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Perspectives on Contemporary Issues 8th Edition

Katherine Anne Ackley

  • Published
  • 544 Pages
Starting At 50.00 See pricing and ISBN options


Approaching learning as the interconnectedness of ideas and disciplinary perspectives, PERSPECTIVES ON CONTEMPORARY ISSUES, 8e, encourages critical thinking and academic writing by presenting a variety of perspectives on current issues across disciplines. Contemporary issues engage students, while the thematically grouped readings provide thought-provoking material for in-class discussion and writing topics. Emphasizing writing and conducting research, Part I offers separate chapters on reading critically, the writing process, writing a summary, the critique, argumentation, synthesis requiring documentation, and the research paper. The readings in Part II are organized by broad-based curricular areas and include questions asking for a personal response to the readings as well as related writing and research topics. Part II chapters end with two full-color visuals in the "Responding to Visuals" sections. MindTap® and Questia offer additional interactive learning opportunities.

Katherine Anne Ackley, Emerita, University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point

Katherine Ackley taught in the English Department at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point from 1979 to 2002 and also served as coordinator of the Women's Studies Program for 10 years and assistant dean of Graduate Studies for five years. Her research interests center on women in literature, with emphasis on literary representations of women's issues and, more recently, British crime writers. Her books include THE NOVELS OF BARBARA PYM (1989), WOMEN AND VIOLENCE IN LITERATURE: AN ESSAY COLLECTION (1990), MISOGYNY IN LITERATURE: AN ESSAY COLLECTION (1992), and ESSAYS FROM CONTEMPORARY CULTURE (2004, 5th Edition). The author of dozens of published articles, she received more than 20 grants for research and development and was the first woman to receive the UWSP University Scholar Award. Dr. Ackley earned a master's degree in English from Purdue University and a Ph.D. in English from Ball State University.
  • NEW Learning Objectives: Helping students focus on key material, each chapter is preceded by several learning objectives highlighting the concepts covered.
  • NEW Organization: While Part 1 on writing critically and conducting research retains the same number of chapters as the previous edition, the readings are no longer divided by broad disciplinary areas into four separate parts but are now clustered together in Part 2. Individual chapter titles note the broad subject area covered by readings in that chapter, and the text retains its signature emphasis on cross-disciplinary contemporary issues.
  • UPDATED MLA References: The chapters on documenting sources in Part 1 explain and illustrate the latest MLA handbook for documenting source material. Instructors and students alike will appreciate the new guidelines, which provide greater flexibility for handling all kinds of sources beyond traditional print and website materials.
  • NEW readings: Eighteen of the 31 readings in the text are new to this edition -- and all were published recently. These new readings cover topics of contemporary interest, and their writers sometimes take controversial positions on the issues under discussion.
  • STREAMLINED Text: The eighth edition has fewer readers and therefore fewer pages than previous editions, making it more manageable to cover in a one-semester class.
  • MindTap® Digital Learning Solution: Helping you engage and transform your students into critical thinkers, MindTap® takes your course to an all-new level through paths of dynamic assignments and applications that you can personalize, real-time course analytics, and an accessible reader. Each chapter begins with an overview of the chapter and ends with questions asking students to reflect on the issues/ideas presented by the readings in that chapter.
  • Questia Online Research Library: Eighteen of the articles are available through the Questia website. As with all other readings in the book, these articles are accompanied by headnotes and questions for discussion and writing.
  • Reader-response questions and questions for discussion follow each selection, while writing topics are provided at the end of each chapter. Reader-response questions prompt students to react on a personal level before analyzing critically, which immediately engages them personally. Discussion questions ask for both recall and analysis, to promote close reading and critical thinking, and suggested topics provide direction for student papers.
  • Helping students further connect to the essays, each chapter in Part Two concludes with a "Responding to Visuals" section that features two photographs or other color images related to the thematic focus of the chapter along with questions on rhetorical strategies and other relevant information.
  • With its extensive coverage of how to read and write critically as well as its detailed guidelines for writing summary, critique, argument, synthesis, and research papers, PERSPECTIVES ON CONTEMPORARY ISSUES, 8e equips students with the tools they need to develop and strengthen their reading and writing skills -- which they can immediately begin applying to all their college courses and well beyond.
  • Timely readings on contemporary -- and often controversial -- issues will intrigue students and spark lively classroom discussions as they relate the topics to their own lives and experiences.
1. Reading Critically.
"Culture Bundling and Other Obstacles to a Real Gun Control Debate", Ken White.
2. The Writing Process.
3. Writing a Summary.
"Dream Machines", Will Wright.
4. Writing a Critique.
"Liberal Arts and the Bottom Line", Lane Wallace.
5. Writing an Argument.
"The Gender Wage Gap--A Myth that Just Won''t Die", Abigail Hall.
6. Writing a Synthesis and Documenting Sources.
7. Writing a Research Paper.
8. Popular Culture and the Arts.
"Do Video Games Kill?" Karen Sternheimer. "Hip-Hop''s Betrayal of Black Women", Jennifer McLune. "Scientists aren''t the Only Innovators! We Really Need Artists", Sarah Lewis. Mindtap only--Questia. "A Glaring Diversity Gap in Films", Manohla Dargis. "Through a Screen Darkly: Popular Culture, Public Diplomacy, and America''s Image Abroad", Kenneth D. M. Jensen.
9. Media Studies.
"Why I just Asked My Students to Put Their Laptops Away", Clay Shirky. "Our Photoshopping Disorder", Erin Cunningham. "The Collective Conscience of Reality Television", Serena Elavia. Mindtap only--Questia. "Do Androids Dream of Electric Lolcats?" Dana Liebelson. "Establishment Media: Openly Defends Rioting as Ferguson Burns," Alex Newman.
10. Education.
"Critical Thinking? You Need Knowledge", Diane Ravitch. "Excerpt from Why School? A Student in a Community College Basic Skills Program", Mike Rose. "The Anti-College Movement", Heather Schilling. Mindtap only--Questia. "A Liberal Arts Education Has Tremendous Value", E. Bruce Pitman. "To Do or to Teach? Is That Even a Question?" Sarah Taylor Ellis.
11. Poverty and Homelessness.
"The Cost of Child Poverty", Jeff Madrick. "The Resurrection of America''s Slums", Alana Semuels. "Ignoring Homeless Families", Greg Kaufman. Mindtap only--Questia. "The Changing Face of Low-Wage Poverty in the U.S.", Steven Greenhouse. "Poverty: Yes, it''s about Personal Responsibility but it''s Also about the Choices We Make as a Society", Nicholas Kristof.
12. Gender Studies.
"The Puzzle of Boys", Thomas Bartlett. "Men are Stuck in Gender Roles, Data Suggest", Emily Alpert Reyes. "Target Is Right on Target about the Use of Gender Labels", Christia Brown. Mindtap only--Questia. "Once Upon a Lifetime", Rizi Timane. "What Makes a Woman?" Elinor Burkett.
13. Racism and Discrimination.
"Parents Outraged after Students Shown ''White Guilt'' Cartoon for Black History Month", Peter Holley. "When I Was White", Sarah Valentine. "The School-to-Prison Pipeline", Marilyn Elias. Mindtap only--Questia. "Immigration: How We Got Here from There", Jack Kenny. "Immigration and America''s Urban Revival", Robert J. Sampson.
14. Psychology and Human Behavior.
"Revisiting the Stanford Prison Experiment: A Lesson in the Power of Situation", Philip Zimbardo. "The Real Lesson of the Stanford Prison Experiment", Maria Konnikov. "When Good People Do Bad Things", Anne Trafton. Mindtap only--Questia. "The End of Punishment", Katherine Reynolds Lewis. "Willpower and Won''t Power", Michael Shermer.
15. Bioethics and Environmental Studies.
"Kidneys for Sale: A Reconsideration", Miriam Schulman. "Why Legalizing Organ Sales Would Help to Save Lives, End Violence", Anthony Gregory. "Global Warning: Get Up! Stand Up!" Bill McKibben. "The Sixth Extinction", Jeff Corwin. Mindtap only--Questia. "The Environmental Crisis in Your Closet", Adam Matthews. "Editing Human Germline Cells Debated", Tina Hesman Saey.
16. Marketing, the American Consumer, and the Workplace.
"Every Nook and Cranny: The Dangerous Spread of Commercialized Culture", Gary Ruskin and Juliet Schor. "Escape from the Job Jungle", Peter Weinberg. "Why Companies Aren''t Getting the Employees They Need", Peter Cappelli. Mindtap only--Questia. "Risky Rhetoric", Lori Widmer. "In Defense of Consumerism", Dan Hannan.
Each MindTap product offers the full, mobile-ready textbook combined with superior and proven learning tools at one affordable price. Students who purchase digital access can add a print option at any time when a print option is available for their course.

This Cengage solution can be seamlessly integrated into most Learning Management Systems (Blackboard, Brightspace by D2L, Canvas, Moodle, and more) but does require a different ISBN for access codes. Please work with your Cengage Learning Consultant to ensure the proper course set up and ordering information. For additional information, please visit the LMS Integration site.

Standalone Digital Access — Ultimate Value

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  • ISBN-10: 1337092711
  • ISBN-13: 9781337092715
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  • RETAIL $50.00

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  • ISBN-10: 1337500232
  • ISBN-13: 9781337500234
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  • ISBN-10: 1337500259
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  • ISBN-10: 1337486175
  • ISBN-13: 9781337486170
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  • ISBN-13: 9781305969377
  • Bookstore Wholesale Price $56.25
  • RETAIL $74.95

White Papers, Case Studies, Success Stories

Increasing Student Learning Outcomes with MindTap

Research study demonstrates that students using MindTap substantially increased their content knowledge and skills over the course of a semester.

"I especially like that PERSPECTIVES is interdisciplinary and covers issues from all disciplines."

"There's just enough explanation without being pedantic!"

"The readings are up-to-date, relevant to the current issues. Some of them are controversial, which lends to interesting discussions."

Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.


Instructor's Companion Website (with Instructor's Manual)

ISBN: 9781337092739
Everything you need for your course in one place! This collection of book-specific lecture and class tools is available online via Access and download instructor's manual.