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The Writer's Response: A Reading-Based Approach to Writing 6th Edition

Stephen McDonald | William Salomone | Martin Japtok

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THE WRITER'S RESPONSE: A READING-BASED APPROACH TO WRITING 6th Edition, teaches students not only the basics of paragraph and essay writing—unity, coherence, and support—but also the basics of academic writing, making it a complete source for students preparing for higher-level work. Through a variety of exercises and extensive readings, this resource teaches students to read carefully and summarize accurately, to recognize and respond to specific points in the material they have read, to synthesize ideas from several reading selections, and to evaluate and argue about the ideas they have found in their reading material. The authors also encourage students to use their personal experiences to develop and support their ideas.

Stephen McDonald, Palomar College

Stephen McDonald has been teaching English since 1975. For seven years, 1977-1984, he worked as an adjunct instructor in San Diego County, teaching at three community colleges (San Diego Mesa College, Grossmont College, and Southwestern College). In 1984 he was hired as a full-time instructor at Palomar Community College in San Marcos, California. While at Palomar, he helped to design and subsequently chaired and administered the college’s Writing-across-the-Curriculum program, also giving workshops to assist instructors from a variety of disciplines as they developed writing assignments and techniques that would work in their classrooms. He has served as Chair of the English Department at Palomar, as a member of the Faculty Senate, and as a participant on a variety of committees. He has also attended three Great Teachers Seminars hosted by Palomar College. In 1991 he was awarded the Distinguished Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, and in 2007 received the Palomar College Research Award for publications ranging from college textbooks to poetry. For the past two years he has served as Dean of Languages and Literature. In addition to THE WRITER’S RESPONSE, he is co-author with William Salomone of INSIDE WRITING: A WRITER’S WORKBOOK and IN BRIEF: A HANDBOOK FOR WRITERS. He has also published a chapbook of poetry titled WHERE THERE WAS NO PATTERN (Finishing Line Press, 2007) and many individual poems in a variety of literary journals.

William Salomone, Palomar College

William Salomone has a BA in English from Arizona State University and an MA in English from San Diego State U. From June, 1970 to June, 2005 he taught as an associate professor of English composition and literature at Palomar Community College at San Marcos, California, twice serving as chair of the English Department, several years on the Faculty Senate and one term as President of the Faculty. Along with Stephen McDonald, he published three English textbooks, beginning in 1986: INSIDE ENGLISH: A WRITER’S WORKBOOK, THE WRITER’S RESPONSE, and IN BRIEF, which is a handbook for developing writers.

Martin Japtok, Palomar College

Martin Japtok has an M.A. in American Studies from the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Davis. He has been an English instructor since 1988 and has taught both English and African American Studies at UC Davis, West Virginia State University, and Palomar College. At Palomar College, where he has worked since 2004, he has served as Professional Development Coordinator and as a member of the Basic Skills Initiative. In 2006, he received the Palomar College Research Award. He is currently on the Executive Board of the Palomar Faculty Federation. While at West Virginia State University, he was elected Faculty of the Year by the students for three consecutive years (2000-2003). In addition to having published essays in scholarly journals and books, he is the author of Growing Up Ethnic: Nationalism, and the Bildungsroman in African American and Jewish American Fiction (2005), and the editor of Postcolonial Perspectives on Women Writers from Africa, the Caribbean, and the U.S. (2003), and, with Rafiki Jenkins, of Black Authenticity/”Real” Blackness: Essays on the Meaning of Blackness in Literature and Culture (2011). He also serves as associate editor at Nomos Review, a literary journal.

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  • A chapter on ESL Issues in Part III addresses the growing diversity of today's classrooms and the specific needs of ESL students as they learn to prepare high-quality academic work in English.
  • To help students master vital college reading and writing skills, the authors offer step-by-step instruction on summarizing, evaluating, responding to, synthesizing, and arguing from readings.
  • Over fifty timely and interesting readings of various lengths and complexities appear throughout the text, giving students a range of materials to learn from and respond to.
  • Thirty sample student papers give students the opportunity to evaluate essays and develop their instincts on what distinguishes successful from unsuccessful papers. Collaborative exercises and writing assignments throughout the text encourage students to work together.
  • The text includes an integrated editing skills handbook (Part III) that gives students the tools to think about and respond critically to their own writing. The handbook provides both single-sentence exercises and thematic paragraph exercises to help students better evaluate and edit their own writing.
  • An appendix on "Writing the Research Paper" includes MLA research and documentation information, giving students a quick and easy reference that helps them establish good research and documentation habits early.

The Writer's Response: A Reading-Based Approach to Writing


1. Writing with a Central Idea.
The Writing Process. Prewriting • Writing • Rewriting. Prewriting: From Writer''s Block to Writing. Freewriting • Brainstorming • Clustering. Readings. Live Each Moment for What It''s Worth, Erma Bombeck. Without Emotion, G. Gordon Liddy. Anonymous Sources, Tina Dirmann.** Prewriting: Choosing a Preliminary Topic Sentence or Thesis Statement. Finding the Topic • Finding the Central Idea • Forming the Preliminary Topic. Sentence or Thesis Statement • Placing the Topic Sentence or Thesis Statement. Prewriting: Preparing a Rough Outline. Grouping Related Points • Identifying Group Topics • Choosing a Tentative Organization. Writing: The First Draft. The Single Paragraph: A First Draft • The Brief Essay: A First Draft. Rewriting: Revising and Editing. Revising • The Single Paragraph: Revised Draft • The Brief Essay: Revised Draft. Writing Assignments. Writing with a Central Idea. Evaluating Sample Papers. Student Model Checklist • Sample Student Papers • Paragraphs • Brief Essays.
Sentence Combining: Embedding Adjectives, Adverbs, and Prepositional Phrases. The Embedding Process.
2. Reading for the Central Idea.
Paragraphs and Topic Sentences. Paragraphs Without Topic Sentences. Essays and Thesis Statements. Three Passions I Have Lived For, Bertrand Russell. Readings. Jailbreak Marriage, Gail Sheehy. How to Stay Alive, Art Hoppe. Participating Actively in the Writer–Reader Dialogue. Steps for Active Reading. Printed Noise, George Will. Readings. Ordinary People Produce Extraordinary Results, Paul Rogat Loeb.
Not-So-Social Media: Why People Have Stopped Talking on Phones, Alan Greenblatt.** Killing Women: A Pop-Music Tradition, John Hamerlinck.** Writing Assignments. Writing with a Personal Response. Evaluating Sample Papers. Sentence Combining: Coordination. Using Coordinating Conjunctions • Using Semicolons. Combining Parts of Sentences • Parallel Sentence Structure.
3. Supporting the Central Idea.
Brief Examples. Extended Examples. Statistics. Expert Opinion or Testimony. Combining Types of Support. Explaining the Significance of the Support. Writing Introductions and Conclusions. The Introductory Paragraph • The Lead-In • The Concluding Paragraph. Readings. Male Fixations, Dave Barry. Fear of Heights: Teachers, Parents, and Students Are Wary of Achievement, Bob Chase. Avoiding Consumerism at Christmas: Overworked, Overspent, and Rethinking What''s Really Important, Wendy Priesnitz.** Transgender Students Learn to Navigate School Halls, Nanette Thompson.** Writing Assignments. Evaluating Sample Papers. Sentence Combining: Using Subordination. Subordinating Conjunctions and Relative Pronouns • Punctuating Subordinate Clauses.
4. Unity and Coherence.
Unity. Coherence. Improving Coherence. Improving Unity and Coherence with Thesis Statements and Topic Sentences. Thesis Statements and Topic Sentences • Sample Student Essay. Readings. Most Freshman Say Religion Guides Them, Thomas Bartlett.
Video Games Can Be Helpful to College Students, Scott Carlson. It''s None of Your Business: The Challenges of Getting Public Information for the Public, Kathleen Carroll.** We Treat Racism Like It''s Going Extinct: It''s Not, Brittney Cooper.** Writing Assignments. Evaluating Sample Papers. Sentence Combining: Verbal Phrases. Present and Past Participles • Present and Past Participial Phrases • Infinitive Phrases • Using Verbal Phrases • Avoiding Dangling Modifiers.
5. Summarizing and Responding to Reading.
Writing a Brief Summary. Reading. What America Has Gained, What America Has Lost, George Packer** • Writing Paraphrases and Quotations. Writing an Extended Summary. A Sample Extended Summary. Writing a Summary-Response Essay.
A Sample Summary-Response Essay. Readings. The Bachelor: Silly, Sexist, and, to Many, Irresistible, Mimi Avins. For Better, For Worse: Marriage Means Something Different Now, Stephanie Coontz. Let Them Eat Dog, Jonathan Safran Foer.** Why You Should Think Twice Before Shaming Anyone on Social Media, Laura Hudson.** Writing Assignments. Evaluating Sample Papers. Extended Summaries • Summary-Response Essays. Sentence Combining: Appositives. Punctuating Appositives • Recognizing When to Use Appositives • Changing Adjective Clauses to Appositives.
6. Evaluating Reading Selections.
Audience and Purpose. Evaluating Support. Facts • Opinions. Generalizations versus Specific Statements • Considering Your Own Knowledge and Experience • Considering Unstated Objections • Steps in Evaluating a Text. Readings. Education Is Not a Luxury, Stephen Trachtenberg. History 101: Pass the Popcorn, Please, Elaine Minamide. Uncle Sam Doesn''t Always Want You, Mark Arax.** Public Universities Should Be Free, Aaron Bady.** Writing Assignment. Evaluating Sample Papers. Sentence Combining: Parallelism. Items in a Series • Items Joined by Correlative Conjunctions.
7. Synthesizing Ideas from Reading Selections.
Preparing Your Sources and Notes. Clarify Your Purpose • Read and Highlight Your Sources. Take Notes. Organizing Your Material. Group Related Ideas • Develop a Rough Outline of the Issues. Writing the Draft. Write a Preliminary Thesis Statement • Write the First Draft. Documenting Your Sources. Revising and Refining the Synthesis. Refine the Thesis Statement • Add or Refine Topic Sentences • Rethink Weak Paragraphs • Proofread for Errors in Grammar, Spelling, and Punctuation. Readings: Physician-Assisted Suicide: In Defense of Voluntary Euthanasia, Sidney Hook. Promoting a Culture of Abandonment, Teresa R. Wagner. The Right to Choose Death, Kenneth Swift. Death and the Law: Why the Government Has an Interest in Preserving Life, Lawrence Rudden and Gerard V. Bradley. Readings: Online Dating: How Racist Is Online Dating? Shaunacy Ferro.** Online Dating Odds Getting Better, Katherine Harvey.** Online Dating and Relationships, Aaron Smith, Maeve Duggan.** Overwhelmed and Creeped Out, Ann Friedman.** Writing Assignments. Evaluating Sample Papers. Sentence Combining: Sentence Variety. Sentence Length. Sentence Structure.
8. Arguing from Several Reading Selections.
What Is an Argument? The Attitude of the Effective Arguer. Preparing the Argument. Collecting Information • Listing and Evaluating Information • Taking a Stand. Outlining and Organizing the Argument. Writing the Argument. Paraphrasing, Quoting, and Documenting Your Sources. Readings: Online Worlds: Friend or Foe: Is Internet Addiction a Real Thing? Maria Konnikova.** Lost in an Online Fantasy World, Olga Khazan.** Dream Machines, Will Wright.** Searching Online May Make You Think You''re Smarter Than You Are, Poncie Rutsch.** Readings: School, Teenagers, and Part-Time Jobs. The Fast-Food Factories: McJobs Are Bad for Kids, Amitai Etzioni. The Dead-End Kids, Michele Manges. Part-Time Work Ethic: Should Teens Go for It? Dennis McLellan. Balancing Act: High School Students Making the Grade at Part-Time Jobs, Maureen Brown. Writing Assignment. Evaluating Sample Papers. Argument Essay. Sentence Combining: A Review.
9. Some Basic Editing Terms.
Clause. Main Clause. Subordinate Clause. Sentence. Coordinating Conjunction.
Conjunctive Adverb.
10. Sentence Fragments.
The Three Types of Sentence Fragments. Repairing Sentence Fragments.
11. Fused Sentences and Comma Splices.
Fused Sentences. Comma Splices. Repairing Fused Sentences and Comma Splices.
12. Consistency in Verb Tense and Verb Voice.
Shifts in Verb Tense. Past-Tense Verbs Ending in -d and –ed. Supposed to, Used to. Verb Tense When Discussing Someone Else''s Writing. Shifts in Verb Voice. Identifying Verb Voice. Choosing the Active Voice. Choosing the Passive Voice. Changing the Passive Voice to the Active Voice.
13. Subject–Verb Agreement.
Problem Areas.
14. Pronoun Agreement and Reference.
Pronoun–Antecedent Agreement. Person. Number. Sexist Language. Unclear Pronoun Reference.
15. Pronoun Case.
Subjective Pronouns. Objective Pronouns. Possessive Pronouns. Common Sources of Errors in Pronoun Case. Compound Constructions. Who and Whom. Comparisons. Appositives.
16. Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers.
Misplaced Modifiers. Misplaced Words. Misplaced Phrases and Clauses. Dangling Modifiers.
Correcting Dangling Modifiers.
17. Comma Usage.
Commas Before Coordinating Conjunctions that Join Main Clauses. Commas with Elements in a Series. Commas with Introductory Elements. Commas with Interrupting Elements.
18. Semicolons and Colons.
The Semicolon. The Colon.
19. The Apostrophe.
20. Quotation Marks.
21. Titles, Capitalization, and Numbers.
Titles. Capitalization. Numbers.
22. Clear and Concise Sentences.
Redundancies. Needless Repetition. Roundabout Phrases. Weak Subjects and Verbs. Needless to be Verbs. Nominalizations. Unnecessary Initial it and there. Unnecessary Passive Voice.
23. ESL Issues.
Count and Non-count Nouns. Articles with Count and Non-count Nouns. Indefinite Articles. Definite Articles. Articles with Proper Nouns. No Articles. Helping Verbs and Main Verbs. Helping Verbs. Main Verbs. Combining Helping Verbs and Main Verbs. Adjectives in the Correct Order.
Should Drugs Be Legalized? The Case for Drug Legalization, Gary E. Johnson.** Why Drug Legalization Should Be Opposed, Charles B. Rangel.** We''re Losing the Drug War Because Prohibition Never Works, Hodding Carter III.** Should Drugs Be Legalized? William J. Bennett.
The Minimum Legal Drinking Age. The Minimum Legal Drinking Age: Facts and Fallacies, Traci L. Toomey, Carolyn Rosenfeld, and Alexander Wagenaar.** De-Demonizing Rum: What''s Wrong with "Underage" Drinking? Andrew Stuttaford.**
Two Questions: Why Competition? Alfie Kohn. Are You Living Mindlessly? Michael Ryan. The Effects of Television. TV Can''t Educate, Paul Robinson. Shadows on the Wall, Donna Woolfolk Cross.
Appendix. Writing the Research Paper. Getting Started. Choosing an Appropriate Topic. Developing a Preliminary Thesis. Doing the Research. Reference Books. Books. Periodicals. Sources for Facts and Statistics. The Internet. Taking Notes. Writing the Paper. Organizing Your Thoughts and Writing the First Draft. Integrating Sources into Your Paper. Avoiding Plagiarism. Documenting Your Sources. Parenthetical References within the Body of the Paper. The Works Cited Page. Sample Student Research Paper.

The Writer's Response

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ISBN: 9781305114142