Higher Education

Get Writing: Paragraphs and Essays, 3rd Edition

  • Mark Connelly Milwaukee Area Technical College
  • ISBN-10: 1111827214  |  ISBN-13: 9781111827212
  • 736 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2010, 2007
  • © 2013 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $121.50
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GET WRITING: PARAGRAPHS AND ESSAYS helps developmental students learn to think and plan before they write, and evaluate their own and others' writing, with a focus on critical thinking through features called "Critical Thinking: What Are You Trying to Say?" and "Revision: What Have You Written?" The text helps those who are struggling with writing requirements, including recent high school graduates, returning students, or those for whom English is a second language. Integrated exercises enable them to practice what they have just learned, and student papers in annotated first and revised drafts provide realistic models. Sample professional writing demonstrates how writers understand the context of their writing, utilize writing strategies, and make language choices. Writing prompts and collaborative writing projects teach students how to write personal, academic, or work-related papers, and how to evaluate their own and others' writing.

Features and Benefits

  • "Strategies" and "Steps for Writing" boxes provide numbered lists to guide students in planning, writing, and revising their work.
  • "Writing at Work" documents and professional essays are used to illustrate how writers use patterns of development in the workplace.
  • "Chapter Goals" open each chapter to give students a quick overview of what they will be learning.
  • "Top Twenty" icons alert students to the most common writing problems. These problems were identified by a national survey of developmental writing instructors.
  • Exercises following each major topic enable students to practice what they have just learned, by writing or revising sentences, paragraphs, and short essays.
  • "Get Writing" prompts provide suggested writing topics; within every writing chapter, one "Get Writing" prompt focuses on a contemporary image, to encourage students to evaluate and write about what they see.
  • "Get Thinking and Writing" assignments provide challenging topics from everyday situations at work or school.
  • "Working Together" features encourage students to work together to analyze, revise, or respond to essays or writing topics.
  • Sample student essays from a variety of disciplines are followed by questions that prompt students to analyze the writing, evaluate the writer's strategy, and determine how specific language choices inform the writing.
  • A brief Handbook at the end of the text provides basic instruction on sentence structure, common sentence errors, and rules and strategies for correct grammar, mechanics, and spelling.

Table of Contents

Part 1:Getting Started.
1.Why Write?
"Put It in Writing." Using Get Writing.Working Together. What Is Good Writing? The Writing Context. What Is Your Goal? Who Are the Readers? What Is the Discipline or Situation? What Is Expected in the Document? The College Writing Context. Avoid Plagiarism. Strategies for Avoiding Plagiarism.
2.The Writing Process.
Step 1: Prewrite: Exploring Ideas With Critical Thinking. Prewriting Techniques. Step 2: Plan: Developing a Thesis and Organizing Support. Moving from Topic to Thesis. Elements of a Thesis Statement. Organizing Support. Developing an Outline. Step 3: Write: Getting Ideas on Paper. Step 4: Cool: Putting Your Writing Aside. Step 5: Revise: Reviewing Goals and the First Draft. Using Peer Review. Step 6: Edit: Checking for Mechanical Errors. Writing Under Pressure: The Essay Exam..
Part 2:Developing Paragraphs
3. Developing Topic Sentences and Controlling Ideas.
What Is a Paragraph? Topic Sentences and Controlling Ideas. Writing Topic Sentences. Paragraphs Without Topic Sentences. Revising Paragraphs. Using Paragraph Breaks in Dialogue.
4.Supporting Topic Sentences with Details. What Are Supporting Details? Steps to Building Effective Paragraphs. Start with a Clear Topic Sentence and Focused Controlling Idea. Distinguish Between Supporting Detail and Restating Topic Sentences. Support Topic Sentences with Adequate and Relevant Details. Types of Support. Personal Observations and Experiences. Examples. Facts and Opinions. Statistics. Testimony (Quotations). Blending Support..
5.Developing Paragraphs Using Description.
What Is Description? Creating Dominant Impressions. Improving Dominant Impressions and Supporting Details. Writing at Work: Description. Student Paragraphs. Description of a Person. Description of a Place. Description of a Concept. Putting Paragraphs Together. Selecting Topics.
6.Developing Paragraphs Using Narration.
What Is Narration? Writing Narration: Making a Point. Writing Narration: Using Transitions. Writing Narration: Using Dialogue. Writing at Work: Narration. Student Paragraphs. Subjective Narrative. Personal Narrative. Objective Narrative in a History Paper. Objective Narrative in an Earth Science Research Paper. Putting Paragraphs Together. Selecting Topics.
7.Developing Paragraphs Using Example.
What Is an Example? Writing Example Paragraphs. Types of Examples. Using Hypothetical Examples. Writing Example: Using Transitions. Writing at Work: Example. Student Paragraphs. Single, Extended Example. Multiple Examples. Hypothetical Examples. Putting Paragraphs Together. Selecting Topics.
8.Developing Paragraphs Using Definition.
What is Definition? Writing Definition: Establishing Meaning. Methods of Definition. The Purpose of Definition. Writing at Work: Definition. Student Paragraphs. Standard Definition. Qualifying Definition. Invented Definition. Putting Paragraphs Together. Selecting Topics.
9.Developing Paragraphs Using Comparison and Contrast.
What Are Comparison and Contrast? The Purposes of Comparison and Contrast. Organizing Comparison Paragraphs. Subject by Subject. Point by Point. Writing at Work: Comparison. Student Paragraphs. Subject by Subject. Point by Point. Point by Point. Putting Paragraphs Together. Selecting Topics. Planning and Writing Comparison and Contrast Paragraphs.
10.Developing Paragraphs Using Division and Classification.
What Are Division and Classification? Writing Division Paragraphs. Official and Personal Divisions. Writing Classification Paragraphs. Official and Personal Classifications. Writing at Work: Division and Classification. Student Paragraphs. Division. Classification. Division and Classification. Putting Paragraphs Together. Selecting Topics.
11. Developing Paragraphs Using Process.
What Is Process? Explaining How Things Work. Giving Directions. Writing Paragraphs That Explain. Writing Paragraphs That Give Directions. Writing at Work: Process. Student Paragraphs. Explaining How Something Works. Giving Directions. Giving Directions Using Numbered Steps. Putting Paragraphs Together. Selecting Topics.
12.Developing Paragraphs Using Cause and Effect.
What Is Cause and Effect? Critical Thinking for Writing Cause-and-Effect Paragraphs. Writing at Work: Cause and Effect. Student Paragraphs. Cause Paragraph. Effect Paragraph. Cause-and-Effect Paragraph. Putting Paragraphs Together. Selecting Topics.
13.Developing Paragraphs Using Argument.
What Is Argument? Critical Thinking for Writing Argument Paragraphs. Understanding Your Audience. Appealing to Hostile Readers. Writing at Work: Argument. Student Paragraphs. Argument to Accept an Idea. Argument to Take Action. Argument to Arouse Interest. Putting Paragraphs Together. Selecting Topics.
Part 3:Writing Essays.
14.Planning Essays.
What Is an Essay? The Thesis Statement. Organizing Essays. The Title and Introduction. The Body. The Conclusion. Putting It All Together: Developing an Outline. Topic Sentence Outlines.
15.Developing Essays.
How Do Writers Develop Essays? Description. Understanding Meaning: What Is the Writer Trying to Say? Evaluating Strategy: How Does the Writer Say It? Appreciating Language: What Words Does the Writer Use? Narration. Understanding Meaning: What Is the Writer Trying to Say? Evaluating Strategy: How Does the Writer Say It? Appreciating Language: What Words Does the Writer Use? Example. Understanding Meaning: What Is the Writer Trying to Say? Evaluating Strategy: How Does the Writer Say It? Appreciating Language: What Words Does the Writer Use? Definition. Understanding Meaning: What Is the Writer Trying to Say? Evaluating Strategy: How Does the Writer Say It? Appreciating Language: What Words Does the Writer Use? Comparison and Contrast. Understanding Meaning: What Is the Writer Trying to Say? Evaluating Strategy: How Does the Writer Say It? Appreciating Language: What Words Does the Writer Use? Division and Classification. Understanding Meaning: What Is the Writer Trying to Say? Evaluating Strategy: How Does the Writer Say It? Appreciating Language: What Words Does the Writer Use? Process. Understanding Meaning: What Is the Writer Trying to Say? Evaluating Strategy: How Does the Writer Say It? Appreciating Language: What Words Does the Writer Use? Cause and Effect. Understanding Meaning: What Is the Writer Trying to Say? Evaluating Strategy: How Does the Writer Say It? Appreciating Language: What Words Does the Writer Use? Argument. Understanding Meaning: What Is the Writer Trying to Say? Evaluating Strategy: How Does the Writer Say It? Appreciating Language: What Words Does the Writer Use?
16.Revising Essays.
What Is Revision? Peer Review. Revising Elements of an Essay. Look at the Big Picture. Revising an Essay.
Part 4:Improving Essays.
17.Improving Style and Consistency.
Using Consistent Tense. Using Past and Present. Using Consistent Person. Using Consistent Organization. Using Clear Transitions.
18. Improving Sentence Variety.
Varying Sentence Length. Short Sentences. Long Sentences . Increasing Sentence Variety with Questions and Exclamations. Varying Sentence Openings. Opening Sentences with Adverbs. Opening Sentences with Prepositions. Varying Methods of Joining Ideas. Combining Sentences with Present Participles. Combining Sentences Using Compound Subjects and Verbs. Combining Sentences Using Appositives. Combining Sentences Using Relative Clauses.
19.Improving Word Choice.
The Power of Words. Improving Word Choices. Using Correct Words. Using Effective Words. Using Specific Nouns. Using Strong Verbs. Avoiding Cliches. Deleting "Deadhead" Words. Using Appropriate Words. Using the Appropriate Level of Diction. Using Appropriate Idioms. Commonly Misused Idioms. Being Aware of Connotations.
Part 5: Special Writing Assignments.
20.Using Sources and MLA Documentation.
Why Use and Document Sources? Using Sources. Finding and Locating Sources. What Is MLA Documentation? Using Citations. Building a Works Cited List. Why Document Sources? What Not to Document. What You Must Document. Using and Documenting Sources. Using Direct Quotations. Using Paraphrases. MLA Guidelines for Listing Sources in Works Cited and Parenthetical Notes. Books. Periodicals. Other Print Sources. Nonprint Sources. Parenthetical Notes for Nonprint Sources. Electronic Sources. Sources and Sample Documented Essay. Book Excerpt. Magazine Article. A Website.
21.Writing at Work.
E-mail. Strategies for Writing E-mail. Reports. Strategies for Writing Reports. Resumes and Cover Letters. Resumes. Strategies for Writing Resumes. Cover Letters. Strategies for Writing Cover Letters.
Part 6:Understanding Grammar.
22.Understanding the Sentence.
What Is a Sentence? Subjects and Verbs. What Are Nouns? What Are Pronouns? Locating "Hidden Subjects." Inverted Sentences. Possessives. Prepositional Phrases. Verbs. Building Sentences with Independent and Dependent Clauses. Sentence Length.
23.Avoiding Fragments.
What Are Sentence Fragments? What Are Fragments? Correcting Fragments.
24.Building Sentences Using Coordination and Subordination.
What Are Coordination and Subordination? Types of Sentences. Coordination. Coordinating Conjunctions. Adverbial Conjunctions. Subordination.
25.Repairing Run-ons and Comma Splices.
What Are Run-ons? Run-ons: Fused Sentences and Comma Splices. Fused Sentences. Comma Splices. Identifying Run-ons. Run-ons Needing Minor Repairs. Run-ons Needing Major Repairs. Methods of Repairing Run-ons.
26.Correcting Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers
What Are Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers? Dangling Modifiers. Misplaced Modifiers. Avoiding Dangling Modifiers. Misplaced Modifiers.
27.Understanding Parallelism.
What Is Parallelism? Overcoming Parallelism Errors.
28. Subject-Verb Agreement.
What Is Subject-Verb Agreement? Grammar Choices and Meaning. Special Nouns and Pronouns. Group Nouns. Hidden Subjects. "Either... or" Subjects. Indefinite Pronouns. Relative Pronouns: Who, Which, and That.
29.Verbs: Tense, Mood, and Voice.
What Are Verb Tense, Mood, and Voice? Helping Verbs. Progressive Tense. Regular and Irregular Verbs. Problem Verbs: Lie/Lay, Rise/Raise, Set/Sit,Lie/Lay,Rise/Raise. Shifts in Tense. Mood. Active and Passive Voice. Grammar Choices and Meaning. Passive Voice in Professional Writing. Other Verb Problems. Could Have, Must Have, Should Have, Would Have. Double Negatives.
30.Pronoun Reference, Agreement, and Case.
What Are Pronouns? Using Pronouns. Pronoun Reference. Pronoun Agreement. Singular and Plural Nouns and Pronouns. Avoiding Sexism. Methods to Avoid Sexism. Avoiding Illogical Shifts in Point of View. Using the Right Case. Plural Constructions . Between. Comparisons. The Verb to Be. Who and Whom. This and That, These and Those. They and Them.
31.Adjectives and Adverbs.
What Are Adjectives and Adverbs? Understanding Adjectives. Understanding Adverbs. Grammar Choices and Meaning. Good and Well/Bad and Badly. Comparisons. Superlatives.
Part 7:Understanding Punctuation and Mechanics.
32. Commas and Semicolons.
What Are Commas and Semicolons? The Comma. Comma Uses. Avoiding Unnecessary Commas. Semicolons. What Are Semicolons?
33.Other Marks of Punctuation.
What Are the Other Marks of Punctuation? The Apostrophe. Quotation Marks. Colon. Parentheses. Brackets. Dash. Hyphen. Ellipsis. Slash. Question Mark. Exclamation Point. Period.
34. Capitalization.
What Is Capitalization? Rules for Capitalization.
35.Spelling Errors.
Commonly Misspelled Words. Commonly Confused Words. Forming Plurals. Adding Endings. Past-Tense Spellings. Spelling Other Endings.
Part 8:Readings for Writers
Strategies for Reading. First Reading. Second Reading
Emily Prager, Our Barbies, Ourselves.
Description. Luis Alberto Urrea, Border Story. NEW Omega Day Productions, The Maderos.
Narration. James Dillard, A Doctor''s Dilemma. NEW Van Doren University, Letter to Alumni.
Example. Anna Quindlen, Homeless. NEW Southside Clinic, Examples of Medical Assistance.
Definition. Janice Castro, Spanglish. NEW The Columbia Foundation, Foreclosure Dropouts.
Comparison and Contrast. Rachel Carson, A Fable for Tomorrow. NEW Collins and Kantor, Parole and Probation.
Division and Classification. John Holt, Three Kinds of Discipline.NEW Allied Assets Management, Classification of Foreclosed Condominiums.
Process. Marvin Harris, How Our Skins Got Their Color. NEW Vicki Mazza for Congress, Staff Directive.
Cause and Effect. John Taylor Gatto, Why Schools Don''t Educate. NEW Highland Park Day School, Understanding Dyslexia.
Argument and Persuasion. Mary Sherry, In Praise of the F Word. NEW Alton Enterprises, Preliminary Security Analysis.
Basic Sentence Structure. Phrases and Clauses. Types of Sentences. Sentence Errors. Fragments. Correcting Fragments. Run-ons. Modifiers. Dangling Modifiers. Misplaced Modifiers. Faulty Parallelism. Strategies for Detecting and Revising Faulty Parallelism. Verbs. Subject-Verb Agreement. Verb Tense. Problem Verbs: Lie/Lay, Rise/Raise, Set/Sit. Shifts in Tense. Pronouns. Reference. Agreement. Adjectives and Adverbs. Comma. Semicolon. Apostrophe. Quotation Marks. Colon. Parentheses. Brackets. Dash. Hyphen. Ellipsis. Slash. Question Mark. Exclamation Point. Period. Capitalization. Spelling.
Commonly Confused Words.
Commonly Misspelled Words.
Two Hundred Topics for College Writing.
Odd-Numbered and Partial-Paragraph Answers to the Exercises in Chapters 3–35.

What's New

  • NEW focus on thinking critically and revising your writing, with revised features "Thinking Critically: What Are You Trying to Say?" and "Revising: What Have You Written?"
  • NEW "Ten Minute Writing" practice within the "Exam Skills" features prompts students to practice writing with a time limit.
  • NEW photographs provide contemporary images to be used as thinking and writing prompts, such as a photograph of a protester in Egypt carrying a Facebook sign.
  • Added material on The College Writing Context, including the need to think critically and evaluate sources, in Chapter 1, Why Write?
  • "Avoiding Plagiarism" is now addressed in Chapter 1, as well as in later chapters, to ensure that students understand how to obtain, incorporate, and document sources.
  • Sample student papers are documented to show how to incorporate and appropriately acknowledge sources, using MLA style.


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

Get Writing: Paragraphs & Essays, 3rd: Instructor’s Resource Manual with Test Bank  (ISBN-10: 1133433588 | ISBN-13: 9781133433583)

Streamline and maximize the effectiveness of your course preparation.

Get Writing: Paragraphs & Essays, 3rd: PowerLecture CD-ROM with ExamView Test Generator  (ISBN-10: 1133433618 | ISBN-13: 9781133433613)

This easy-to-use CD-ROM provides a variety of teaching tools, including the Instructor's Resource Manual with Test Bank. PowerLecture also features ExamView® (Windows/Macintosh), an assessment and tutorial system that cover the skills and concepts presented allows you to create, deliver, and customize tests and study guides(both print and online) in the textbook minutes.

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Mark Connelly

Mark Connelly teaches at Milwaukee Area Technical College. He is the author of several books including THE SUNDANCE READER, THE SUNDANCE WRITER, and the developmental series GET WRITING.