Higher Education

The Least You Should Know About English: Writing Skills, Form C, 11th Edition

  • Paige Wilson Pasadena City College
  • Teresa Ferster Glazier Late, Western Illinois University
  • ISBN-10: 1111830924  |  ISBN-13: 9781111830922
  • 336 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2011, 2008, 2005
  • © 2014 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $75.00
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For over thirty years, students have mastered the basics of writing with Wilson and Glazier's THE LEAST YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ENGLISH: WRITING SKILLS. Uncomplicated, well established, and student tested, the 11th edition continues to cover the essentials of spelling, word choice, sentence structure, punctuation, paragraph and essay writing--as well as more advanced skills such as argumentation and quotation--in a brief, easy-to-follow way. Each concept includes concise explanations accompanied by plentiful exercises (with corresponding answers in the back of the book for immediate feedback) so that students quickly grasp and reinforce what they learn. Popular "Continuous Discourse" exercises include tidbits from history, literature, science, and current events that engage students in the concepts being explored. When the course ends, this self-teaching text becomes an excellent reference tool for students to use in their future courses and careers. FORMS A, B, AND C include identical "least you should know" explanations supported by different exercises, samples, and writing assignments---making each form unique. The three forms offer instructors unparalleled variety within each edition and provide students with options for additional practice beyond the classroom. Available with InfoTrac® Student Collections http://gocengage.com/infotrac.

Features and Benefits

  • Parts 1 through 3 teach students the essentials of word use, sentence structure, and punctuation and put these skills into practice with over 170 exercises.
  • Exercise answers provided in the back of the book give students the ability to learn as they go and immediately apply what they learn to their writing.
  • Part 4 on "Writing" includes sample paragraphs and essays by both student and professional writers. Numerous exercises within Part 4 encourage students to practice the skills and stages involved in the writing process.
  • Sections in Part 4 on "Choosing and Using Quotations," "Writing an Argument," and "Writing Summaries" help students prepare for increasingly analytical writing assignments.
  • The Test Booklet (available only to instructors and written specifically for the eleventh edition) corresponds directly to the book's content and includes both single-sentence and paragraph-length tests/exercises within each section.

Table of Contents

What Is the Least You Should Know? How to Learn the Least You Should Know. The Importance of a Good Dictionary. Your Own List of Misspelled Words. Words That Can Be Broken into Parts. Guidelines for Doubling a Final Letter. Words Often Confused (Set 1). Words Often Confused (Set 2). The Eight Parts of Speech. Adjectives and Adverbs. Contractions. Possessives.
Finding Subjects and Verbs. Locating Prepositional Phrases. Understanding Dependent Clauses. Correcting Fragments. Correcting Run-on Sentences. Identifying Verb Phrases. Using Standard English Verbs. Using Regular and Irregular Verbs. Maintaining Subject-Verb Agreement. Avoiding Shifts in Time. Recognizing Verbal Phrases. Correcting Misplaced or Dangling Modifiers. Following Sentence Patterns. Avoiding Clichés, Awkward Phrasing, and Wordiness. Correcting for Parallel Structure. Using Pronouns. Avoiding Shifts in Person.
Period, Question Mark, Exclamation Point, Semicolon, Colon, Dash. Comma Rules 1, 2, and 3. Comma Rules 4, 5, and 6. Quotation Marks and Underlining/Italics. Capital Letters.
What Is the Least You Should Know about Writing? Writing as Structure. First-Person and Third-Person Approaches. Basic Structures. I. The Paragraph: Defining a Paragraph. Types of Paragraphs. Sample Paragraphs in an Essay. Sample of a Single-Paragraph Assignment.
II. The Essay: The Five-Paragraph Essay and Beyond. Defining an Essay. A Sample Essay. Writing Skills. III. Writing in Your Own Voice: Narration. A Sample Essay. Description.
IV. Finding a Topic: Look to Your Interests. Focused Free Writing (or Brainstorming). Clustering. Talking with Other Students. V. Organizing Ideas: Thesis Statements. Organizing an Essay. Topic Sentences. Organizing Body Paragraphs (or Single Paragraphs). Transitional Expressions. VI. Supporting with Details: Types of Support. A Sample Final Draft. VII. Choosing and Using Quotations: Choosing Quotations. Using Quotations. Signal Phrases and Punctuation. A Sample Paragraph Using Quotations. Guidelines for Including Quotations. VIII. Writing an Argument: Taking a Stand and Proving Your Point. A Sample Argument. Three Requirements of a Strong Written Argument. Reading Longer, More Challenging Works. IX. Writing Summaries: A Sample Reading. A Sample Summary. Summary Checklist. X. Revising, Proofreading, and Presenting Your Work: A Sample Rough Draft. Revision Checklist. Exchanging Papers (Peer Evaluations), Proofreading Aloud. Presenting Your Work. Paper Formats. Titles.

What's New

  • The eleventh edition continues the "Least You Should Know" tradition, with improved explanations, examples, and exercises throughout the text:
  • Part 1 has been reorganized to present "Spelling" before "Word Choice" and to discuss dictionary use throughout. Part 1 also includes helpful new ways to distinguish between "Words Often Confused."
  • Part 2 on "Sentence Structure" presents a streamlined "Using Pronouns" section and a revised "Avoiding Shifts in Person" section to clarify the use of first-person, second-person, and third-person pronouns.
  • Part 3's coverage of "Punctuation" is enhanced throughout, with references to the new "Choosing and Using Quotations" section in Part 4 below.
  • Part 4 on "Writing" offers a comprehensive new section on "Choosing and Using Quotations," complete with an explanation of signal phrases and their punctuation, as well as the use of brackets and ellipses when altering or shortening quoted material. Finally, Part 4 now includes a discussion of first-person and third-person approaches to writing.
  • InfoTrac® Student Collections are specialized databases expertly drawn from the Gale Academic One library. Each InfoTrac® Student Collection enhances the student learning experience in the specific course area related to the product. These specialized databases allow access to hundreds of scholarly and popular publications - all reliable sources - including journals, encyclopedias, and academic reports. Learn more and access at: http://gocengage.com/infotrac.

Efficacy and Outcomes


"The text seems to cover every essential element of English (and lives up to its title) while doing so in a brief, engaging way."

— Jacen Alexander, Bakersfield College

"The tone, clarity, and logical progression of the material make this text a fine choice for college students who may have gaps in their writing background."

— Natalie S. Daley, Linn-Benton Community College


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.

Student Supplements

Aplia™, 1 term Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1285836650 | ISBN-13: 9781285836652)

Succeed in your course with Aplia's interactive learning system--featuring practice problems with immediate feedback and tools developed specifically for THE LEAST YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ENGLISH: WRITING SKILLS, 11th Edition, including step-by-step explanations that help you improve your reasoning and skills, interactive assignments that help you understand difficult or counterintuitive concepts, and more. Aplia has already helped more than a million students succeed in college classes.

List Price = $80.00  | CengageBrain Price = $80.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $80.00

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Paige Wilson

With a gift for explaining the basics of grammar, punctuation, and writing, Paige Wilson, Associate Professor at Pasadena City College, brings the vital structures of English to life, reinforcing fundamental concepts with easy-to-follow exercises, samples, and writing assignments. Since joining Teresa Ferster Glazier as author of THE LEAST YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ENGLISH in the 7th edition, Professor Wilson continues (in this 13th edition) to celebrate Glazier's original goal of providing students with 100% practical coverage and practice of writing skills -- from word choice to fully developed essays -- in one brief text. Through seven editions of her own, Wilson has added a fresh voice and global perspective to Glazier's vision along the way.