Higher Education

The Ready Reference Handbook, 4th Edition

  • includes 2009 MLA Update Card
  • Jack Dodds William Rainey Harper College, Emeritus
  • ISBN-10: 0495899844  |  ISBN-13: 9780495899846
  • 544 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2006
  • © 2006 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $106.50



With in-depth guidance in the grammar, style, and rhetoric of American academic English, The Ready Reference Handbook, Fourth Edition, suits a range of learners and learning styles, including traditional students and students whose primary language is not English. Easy to use and always encouraging, this handbook provides students with the ultimate quick reference guide for any writing situation. This comprehensive handbook contains many helpful pedagogical features including quick-reference "How-to..." boxes that guide students through the activities of writing, revising, and editing and "Focus On..." charts on each tabbed divider that direct students to the topics in corresponding sections. 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

  • Updated! An expanded Part Five, "Guide for Multilingual Writers," puts added focus on characteristics of standard English most troublesome to non-native speakers of English: articles, verb forms, American English syntax, and prepositions.
  • Full-length examples of successful student writing include an expository essay, an MLA-style research paper, an APA-style formal report, an argumentative/persuasive essay, a literary analysis, and numerous examples of professional and online writing.

Table of Contents

I. The Writing Process.
1. Becoming a Critical Writer.
2. "Inventing" Your Writing.
3. Planning and Organizing.
4. Writing, Revising, and Editing.
5. Unify Your Paragraphs.
6. Developing Topics and Paragraphs.
7. Creating Coherence.
II. Sentence Editing.
Identifying Grammar.
8. Parts of Speech.
9. Sentence Parts.
10. Phrases, Clauses, and Sentence Types.
Editing Grammar and Usage.
11. Editing Sentence Fragments.
12. Fixing Comma Splices and Fused Sentences.
13. Choosing Verb Forms.
14. Making Subjects and Verbs Agree.
15. Making Pronouns and Antecedents Agree.
16. Making Pronoun Reference Clear.
17. Choosing Pronoun Case Forms.
18. Choosing Adjectives and Adverbs.
19. Putting Linked Words in Parallel Form.
III. Crafting Sentences.
Crafting Sentences.
20. Writing Emphatically.
21. Adding Variety.
22. Avoiding Mixed and Incomplete Messages.
23. Placing Modifiers.
24. Avoiding Faulty Shifts.
IV. Choosing Words.
Choosing Words.
25. Choosing Exact Words.
26. Choosing Vivid Words.
27. Choosing Appropriate Words.
28. Editing Wordiness.
A Guide to Usage.
29. Troublesome Words and Phrases.
V. Guide for Multilingual Writers.
Guide for Multilingual Writers.
30. Articles and Quantifiers.
31. Verbs.
32. More Grammar.
VI. Punctuation.
33. End Punctuation.
34. The Comma.
35. The Semicolon.
36. The Colon.
37. The Apostrophe.
38. Quotation Marks.
39. Other Punctuation Marks.
VII. Mechanics, Spelling, and Document Design.
40. Capital Letters.
41. Italics/Underlining.
42. Abbreviations.
43. Numbers.
44. The Hyphen.
45. Spelling.
Document Design.
46. Formatting Your Writing.
VIII. Research and the Internet.
The Research Project.
47. Choosing a Topic, Finding Sources, Preparing a Bibliography.
48. Searching the Internet.
49. Evaluating Print and Electronic Sources, Writing Research Notes.
50. Planning, Writing, Using Sources, and Revising.
51. Avoiding Plagiarism in Your Project.
IX. MLA Documentation.
MLA Documentation.
52. Writing MLA In-Text Citations.
53. Preparing the MLA Works Cited List.
54. Sample MLA Research Project.
X. APA and Other Documentation Styles.
APA Documentation.
55. Using the APA In-Text Citation Style.
Other Styles.
56. Using Endnotes or Footnotes (The Chicago Style).
57. Using the CSE Style and Other Styles.
XI. Argument and Persuasion.
Argument and Persuasion.
58. Creating Logical Arguments.
59. Arguing Persuasively.
XII. Special Writing Projects.
Writing about Literature.
60. Writing about Literature.
Essay Examinations.
61. Essay Examinations.
Business Writing.
62. Business and Professional Writing.
Online Writing.
63. Writing Online.

What's New

  • Students receive the most up-to-date information on MLA documentation with the enclosed tri-fold card providing NEW 2009 MLA Handbook formats.
  • New! "Writing in the USA" and "ESL Grammar Notes" provide almost 70 tips on how conventions of American English--especially academic English--differ from those of other languages. These notes are invaluable not only for students whose primary language is not English, but also for native English speakers who need more thorough support for effective writing in the college classroom.
  • New! Coverage of visual literacy introduces students to basic principles of visual design and provides guidelines for analyzing images, graphs, and charts.
  • New! A discussion of oral presentations provides students with tips on how to use effective writing to improve public speaking skills.
  • New! An introduction to blogs, including guidelines for effective blog design and style, shows students how to use this new form of communication as a research tool.