Synopses & Reviews
Based on a "whole language approach," THE WRITER'S WAY is a dynamic, process-centered paperback rhetoric with readings. This text recognizes that students learn best by doing, and writers learn best when inspired by compelling reasons to write, aided by strong examples, and reinforced by immediate personal rewards. With frank advice offered in a supportive, encouraging tone, Rawlins and Metzger lead students step by step through the writing process, from pre-writing to polishing the final draft.
"Overall, I appreciate the approach of this book, which is much more grounded in actual student experiences, perceptions, and writing processes than the typical "rhetoric" textbook. THE WRITER'S WAY speaks to students where they are. Most helpful, I think, are the study tips at the beginning. Few textbooks bother to address the basics of sound study habits."
"THE WRITER'S WAY introduces and builds upon methods, modes, and purposes for writing, enabling teachers to emphasize to students that learning to write is a constant process of growth and accretion-a process that never actually ends."
About the Author
Jack P. Rawlins (Ph.D., Yale University) is Professor of English at the California State University in Chico, where he has taught courses in composition, language education, linguistics, and literature. Writing in the areas of composition pedagogy, Victorian literature, science fiction, and university governance, he has been published by the University of California Press, the Southern Illinois University Press, College English, Studies in English Literature, and Newsweek. Stephen Metzger has written five guide books (for Avalon Travel Publishing and Globe Pequot Press) and has published articles and essays in a wide range of publications, including skiing, travel, in-flight, and health-and-fitness magazines, as well as the Sunday supplements of several major metropolitan newspapers. He has published poetry and fiction in national and international journals, won awards for his playwriting, and written (and performed in) stage adaptations of stories from James Joyce's DUBLINERS and chapters from ULYSSES. He also a writes a regular food column for a northern California newspaper. He teaches composition and creative writing in the English department at California State University, Chico, and has taught newswriting, magazine writing, and travel writing for the university's journalism department.
Table of Contents
Preface. Prologue: How to Succeed in School. How to Get a Good Grade. How to (Re)Learn in School: A Guide to Studying. Part One: INTRODUCTION TO WRITING. 1. LEARNING TO WRITE. We All Write, All The Time. What Is an "Essay"? What Is an Academic "Paper"? Learning to Write Well. Learn Like a Child. The Four Basics. Exposure. Motivation. Practice. Feedback. The Purpose of a Composition Class. How Can I Write Well Right Now? Believe in Yourself. Writer's Workshop: Students Talk about Learning to Write Exercises. 2. WHAT MAKES WRITING EFFECTIVE? The Sense of Audience. Having a Reader in Your Head. Giving the Readers What They Need. Seeing Writing as Performance. What Good Writing Isn't. Proof That It Works. Exercises. 3. WRITING IN SCHOOL: AN INTRODUCTION. Not as Different as You Might Think. Purpose. Audience. A Word about level of formality. A Brief Review. 1. You Need Exposure to Learn How to Write. 2. You Need Motivation. 3. You Need Time to Prewrite and Revise. Thesis in Academic Writing. Audience in Academic Writing. Purpose in Academic Writing. Academic Writing as Performance. How to Read Writing Assignments. Following the Advice of Woody Allen. Instructions You're Likely to See on an Assignment--Highlight Them. Asking Questions. In-Class and Timed Writing. In a Writing Course. In a Content Course. Part Two: PLANNING AND DRAFTING. 4. CHOOSING TOPICS AND GETTING STARTED. Where Do Good Essays Come From? Four Principles for Getting Good Ideas. 1. Don't Begin with a Topic. 2. Think All the Time. Reacting. Content prompts. Models. Responding to visuals. 3. Go from Little, Concrete Things to Big, Abstract Ones. 4. Connect. Writing from Rage. From First Thoughts to Drafts. Writer's Block: Myth or Reality? Defeating Writer's Block. 1. Call yourself a writer. 2. Give yourself a lot of time. 3. Write as yourself. 4. Write to your favorite audience. 5. Don't write; talk. 6. Take your ego out of the loop. 7. Don't demand that you know where you're going. 8. Lower your standards. 9. Quit when you're hot, persist when you're not. 10. Sidestep the thing that blocks you. 11. Write un-essays. Writer's Workshop: Finding Essays in Your Life. Exercises. 5. THESIS, PURPOSE, AND AUDIENCE. Purpose and Audience Tell You How to Write. Thesis. Audience. 6. STYLE AND TONE. Style. What Writing Style or Voice Should You Use? Some Important Style Principles to Keep in Mind. How to Master a Style. Sentence length. Latinate diction. Concretion. Tone. Writer's Workshop: Thinking about Thesis, Audience, Purpose, Tone, and Style. Exercises. 7. ORGANIZATION: MAPPING, OUTLINING, AND ABSTRACTING. The Organizing Attitude. Organizing Begins with Making a Model. Organize as You're Working on Your Draft. Experiment Freely. Take Time to Reflect. Learn to Organize by Reading for the Craft. Mapping. Outlining. Abstracting. Transition and Readers. Transition and Connectors. Writing Abstracts. Diagnosing Transition by the Numbers. Structural Templates. Paragraphing. Exercises. Part Three: REVISING AND EDITING. 8. THE SPIRIT OF REVISING. How to Feel about Rules. Revision Tools. Diagnostic Tools. Making Your Own Tools. Revision in Four Steps. Thesis, Purpose, Audience, Tone, and Style. Topic: A Brief Review. Thesis. Purpose. Audience. Style. Tone. Revising for Length: Making the Draft Longer or Shorter. Making It Shorter. Seeing the mode. Making It Longer. Making it longer by filling in. Expanding the canvas. Asking the Next Question. Writer's Workshop: Expanding Essays. Exercises. 9. BEGINNING, ENDING, AND TITLING. Introductions. Conclusions. Titles. Exercises. 10. PEER FEEDBACK. Rules for Readers. Rules for Writers. Peer Editing in Groups. The Writer's Role in Group Editing. Peer Editing for Mechanics and Grammar. A Final Piece of Advice. Writer's Workshop: Peer Editing A Peer-Editing Session. 11. EDITING. Getting the Editing Attitude. "Grammar." Conventions. Rules of Logic. Unparallel Lists. Rules of Clarity. Punctuation. The Comma. Things Commas Don't Do. The Semicolon. Things Semicolons Don't Do. The Colon. Things Colons Don't Do. Other Punctuation. The Dash. Parentheses. Question Marks. The Hyphen. The Apostrophe. Quotation Marks. Things Quotation Marks Don't Do. Spacing and Positioning. Spelling. Don't Sidestep Mechanics Problems. Remember the Tightening. Following Format. Proofreading. Exercises. Part Four: MODES OF WRITING. 12. PERSONAL WRITING. Personal Writing. What's Personal Writing? Where Do We See Personal Writing? Show, Don't Tell. Choosing an Effect. Thesis in Personal Writing. Seeing the Mode. Writer's Workshop: Concretizing Abstract Generalizations. Exercises. 13. WRITING TO INFORM. Where Do We See Informative Writing? The Three Challenges. You Don't Feel Knowledgeable Enough. It's Boring. COIK Is a Constant Problem. Eight Teaching Tips. Seeing the Mode. Writer's Workshop: Informative Strategies--Action. Exercises. 14. WRITING AN ARGUMENT, PART 1: THINKING IT THROUGH. What's an Argument? Where Do We See Argumentative Writing? Finding an Argumentative Prompt. Thinking It Through Versus Selling the Case. Why Thinking Is Hard. Eliminating Language Problems. Making a Well-Formed Assertion. Eliminating Clouding Language. Examining Your Assumptions. Examining the Consequences of the Thesis. Seven Cleanup Tasks. Seeing the Mode. Writer's Workshop: Using the Tools. Exercises. 15. WRITING AN ARGUMENT, PART 2: SELLING THE CASE. Define Your Objectives Realistically. The Promp. Identify Your Audience as Specifically as Possible. Establish a Positive Relationship with Your Audience. Be Human. Be Interesting. Empathize. Get Some Support. Four Diagnostic Questions. Find a Dramatic Structure. Seeing the Mode. Writer's Workshop: Using Models. Exercise. Part Five: ACADEMIC WRITING. 16. RESEARCH. Online Research. Databases. Websites. Using the Library. The Texts. Library Search Tools. Evaluating the Credibility of Your Sources. The CRAAP Test. 17. USING SOURCES. Summary and Paraphrase. Quotation. Why and When to Quote. How to Quote. Documentation. Why and When to Document. How to Document. Rules of Thumb and Helpful Hints for Using Online Sources. Making Sense of It All. Model Citations. Exercises. 18. THE ACADEMIC RESEARCH PAPER. Setting Out. Getting Things Organized. Format. Graphics. Two Model Research Papers. Part Six: A COLLECTION OF GOOD WRITING. Personal Essays. Informative Essays. Argumentative Essays. Academic Essays. Five Essays on Food.