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THE WRITER’S RESPONSE teaches students not only the basics of paragraph and essay writing--unity, coherence, and support--but also the basics of academic writing, making it a complete source for students preparing for higher-level work. Through a variety of exercises and extensive readings, the text teaches students to read carefully and summarize accurately, to recognize and respond to specific points in the material they have read, to synthesize ideas from several reading selections, and to evaluate and argue about the ideas they have found in their reading material. Although the authors’ focus is on writing about reading, they also encourage students to use their personal experiences to develop and support their ideas. This combination results in a text that not only imparts the fundamentals of college-level writing, but also helps each student find his or her own voice--and discover that they do, indeed, have something to say.
Readings Listed by Rhetorical Mode.
Part I: THE READING WRITING CONVERSATION.
1.Writing with a Central Idea.
The Writing Process. Prewriting, Writing, Prewriting. Prewriting: From Writer’s Block to Writing. Freewriting • Brainstorming • Clustering. Exploring Online. Readings. Live Each Moment for What It’s Worth, Erma Bombeck. Without Emotion, G. Gordon Liddy.
A View from Mount Ritter, Joseph T. O’Connor. Prewriting: Choosing a Preliminary Topic Sentence or Thesis Statement. Finding the Topic • Finding the Central Idea • Forming the Preliminary Topic. Sentence or Thesis Statement • Placing the Topic Sentence or Thesis Statement. Prewriting: Preparing a Rough Outline. Grouping Related Points • Identifying Group Topics • Choosing a Tentative Organization. Writing: The First Draft. The Single Paragraph: A First Draft • The Brief Essay: A First Draft. Rewriting: Revising and Editing.
Revising • The Single Paragraph: Revised Draft • The Brief Essay: Revised Draft.
Exploring Online. Writing Assignments. Writing with a Central Idea. Evaluating Sample Papers. Student Model Checklist • Sample Student Papers • Paragraphs • Brief Essays.
Sentence Combining: Embedding Adjectives, Adverbs, and Prepositional Phrases. The Embedding Process. Exploring Online.
2. Reading for the Central Idea.
Paragraphs and Topic Sentences. Paragraphs Without Topic Sentences. Essays and Thesis Statements. Three Passions I Have Lived For, Bertrand Russell. Readings. Jailbreak Marriage, Gail Sheehy. How to Stay Alive, Art Hoppe. Exploring Online. Participating Actively in the Writer–Reader Dialogue. Steps for Active Reading. Printed Noise, George Will. Readings. Ordinary People Produce Extraordinary Results, Paul Rogat Loeb.
A Required Course in Beating the Freshman Blues, Rene Sanchez. Charity Means You Don’t Pick and Choose, Patricia O’Hara. Writing Assignments. Writing with a Personal Response.
Evaluating Sample Papers. Sentence Combining: Coordination. Using Coordinating Conjunctions • Using Semicolons. Exploring Online. Combining Parts of Sentences • Parallel Sentence Structure.
3. Supporting the Central Idea.
Brief Examples. Extended Examples. Statistics. Expert Opinion or Testimony. Combining Types of Support. Explaining the Significance of the Support. Exploring Online. Writing Introductions and Conclusions. The Introductory Paragraph • The Lead-In • The Concluding Paragraph. Readings. Male Fixations, Dave Barry. Fear of Heights: Teachers, Parents, and Students Are Wary of Achievement, Bob Chase. Getting to Know about You and Me, Chana Schoenberger. Attention Shoppers: Your Dreams in Aisle 3,Sharon Zukin. Writing Assignments. Evaluating Sample Papers. Sentence Combining: Using Subordination.
Subordinating Conjunctions and Relative Pronouns • Punctuating Subordinate Clauses.
4. Unity and Coherence.
Unity. Coherence. Improving Coherence. Exploring Online. Improving Unity and Coherence with Thesis Statements and Topic Sentences. Thesis Statements and Topic Sentences • Sample Student Essay. Readings. Most Freshman Say Religion Guides Them.” Thomas Bartlett. A Generation of Bigots Comes of Age, Richard Cohen. Colorblind, Alex Kotlowitz.
Video Games Can Be Helpful to College Students, Scott Carlson. Writing Assignments.
Evaluating Sample Papers. Sentence Combining: Verbal Phrases. Present and Past Participles • Present and Past Participial Phrases • Infinitive Phrases • Using Verbal Phrases • Avoiding Dangling Modifiers. Exploring Online.
Part II: WRITING ABOUT READING.
5. Summarizing and Responding to Reading.
Writing a Brief Summary. Reading. The Decline of Neatness, Norman Cousins. A Sample Brief Summary • Writing Paraphrases and Quotations. Exploring Online. Writing an Extended Summary. A Sample Extended Summary. Writing a Summary-Response Essay.
A Sample Summary-Response Essay. Readings. The Bachelor: Silly, Sexist, and, to Many, Irresistible, Mimi Avins. For Better, For Worse: Marriage Means Something Different
Now, Stephanie Coontz. Someone to Watch over Me, Theodora Sites. Serve or Fail, Dave Eggers. Writing Assignments. Evaluating Sample Papers. Extended Summaries • Summary-Response Essays. Sentence Combining: Appositives. Punctuating Appositives • Recognizing When to Use Appositives • Changing Adjective Clauses to Appositives. Exploring Online.
6. Evaluating Reading Selections.
Audience and Purpose. Evaluating Support. Facts • Opinions.
Exploring Online. Generalizations versus Specific Statements • Considering Your Own Knowledge and Experience • Considering Unstated Objections • Steps in Evaluating a Text.
Readings. Appearances Are Destructive, Mark Mathabane. Education Is Not a Luxury, Stephen Trachtenberg. History 101: Pass the Popcorn, Please, Elaine Minamide.
Hell Is Other iPods: The Aural Loneliness of the Long-Distance Shuffler, Caspar Melville.
Writing Assignment. Evaluating Sample Papers. Sentence Combining: Parallelism.
Items in a Series • Items Joined by Correlative Conjunctions. Exploring Online.
7. Synthesizing Ideas from Reading Selections.
Preparing Your Sources and Notes. Clarify Your Purpose • Read and Highlight Your Sources. Take Notes. Organizing Your Material. Group Related Ideas • Develop a Rough Outline of the Issues. Writing the Draft. Write a Preliminary Thesis Statement • Write the First Draft. Documenting Your Sources. Revising and Refining the Synthesis. Refine the Thesis Statement • Add or Refine Topic Sentences • Rethink Weak Paragraphs • Proofread for Errors in Grammar, Spelling, and Punctuation. Readings: Physician-Assisted Suicide:
In Defense of Voluntary Euthanasia, Sidney Hook. Promoting a Culture of Abandonment, Teresa R. Wagner. The Right to Choose Death, Kenneth Swift. Death and the Law: Why the Government Has an Interest in Preserving Life, Lawrence Rudden and Gerard V. Bradley.
Readings: The Minimum Legal Drinking Age. Tempest in a Bottle. Sharie Roan.
The Perils of Prohibition, Elizabeth M. Whelan. The Minimum Legal Drinking Age: Facts and Fallacies, Traci L. Toomey, Carolyn Rosenfeld, and Alexander Wagenaar.
De-Demonizing Rum: What’s Wrong with “Underage” Drinking? Andrew Stuttaford.
Writing Assignments. Evaluating Sample Papers. Sentence Combining: Sentence Variety.
Sentence Length. Sentence Structure. Exploring Online.
8. Arguing from Several Reading Selections.
What Is an Argument?.
The Attitude of the Effective Arguer. Preparing the Argument. Collecting Information. Listing and Evaluating Information. Taking a Stand. Outlining and Organizing the Argument.
Writing the Argument. Paraphrasing, Quoting, and Documenting Your Sources.
Exploring Online. Readings: Should Drugs Be Legalized?. The Case for Drug Legalization, Gary E. Johnson. Why Drug Legalization Should Be Opposed, Charles B. Rangel. We’re Losing the Drug War Because Prohibition Never Works, Hodding Carter III. Should Drugs Be Legalized? William J. Bennett. Readings: School, Teenagers, and Part-Time Jobs. The Fast-Food Factories: McJobs Are Bad for Kids, Amitai Etzioni. The Dead-End Kids, Michele Manges. Part-Time Work Ethic: Should Teens Go for It? Dennis McLellan. Balancing Act: High School Students Making the Grade at Part-Time Jobs, Maureen Brown. Writing Assignment. Evaluating Sample Papers. Argument Essay. Sentence Combining: A Review.
Part III: EDITING SKILLS.
9. Some Basic Editing Terms.
Clause. Main Clause. Subordinate Clause. Sentence. Coordinating Conjunction.
Conjunctive Adverb. Exploring Online.
10. Sentence Fragments.
The Three Types of Sentence Fragments. Repairing Sentence Fragments. Exploring Online.
11. Fused Sentences and Comma Splices.
Fused Sentences. Comma Splices. Repairing Fused Sentences and Comma Splices. Exploring Online.
12. Consistency in Verb Tense and Verb Voice.
Shifts in Verb Tense. Past-Tense Verbs Ending in -d and –ed. Supposed to, Used to. Verb Tense When Discussing Someone Else’s Writing. Shifts in Verb Voice. Identifying Verb Voice. Choosing the Active Voice. Choosing the Passive Voice. Changing the Passive Voice to the Active Voice. Exploring Online.
13. Subject–Verb Agreement.
Problem Areas. Exploring Online.
14. Pronoun Agreement and Reference.
Pronoun–Antecedent Agreement. Person. Number. Sexist Language. Unclear Pronoun Reference. Exploring Online.
15. Pronoun Case.
Subjective Pronouns. Objective Pronouns. Possessive Pronouns. Common Sources of Errors in Pronoun Case. Compound Constructions. Who and Whom. Comparisons. Appositives.
16. Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers.
Misplaced Modifiers. Misplaced Words. Misplaced Phrases and Clauses. Dangling Modifiers.
Correcting Dangling Modifiers. Exploring Online.
17. Comma Usage.
Commas Before Coordinating Conjunctions that Join Main Clauses. Commas with Elements in a Series. Commas with Introductory Elements. Commas with Interrupting Elements. Exploring Online.
18. Semicolons and Colons.
The Semicolon. The Colon. Exploring Online.
19. The Apostrophe.
20. Quotation Marks.
21. Titles, Capitalization, and Numbers.
Titles. Capitalization. Numbers. Exploring Online.
22. Clear and Concise Sentences.
Redundancies. Needless Repetition. Roundabout Phrases. Weak Subjects and Verbs. Needless to be Verbs. Nominalizations. Unnecessary Initial it and there. Unnecessary Passive Voice. Exploring Online.
23. ESL Issues.
Count and Non-count Nouns. Articles with Count and Non-count Nouns. Indefinite Articles. Definite Articles. Articles with Proper Nouns. No Articles. Helping Verbs and Main Verbs. Helping Verbs. Main Verbs. Combining Helping Verbs and Main Verbs. Adjectives in the Correct Order. Exploring Online.
Part IV: ADDITIONAL READINGS FOR WRITING.
Culture and Country. Are Families Dangerous? Barbara Ehrenreich. Killing Women: A Pop Music Tradition, John Hamerlinck. The Changing Face of America, Otto Friedrich. Jesus vs. Allah: The Fight over God’s Secular Title, Dahlia Lithwick. Behavior. Why Competition? Alfie Kohn. Are You Living Mindlessly? Michael Ryan. Teenagers in Dreamland, Robert J. Samuelson. Why Angry People Can’t Control the Short Fuse, Jane Brody. The Effects of Television. The Meaning of TV, William Henry III. TV Can’t Educate, Paul Robinson. Shadows on the Wall, Donna Woolfolk Cross. Don’t Touch that Dial, Madeline Drexler.
Online Worlds: Friend or Foe? Does Virtual Reality Need A Sheriff? Alan Sipress. Lost in an Online Fantasy World, Olga Khazan. Dream Machines, Will Wright. Caught in the Web: More People Say Heavy Internet Use Is Disrupting Their Lives, and Medical Experts Are Paying Attention, January Payne. Same-Sex Marriage. Desecration? Dedication! Anna Quindlen.
Societal Suicide: Legalizing Gay Marriage Will Lead to More Family Breakdown and Crime, Charles Colson. Gay Marriage: A Dialogue, David Frum and Andrew Sullivan. Appendix.
Writing the Research Paper. Getting Started. Choosing an Appropriate Topic. Developing a Preliminary Thesis. Doing the Research. Reference Books. Books. Periodicals. Sources for Facts and Statistics. The Internet. Taking Notes. Writing the Paper. Organizing Your Thoughts and Writing the First Draft. Integrating Sources into Your Paper. Avoiding Plagiarism. Documenting Your Sources. Parenthetical References within the Body of the Paper. The Works Cited Page. Exploring Online. Sample Student Research Paper.
Stephen McDonald has been teaching English since 1975. For seven years, 1977-1984, he worked as an adjunct instructor in San Diego County, teaching at three community colleges (San Diego Mesa College, Grossmont College, and Southwestern College). In 1984 he was hired as a full-time instructor at Palomar Community College in San Marcos, California. While at Palomar, he helped to design and subsequently chaired and administered the college’s Writing-across-the-Curriculum program, also giving workshops to assist instructors from a variety of disciplines as they developed writing assignments and techniques that would work in their classrooms. He has served as Chair of the English Department at Palomar, as a member of the Faculty Senate, and as a participant on a variety of committees. He has also attended three Great Teachers Seminars hosted by Palomar College. In 1991 he was awarded the Distinguished Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, and in 2007 received the Palomar College Research Award for publications ranging from college textbooks to poetry. For the past two years he has served as Dean of Languages and Literature. In addition to THE WRITER’S RESPONSE, he is co-author with William Salomone of INSIDE WRITING: A WRITER’S WORKBOOK and IN BRIEF: A HANDBOOK FOR WRITERS. He has also published a chapbook of poetry titled WHERE THERE WAS NO PATTERN (Finishing Line Press, 2007) and many individual poems in a variety of literary journals.
William Salomone has a BA in English from Arizona State University and an MA in English from San Diego State U. From June, 1970 to June, 2005 he taught as an associate professor of English composition and literature at Palomar Community College at San Marcos, California, twice serving as chair of the English Department, several years on the Faculty Senate and one term as President of the Faculty. Along with Stephen McDonald, he published three English textbooks, beginning in 1986: INSIDE ENGLISH: A WRITER’S WORKBOOK, THE WRITER’S RESPONSE, and IN BRIEF, which is a handbook for developing writers.
“I really like the way the readings are integrated into the text! I have always held firm that reading and writing go hand-in-hand.”
“I love Part 1. The strengths of this section are that we begin at a basic level of comprehending what we write and read, and then identifying what is most important in that. I find the blue-shaded “student writing” helpful. I make sure my students read those, and watch the paragraphs develop into organized, detailed and unified essays.”