • © 2001 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $109.50



The Practical English Handbook includes concise explanations, abundant examples and models, ample practice opportunity, and help with all stages of the writing process. A coding system breaks down topics and facilitates student use. The book's compact size allows it to fit comfortably in the hand, while the durable sewn binding will withstand constant use. The MLA and APA documentation guidelines thoroughly reflect the most recent changes. Students receive the most up-to-date information on MLA documentation with the enclosed tri-fold card providing NEW 2009 MLA Handbook formats.

Features and Benefits

  • Students receive the most up-to-date information on MLA documentation with the enclosed tri-fold card providing NEW 2009 MLA Handbook formats.

Table of Contents

A Memo to Writers
1. Accuracy and Logic
a. Reliable sources
b. Accurate information
c. Sweeping generalizations
d. Exaggeration
e. Circular reasoning
f. False comparisons
g. Sticking to the point
h. Appeals to prejudice
i. Cause and effect
j. The either...or fallacy
2. Writing and Revising
a. Finding a worthy subject
b. Developing your ideas and planning your paper
c. Organizing systematically
d. Adapting to your audience
e. Using an appropriate tone
f. Choosing appropriate tense and number
g. Stating your thesis
h. Writing an appropriate length paper
i. Writing a first draft
j. REvising your draft
k. Model paper
l. Composing and revising on a computer
3. Writing Paragraphs
a. Writing a topic sentence
b. Unifying paragraphs
c. Developing paragraphs
d. Trimming, tightening, or dividing paragraphs
e. Using appropriate development methods
f. Using transitional devices
4. Grammar
The Parts of Speech
a. Nouns
b. Pronouns
c. Verbs
d. Adjectives
e. Adverbs
f. Conjunctions
g. Prepositions
h. Interjections
The Parts of Sentences
i. Simple subjects, complete subjects, compound subjects
j. Simple predicates, complete predicates, compound predicates
k. Complements
l. Phrases
m. Clauses
n. Kinds of sentences
Sentence Errors
5. Sentence Fragments
6. Comma Splices and Fused Sentences
7. Verb Forms
8. Tense and Sequence of Tenses
a. Present tense
b. Past tense
c. Future tense
d. Progressive tenses
e. Perfect tenses
f. Present infinitive
g. Consistency
9. Voice
10. Subjunctive Mood
11. Subject and Verb: Agreement
a. Singular verb with a singular subject
b. Plural verb with a plural subject
c. Compound subject
d. Compound subject with or, nor, etc.
e. Phrases and clauses between a subject and a verb
f. Collective nouns
g. Nouns plural in form, singular in meaning
h. Indefinite pronouns
i. All, some, part, etc.
j. There, here
k. Agreement with subject, not predicate nominative
l. After a relative pronoun
m. With titles or words used as words
n. Expressions of time, money, measurement, etc.
12. Pronouns and Antecedents: Agreement, Reference, and Usage
a. Singular pronoun with a singular antecedent
b. Plural pronoun with a plural antecedent
c. Compound antecedent with and
d. Compound antecedent with or, nor, etc.
e. Collective noun as antecedent
f. Each, either, etc.
g. Vague and ambiguous antecedents
h. Which, who, that
i. Pronouns ending in -self, -selves
13. Case
a. Subjects and subjective complements
b. Direct objects, indirect objects, objects of prepositions
c. Subjects and objects of infinitives
d. Appositives
e. After than or as
f. Who, Whom
g. Apostrophe or of phrase for possession
h. Words preceding a gerund
14. Adjectives and Adverbs
a. Adverbs modifying verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs
b. After linking verbs be, become, seem, etc.
c. After a verb and its object
d. Comparative and superlative degrees
e. Avoiding double comparatives and superlatives
f. Absolute concepts and absolute modifiers
g. Avoiding double negatives
Sentence Structure
15. Choppy Sentences and Excessive Coordination
16. Subordination
a. Subordination of less important ideas
b. Avoiding overlapping subordination
17. Completeness
a. Omission of verbs and prepositions
b. Omission of that
18. Comparisons
a. Illogical comparisons
b. Using the word other
c. Awkward and incomplete comparisons
19. Consistency
a. Avoiding shifts in grammatical forms
b. Avoiding faulty predication
c. Avoid constructions is when, is where, or the reason is because
20. Position of Modifiers
a. Dangling
b. Misplaced
c. Limiting
d. Squinting
21. Separation of Elements
a. Subject and verb, parts of a verb phrase, or verb and object
b. A sentence containing a quotation
c. Split infinitives
22. Parallelism
a. With coordinating conjunctions
b. With correlative conjunctions
c. With and who, and which, or and that
23. Variety
24. Commas
a. Between two independent clauses
b. In a series
c. Between coordinate adjectives
d. After introductory phrases and clauses
e. With nonessential elements
f. With sentence modifiers, conjunctive adverbs, and elements out of order
g. With degrees, titles, dates, places, addresses
h. For contrast or emphasis
i. With mild interjections and yes or no
j. With direct address and salutations
k. With expressions like he said, she remarked
l. With absolute phrases
m. To prevent misreading or to mark an omission
25. Unnecessary Commas
a. Between subject and verb, verb and object, adjective and word it modifies
b. Before coordinating conjunctions
c. Not with essential clauses, phrases, or appositives
d. After coordinating conjunctions
e. Before subordinating conjunctions
f. After the opening phrase of an inverted sentence
g. Before the first or after the last item in a series
h. Before than
i. After like or such as
j. With period, question mark, dash, exclamation point
k. Before parentheses
26. Semicolons
a. Between independent clauses not connected by a coordinating conjunction
b. To separate independent clauses
c. In a series between items that have internal punctuation
d. Not between elements that are not grammatically equal
27. Colons
a. After formal introduction of a quotation
b. After formal introduction of a series of items
c. After a formal introduction of an appositive
d. Between two independent clauses
e. In salutations, times, bibliographical entries
f. Not after linking verbs or prepositions
28. Dashes
29. Parentheses
30. Brackets
31. Quotation Marks
a. Direct quotations and dialogue
b. Quotation within a quotation
c. Titles of short works
d. Not with titles of your own papers
e. Not for emphasis, slang, irony, humor
f. Not with block quotations
g. With other punctuation
32. End Punctuation
a. Period at end of a sentence
b. Period after abbreviations
c. Ellipsis points for omission
d. Punctuation of titles
e. Question mark after direct question
f. No question mark within parentheses or exclamation point for humor
g. Exclamation point
33. Manuscript Forms, Business Letters, and Résumés
a. Manuscripts
b. Business letters and applications
c. Résumés
34. Italics
a. Titles
b. Names of ships and trains
c. Foreign words
d. Words, letters, figures
e. Rarely use for emphasis
f. Not for titles of your own papers
35. Spelling
a. Spell-checking
b. Proofreading
c. Distinguishing homonyms
d. Spelling strategies
36. Hyphenation and Syllabication
a. Compound words
b. Compound adjectives
c. Compound numbers
d. Dividing a word at the end of line
37. Apostrophes
a. For possessive nouns not ending in s
b. For possessive of singular nouns ending in s
c. Without s for possessive of plural nouns ending in s
d. For possessive of indefinite pronouns
e. For joint possession
f. For omissions and contractions
g. For acronyms and words being named
38. Capital Letters
a. First word of sentence
b. In titles
c. First word of direct quotations
d. Titles with names
e. Title of head of nation
f. Proper nouns
g. Family names
h. The pronoun I and the interjection O
i. Months, days of the week, holidays
j. B.C., A.D, deities, religions, sacred books
k. Specific courses
39. Abbreviations and Symbols
a. Days, months, measurement, states, countries
b. Acceptable abbreviations
c. Acceptable symbols
40. Numbers
a. Spelled out
b. Consistency
c. For complete dates, addresses, page and chapter references, percentages, hours
Diction and Style
41. Diction
a. Frequently using a dictionary
b. Precise meaning
c. Connotation
d. Colloquialisms and contractions
e. Slang
f. Dialect
g. Words used as the wrong part of speech
h. Idioms
i. Specialized vocabulary
j. Building a vocabulary
42. Style
a. Conciseness
b. Repetition
c. Flowery language
d. Clarity
e. Triteness and clichés
f. Figures of speech
43. Writing About Literature
a. Choosing a subject
Kinds of literary papers
b. Using a precise paper title
c. Not beginning with broad philosophical statements
d. Appropriate development
e. Paraphrasing and plot summary
f. Original Thinking
g. Not writing about yourself or "the reader"
h. Providing sufficient evidence
i. Using quotations
j. Not moralizing
k. Acknowledging sources
l. Writing about a story
m. Writing about a poem
Model Paper
44. Writing a Research Paper
a. Choosing a subject
b. Major research tools
c. General reference aids
d. Specialized reference aids
e. Evaluating sources
f. Taking notes
g. Quoting and paraphrasing accurately; avoiding plagiarism
h. Producing an outline
i. Following a system of documentation
j. MLA style of documentation
k. Model research paper, MLA style
l. APA style of documentation
m. Model research paper, APA style
Glossary of Usage
45. Glossary of Exactness and Usage
English as a Second Language (ESL)
46. English as a Second Language (ESL)
a. ESL checklist
b. ESL lists
Glossary of Terms
47. Glossary of Terms

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  • Paper Bound Edition

    ISBN-10: 0495899747 | ISBN-13: 9780495899747

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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

Practical English Workbook  (ISBN-10: 0618043020 | ISBN-13: 9780618043026)

The Practical English Workbook is a collection of supplemental sentence and paragraph exercises that follows the organization of the handbook.

List Price = $78.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $59.25

Instructor's Resource Manual  (ISBN-10: 0618043039 | ISBN-13: 9780618043033)

The Instructor's Resource Manual accompanies the workbook and contains answers to the exercises.

Annotated Instructor's Edition  (ISBN-10: 0618043004 | ISBN-13: 9780618043002)

The Instructor's Annotated Edition is the student edition of the text with answers to exercises overlaid in color.

Student Supplements

Practical English Workbook  (ISBN-10: 0618043020 | ISBN-13: 9780618043026)

The Practical English Workbook is a collection of supplemental sentence and paragraph exercises that follows the organization of the handbook.

List Price = $78.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $59.25

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Floyd C. Watkins

Floyd C. Watkins received his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University and taught at Emory University, where he was Charles Howard Candler Professor of American Literature. He authored over twenty books in the field of American literature including titles on Faulkner, Wolfe, Hemingway, and Eliot.