Prewriting And Essay—Classification And Division? Big Help

NO PLAGARISM. Must be a Word Doc. The topic is Sports—general, types of fans, or influence on culture.

On page 120-123 for the instructions. But  I want you to write about sports. There is a example please follow them.

Essays must be typed, double-spaced, using a standard 12-point font and left justification. Use

1-inch margins at the top and bottom and 1.25-inch margins for the left and right sides of the



The second homework is the essay. Must have a introduction, three body paragraph, and a conclusion. Must write 1,000-1,500 words. The topic must be sports. Be RELATED TO THE FIRST HOMEWORK. DONT CHANGE THE TOPIC. NO PLAGARISM. On page 126-128. Please follow the rules. IT HAS TO MAKE SENSE. MLA Style…

Study Guide

English Composition By

Robert G. Turner, Jr., Ph.D.



About the Author

Robert G. Turner, Jr., holds a B.S. in business and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in sociology. He has more than 20 years of teaching experience, mainly at the college level, and is currently serving as an adjunct professor at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg. Dr. Turner is primarily employed as a professional freelance writer. His literary credits include two stage plays, two novels, and two nonfiction works, along with an array of publications in academic and educational venues.

Copyright © 2012 by Penn Foster, Inc.

All rights reserved. No part of the material protected by this copyright may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be mailed to Copyright Permissions, Penn Foster, 925 Oak Street, Scranton, Pennsylvania 18515.

Printed in the United States of America


All terms mentioned in this text that are known to be trademarks or service marks have been appropriately capitalized. Use of a term in this text should not be regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark or service mark.




C o

n t

e n

t s

C o

n t

e n

t s


















In s

tr u

c tio

n s

In s

tr u

c tio

n s

INTRODUCTION Welcome to English Composition. You may be surprised to find out that, even now, you’re already a writer. You’ve probably done a great deal of writing as a student and perhaps in other roles, as well. Maybe you’ve kept a diary, tried your hand at poetry, or written a short story. Maybe you have a job or a voluntary position that requires records, reports, or case notes. Even if you’ve never thought of such activities as writing experience, they are.

This course is designed not to make you a writer but to encourage your growth as one. Both the textbook and the instructors will guide you in developing the skills and tech- niques of effective writing through practice. You’ll learn to make conscious decisions using particular tools to communicate more effectively and efficiently to your reader.

OBJECTIVES You’ll learn to apply different writing strategies in varying arrangements to explore, develop, and refine written work according to your purpose and audience.

When you complete this course, you’ll be able to

n Identify the steps in the writing process

n Use prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing to write formal, college-level essays

n Distinguish among different patterns of development

n Apply an appropriate pattern of development to a specific purpose and audience

n Write effective thesis statements

n Write effective introductions and conclusions

n Develop paragraphs using topic sentences, adequate detail, supporting evidence, and transitions

n Define plagiarism and academic honesty

n Employ responsible research methods to locate appropri- ate secondary sources



Instructions to Students

n Quote, paraphrase, and summarize secondary source material correctly and appropriately

n Use Modern Language Association (MLA) citation and documentation style to reference secondary source material correctly and appropriately

n Apply the conventions of standard written American English to produce correct, well-written essays

COURSE MATERIALS This course includes the following materials:

1. This study guide, which contains an introduction to your course, plus

n A lesson assignments page with a schedule of study assignments

n Assignment lessons emphasizing the main points in the textbook, including the text’s grammar handbook

n Self-checks and answers to help you assess your understanding of the material

2. Your course textbook, Successful College Writing, which contains the assigned reading material

3. A grammar supplement, The Little, Brown Essential Handbook

4. Online supplements, The Parts of Speech, World Usage, and Sentence Skills, which contain assigned reading, in addition to that of the textbook

YOUR TEXTBOOK Your primary text for this course is Successful College Writing, Brief Fifth Edition, by Kathleen T. McWhorter. Begin reviewing the text by reading the table of contents on pages xxiii–xxxix. Thereafter, follow the study guide for directions on what to read and when to read it. Note the following features of your text:

n The “To the Student” section starting on page xlv pro- vides important tips on how to use the text.




n The “Quick Start” features at the beginning of each chapter are relatively short and are designed to help you get a head start on the material. Make sure you work through the exercises, even though they won’t be formally evaluated.

n Note the organization within the chapters. The major headings and subheadings break down each chapter’s content into manageable sections. Also, note that exercises and illustrative writing are important parts of every chapter.

n Your text includes a complete guide to documenting sources in MLA and APA (American Psychological Association) styles, beginning on page 640 in Chapter 23.

YOUR GRAMMAR SUPPLEMENT Your grammar supplement for this course is The Little, Brown Essential Handbook, by Jane E. Aaron. Begin reviewing the handbook by reviewing the brief contents inside the front cover and the preface on pages v–vii. Thereafter, follow the study guide for directions on what to read and when to read it. Please note the following features of your grammar handbook:

n Your course assignments don’t begin in the beginning of the book. You jump to a late part for a review of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure. You’ll be using the earlier parts of the handbook later in the course.

n Note the organization of the handbook. The parts are divided by colors, and each initial page of a color lists what can be found within that part of the book.

n Near the back of the handbook is a glossary of usage, which provides notes on common words and phrases that often cause problems. There’s also a glossary of terms, which defines the main terms and concepts of English grammar. These can both be helpful when you’re working through the writing process.

Instructions to Students 3



Please also note that the index listings that refer to the glossaries of the Little, Brown Essential Handbook are incorrect. If you need to use the glossary, remember that any page number in the index that refers to page 239 or later is off by 32 pages. For example,

Absolute phrases comma with, 87 defined, 87, 249

In this example from the index, the references to page 87 are correct. However, the definition that’s listed to be on page 249 is actually on page 281. (249 + 32 = 281)

ONLINE SUPPLEMENTS Three online course study units are linked on your My Courses page in Lesson 1: Critical Thinking and Basic Grammar. These study units are part of the required reading for your first objective exam. They can also be useful reference sources for you when you’re writing your essays. The supplements are

n The Parts of Speech

n Word Usage

n Sentence Skills

ACADEMIC SUPPORT AND ONLINE RESOURCES Penn Foster’s digital library offers students access to online resources in all major disciplines and courses offered at Penn Foster, as well as one of the most comprehensive academic databases available today, Expanded Academic ASAP. Learn more about the library here:

How-To Guide—

Top 3 things—

Instructions to Students4


Please note that the is not included with your course. This is a sepa- rate purchase, but it’s not needed for your course.



Instructions to Students

Digital Library FAQ—

Citation Information—

Penn Foster’s librarian is available to answer questions about research and to help students locate resources. You can find her in the Community, by using the Contact an Instructor link in the Help Center in your student portal, and the Ask a Librarian link in the library.

Penn Foster has partnered with the tutoring service Smarthinking to provide support for students including writ- ing, science, math, and business. Smarthinking is available to all Penn Foster students through the link in the Help Center on their student portal. Smarthinking tutors are experts in their subject areas and can provide general help with courses and papers. They are not, however, Penn Foster employees, so students must be sure to clearly explain the purpose of an assignment to get the best possible results from their tutoring sessions. Students can live chat with tutors to ask questions about course material. Students can also take advantage of the Writing Center and upload a paper for review before sub- mitting it to Penn Foster for grading. You’ll need to check the Drop-In Tutoring schedule for hours of service for live chats, but you can submit a question at any time and a tutor will reply. Consider adding Smarthinking to your academic rou- tine; tutoring can help even the best students enhance their education. is offering discounts to Penn Foster students who register for a year of service. For $40 (a $95 savings), Penn Foster students have unlimited access to the Grammarly’s grammar, spelling, and punctuation check, as well as the plagiarism check. For students who have limited experience with research writing, Grammarly could be the helping hand you need to negotiate the research papers in your future.

Other online resources for grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and mechanics include the following:

Daily Grammar

Blue Book of Grammar and Mechanics


Please contact your English instructor for registration information.



Instructions to Students

Guide to Grammar and Writing, sponsored by Capital Community College Foundation

Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab

A STUDY PLAN Read this study guide carefully, and think of it as a blueprint for your course. Using the following procedures should help you receive maximum benefit from your studies:

1. Read the lesson in the study guide to introduce you to concepts that are discussed in the textbook and gram- mar supplement. The lesson emphasizes the important material and provides additional tips or examples.

2. Note the pages for each reading assignment. Read the assignment to get a general idea of its content. Then, study the assignment. Pay attention to all details, especially the main concepts.

3. To review the material, answer the questions and problems provided in the self-checks in the study guide.

4. After answering the questions, check your answers with those in the online Self-Check Answers supplement, which you can access on your My Courses page.

5. Complete each assignment in this way. If you miss any questions, review the pages of the textbook or grammar supplement covering those questions. The self-checks are designed to allow you to evaluate your understanding of the material and reveal weak points that you need to review. Do not submit self-check answers for grading.

6. After you’ve completed and corrected the self-checks for Lesson 1, complete the first exam.

7. Follow this procedure for all nine lessons. At any time, you can contact your instructor by email or telephone for information regarding the materials.




Instructions to Students 7

COURSE INFORMATION Study pace. You have a study time limit for the semester, but not one specific to English Composition. You must pace yourself wisely through the semester’s courses. Allow sufficient time for reading, prewriting, drafting, revising, and grading. Generally, you should allot at least two weeks for each English lesson, with some taking longer than that, and you must complete each exam in order.

Because the course goal is to help you grow as a writer, you’ll use the process approach to writing to identify your strengths and improve weaknesses. The prewriting assignments for Lessons 4 and 6 will help you to develop and organize your ideas, and must be evaluated before your essays for Lessons 5 and 7 will be accepted. You should, however, move ahead to work on the next lessons while waiting for an exam evaluation. If you have other courses available for study, you may work on those and submit those exams while also working to complete this English course.

Course Journal. Your course journal is an ongoing assign- ment that will be evaluated at regular intervals during the course. Your three grades for the journal will be averaged together and count as your final exam. For more information about your journal, see page 11.

Exam submissions. Use the following information for submitting your completed exams:

1. Multiple-choice examinations (Lessons 1, 2, 3, and 9): You’ll submit your answers for these exams online.

2. Written examinations (Lessons 4–8 and the final exam): Essays must be typed, double-spaced, using a standard 12-point font and left justification. Use 1-inch margins at the top and bottom and 1.25-inch margins for the left and right sides of the document. Each page must have a prop- erly formatted header containing your name, student number, exam number, page number, mailing address, and email address, as in the following example.

Jane Doe 23456789 05017700 Page 2 987 Nice Street My Town, AZ 34567



Instructions to Students8

Name each document using your student number first, then the six-digit lesson number, and finally your last name (for example, 23456789_050177 Doe). Save each as “File Type: Rich Text Format,” regardless of your word-processing program.

You should take care to check that the document you’ve uploaded is the one containing your final work for evaluation. To submit by regular postal mail, send your documents to

Penn Foster Student Service Center 925 Oak Street Scranton, PA 18515-0001

When it’s received, your written work will be coded as RCD with the date received. To receive emailed notification for an evaluated essay, you must type your email address accurately and add to the accepted senders list in your email browser.

Evaluation. Evaluation usually occurs within seven busi- ness days of receipt (from the RCD date code). Exams are scored according to the parameters of the exam assignment using the associated evaluation chart, located in the study guide. Your instructors will apply the grading criteria, ensur- ing all essays are evaluated in the same way. They may also include feedback on both the essay and the evaluation chart. Evaluations are monitored by the department chairs of both the General Education Department and Exam Control Department to ensure accuracy and reliability. To read the instructor’s comments, click on the View Project button next to your grade for the exam, then download the Instructor Feedback File. Be sure to save the Instructor Feedback File to your computer since it’s available on your My Courses page for just a brief time.

Retakes. You’re required to complete all assigned work, including a retake for any first-time failing attempt. The eval- uation of any first-time failing exam for English Composition will include a Required Retake form. That form must then be included with your retake exam submission to ensure proper handling. If the assigned work isn’t provided, submissions will be evaluated according to the criteria, but points will be deducted for not following the instructions. Please review school policy about retakes in the Student Handbook.

The Penn Foster Student Service Center is under contract with Penn Foster College.



Plagiarism. Carefully review the academic policies outlined in your Student Handbook. The first submission that departs from this policy earns a grade of 1 percent. If it’s a first-time submission, the student may retake the exam (as per retake procedures). A second such submission on any subsequent exam results in failure of the English Composition course.

Grammar and mechanics. The focus of this course is to engage you in the writing process so you learn to make delib- erate decisions about which writing strategies will best help you accomplish your purpose for your audience.

Essay assignments require you to apply standard conventions of American English, which include correct and appropriate grammar, diction, punctuation, capitalization, sentence structure, and spelling. The course provides various revision exercises throughout the self-checks and lesson examina- tions so that you can apply these conventions during the editing and proofreading phases of your writing. For more information on the fundamentals of writing, refer to the Academic Support and Online Resources section on page 4.

SIX TRAITS OF GOOD ESSAY WRITING All the assigned readings you’ve been given to date, coupled with the objective exams, have brought you to the point where you’re about to submit your first writing assignment. Your submission will be evaluated according to a predetermined standard.

From this point on, each time you submit a writing assign- ment, you’ll have a similar rubric. Working with these rubrics, both you and your instructors will understand exactly what’s expected. Therefore, you should have an understanding of what each of the areas in the rubric mean.

Criteria Ideas and content. The essay’s content is clear, original, and pertains to the assigned subject. In addition, you should have a well developed thesis that fits the topic, audience, and purpose of the assignment. There should be enough evidence (which shouldn’t be researched unless this is part of the assignment) to help the reader understand the point you’re making and to keep the reader’s interest.

Instructions to Students 9



Instructions to Students10

Organization. All essays need a clear beginning, middle, and end. Consider each paragraph as a mini-essay, contain- ing a thesis that’s related to the main purpose of the entire essay. Thinking this way can help your essay retain unity and make sense. Use transitional phrases to ease the move- ment and make connections between the paragraphs.

Voice. Use first person for personal essays. You want to connect to your audience and demonstrate that you’re present in your writing.

Word choice. Do not, however, use slang, jargon, Internet abbreviations, or profanity. Remember, these are college-level essays; you aren’t texting your friends. However, you do want to write from your heart—don’t use a thesaurus to find awk- ward words that you would never use in normal conversation.

Sentence fluency. Mix your sentence styles. Readers often dislike reading all short choppy sentences or one big run-on sentence.

Conventions. You’ve run a spell check and grammar check, and you’ve proofread the essay. In addition, you’ve met the length requirements.

Skill Levels All these criteria are evaluated according to skill levels. Here’s an explanation of the skill levels:

Skill not evident. If the essay scored in this category, the assignment either does not include this required element or severely lacks this trait.

Skill emerging. If the assignment scored in this category, the writing lacks the trait or is below average for a college- level paper.

Skills developing. If the essay scored in this category, the essay shows effort and competence but indicates a lack of complete understanding or command in this area.

Skill realized. If the assignment scored in this category, the writing demonstrates that you’re in command of the skills.

Now you’re ready to begin Lesson 1.

Good luck!



Instructions to Students 11

Course Journal

Your course journal isn’t just a series of examinations, it’s also record of your progress through English Composition. As you complete the 18 journal entries, you’ll have the opportunity to test the stages of the writing process, practice different methods of organizing your essays, and evaluate your progress in the course. All the journal entries are included in your digital study guide; each entry corresponds to the assigned reading in your textbooks.

The journal serves as the final exam. The three journal exams will count for 33% of your final grade. Remember the following objectives as you work on each journal.

• Identify the steps in the writing process.

• Use prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing to write formal, college-level essays.

• Distinguish among different patterns of development.

• Apply an appropriate pattern of development to a specific purpose and audience.

• Write effective thesis statements.

• Develop paragraphs using topic sentences, adequate detail, supporting evidence, and transitions.

• Define plagiarism and academic honesty.

• Employ responsible research methods to locate appropriate secondary sources.

• Quote, paraphrase, and summarize secondary source material correctly and appropriately.

• Use Modern Language Association citation and documentation style to reference second- ary source material correctly and appropriately.

• Apply the conventions of standard written American English to produce correct, well- written essays.

Directions: Read each entry assignment carefully. Some entries are based on textbook exercises for which the pages are given. Most entries require multiple parts to be considered complete. For example, you might have to complete both a prewriting and a thesis. Assignments generally include a minimum length, a range, or a general format (such as one paragraph). A few assignments allow you to choose the length and format to accomplish the required work. The guidelines list the minimum amount of work you may produce, but you should continue writing until you complete your thoughts.

The course journal is divided into three parts made up of six entries each. At the end of each course unit, you’ll submit your journal for evaluation. Therefore, you’ll submit your journals

• After you complete Lesson 3

• After you complete Lesson 7

• After you complete the course




Instructions to Students12

Format: Use the exam submission instructions already given, except that you should single- space your journal. Use double spacing between entries only. First, type the date, hit Tab once (one-half inch), and type in capital boldface letters the word ENTRY, followed by the number and name of that entry. Hit Enter once, and then type in and underline the first part label followed by your writing for that part. Then, do the same for any additional parts. Use this example as a guide:

June 29, 2014—ENTRY 1: ME, A WRITER? Attitude: I enjoy writing, but I hate being graded . . . Inventory: I am a social learner, so a distance education approach may be difficult for me . . .

July 5, 2014—ENTRY 2: The Role of Correctness in Writing

Evaluation: Your journal will be evaluated according to the following requirements:

• Ideas and content—How accurately and effectively you’ve responded to the entry; your writing is focused on the topic of the entry and is based on the correct reading assign- ments in your texts; you’ve effectively engaged with the content of the reading assignments and composed thoughtful original responses to each entry; when required, you cited and documented secondary source material appropriately and correctly.

Organization: How well you developed your prewriting or organizing entries; all paragraphs begin with an appropriate topic sentence and are developed fully by using examples, illustra- tion, and/or evidence; each entry meets the required minimum length.

General Correctness: How well entries meet the expectations of college-level academic writing in the following areas:

• Sentence structure

• Grammar

• Word choice and spelling

• Punctuation

Format: How accurately you’ve followed the prescribed format for the journal by including the required header, entry title and date, and used correct margins, font, and line spacing.



Unit 1: Introduction to Composition

Lesson 1: Critical Thinking and Basic Grammar For: Read in the Read in the Successful

study guide: College Writing textbook:

Assignment 1 Pages 18–22 Pages xlv–li and Chapter 1

Assignment 2 Pages 22–25 Chapters 2 and 3

Assignment 3 Pages 25–28 Chapter 4

Read in The Parts of Speech online supplement:

Assignment 4 Pages 29–30 Pages iii–14, 18–22, 26–34, 38–48, 51–56, and 58–65

Read in The Little, Brown Essential Handbook:

Pages 63–76

Assignment 5 Pages 31–32 Read in the Sentence Skills online supplement:

Pages 1–5, 6–21, 25–31, 34–58, and 60–71

Read in The Little, Brown Essential Handbook:

77–81 and 85–102

Assignment 6 Pages 33–34 Read in the Word Usage online supplement:

Pages 1–13

Examination 250482 Material in Lesson 1


A s

s ig

n m

e n

ts A

s s

ig n

m e

n ts



Lesson Assignments14

Lesson 2: The Reading and Writing Process For: Read in the Read in the Successful

study guide: College Writing textbook:

Assignment 7 Pages 35–39 Chapter 5

Assignment 8 Pages 40–43 Chapter 6

Assignment 9 Pages 44–50 Chapter 7

Assignment 10 Pages 51–54 Chapter 8

Examination 250483 Material in Lesson 2

Lesson 3: Revising and Editing For: Read in the Read in the Successful

study guide: College Writing textbook:

Assignment 11 Pages 56–61 Chapter 9

Assignment 12 Pages 62–66 Chapter 10

Examination 250484 Material in Lesson 3 Journal 1 Due 25049400

Unit 2: The Writing Process in Action

Lesson 4: Moving from Narration to Process Analysis For: Read in the Read in the Successful

study guide: College Writing textbook:

Assignment 13 Pages 69–74 Chapter 11

Assignment 14 Pages 75–79 Chapter 12

Assignment 15 Pages 80–82 Chapter 13

Assignment 16 Pages 83–85 Chapter 14

Examination 25048500 Prewriting—Process Analysis

Lesson 5: A Process Analysis Essay For: Read in the Read in the Successful

study guide: College Writing textbook:

The Essay Pages 93–96 Pages 351–359 and 362–371

Examination 25048600 Essay—Process Analysis



Lesson Assignments 15

Lesson 6: Moving from Comparison to Classification and Division

For: Read in the Read in the Successful study guide: College Writing textbook:

Assignment 17 Pages 98–103 Chapter 15

Assignment 18 Pages 104–108 Chapter 16

Assignment 19 Pages 109–112 Chapter 17

Assignment 20 Pages 113–115 Chapter 18

Examination 25048700 Prewriting—Classification and Division

Lesson 7: Classification and Division For: Read in the Read in the Successful

study guide: College Writing textbook:

The Essay Pages 123–129 Pages 432–438

Examination 250488000 Essay—Classification and Division Journal 2 Due 25049500

Unit 3: Research Writing and MLA Citation Lesson 8: Research and MLA Citation For: Read in the Read in the Successful

study guide: College Writing textbook:

Assignment 21 Pages 132–134 Chapter 21

Assignment 22 Pages 135–138 Chapter 22

Assignment 23 Pages 138–140 Chapter 23

Assignment 24 Pages 141–142 Chapter 25

Examination 250489RR Material in Lesson 8

Lesson 9: Writing Arguments For: Read in the Read in the Successful

study guide: College Writing textbook:

Assignment 25 Pages 144–151 Chapter 19

Assignment 26 Pages 151–166 Chapter 20

Examination 25049000 Argument Essay Journal 3 Due 25049100



Lesson Assignments16

Note: To access and complete any of the examinations for this study guide, click on the appropriate Take Exam icon on your “My Courses” page. You should not have to enter the examination numbers for the multiple-choice exams. These numbers are for reference only if you have reason to contact Student Services.




CRITICAL THINKING AND BASIC GRAMMAR INTRODUCTION Understanding basic grammar can help in all walks of life, from everyday conversation, to emails, to formal reports. Correct grammar can help you personally, professionally, and academically.

To become an effective writer, you must first have a strong understanding of English composition. You should know how words are pronounced, how they’re spelled, and how they fit into sentences. Knowing the basics will enable you to be more comfortable and confident when faced with any writing task.

The main topics discussed in this section are grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, and word usage.

OBJECTIVES When you complete this lesson, you’ll be able to

n Effectively use your textbook

n Discuss why writing is an important part of your study program

n Understand your unique learning style

n Use active reading methods to understand and analyze text

n Point out the importance of prewriting in developing a piece of writing

n Describe the parts of speech and how they work within sentence structure

n Develop effective, structured sentences

n Use a variety of words in your writing

n Discuss the need for a strong understanding of English composition

L e

s s

o n

1 L

e s

s o

n 1



English Composition18

ASSIGNMENT 1: GETTING STARTED Read the assignment in this study guide. Then, read “To the Student” on pages xlv–li, and Chapter 1, “Succeeding in College.” Be sure to complete the self-check before moving on to the next assignment.

To the Student

This section of your textbook is an introduction and includes guidelines for the exercises and assignments in the book. Don’t skip over it because you’ll miss valuable information on how to effectively use your textbook. By taking a few minutes now, you’ll save time later when you have to complete the assignments.

One of the best ways to be sure you understand and can apply what you’ve read is by completing each assignment’s self-check exercise. As you respond to the questions and activities, you’ll accomplish the objectives of both the assignment and the course. Don’t send your responses to the school. The answers are provided in the online Self- Check Answers supplement.

This study guide will direct you to write in various ways. To keep your work organized, create clearly labeled files in your word-processing program. First, create a primary file folder named “English Composition.” Within that folder, create a file for your course journal and a different file for your essays. Other possible files to keep in the folder include a Notes file, a Practice Writing file, and a self-check file. You must main- tain the course journal and essays on a computer, but the others can be done in separate notebooks, if you wish. Establish a clear naming system for each file you add in the Composition folder so that you don’t confuse your rough drafts with your final version of each essay.



Lesson 1 19

Succeeding in College

People write for two basic reasons. The first is private and personal. That is, some of us write to express ourselves, to translate thoughts and feelings into words. One example in this context is the poet Emily Dickinson. She wrote for her- self and one or two close friends—only a few of her poems were published during her lifetime. Many people keep per- sonal journals that express their feelings and sometimes help them to think through problems or opportunities. Still others find that writing down ideas and rephrasing concepts helps them study and learn.

The second reason people write is to convey feelings and thoughts to others. This purpose covers most other types of writing, from published novels to advertising, to blogs, to essays for school. By sharing ideas through effective language skills, we expand our experiences, make personal connections, and sharpen our communication skills.

For writing to be effective, standard rules must be learned and applied. You’ll practice using proper grammar, sentence structure, and organized paragraphs to help you achieve this purpose.

You can practice good writing by paying close attention while you’re reading. Pay attention to mistakes, too. If you come across a sentence or headline in a newspaper that you have to read several times before you understand it, try rewriting it to make it clear on the first reading. It may need to be rearranged, divided into two sentences, or have a comma or two added. If you can, keep a file of the poor sentences and your improve- ments. Note what the problem was and what it took to fix the sentence. Also, when you write, try reading aloud from your paper to see if there are any stumbling places.

The most agile of runners begins with baby steps. Likewise, all learning proceeds in stages, step by step. For a student of English composition, here are some of the most important principles:

1. Study the rules of effective sentence construction for all types of sentences, so you’ll be better able to say what you want to say clearly and concisely.



English Composition20

2. Learn to make your points directly and effectively. Back up your statements with evidence that supports your case and persuades your reader.

3. Keep your reader’s interest. Even the most boring sub- jects can be improved with anecdotes, examples, and clever word choices.

4. Approach different kinds of writing and different audi- ences in appropriate ways. Letters, memos, academic essays, instructions, and business reports each require a different style of writing. Always consider your audience before you begin writing.

5. Study the techniques used by skilled writers, including brainstorming, free association, outlining, organizing, revision, self-criticism, and editing.

Practical Applications of Writing As noted earlier, regardless of the career you choose, commu- nication is a key to success. Virtually all job descriptions include some kind of paperwork—record keeping, summaries, analyses—and the higher up the ladder you go, the more communication will matter. The following examples reveal the broad range in the types of writing different career fields require, from using narration to persuasive analysis. Even if your field of interest isn’t listed, you can see the importance of writing in a variety of careers.

Early Childhood Education

n Narration recording weekly observations of playground behavior among first-grade students

n Case study in early childhood cognitive development analyzing the concepts of Jean Piaget in light of the observed behavior of selected subjects

Health Information Technology

n Process analysis to explain what’s involved in a specific medical procedure



n Proposal and illustration of methods by which type-2 diabetes patients may be encouraged to pursue a prescribed health regimen

Accounting n Analytical essay comparing and contrasting the

American double-entry bookkeeping system with the European five-book system

n Comparison and analysis of corporate performance in metals-refining industries based on financial statement data derived from Moody’s Industrials


n Historical and analytical description of the evolution of load-bearing theories in bridge construction

n Process analysis to describe technology and molecular theory for detecting likely metal stress areas in an air- craft prototype

Journal Entry A great way to hone your writing skills is to keep a journal. In this course, your journal is not only a regular writing activity, but it also counts as a large portion of your course grade—33 percent. You submit your journal in three parts, after Unit 1, Unit 2, and then Unit 3.

Before you begin your first journal entry assignment, review the Course Journal evaluation information at the end of this study guide.

Lesson 1 21



English Composition22

ASSIGNMENT 2: WRITING AND READING TEXT Read the assignment in this study guide. Then, read Chapter 2, “Writing in College,” and Chapter 3, “Reading in College.” Test your progress by completing the self-check.

Writing in College Pages 24–34. Academic writing is distinctive from, say, writing a letter (or email) to a friend or expressing sentiments in a birthday card or keeping a personal diary. Here’s a pre- view of your text’s view of academic writing:

n You can expect your writing to shift from personal to less personal. You’ll use your “left brain” to take an objec- tive—as opposed to subjective—point of view.

n Academic writing takes different forms, generally depending on particular college courses. Lab reports, critical-analytical essays, book reports, and comparisons of different cultures will call for different perspectives and different writing styles. So, put simply, you’ll need to

Self-Check 1

At the end of each section of English Composition, you’ll be asked to pause and check your understanding of what you’ve just read by completing a “self-check” exercise. Answering these questions will help you review what you’ve studied so far. Please complete Self-Check 1 now.

1. Complete Exercise 1.2 on page 5. Write a paragraph to describe your academic and professional goals.

2. Complete Exercise 1.5 on page 10. Complete the Stress Mini Quiz.

3. Complete Exercise 1.7 on page 12. Rate your academic image.

There are no correct responses to these exercises. The answers are for practice and personal use.



Lesson 1 23

adopt the language of particular disciplines, such as world history, labor relations, art appreciation, social psychology, or organic chemistry.

n In every case, you’ll be expected to use standard American English. In many cases you’ll be expected to properly document sources, conduct online research, and, quite often, collaborate with fellow students.

You’ll review all of the excellent reasons that you’ll want to persistently strive to improve your writing skills. That process will include developing strategies for writing. To that end, be assured that you’ll get lots of useful tips, from how to make the best use of a course syllabus to discovering the virtues of keeping a writing journal.

TIP: Figure 2.2 on page 34 features “Starting Points for Journal Writing.” Study it, and feel free to refer to it as you work on your Course Journal.

Pages 35–43, Assessing Your Learning Style. Discovering your learning style is a crucial part of this course. After you respond to the Learning Style Inventory on pages 35–38, your text will guide you through the scoring process. You’ll dis- cover where you stand in terms of five dichotomies:

n Independent or Social. Do you like to work alone, or do you prefer collaborating within a group?

n Pragmatic or Creative. Do you like to line up your ducks and follow clear rules or guidelines? Or do you prefer open-ended problems that allow you to bend the rules in interesting and innovative ways?

n Verbal or Spatial. Do you rely in language and lan- guage skills to analyze a problem? Or do you prefer gathering information from photo images, graphs, charts, and graphic metaphors?

n Rational or Emotional. In writing an essay, do you prefer a cool and objective weighing of facts and figures? Or do you prefer finding the right words to express your subjective intuitions and feelings?

n Concrete or Abstract. In a critical essay, would you focus on observable facts and step-by-step analysis? Or are you inclined to seek out underlying assumptions to reveal the “big picture”?

The best way to improve your singing is to sing. The best way to improve your writ- ing is by writing.



English Composition24

After you’ve got a sense of your learning style, your text will offer you some handy tips for applying your particular learn- ing style to different kinds of writing challenges.

TIP: Figure 2.3 on page 43, “Your Strengths as a Writer,” offers you a graphic you can use to assess your learning style.

Reading in College

Following some basic tips on critical reading skills, the heart of this chapter is a guide to active reading. Obviously, active is the opposite of passive. For example, you can stare blankly at an historical landmark, or you can pose questions to yourself. Who was John D. Rockefeller? Who designed this monument? When? How? Why? A key to your active reading guide is found in Figure 3.1 on page 49. You’ll notice a three- part framework:

n Before Reading—Check out the title and the author. Scan the first paragraph, any headings that organize the piece, and the conclusion.

n While Reading—Search for key elements. Highlight key points. Annotate or record your impressions.

n After Reading—Review what you’ve read. Use a graphic organizer to create a “map” of the author’s themes, ideas, assumptions, and sources.

Two readings are included in this chapter. “American Jerk: Be Civil, or I’ll Beat You to a Pulp” by Todd Schwartz is a funny piece meant to characterize the attitudinal contradic- tions in present-day American culture. Enjoy it, but force yourself to critically analyze the piece. Your text will guide you through that process.

TIP: Spend all the time you need to study Table 3.1 on page 59, and the graphics on pages 60–61 to understand how to create a graphic organizer.

The second reading, “Combat High,” by Sebastian Junger (author of The Perfect Storm), is gripping prose from an accomplished writer. It will give you a challenging perspective on the nature of war. It will also allow you to practice your new-found skills in analyzing text.



ASSIGNMENT 3: RESPONDING TO TEXT AND IMAGES Read the assignment in this study guide. Then, read Chapter 4, “Responding Critically to Text and Images” in your textbook, Successful College Writing. Test your progress using the self- check.

Pages 68–77, Strategies for Thinking and Reading. The primary purpose of this section is sharpening your critical thinking skills as you read and appraise texts.

Consider the source. Regardless of the medium—TV news, newspapers, magazines, the Internet, or scholarly journals— the same principle applies: Consider the source. We might expect scholarly journals to be more rigorously edited than popular magazine articles because they get published only after they’ve met the standards of peer review. On the other hand, a New Yorker article may offer us information scholars have avoided, and often, we may find alternative news sources via the Internet that are less biased than network cable news.

Understand nuance. A denotative definition provides the literal meaning of a word. For example, statuesque simply means “similar in form to a statue.” However, a connotative

Lesson 1 25

Self-Check 2

1. Complete Exercise 3.1 on page 52. Answer the five questions as either true or false.

2. In Exercise 3.2 on page 56, reread “American Jerk.” Annotate and provide highlights as you read.

Check your answers to item 1 with those on page 65 of your textbook. Check your answers to item 2 with the sample annotations given on page 56.



English Composition26

definition of that word in common speech typically refers to someone’s physical attributes, especially in the context of describing a woman’s figure. A euphemism is a word or phrase that veils a more literal meaning. In the sentence, “The CFO told our reporter that Caldwell appears to have engaged in suspect behavior,” “suspect behavior” may veil an assertion that Caldwell is a cheat and a liar.

Distinguish facts from opinions. We can usually distin- guish a fact from an opinion in straightforward prose, but not always. Sometimes an opinion is presented as a fact. In other instances, selective approaches to gathering facts (emphasiz- ing the positive or the negative) can thinly veil an opinion. The clearest expression of a fact is an objective statement that credits a reliable source. Opinions, on the other hand, express subjective judgment that may or may not be justified— depending on one’s point of view. In other cases, one may detect purposeful omissions. That is often the case when a particular point of view draws on some facts and omits other facts that might weaken an argument.

Reliability refers to the extent to which we feel we can count on the validity of information. Sometimes personal, first per- son accounts can act like the picture worth a thousand words. They sway our opinion, usually by evoking emotional responses in the reader—none of which may be reliable. In other cases, the seemingly cold rational use of statistics may actually be misleading. That is too often the case when the statistical data presented is based on flawed approaches to gathering the data. Ultimately, the most reliable data may be derived from the findings of properly conducted experiments.

An author’s tone refers to the affect (feelings) his or her writ- ing may evoke in a reader. Sometimes we detect bitterness—a sense that the author feels victimized. Sometimes we suspect the author is wearing rose-tinted spectacles. In still other cases, it can be hard to differentiate satire from unfounded cynicism.

Pages 77–86, Interpreting Visuals and Graphics. This sec- tion offers you some helpful tips on making sense of visuals, such as photographs or computer-generated images, as well as charts and graphs designed to illustrate relationships among observable datasets. For most readers, interpreting visuals poses two basic challenges. First, you may get stuck



Lesson 1 27

on a particularly engaging image; you can get distracted from the flow of the written text. Second, you may simply tend to skip over or ignore the image. Instead, you should stop, look, and reflect on the image consciously. Then, as you study the image, reflect on its message and how it relates to the text. Always assume that the image is there to enhance the author’s narrative.

When it comes to graphics such as charts, graphs, or com- plex tables and figures, readers may be inclined to scan the graphic without analyzing it. That’s not a good idea. A better idea can be illustrated by how you should read text material related to mathematics. When you get to an equation, stop. Study it until you actually understand what it means. Apply that same principle to tables, charts, and graphs.

Pages 86–95, A Guide to Responding to Text. Your instructor may ask you to write a response paper—your response to a body of text. That’s your topic for this section of the assigned chapter. Figure 4.3 on page 87 offers you a clear graphic that shows you ideal steps for responding to a reading.

1. You can summarize the piece as a way of checking out your understanding of the author’s work.

2. You can link what you’ve read to your own personal experiences. That is, you can anchor ideas in the text to your own life experience.

3. Analyze the reading using one or more techniques that include n Devising critical questions

n Annotating comments directly onto the body of the text

n Responding to the text in a journal

n Employing a reading response worksheet

In this context, you’ll want to apply your personal learning style. Your text offers you some tips in that regard on pages 93–94.

Pages 96–98. The concluding section of this chapter intro- duces a “Students Write” essay. It’s a student response to the “American Jerk” article. Just preceding this essay, be sure to



English Composition28

think about seven guidelines you’ll want to apply when read- ing a student essay. Perhaps the first of these tips should be emphasized: Namely, read an essay several times.

Self-Check 3

1. Complete Exercise 4.1 on page 70. Respond to the 10 questions as you evaluate the reliability of each of the information sources.

2. Complete Exercise 4.2 on page 71. Follow the instructions to work with the concepts of denotation and connotation.

3. Complete Exercise 4.4 on page 73. For two of the four topics, write one statement of fact and one of opinion.

4. Complete Exercise 4.6 on pages 75–76. Read each of the five statements to define its tone.

5. Complete Exercise 4.8 on page 77. Follow the instructions regarding each of the three scenarios. Decide what information is being withheld, meaning what more you would need to know to evaluate the situation.

6. Complete Exercise 4.10 on page 81. Using the guideline in pages 78–79, answer each of the five questions.

7. In Exercise 4.13 on page 85, study the table on page 84 and answer each of the six questions.

Check your answers with those in the online Self-Check Answers supplement.

Required Journal Entry 1: Me, A Writer?

Attitude: After reading Chapters 1–4 in your textbook, describe your attitude toward completing this course. As part of the description, explore how your feelings about being required to take a composition course may affect your performance in accomplishing the course objectives. (1 paragraph, 6 sentences)

Inventory: Take the learning inventory quiz starting on page 35 in your textbook. Explain what you learned about yourself as a writer working through the inventory exercise. Discuss two ways you want to improve as a writer and why. (1 paragraph, 6 sentences)



Lesson 1 29

ASSIGNMENT 4: GRAMMAR AND THE PARTS OF SPEECH Read the assignment in this study guide. Then, read pages iii–14, 18–22, 26–34, 38–48, 51–56, and 58–65 in The Parts of Speech online supplement and pages 63–76 in The Little, Brown Essential Handbook. Test your progress by completing the self-check.

This section covers the various parts of speech and how they work within the structure of a sentence.

Pages 8–14, The Parts of Speech. When we’re small children, nouns are generally the first words we learn. Any person, place, or thing is a noun. Nouns can be broken down into five categories: common, proper, collective, abstract, and concrete. Understanding the various types of nouns and how they’re used in sentences can help you become a stronger writer.

Pages 18–22, The Parts of Speech, and pages 63–70, The Little, Brown Essential Handbook. Pronouns substitute for nouns. Like nouns, pronouns can serve many purposes in a sentence. There are six types of pronouns: personal, posses- sive, demonstrative, interrogative, relative, and indefinite.

Pages 38–48, The Parts of Speech. Verbs express action; they tell what the subject of a sentence is doing. Depending on the action and when it’s taking place, a verb can appear in many forms, and it can be more than one word. Pay spe- cial attention to the figures that give you examples of verbs in various tenses in both singular and plural forms.

In addition, The Little, Brown Essential Handbook provides further explanation of verbs. This reading isn’t required, but it can help you gain better understanding.

Pages 26–34 and 51–56, The Parts of Speech, and pages 70–76, The Little, Brown Essential Handbook. Adjectives describe nouns and pronouns, and they can make your speaking and writing more definite. Adjectives generally help answer a question (What kind? Which one? How many? How much?), and they can indicate color, size, or shape. An adverb is generally used to modify a verb, but it can also be used to describe an adjective or other adverb. Adverbs answer other questions: How? When? Where? Why? How much? How long? To what extent? In what direction?



English Composition30

Pages 58–65, The Parts of Speech. A preposition shows the logical relationship or placement of a noun or pronoun in relation to another word in a sentence. Many prepositions show placement, but some refer to time or a relationship between two things. A conjunction joins words, groups of words, or sentences. There are three kinds of conjunctions: coordinating conjunctions, correlative conjunctions, and sub- junctive conjunctions. An interjection expresses emotion. It doesn’t relate to the other words within the sentence, but it’s used to add an emotional element. A sentence with an inter- jection often ends in an exclamation point.

Self-Check 4

1. Complete Practice Exercise 2 on pages 16–17 of The Parts of Speech.

2. Complete Practice Exercise 3 on pages 23–25 of The Parts of Speech.

3. Complete Practice Exercise 4, items 1–35, on pages 35–37 of The Parts of Speech.

4. Complete English in Action 6 on page 47 of The Parts of Speech.

5. Complete English in Action 7 on page 56 of The Parts of Speech.

6. Complete Practice Exercise 7, items 1–14, on page 61 of The Parts of Speech.

7. Complete Practice Exercise 8 on pages 66–67 of The Parts of Speech.

Check your answers with those in the online Self-Check Answers supplement.



Lesson 1 31

ASSIGNMENT 5: SENTENCE SKILLS Read the assignment in this study guide. Next, read pages 1–5, 6–21, 25–31, 34–58, and 60–71 of the Sentence Skills online supplement and pages 77–81 and 85–102 in The Little, Brown Essential Handbook. Then, complete the self-check.

This section covers how to effectively structure and develop sentences.

Pages 1–5, Sentence Skills. A sentence is a group of words combined in an organized manner to convey meaning or a message. Understanding what a sentence is, and the different patterns of sentences, can help you become a better reader and writer.

Pages 6–21, Sentence Skills. When writing sentences, you can combine groups of words to convey a single meaning. These groups of words can take on a function in a sentence, and they can act as a particular part of speech. If the group of words has a subject and a verb, it’s a clause. If the group of words doesn’t have a subject and verb, it’s a phrase.

Pages 25–31, Sentence Skills. Now that you know the parts of speech and the roles words play within a sentence, it’s important to learn and understand how to properly struc- ture sentences. There are three types of sentences: simple, compound, and complex.

Pages 34–43, Sentence Skills, and pages 77–81, The Little, Brown Essential Handbook. People often make mis- takes when writing, especially when developing a rough draft. There are four main mistakes that most writers make (and which are easy to fix): run-ons, misplaced/dangling modifiers, fragments, and mixed constructions. Understanding what these are, and knowing how to fix them, can help you become more confident when proofreading and editing your work.

Pages 44–58, Sentence Skills, and pages 85–102, The Little, Brown Essential Handbook. Punctuation marks help refine a sentence and give the reader signs of how to read the words. Punctuation is referred to as the traffic signals of writing because they alert your reader to pause or stop. They also convey emotion or inflection. When you speak, you natu- rally pause where a comma would be or stop where a period



English Composition32

would be, and our voices are always our emotions. Now that you’ve learned the different parts of speech and how they work together to structure a sentence, you’re ready to gain a stronger understanding of how to refine your writing by using punctuation.

Pages 60–71, Sentence Skills. You know how to structure and punctuate a sentence, but you also need to know how to think in terms of sentences. How does a sentence actually come to be? Most well-written sentences are the product of thought and revision. They have a solid beginning, middle, and end, contain the correct and required parts of speech (in the correct places), and come from a place of confidence.

Self-Check 5

1. Complete Practice Exercise 1 on pages 5–6 of Sentence Skills.

2. Complete Practice Exercise 2, items 1–16 and 39–61 on pages 21–24 of Sentence Skills.

3. Complete English in Action 3 on page 32 of Sentence Skills.

4. Complete Practice Exercise 4 on pages 43–44 of Sentence Skills.

5. Complete Practice Exercise 5 on pages 58–60 of Sentence Skills.

6. Complete Practice Exercise 6 on pages 72–73 of Sentence Skills.

Check your answers with those in the online Self-Check Answers supplement.



Lesson 1 33

ASSIGNMENT 6: WORD USAGE Read the assignment in this study guide. Next, read pages 1–13 of the online supplement Word Usage. Then, complete the self-check. This section covers how to understand the meaning of words and use them effectively in your writing.

Pages 1–5, Word Usage. In your reading, you’ll occasionally come across a word that you may not understand. At these times, consulting a dictionary is helpful. A dictionary can give you the word’s meaning, its proper pronunciation and spelling, and knowledge of its background and history. Knowing how to effectively use a dictionary is an important part of being a good reader, and, consequently, a good writer.

Pages 6–13, Word Usage. A dictionary or a thesaurus can help you find synonyms and antonyms of words. Synonyms are words that have similar meanings. Antonyms are words that have opposite meanings. You can use synonyms to substitute a word you use frequently in the same piece of writing. You can use antonyms to contrast people or ideas.

Although you’re not required to read the remainder of the Word Usage supplement as part of this assignment, you’ll find that there’s further explanation of the ideas learned in the previous assignments, which may help you gain a better understanding of some of the material. You’ll want to read the remainder of the supplement before you complete the Lesson 3 exam, because material will be tested on that exam.

Lesson 1 33

Required Journal Entry 2: The Role of Correctness in Writing

As you complete the Parts of Speech, Sentence Skills, and Word Usage online study units, consider the importance of correctness in writing. How do errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation affect the relationship between the writer and the reader of an essay? What are your strengths and weaknesses as a writer? (2 paragraphs, 5–7 sentences for each question)



English Composition34

Self-Check 6

1. Complete Practice Exercise 1 on page 6 of Word Usage.

2. Complete Practice Exercise 2 on pages 14–15 of Word Usage.

Check your answers with those in the online Self-Check Answers supplement.




The Reading and Writing Process


If you don’t particularly enjoy writing, you may ask yourself why you should make the effort to improve your skills. The simple answer is that you can’t avoid writing—as a student or an employee, there will always be writing requirements. Learning to write well will give you tools for success no mat- ter what career you choose. That’s because logical thinking and effective communication are necessary for advancement, whether you’re an accountant, nurse, or newspaper reporter. The better your skills, the more choices you have and the better your chances are for achievement and satisfaction.


When you complete this lesson, you’ll be able to

n Apply narrowing strategies to focus your writing

n Develop effective thesis statements

n Support your thesis with appropriate evidence

n Use methods of organization in writing, including topic sentences

ASSIGNMENT 7: PREWRITING: HOW TO FIND AND FOCUS IDEAS Read the assignment in this study guide. Then, read Chapter 5, “Prewriting: How to Find and Focus Ideas.” When you’re done, be sure to check your progress by completing the self-check exercise.

Pages 102–106, Choosing and Narrowing a Topic. When presented with the challenge of writing an essay, assuming the topic hasn’t been established by your instructor, choosing

L e

s s

o n

2 L

e s

s o

n 2



English Composition36

a topic often seems like a formidable obstruction. The author of your text understands this very well and offers handy tips. (1) Devote serious time to choosing your topic. Thinking should precede prewriting. (2) Search out ideas and questions as a path to discovering a topic that interests you. For exam- ple, why do kids drop out of school? Are human beings predisposed to violence? Why was Galileo punished by the powers that be for revealing evidence that the Earth isn’t at the center of the solar system?

TIPS: Figure 5.1 on page 103 offers an excellent graphic overview of the writing process. You’ll want to study it care- fully and use it for refreshing your memory. Table 5.1 on page 104 will help you think about sources for essay topics.

Meanwhile, narrowing your topic is vital. For example, regarding the effects of television exposure on young children, you’ll find lots of approaches. So you might decide to narrow your topic by asking specific questions. For example, how is time watching TV related to obesity? Is time watching TV related to academic performance? Does TV content depict violence as a normal way to handle disputes?

Pages 106–109, Purpose, Audience, and Point of View. You must determine the purpose of your essay, article, op-ed, or bulletin. Do you want to persuade or simply inform your readers? Do you want to argue for or against a public policy? Do you want to disclose an interesting incident in the history of the Civil War?

In any case, if you haven’t considered your audience, you can’t expect to get your message across. To help you deal with that vital concern, you text offers you a list of salient questions. For example, what does your audience know (or not know) about your topic? What’s the general education or likely background of your audience? An article on unions will take a different slant if it’s directed to members of a trade union as opposed to anti-union lobbyists. What opinions, biases, or political sentiments are likely to be embraced by your readers?

If you don’t have a point of view on a given topic, you’re not likely to communicate effectively with your presumed audi- ences. Indeed, even in deciding whether to write in first person as opposed to third person, you’re choosing a point of view.

If you’re going to be a writer, the first essential is just to write. Do not wait for an idea. Start writing something and the ideas will come. You have to turn the faucet on before the water starts to flow.

—Louis L’Amour



Pages 110–119, Discovering Ideas to Write About. Here’s a preview of this section.

Freewriting. At this point, you’ve probably grasped the idea of freewriting. Basically, you write whatever comes to mind for 5 to 10 minutes. As you do this, you don’t need to pay attention to punctuation, spelling, and grammar. After completing a freewriting session, review it to underline or comment on ideas that may be useful.

Mapping. Mapping, also called clustering, is a visual tech- nique for discovering ideas and how they’re related. Think about a police detective drawing circles, boxes, and arrows on a whiteboard, trying to link possible suspects to locations or other suspects.

TIP: The best way to get the sense of this process is by devoting some time to studying Figure 5.2, “A Sample Map,” on page 112.

Brainstorming. Brainstorming is different from freewriting in that you write down any or all of the ideas that pop into your head while focused on a specific topic. Brainstorming may also involve a small group as opposed to a single individ- ual. Quite often, you’ll find that your ideas fall into clusters. For example, let’s say you written down 12 possible disad- vantages of the war on drugs. You might find clusters related to three narrowed topics: (1) the social and economic costs of massive imprisonment of offenders, (2) the social and mone- tary costs of deflecting law enforcement away from stopping organized and white collar crime, and (3) the impacts on children and families of those most often caught up in the drug war.

Questioning. Questioning is a process of raising and writing down all the questions one (or two) individuals may pose related to some topic, such as charter schools or communal vegetable gardening. Prefacing questions with “what if” can be helpful. In any case, the idea is to pose questions that lead to a narrowed topic.

Writing assertions. Writing assertions amounts to viewing a general topic from as many perspectives as possible. Abstract learning types may benefit from this approach because it helps a writer divide a “big picture” frame of reference into limited, manageable topics.

Lesson 2 37



Patterns of development. There are nine approaches to developing an essay: narration, description, illustration, process analysis, comparison and contrast, classification and division, definition, cause and effect, and argument. Each of these can be called a pattern of development.

TIP: Table 5.2, “Using the Patterns of Development to Explore a Topic,” on page 116 gives you a snapshot look at the kinds of questions you might ask while seeking to narrow a topic under specific patterns of development.

Visualizing or sketching. Imagine that you want to write a descriptive essay on the architecture of the Pantheon in Rome. To be sure, you’ll be adding in historical context. But you might benefit greatly from making rough sketches of interior and exterior views of this famous building. In another related approach, say about your descriptive observations of a county fair, you might close your eyes and visualize your impressions of people you saw, kids on a merry-go-round, pie contests, and so on.

Research. It’s typically a good idea to do research. In the age of the Internet and Google, that process can be greatly accelerated. However, it’s also a good idea to conduct some research in the old-fashioned way—in public or college libraries. You may be amazed at how helpful librarians can be. Also, keep in mind that direct fieldwork can be vital to a good essay. If you want to understand the behavior of ele- mentary school kids on playgrounds, you’ll be wise to visit playgrounds and observe children’s actual behavior.

The final two pages of the chapter will explain that, over the following five chapters of your text, the “Students Write” material will follow the work of Christine Lee, a first-year writing student.

English Composition38



Lesson 2 39

Self-Check 7

1. In Exercise 5.1, found on page 105, use branching diagrams to narrow three of the broad topics to more manageable topics suitable for a three to four-page essay.

2. In Exercise 5.2 on page 106, use questioning to narrow three of the five subjects to topics suitable for a three to four-page essay.

3. In Exercise 5.4 on page 109 determine which point of view (first, second, or third person) would work best for the three writing situations.

4. Turn to Exercise 5.7 on page 113. Select the first topic, “Values of Music.” Then, brainstorm to generate ideas about how write about your topic.

5. For Exercise 5.10 on page 117, chose one of the five topics. Then, use the patterns of devel- opment—narration, illustration, definition, and so on—to generate ideas about how to write about the topic. Consult Table 5.2 on page 116 to form questions based on each pattern.

Check your answers with those in the online Self-Check Answers supplement.



ASSIGNMENT 8: DEVELOPING A THESIS Read the assignment in this study guide. Then, read Chapter 6, “Developing and Supporting a Thesis.” Check your progress by completing the self-check.

A thesis statement is the main point of an essay. It tells you what the essay is about and what the author’s position is on the chosen topic.

TIP: Study Figure 6.1, “An Overview of the Writing Process,” on page 124. Think about the six steps:

n Prewriting

n Developing your thesis statement

n Supporting your thesis statement with evidence

n Drafting

n Revising

n Editing and proofing

Refer back to this figure if you forget this sequence.

Pages 125–128, Developing Your Thesis Statement. A guide to writing an effective thesis statement is found on pages 126–127. Here’s a preview:

n Make an assertion. An assertion takes a position, expresses a viewpoint, and often suggests your approach to the topic. For example, the state college class registra- tion procedures should be redesigned and simplified.

n Be specific. That means providing as much specific information as you can. For example, growing up on the south side of Chicago gave me firsthand experience of the challenges faced by inner city youth.

n Focus on a central point. For example, job training programs for single mothers are pointless if the few available jobs don’t provide a living wage.

English Composition40



n Offer an original perspective on your topic. Your thesis should be designed to get your reader’s attention. To do that, you should try to provide your readers with an interesting angle or point of view on your topic. Often, you can search your prewriting to come up with a unique, engaging angle.

n Avoid making an announcement. Many college essays falter at the outset with opening sentences like this: “The subject of my essay is the minimum wage.” An alterna- tive opening statement might look like this: “Raising the minimum wage may seem like a good idea, but, in fact, a higher minimum wage will reduce the number of avail- able jobs.”

n Use the thesis to preview the organization of your essay. For example, you can mention two or three key concepts or ideas that will focus your essay.

Your thesis statement should appear in your opening para- graph as part of your introduction.

Pages 128–133, Supporting Your Thesis Statement with Evidence. Without evidence to support your thesis, you efforts will be reduced to hazy clouds of unsupported surmise and baseless opinion. No evidence means no substance. To provide substance you can use typical forms of evidence including examples, explanation of a process, advantages and disadvantages, comparison and contrast, historical back- ground, definitions, and explanation of causes and their effects, among others.

TIP: Study Table 6.1 on page 129, which shows you the types of evidence that can be used to support a specific work- ing thesis: Namely, “Acupuncture, a form of alternative medicine, is becoming more widely accepted in the United States.” Figure 6.2, Worksheet for Collecting Evidence, on pages 131–132 deserves your undivided attention. When working on a thesis statement, you can use this sort of work- sheet to think about and organize evidence for your thesis.

As you consider this section of your text you may want to understand that the word evidence means different things in different contexts. In the context of law, acceptable evidence offered in a jury trial must conform strictly to statutes and

Lesson 2 41



legal precedents. Evidence is considered circumstantial or hearsay if it’s not supported by empirical facts. In the domains of science, evidence that supports a hypothesis must be confirmable by other researchers who can repeat a study or experiment under the same conditions. Even Einstein’s theory of relativity wasn’t confirmed until it was shown to be consistent with empirical studies. By contrast, a college essay may indeed rely, at least in part, on eyewitness reports, personal narratives, supported definitions, and arguments that may have more than one side. In short, techniques of persuasion and appeals to emotion aren’t necessarily out of bounds.

Pages 134–139, Working with Text. Your challenge in this section is reading and analyzing an essay by Greg Beato titled, “Internet Addiction.” You’ll note that the author addresses his fairly amusing piece from a libertarian perspective. Libertarians believe that people’s personal rights to do what they wish with their private property shouldn’t be abridged, as long as there’s no infringement on other people’s private property rights. See if you can detect that philosophy in this essay. Meanwhile, given that you or someone you know may be “addicted” to virtual gaming or, at least, often distracted by way of Internet surfing, you may find it interesting to assert your own opinion of the author’s thesis. Do you think there is, in fact, a behavioral profile related to electronic media that should be classified as “addictive” in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual frequented by mental health experts?

English Composition42

Required Journal Entry 3: Prewriting and Thesis Statement

Brainstorm: Review the description of brainstorming in your textbook on pages 112–113. Then write a list of all the social media and social networking websites and apps you might use to con- nect with friends and family and to meet people.

Respond: What are some differences among the sites you listed? How would you categorize them? (1 paragraph, 5 sentences)

Write a thesis statement: Review “Writing Assertions” on page 115 in your textbook. Then follow the guidelines on pages 126–127 in your textbook to write an effective thesis statement based on one of the topics you listed previously.

Reflect: Explain the position you’ve taken in your thesis statement and identify the items from your brainstorming list or categories that you believe will best support your position. (1 paragraph, 5 sentences)



Lesson 2 43

Self-Check 8

Thesis exercise: For each of the following sets of sentences, choose the one that works best as the thesis for a two- to five-page college essay.

1. a. A recent trend in law enforcement known as “community policing” shows much promise in deterring criminal activity.

b. “Community policing” is a recent trend in law enforcement used in many municipalities across the country.

2. a. Because air pollution is of serious concern to people in the world today, many countries have implemented a variety of plans to begin solving the problem.

b. So far, research suggests that zero-emissions vehicles are not a sensible solution to the problem of steadily rising air pollution.

3. a. Because it has become outdated, the Electoral College should be replaced by a system that allows the U.S. president to be elected by direct popular vote.

b. Rather than voting for a presidential candidate, voters in a U.S. presidential election merely choose their state’s Electoral College representatives, who actually vote for the president; in most states, all of the electoral votes go to the candidate who wins the popular vote in that state, no matter how close the outcome.

4. a. This paper presents the results of my investigation into electronic surveillance in the workplace.

b. Though employers currently have a legal right to monitor workers’ email and voicemail messages, this practice can have serious effects on employee morale.

5. a. Video games are not as mindless as most people think. b. Although they are widely ignored and derided as mindlessly violent, video games are a

form of popular art that deserves to be evaluated as seriously as television and film. 6. a. Social workers in Metropolis leave much to be desired.

b. The social service system in Metropolis has broken down because today’s workers are underpaid, poorly trained, and overworked.

Examining the reading: Having read (or reread) the Essay by Greg Beato, “Internet Addiction,” turn to page 137 and respond to all four of the items under “Examining the Reading.”

Check your answers with those in the online Self-Check Answers supplement.



English Composition44

ASSIGNMENT 9: DRAFTING AN ESSAY Read the assignment in this study guide. Then, read Chapter 7, “Drafting an Essay.” Check your progress by answering the self-check exercise.

Pages 142–143, The Structure of an Essay. It’s not a bad idea to store the basic structure in your memory. Your mental notes could look a bit like this:

n Title—Announce your topic in a way that sparks your readers’ interest.

n Introduction—Paragraph 1 (or maybe 1 and 2) introduces your narrowed topic, presents your thesis, provides background, and tries to engage your readers’ interest.

n Body—The body is four or more paragraphs that support and explain your thesis using evidence.

n Conclusion—You emphasize your thesis without simply repeating it. That is, you want to end with a flourish that amplifies your thesis. Draw your essay to a close.

TIP: On page 142, Figure 7.1 reviews the writing process. On the facing page, Figure 7.2 graphically illustrates the structure of an essay, including its parts and functions. This is a useful reference when you review an assigned essay.

Pages 143–150, Organizing Your Supporting Details. The basic structure of a well-written essay already has three parts—an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. But you’ll have to make decisions about how organize supporting details in the body of your essay.

In some cases, such as when you’re writing an argument, you may want to follow either the “most-to-least” principle or the “least-to-most” principle. So, if you have three main pieces of supporting evidence you can rank that evidence in the order of its importance—1, 2, and 3. On the other hand, if you want to end your essay with a bang, you might organ- ize your evidence so as to save the best for last—3, 2, and 1.



Lesson 2 45

When your essay is a narrative, you’re likely to organize your paragraphs in chronological order. First A happened, then B, then C, and so on. However, in a descriptive essay, for exam- ple, you might want to use a spatial order. Imagine you’re writing an essay about the many wondrous features of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. Different “body spaces” can be appointed to describe the Air and Space Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the American Historical Museum.

An outline or graphic organizer offers you a way to organize your evidence after you’ve selected an organizing principle. An informal outline or scratch outline is based on key words and phrases that give you a shorthand summary of each of your essay’s paragraphs.

Paragraph 1: I learn about the ghost of McBride mansion. I get permission to spend the night in the mansion. Paragraph 2: Night falls and the house creaks. Whispering in the upstairs bedroom. The piano begins to play.

A formal outline is organized like this:

I. First Main Topic

A. First sub-topic

B. Second sub-topic

a. First detail

b. Second detail

Once an outline has been completed you can proceed to create a graphic organizer.

TIP: Figure 7.3 on page 151 provides you with a “Sample Graphic Organizer.”

In any case, keep in mind that outlining and constructing a graphic organizer isn’t simply tedious busy work. The work you do in organizing your essay serves two key purposes: (1) It helps you eliminate irrelevant material and stay on topic, and (2) it can help you generate new ideas you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.



English Composition46

Pages 150–152, Using Transitions and Repetition to Connect Your Ideas. Here are the main ideas. (1) To write a readable and engaging essay, provide transitional words or phrases to create smooth transitions between paragraphs. (2) Remember to repeat key words or their synonyms to keep your reader on topic. The following excerpt illustrates both of these ideas. See if you can locate the transitional words or phrases and instances of using key terms in different (syn- onymous) language.

Pages 152–159. This section includes helpful tips for writing a strong introduction, an effective conclusion, and a strong, evocative title. These are excellent tips and worthy of being consulted as you tackle the essay assignments that are part of this course.

The “Students Write” section, on pages 158–159, is the first draft of an essay by Christine Lee titled, “The Reality of Real TV.” She prepared the draft based on her freewriting (covered in Chapter 5) and her established working thesis (covered in Chapter 6).

Pages 160–163, Working with Text. The concluding sec- tion of your assigned chapter focuses on an essay by Brent Staples called “Black Men and Public Space.” This is a chal- lenging essay. If you’re African American or Hispanic, you may recognize the bitter reality of this essay from personal

Regional Identities in a New Republic

By 1800, American expansion was creating distinct regional identities. Westerners, even in different Western states, identified with ideals of independent self-reliance and toughness. New Englanders saw themselves as sturdy, virtuous proponents of American values and masters of America’s maritime trade with the world.

However, particularly in the west, expansion was continually obstructed by the presence of the original occupants of North America. For their part, Native Americans had become dependent on trade with the whites. And, in that context, native cultures were steadily eroded by exposure to mercenary traders, alcohol, disease, and land predators.

At this point, some 84 percent of Americans made their living from the land. Cities, harboring around 7 percent of the population, were mainly ports reliant on transshipping British and French goods, mainly from the West Indies. This so-called carrying trade would be regularly disrupted by war and hostility between France and England.

(R. Turner, U.S. History: With permission from Penn Foster)



Lesson 2 47

experience. If you’re white, you may find yourself a tad embarrassed from recognizing the other side of this sad aspect of life in America. Finally, whatever your cultural or racial perspective, you’ll recognize the power of a well-written narrative.

In working with the text, you’ll be expected to underline the author’s thesis, examine the reading to determine things like his reference to “the ability to alter public space,” analyze the writer’s technique, think critically about the reading, visual- ize the reading, and, finally, react to the reading.



English Composition48

Self-Check 9

1. Turn to Exercise 7.1 on page 145. For each of the five narrowed topics, identify several qualities or characteristics that you could use to organize details in either a most-to-least or least-to-most order.

2. Turn to Exercise 7.2 on page 146. Study the four statements. Identify at least one of them that could be used to organize an essay using chronologically ordered paragraphs.

3. Exercise 7.4 is on page 157. After reviewing your text’s treatment on writing a good title, which offers five tips, study each of the five essay types to suggest a title. Try to use each of the five suggestions at least once.

4. Having read or reread the essay by Brent Staples, turn to page 162. Under “Examining the Reading,” respond to all four items.

5. For each set of two sentences, pick the one that would work best as the topic sentence for a paragraph.

a. Mumia Abu-Jamal was convicted of murdering a police officer in Philadelphia in 1981.

b. Mumia Abu-Jamal’s murder conviction shows that the U.S. criminal justice system is not always fair and impartial.

a. Broken and obsolete computers must be recycled so they don’t end up in landfills leaking toxic substances into the soil.

b. Many offices update their computer hardware on a regular basis, thus generating waste.

a. Cellular phones are dramatically improving lives in third-world countries.

b. In India, fishermen and farmers living in areas without phone lines are using cellular phones to market their products.

a. Figures from the 2000 census indicate that Americans are willing to accept a commute of an hour or more if moving to a distant area means that they can afford a larger house.

b. According to the 2000 census figures, the average amount of time an American spends commuting to work is 24 minutes.




Lesson 2 49

Self-Check 9

6. Transition exercise: Choose the most logical transition for the context from each set given.

Environmental experts caution that water resources are finite, (a. but / so / for) they also offer tips for doing your part to conserve. (b. Thus / For example / Besides), if you install low-flow showerheads and water-saving toilets, your household can save dozens of gallons of water a day. Many people resist such measures because they think that these inventions don’t work as well as the old models. (c. Consequently / Therefore / On the contrary), because of technological advances, today’s water-conserving showers and toilets work surprisingly well. By purchasing newer, environmentally friendly clothes washers and dishwashers, you can also conserve water. (d. As a result / In addition / Nevertheless), you can save more water by running loads only when they are full. Another way to conserve water is to replace your thirsty lawn with drought-resistant native plants, grasses, and shrubs. If you can’t bear to give up your lawn, (e. for instance / however / moreover), you can decide to water it early in the morning or late in the evening when the weather is cooler and water loss from evapora- tion is less likely. (f. Finally / That is / Thus), turn the water off instead of letting it run when brushing your teeth or washing dishes by hand. If every American household takes these sim- ple steps, the country will save significant amounts of water.