Higher Education

The Open Handbook: Keys for Writers, 1st 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: 0495899542  |  ISBN-13: 9780495899549
  • 624 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2007
  • © 2007 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $52.50



This mid-sized reference combines in-depth coverage of good writing, research, and grammar skills with an abundance of exercises--all at an affordable price. Written in the accessible style that made Keys for Writers a success, this engaging text addresses such current topics as ESL learning, visual literacy, and writing beyond college, encouraging students to keep this handbook open. Four-color coverage of visual rhetoric and document design--unique in this market--sets this handbook apart. Students learn how to visually convey ideas through a variety of media such as tables, web sites, and PowerPoint slides. In addition, they benefit from Raimes' signature "differences, not deficits" coverage of multilingual perspectives. 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.
  • A practical, context-based discussion of plagiarism appears in Chapters 37 and 40 and includes key strategies for avoiding different types of plagiarism.
  • Distinctive Language and Culture boxes examine cross-cultural and multicultural aspects of writing.
  • Chapter 8, a full chapter on style, includes the exceptional and memorable 5 C's of Style (cut, check for action, connect, commit, and choose the right words), unique to the Raimes handbooks.
  • The grammar section focuses on common errors students make; the author's tone is clear, direct, and coaching.
  • Exercises based on diverse and engaging readings allow students to practice new writing skills.
  • Coverage of writing across the curriculum, at work, and in the community appears in Part Nine, "Writing Throughout College--And Beyond." This section addresses a full spectrum of writing needs, including writing online in many contexts, writing in the disciplines, writing in the community, and writing résumés and personal statements.
  • Two four-color chapters on document design and visual literacy feature examples of web sites, PowerPoint slides, academic essay design, and tables and charts, along with coverage of visual rhetoric, such as using visuals to make an argument.

Table of Contents

I. The Writing Process
1. Define the Writing Task
1a. Purpose
1b. Audience
1c. Requirements, assignments, and schedules
1d. Tone
1e. Standard English and other Englishes
1f. In your own words: Resisting the lure of copy and paste
2. Think Critically about Reading and Writing
2a. How to read critically
2b. Annotating a reading
2c. Critical reading of your own writing
3. Generate Ideas
3a. Finding a topic
3b. Journals, blogs, and online conversations
3c. Freewriting
3d. Brainstorming, listing, and mapping
3e. Journalists'' questions
4. Find a Focus and a Structure
4a. From topic to thesis
4b. Formulating a working thesis--and why you need one
4c. Developing support
4d. Planning and structuring your essay: Road maps, purpose statements, and outlines
4e. The power of a title
5. Develop Paragraphs
5a. Paragraph basics
5b. Focus and topic sentence
5c. Unity
5d. Strategies for developing paragraphs
5e. Coherence with links, parallel structures, and transitions
6. Construct an Argument
6a. What makes a good argument?
6b. Topic
6c. An arguable claim (thesis), reasons, and evidence
6d. Argument structures
6e. Appeals, common ground, and opposing views
6f. Logic and flaws in logic
6g. A student''s argument essay
7. Draft, Revise, and Edit
7a. Tips for writing and managing drafts
7b. Writing collaboratively
7c. Giving and getting feedback
7d. Beginning and ending well
7e. Tools for content revision
7f. Tools for editing and proofreading
7g. A student''s drafts
8. Pay attention to the 5 C''s of Style
8a. The first C: Cut
8b. The second C: Check for action
8c. The third C: Connect
8d. The fourth C: Commit
8e. The fifth C: Choose the right words
8f. Put it all together: Delight your readers
II. Document Design, Visual Power
9. Academic Documents: Page and Screen
9a. Formats for academic essays
9b. Title and identification
9c. Title page
9d. Formatting with MS Word
9e. Academic writing online
10. Visual Presentation of Text and Data
10a. Typefaces
10b. Color
10c. Headings, columns
10d. Lists
10e. Tables, charts
11. Visuals: Analysis and Preparation
11a. How to read images critically
11b. Visuals and argument
11c. Multimedia presentations
11d. PowerPoint
11e. Sample PowerPoint slides
III. Editing for Common Sentence Problems
12. How a Sentence Works (Review)
12a. What a sentence is
12b. Subject and verb
12c. Parts of speech
12d. Phrases
12e. Clauses
13. Top Sentence Troublespots
13a. Students'' FAQs
13b. Top sentence troublespots
14. The Boundaries of a Sentence: Fragments, Run-ons, and Comma Splices
14a. What is a fragment?
14b. Dependent clause fragments
14c. Phrase fragments
14d. Missing subject, verb
14e. Fragments missing subject after and, but, or
14f. Intentionally use/frag.
14g. Run-on, comma splice
14h. Correcting run-on, splices
15. Sentence Snarls
15a. Tangles: Mixed constructions, faulty comparisons, convoluted syntax
15b. Misplaced modifiers
15c. Dangling modifiers
15d. Shifts
15e. Logical sequence
15f. Necessary / unnecessary words
15g. Faulty parallelism
16. Verbs
16a. Verb forms
16b. Verbs commonly confused
16c. Verb Tenses
16d. -ed endings
16e. Indirect quotations
16f. Conditional sentences
16g. Active / passive voice
17. Subject-Verb Agreement
17a. The -s ending
17b. Subject separated from verb
17c. Subject after verb
17d. After linking verb
17e. Tricky subjects
17f. Collective nouns
17g. Subects with and, or, nor
17h. Indefinite pronouns
17i. Quantity words
18. Pronouns
18a. Personal pronouns
18b. Possessive forms
18c. Clear reference
18d. Agreement with antecedent
18e. Gender bias
18f. Consistent point of view
18g. You
18h. Intensive, reflexive pronouns
18i. Who/whom, whoever/whomever
19. Adjectives and Adverbs
19a. Correct Forms
19b. After linking verbs
19c. Compound adjectives
19d.. Position of adverbs
19e. Double negatives
19f. Comparative and superlative forms
19g. Faulty comparisons
20. Relative Clauses and Relative Pronouns
20a. Who, whom, whose, which, or that
20b. Agreement of verbs
20c. Restrictive, nonrestrictive clauses
20d. With prepositions
IV. Editing for Punctuation, Mechanics, and Spelling
21. Punctuation and Meaning
22. End Punctuation
22a. Period
22b. Question mark
22c. Exclamation point
23. Commas
23a. Two checklists--comma: yes, comma: no
23b. Comma before and, but, etc., between independent clauses
23c. Comma after an introductory word, phrase, or dependent clause
23d. Commas to set off an extra (nonrestrictive) phrase or clause
23e. Commas with transitional expressions and explanatory insertions
23f. Commas separating three or more items in a series
23g. Commas between coordinate adjectives
23h. Comma with a direct quotation
23i. Special uses of commas
23j. When not to use commas: Nine rules of thumb
24. Semicolons and Colons
24a. Two checklists--semicolon: yes, semicolon: no
24b. Two checklists--colon: yes, colon: no
25. Apostrophes
25a. Two checklists--apostrophe: yes, apostrophe: no
25b. Apostrophe to signal possession
25c. Apostrophe in contractions
25d. Apostrophes with plurals: Special cases
25e. It''s versus its
26. Quotation Marks
26a. Guidelines for using quotation marks
26b. Punctuation introducing and ending a quotation
26c. Quotation marks in dialogue
26d. Double and single quotation marks
26e. Quotation marks with titles, definitions, and translations
26f. When not to use quotation marks
27. Other Punctuation Marks
27a. Dashes
27b. Parentheses
27c. Brackets
27d. Slashes
27e. Ellipsis dots
28. Italics and Underlining
28a. Titles of long works
28b. Transportation
28c. Letters, numerals, and words referring to the words themselves
28d. Words from other languages
28e. When not to use italics
29. Capital Letters, Abbreviations, and Numbers
29a. Capital letters
29b. Abbreviations and acronyms
29c. Numbers
30. Spelling and Hyphenation
30a. Checking spelling
30b. Plurals of nouns
30c. Doubling consonants
30d. Spelling with -y or -i
30e. Internal ie or ei
30f. Adding a suffix
30g. Accents, umlauts, tildes, cedillas
30h. Hyphens
31. Online Punctuation
V. Editing for Writers with Other Languages (ESL), Other Englishes
32. Culture, Language, and Writing
32a. Englishes around the world
32b. Difference, not deficit
32c. Learning from errors
32d. Editing guide to vernacular Englishes
32e. Editing guide to multilingual transfer errors
33. Nouns and Articles
33a. Categories of nouns
33b. Uncountable nouns
33c. Rules for articles (a, an, the)
33d. The for specific reference
33e. Which article? Four basic questions
33f. Proper nouns and articles
34. Verbs and Verb Forms
34a. Forms that cannot function as a main verb
34b. Do, have, and be
34c. Modal auxiliary verbs
34d. Infinitive after verbs and adjectives
34e. Verbs followed by -ing form used as a noun
34f. Verbs followed by an infinitive or -ing form
34g. -ing and -ed verb forms used as adjectives
35. Word Order and Sentence Structure
35a. Inclusion of a subject
35b. Order of sentence elements
35c. Direct and indirect objects
35d. Direct and indirect quotations and questions
35e. Dependent clauses with although, because
35f. Unnecessary pronouns
35g. Order of adjectives
36. Prepositions and Idioms
36a. Idioms with prepositions
36b. Adjective + preposition
36c. Verb + preposition
36d. Phrasal verbs
36e. Preposition + -ing verb form
36f. Get used to and used to
VI. Writing a Documented Research Paper
37. Research and the Dangers of Plagiarism
37a. Research today: The plusses
37b. Research today: The minuses
37c. Consequences of Plagiarism
37d. Avoid plagiarism
38. Planning the Project
38a. Organizing research
38b. Schedule
38c. Primary, secondary sources
38d. Topic, question, thesis
38e. Research proposal
39. Finding and Evaluating Sources
39a. Searching online for print and online sources
39b. Basic reference works
39c. Books, articles
39d. Scholarly articles
39e. Finding sources online
39f. Web sources: Develop junk antennae
39g. Anatomy of a Web site
39h. Sources in 27 subject areas
40. Using Sources Responsibly (More Ways to Avoid Plagiarism)
40a. Working / annotated bibliographies
40b. Keeping track, annotating, taking notes
40c. What to cite / what style
40d. Introducing, integrating sources
40e. Summarizing, paraphrasing
40f. Citation boundaries
40g. Quoting
41. Preparing the Research Paper or Presentation
41a. Putting yourself in your paper
41b. Importance of your thesis
41c. Driving the organization with ideas, not sources
41d. Making an outline to help with revision
41e. Including visuals
41f. Guidelines for writing research paper drafts
VII. MLA Documentation
42. Citing Sources in Your Text
42a. Two basic MLA style features
42b. FAQs about MLA citations
42c. Sample in-text citations
At a Glance: Index of MLA In-Text Citations
42d. Explanatory footnotes or endnotes
43. Setting Up the MLA List of Works Cited
43a. Format and organization of the list
43b. How to list authors, months, and publishers
43c. How to list Internet sources
43d. Page numbers (or lack of) in online works
44. Sample Entries in the MLA List
At a Glance: Directory of MLA Sample Entries
44a. Print books or parts of books
44b. Online books or parts of books
44c. Articles in print (or microform)
44d. Articles in an online library subscription database
44e. Articles in an online periodical or Web site
44f. Reference works -- print and online
44g. Web sites and Web pages
44h. E-mail: Personal and public
44i. Performance, multimedia, visual works, and works of art -- live, print, and online
44j. Miscellaneous works -- live, print, and online
45. Sample Documented Paper, MLA Style
VIII. APA Documentation
46. Citing Sources in Your Text
46a. Two basic APA style features
46b. Sample author/date in-text citations
At a Glance: Index of APA In-Text Citations
46c. Notes, tables, and figures
47. Entries in the APA List of References
At a Glance: Directory of APA Sample Entries
47a. List format and organization
47b. Guidelines for listing authors
47c. Books and parts of books (print and online)
47d. Articles in print
47e. Articles online
47f. Web sites, Web documents, and e-mail
47g. Multimedia and miscellaneous works -- live, print, and online
48. Sample Documented Paper, APA Style
IX. Writing throughout College--and Beyond
49. Writing under Pressure
49a. Essay exams and short-answer tests
49b. Meeting deadlines
50. Showcasing Your Work: Portfolios and Oral Presentations
50a. Preparing a portfolio
50b. Preparing an e-portfolio
50c. Presenting an oral report
51. Communicating Online in Formal Contexts and Public Forums
51a. E-mail netiquette in formal and public contexts
51b. Online discussion lists, bulletin boards, and discussion boards
51c. Newsgroups and blogs
52. Writing in the Disciplines and in the Community
52a. Writing across the curriculum
52b. Writing about literature
52c. Writing in the sciences
52d. Writing in the social sciences
52e. Writing in community service courses
53. What''s Next? Writing to Move On
53a. Preparing a résumé: Print and electronic
53b. Writing a job application cover letter
53c. Writing a personal statement for graduate school admission
Glossary of Usage
Answer Key

What's New

  • The author's popular language transfer guides--more practical than ever--focus on multilingual transfer errors.

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.