Higher Education

Universal Keys for Writers, 2nd Edition

  • includes 2009 MLA Update Card
  • Ann Raimes Hunter College, City University of New York
  • Maria Jerskey LaGuardia Community College, City University of New York
  • ISBN-10: 0495899968  |  ISBN-13: 9780495899969
  • 944 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2008, 2004, 2004
  • © 2008 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $126.00



With superior accessibility, clear organization, and comprehensive content, Universal Keys is the easiest-to-use text in the hardback handbook market. Appealing to diverse classrooms, the book includes "Worlds of Writing" boxes on language diversity, an ESL chapter, "The Guide to Language Transfer Errors," and integrated ESL Notes. The respectful, inclusive approach displays an awareness of language diversity issues and reflects the varying backgrounds of students. Lively Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) exercises engage students with high-interest topics from the humanities, social sciences, and physical sciences. Clear style coverage with the popular "5 C's of Style" (Cut, Check for Action, Connect, Commit, and Choose the Best Words) helps students to submit their best work. 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

  • Expanded! Coverage of visuals and the media features information on how to read, locate, and use visuals ethically in research papers. Student examples include a web site prepared for a community service project and an e-portfolio.
  • The authors' coaching tone is respectful and inclusive, with an awareness of language diversity issues and the varying backgrounds of students.
  • The text features the most extensive Glossary of Usage, Glossary of Grammatical Terms, and Index of any comprehensive handbook.

Table of Contents

Writing: Communicating and Presenting Ideas
I. Writing an Essay
1. Think Critically as You Read and Write
1a Read texts critically
1b Read visuals critically
1c Write critically
1d Standard English and its alternatives
2. Define the Assignment
2a What are the requirements?
2b Who is your audience?
2c What is your purpose?
2d What is the right tone?
2e What''s the plan?
2f When is it due?
3. Generate, Shape, and Focus Ideas
3a Keep a journal or blog
3b Freewrite
3c Brainstorm, list, and map
3d Learn what others think: electronic classroom conversations
3e Use journalists'' questions and formal prompts
3f Find and refine an essay topic
3g Formulate a thesis
3h Provide evidence and support
3i Prepare an outline, a purpose statement, or a proposal
4. Draft and Revise
4a Get your drafts down
4b Analyze and revise your drafts
4c Use feedback and peer review
4d Write and revise collaboratively
4e The power of a title
4f Turn writer''s block into building blocks
5. How are you going to say it? Build Paragraphs to Build Essays
5a Paragraph basics
5b Focus and topic sentence
5c Unity
5d Strategies for structuring paragraphs
5e Strengthening coherence: links, word repetitions, parallel structures, and transitions
5f Drafting introductions and conclusions
6. Edit and Proofread
6a Editing and proofreading
6b Computer tools for checking (and their limitations)
6c Computer tools for editing and collaborating
6d A student''s drafts
6e Using a writing center
II. Writing through College
7. Writing an Argument
7a What makes a good written argument?
7b What makes a good visual argument?
7c Select a topic
7d Formulate an arguable claim (thesis)
7e Support the claim with reasons and concrete evidence
7f Identify and appeal to the audience, and establish common ground
7g Refute opposing views
7h Structure the argument
7i Ask Toulmin''s four questions
7j Check your logic
7k Avoid logical fallacies
7l Sample arguments: a student''s essay and a letter in a community newspaper
8. Writing about Literature
8a Reading literature critically
8b What do you need to say? Defining the assignment about literature
8c What do you want to say? Guidelines for writing about literature
8d How are you going to say it? Conventions in writing about literature
8e Analyzing literature: Ten approaches
8f Recognizing and analyzing figures of speech
8g Writing about prose fiction
8h Writing about poetry
8i Writing about drama, film, and video
8j Students'' essays on literature
9. Writing across the Curriculum
9a Different styles and conventions for different disciplines
9b Writing in the humanities and arts
9c Writing in the social sciences
9d Writing in the sciences, medicine, and mathematics
9e Community service learning courses
9f Oral reports and presentations
9g Preparing a portfolio/e-portfolio
10. Writing under Pressure
10a Essay exams
10b Short-answer tests
10c Terms used in essay assignments and short-answer tests
III. Writing with Technology for Academic and Professional Purposes
11. Designing Documents
11a Document Design
11b Features of Microsoft Word for college writing
11c Typefaces, color, headings, lists, and columns
11d Visuals: Tables, graphs, maps, and images
11e Honesty in visuals
11e Design principles: Brochures, newsletters, and flyers
12. Presentation for Academic Purposes
12a College essay format
12b Academic presentations: PowerPoint and other tools
12c Posting academic writing online
12d E-mailing in an academic environment (netiquette)
12e Writing a personal statement for graduate school admission
13. Designing a Web Site
13a Planning and organizing a Web site
13b Tips for Web site design
13c Getting feedback
13d Sample student Web site
14. Writing for Employment
14a Preparing your résumé: Length and format
14b Preparing your résumé: Content
14c Electronic résumés
14c Cover letter: Print or electronic
14d After the interview
15. Writing in the Professional World
15a Writing business letters
15b Business memos and e-mails
15c Business presentations and multimedia
Language: Style, Accuracy, Punctuation, Fluency
IV. The 5 C''s of Style
16. The First C: Cut
16a Cut repetition and wordiness
16b Cut formulaic phrases
16c As appropriate, cut references to your intentions
16d Cut redundant words and phrases
16e Cut material quoted unnecessarily
17. The Second C: Check for Action
17a Ask "Who''s doing what?" about subject and verb
17b Use caution in beginning a sentence with there or it
17c Avoid unnecessary passive voice constructions
18. The Third C: Connect
18a Use consistent subjects and topic chains for coherence
18b Place information at the end of a sentence for emphasis
18c Explore options for connecting ideas: Coordination, subordination, and transitions
18d Perhaps begin a sentence with and or but
18e Connect paragraphs
19. The Fourth C: Commit
19a Commit to a point of view
19b Commit to an appropriate tone
19c Commit to a confident stance
19d Commit to sentence variety
20. The Fifth C: Choose the Best Word
20a Word choice checklist
20b Use a dictionary and a thesaurus
20c Use exact words and connotations
20d Monitor the language of speech, region, and workplace
20e Use figurative language for effect, but use it sparingly
20f Avoid biased and exclusionary language
20g Avoid pretentious language, tired expressions (clichés), and euphemisms
V. Common Sentence Problems
21. How a Sentence Works
21a Parts of speech
21b What a sentence is, needs, and does
21c The basis of a sentence: Subject and predicate
21d Phrases
21e Independent and dependent clauses
21f Sentence types
21g Building up sentences
22. Top Ten Sentence Problems
23. Sentence Fragments, Run-Ons, and Comma Splices
23a What is a fragment?
23b Identifying and correcting a phrase fragment
23c Identifying and correcting a dependent clause fragment
23d Identifying and correcting a fragment resulting from a missing subject, verb, or verb part
23e Identifying and correcting a fragment consisting of one part of a compound predicate
23f Using fragments intentionally
23g Identifying run-on (or fused) sentences and comma splices
23h Correcting run-on sentences and comma splices
23i Correcting run-on sentences and comma splices occurring with transitional expressions
24. Sentence Snarls
24a Avoid fuzzy syntax
24b Position modifiers appropriately
24c Avoid dangling modifiers
24d Avoid shifts in mood, pronoun person and number, and direct/indirect quotation
24e Make subject and predicate a logical match: avoid faulty predication
24f Avoid faulty predication with definitions and reasons
24g Avoid using an adverb clause as the subject of a sentence
24h Include all necessary words and apostrophes
24i State the grammatical subject only once
24j Use parallel structures
25. Verbs
25a Verb basics
25b Forms of regular and irregular verbs
25c Verbs commonly confused
25d Do, have, be, and the modal auxiliaries
25e Time and verb tenses
25f Present tenses
25g Past tenses
25h -ed endings: Past tense and past participle forms
25i Avoiding unnecessary tense shifts
25j Tenses in indirect quotations
25k Verbs in conditional sentences, wishes, requests, demands, and recommendations
25l Passive voice
26. How a Sentence Works
26a What is agreement?
26b The -s ending
26c Words between the subject and the verb
26d Agreement after a linking verb
26e When the subject follows the verb
26f Tricky subjects
26g Collective nouns
26h Compound subjects with and, or, and nor
26i Agreement with indefinite pronouns and quantity word
26j Demonstrative pronouns and adjectives (this, that, these, those) as subject
26k Possessive pronouns as subject
26l Agreement with a what clause as the subject
27. Pronouns
27a Use the correct forms of personal pronouns
27b Use appropriate possessive forms of pronouns
27c Make a pronoun refer to a clear antecedent
27d Make a pronoun agree in number with its antecedent
27e Avoid gender bias in pronouns
27f Be consistent in your perspective
27g Use the pronoun you appropriately
27h Use standard forms of intensive and reflexive pronouns
27i Use who and whom and whoever and whomever correctly
28. Adjectives and Adverbs
28a Use correct forms of adjectives and adverbs
28b Know when to use adjectives and adverbs
28c Use adjectives after linking verbs
28d Use correct forms of compound adjectives
28e Know where to position adverbs
28f Know the usual order of adjectives
28g Avoid double negatives
28h Know the comparative and superlative forms of adjectives and adverbs
28i Avoid faulty or incomplete comparisons
29. Relative Clauses and Relative Pronouns
29a Use an appropriate relative pronoun: who, whom, whose, which, or that
29b Distinguish between restrictive and nonrestrictive relative clauses
29c Make the verb agree with the antecedent of a subject relative pronoun
29d Take care when a relative clause contains a preposition
29e Position a relative clause close to its antecedent
29f Avoid using a pronoun after a relative clause to rename the antecedent
29g Use where and when as relative pronouns when appropriate
VI. Punctuation, Mechanics, and Spelling
30. Periods, Question Marks, and Exclamation Points
30a Period (.)
30b Question mark (?)
30c Exclamation point (!)
31. Commas
31a Two checklists--comma: yes, comma: no
31b Comma before a coordinating conjunction, connecting independent clauses
31c Comma after an introductory word, phrase, or dependent clause
31d Comma to set off an extra (nonrestrictive) phrase or clause
31e Commas with transitional expressions and explanatory insertions
31f Commas separating three or more items in a series
31g Commas between coordinate evaluative adjectives
31h Comma with a direct quotation
31i Special uses of commas
31j When not to use commas: Nine rules of thumb
32. Semicolons and Colons
32a When to use a semicolon (;)
32b Semicolon between independent clauses
32c Semicolons between clauses or items in a series containing internal commas
32d When not to use a semicolon
32e When to use a colon
32f When not to use a colon
33. Apostrophes
33a Two checklists--apostrophe: yes, apostrophe: no
33b -''s to signal possession
33c Apostrophe with a plural noun ending in -s
33d Apostrophe with contractions
33e -''s for plurals only in special instances
33f The difference between it''s and its
34. Quotation Marks
34a Guidelines for using quotation marks
34b Introducing and ending a quotation
34c Quotation marks in dialogue
34d Double and single quotation marks
34e Quotation marks around titles of short works, definitions, and translations
34f When not to use quotation marks
35. Other Punctuation Marks
35a Dashes
35b Parentheses
35c Brackets
35d Slashes
35e Ellipsis dots
36. Italics and Underlining
36a Italics or underlining for titles of long, whole works
36b Italics or underlining for main entries in a list of works cited
36c Italics or underlining for names of ships, trains, airplanes, and spacecraft
36d Italics or underlining for letters, numerals, and words referring to the words themselves, not to what they represent
36e Italics or underlining for words from other languages
36f When not to use italics or underlining
37. Capital Letters, Abbreviations, and Numbers
37a Capital letters
37b Abbreviations and acronyms
37c Numbers
38. Spelling and Hyphenation
38a Checking spelling
38b Plurals of nouns
38c Doubling consonants
38d Spelling with -y or -i
38e Internal ie or ei
38f Adding a suffix
38g Multinational characters: accents, umlauts, tildes, and cedillas
38h Hyphens
39. Guidelines for Online Punctuation and Mechanics
39a Punctuation in URLs
39b Underscoring, underlining, and italics online
39c Capital letters online
39d Hyphens online
39e Abbreviations online
VII. Writing in Standard English: A Guide for Speakers of Other Languages, Other Englishes
40. Writing across Cultures
40a English and Englishes
40b Difference, not deficit
40c Learning from errors
40d Editing guide to multilingual transfer errors
40e Editing guide to vernacular Englishes
41. Nouns and Articles
41a Categories of nouns
41b Uncountable nouns
41c Basic rules for articles
41d The for a specific reference
41e Which article? Four basic questions
41f Proper nouns and articles
42. Verbs and Verb Forms
42a The be auxiliary
42b Modal auxiliary verbs: Form and meaning
42c Infinitives after verbs and adjectives
42d Verbs followed by an -ing verb form used as a noun
42e Verbs followed by either an infinitive or an -ing verb form
42f -ing and -ed verb forms used as adjectives
43. Word Order and Sentence Structure
43a Inclusion of a subject
43b Order of sentence elements
43c Direct and indirect objects
43d Direct and indirect (reported) quotations and questions
43e Dependent clauses with although and because
43f Unnecessary pronouns
44. Prepositions and Idioms
44a Idioms with prepositions
44b Adjective + preposition
44c Verb + preposition
44d Phrasal verbs
44e Preposition + -ing verb form used as a noun
45. Frequently Asked ESL Editing Questions
45a When do I use no and not?
45b What is the difference between too and very?
45c Does few mean the same as a few?
45d How do I know when to use been or being?
45e How do I distinguish most, most of, and the most?
45f What structures are used with easy, hard, and difficult?
45g How do I use it and there to begin a sentence?
45h Which possessive pronoun do I use: his or her?
45i What is the difference between get used to and used to?
VIII. Writing a Research Paper
46. Planning
46a The requirements of the research assignment
46b Organizing your research
46c Making a tentative schedule
46d The types of sources: Basic, primary, and secondary
46e Writing a statement of purpose
46f Moving from topic to research question to working thesis
46g Write a proposal
47. Finding Sources
47a Using the Web and your library
47b Basic reference works: bibliographies, biographical sources, directories, dictionaries, and others
47c Indexes and databases
47d Keyword searches
47e Finding print sources: Books and articles
47f Online searches and search engines
47g Finding Web sources
48. Evaluating Sources Critically
48a How to read sources critically
48b How to recognize a scholarly article
48c How to evaluate print sources
48d How to evaluate Web sources: Develop junk antennae
48e Anatomy of a Web site
49. Using Sources
49a What is plagiarism? The seven sins--and the consequences
49b What is documentation?
49c How to avoid plagiarizing
49d What to cite and document
49e Keeping track of sources
49f Annotating and making notes
49g Setting up a working bibliography
49h Introducing source material
49i Summarizing and paraphrasing
49j Quoting
49k Indicating the boundaries of a citation
50. Writing the Research Paper
50a Putting yourself in your paper
50b Driving the organization with ideas, not sources
50c Making use of an outline
50d Using Visuals
50d Guidelines for drafting research papers
50e Writing research papers in the disciplines
50f Research paper resources in 27 subject areas
IX. Documenting Sources: MLA Style
MLA At a Glance Index
51. MLA Style of Documentation
51a Two basic features of MLA style
51b FAQs about MLA in-text citations
51c MLA author/page citations in text
51d Guidelines for the MLA works-cited list
51e Examples of entries in MLA list of works cited
51f When to use footnotes and endnotes
51g Students'' MLA papers
X. Documenting Sources: APA, CBE/CSE, and Chicago
APA At a Glance Index
52. APA Style of Documentation
52a Two basic features of APA style
52b APA author/year style for in-text citations
52c Guidelines for the APA list of references
52d Examples of entries in APA list of references
52e Notes, tables, and figures
52f Student paper, APA style
53. CSE Style of Documentation
CSE At a Glance Index
53a Two basic features of CSE citation-sequence style
53b CSE in-text citations (citation-sequence and citation-name styles)
53c How to list CSE references (citation-sequence and citation-name systems)
53d Examples of entries in CSE citation-sequence or citation-name system
53e A student''s list of references (CSE)
53f Student paper excerpt, CSE style
54. Chicago Style of Documentation
Chicago At a Glance Index
54a Two basic features of Chicago style
54b Chicago in-text citations and notes
54c Guidelines for Chicago endnotes and footnotes
54d Examples of entries in Chicago notes
54e Chicago bibliography guidelines and sample
54f A student''s research paper, Chicago style
55. Glossary of Usage
56. Glossary of Grammatical Terms
List of Boxes and Notes
Correction Guide
Common Editing and Proofreading Marks

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! Coverage of argument and plagiarism features a new student argument paper and argument-specific annotations on the sample research papers, as well as a focus on the ethical use of sources and "The Seven Sins of Plagiarism."
  • New! Superior research chapters highlight the need for students to develop analytical skills and avoid parroting. New additions to Part VIII (Research) include a flow chart and an illustrative screenshot on "How to Read a Web Site."
  • New! Expanded and updated coverage of documentation now includes an At-a-Glance Index for MLA, APA, CSE, and Chicago documentation styles. New student papers illustrate APA style (on addiction to virtual worlds) and Chicago Manual style (on slang dictionaries).

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Ann Raimes

Ann Raimes, a respected authority on writing, research, grammar, and ESL, created the KEYS FOR WRITERS family of handbooks (Cengage Learning) to be the most accessible, user-friendly handbooks available.

Maria Jerskey

Maria Jerskey teaches at a large community college and understands many of the issues facing career school students.