Higher Education

The Writer's Workplace with Readings: Building College Writing Skills, 7th Edition

  • Sandra Scarry Formerly with the Office of Academic Affairs, City University of New York
  • John Scarry Hostos Community College, City University of New York
  • ISBN-10: 1439082103  |  ISBN-13: 9781439082102
  • 784 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2008, 2005, 2002
  • © 2011 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $157.50
  • Newer Edition Available
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Presented in a clear and visually appealing fashion, THE WRITER'S WORKPLACE breaks down the difficult writing concepts into easy-to-read, step-by-step explanations. All elements of writing, from grammar through the writing process, are covered in this approachable style, making it the most comprehensive yet most engaging text available for the beginning writing student. Writing examples and exercises new to the Seventh Edition cover topics of high interest and relevance to today's students. For more than 20 years, THE WRITER'S WORKPLACE has helped more than half a million two- and four-year students work their way toward rewarding careers in a variety of fields. Sandra Scarry and John Scarry present writing instruction in a clear and inviting manner, with step-by-step explanations to help build and sustain students' confidence in their writing. The result of many years of classroom teaching and research, this comprehensive and time-tested resource reflects the authors' understanding that students are unique individuals, with diverse backgrounds and interests that must be accounted for as they engage in the writing process.

Features and Benefits

  • All grammar concepts are presented with careful explanation and numerous illustrative examples, easing students into the material in a respectful and reassuring manner.
  • Extensive practice and exercise sets follow each concept so that students can practice mastering the material that was presented before moving on to the next topic. Each concept builds on what has been mastered in the previous section.
  • Mastery Tests at the end of each of the grammar and mechanics chapters reinforce all of the concepts taught in the chapter, while the editing tests offer a cumulative review of what was learned in previous chapters as well.
  • The "Working Together" feature at the end of each chapter offers the instructor a lesson that is a change of pace. Intended to provoke lively classroom discussions, they often focus on skills that are conducive to collaborative work, such as brainstorming or editing. Many topics are purposely job-related and provide students with helpful information about careers and the world of work.
  • An active reading section preceding Further Readings reinforces expectations for how college students should read their texts. The 20 essays that follow have been carefully chosen to supplement the rhetorical models presented throughout the text. Their provocative and entertaining content will provide many opportunities for lively discussion, analysis, and writing.
  • Five appendices offer students guidance and easy reference material on parts of speech, irregular verbs, spelling, transitions, and an ESOL guide--giving them the tools they need to produce grammatical essays.
  • The answer key provides answers to approximately one third of the exercises. This allows students to discover for themselves if they need to practice more exercises on a given topic.

Table of Contents

1. Gathering Ideas for Writing.
2. Recognizing the Elements of Good Writing.
3. Finding Subjects and Verbs in Simple Sentences.
4. Making Subjects and Verbs Agree.
5. Understanding Fragments and Phrases.
6. Combining Sentences Using Three Options for Coordination.
7. Combining Sentences Using Subordination.
8. Correcting Fragments and Run-Ons.
9. Choosing Correct Pronouns.
10. Working with Adjectives, Adverbs, and Parallel Structure.
11. Practicing Irregular Verbs.
12. Mastering Verb Tenses.
13. Using Correct Capitalization and Punctuation.
14. Choosing Words That Work.
15. Paying Attention to Look-Alikes and Sound-Alikes.
16. Working with Paragraphs: Topic Sentences and Controlling Ideas.
17. Working with Paragraphs: Supporting Details.
18. Developing Paragraphs: Illustration.
19. Developing Paragraphs: Narration.
20. Developing Paragraphs: Description.
21. Developing Paragraphs: Process Analysis.
22. Developing Paragraphs: Comparison/Contrast.
23. Developing Paragraphs: Cause and Effect.
24. Developing Paragraphs: Definition and Analysis.
25. Developing Paragraphs: Classification.
26. Moving from the Paragraph to the Essay.
27. Following the Progress of a Student Essay.
28. Writing an Essay Using Examples, Illustrations, or Anecdotes.
29. Writing an Essay Using Narration.
30. Writing an Essay Using Process Analysis.
31. Writing an Essay Using Comparison/Contrast.
32. Writing an Essay Using Persuasion.
33. Other College Writing: The Research Paper and the Essay Exam.
Narration. Visiting Rites, Susan Musgrave. Summer Reading, Michael Dorris. My Daughter Smokes, Alice Walker.Description. Unforgettable Miss Bessie, Carl T. Rowan. A Day at the Theme Park, W. Bruce Cameron. Example/IllustratioN. My Heroes, Elizabeth Berg. America's Gambling Craze, James Popkin with Katia Hetter.Process.Slice of Life, Russell Baker. How to Mark a Book, Mortimer Adler. Comparison and Contrast. Neat People vs. Sloppy People, Suzanne Britt. Dream Houses, Tenaya Darlington.Cause and Effect.Why Marriages Fail, Anne Roiphe. Requiem for the Champ, June Jordan Definition and Analysis. What Is This Thing Called Family? Lee Herrick. What Is Intelligence, Anyway? Isaac Asimov. Classification.The Ways of Meeting Oppression, Martin Luther King Jr. The Changing American Family, Alvin and Heidi Toffler. Argumentation/Persuasion. Get a Knife, Get a Dog, but Get Rid of Guns, Molly Ivins. My Body is My Own Business, Naheed Mustafa. Why Don't These Women Just Leave? Elaine Weiss.
APPENDIX A Reference Guide for the ESOL Student.
APPENDIX B Parts of Speech.
APPENDIX C Irregular Verbs.
APPENDIX D Spelling.
APPENDIX E Transitions.
Answer Key to Practices and Selected Exercises.

What's New

  • A wealth of new practices and exercises provide fresh content for this edition, most notably the inclusion of current topics such as student credit card debt, serious head injuries among young people playing sports, childhood obesity, global warming, and the need for more fuel-efficient cars. The exploration of these and many other human interest stories will spark classroom discussions that give students a springboard for their writing.
  • Many new model paragraphs include fine writing from such well-known names as E. B. White, Colin Powell, and Deborah Tannen. The six new readings in the "Further Readings" section include Lee Herrick's essay, "What Is This Thing Called Family?" to reinforce themes introduced in the definition chapter, as well as Molly Ivins' lively essay, "Get a Knife, Get a Dog, but Get Rid of Guns," which presents provocative ideas for classroom debate and persuasive writing assignments.
  • A new rhetorical table of contents enables instructors and students alike to locate particular paragraphs and essays with ease.
  • With the newly written Chapter 24 (Definition and Analysis) and Chapter 25 (Classification), each mode is more fully explored and clarified with many model paragraphs and activities.
  • Chapter 32 has been revised to contain additional and shorter model arguments on topics that are easier for students to analyze: the use of cell phones while driving, laptops in the classroom, and the legal drinking age.
  • Chapter 33 has been updated to incorporate the newest MLA Guidelines for documenting sources. In addition, more emphasis has been placed on the issues of plagiarism and how to avoid plagiarism by summarizing, paraphrasing and using quotations correctly.

Efficacy and Outcomes


"The Writer's Workplace is a user-friendly text that has a favorable format for developmental or curriculum students. The layout of the text is awesome and very beneficial to the students. We have been using it for two years and will continue to use it for semesters to come."

— Marian Teachey, South Piedmont Community College

"The text book provides a comprehensive selection of options for a variety of pedagogical approaches to teaching writing. There isn't a better pound of paper you can place in a writing student's hand other than blank sheets for original work."

— Wayne Christensen, Florida Memorial University


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.

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Meet the Author

Author Bio

Sandra Scarry

Sandra Scarry is the former Academic Coordinator of the COPE program (College Opportunity to Prepare for Employment) at The City University of New York. She came to that position after many years of classroom teaching in English and ESOL. She has published numerous textbooks in the areas of grammar and writing.

John Scarry

John Scarry holds a Ph.D. from New York University and was the senior professor in the English Department of Hostos Community College, The City University of New York. He has been publishing writing textbooks for thirty-five years and his scholarly articles have appeared in many journals here and abroad.