Exploring Writing: Paragraphs and Essays

Paperback | October 4, 2012

byJohn Langan

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Grounded in John Langan’s Four Bases – unity, coherence, sentence skills, and support – Exploring Writing employs a unique personalized learning plan to address student deficits in grammar and mechanics and to free instructional time for activities emphasizing writing process and critical thinking.

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Grounded in John Langan’s Four Bases – unity, coherence, sentence skills, and support – Exploring Writing employs a unique personalized learning plan to address student deficits in grammar and mechanics and to free instructional time for activities emphasizing writing process and critical thinking.

Format:PaperbackDimensions:10.9 × 8.7 × 1 inPublished:October 4, 2012Publisher:McGraw-Hill EducationLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0073533335

ISBN - 13:9780073533339

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Table of Contents

EXPLORING WRITING: PARAGRAPHS AND ESSAYS, 3/e

By John Langan

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PREFACE xxii

PART ONE: WRITING: SKILLS AND PROCESS 2

1. An Introduction to Writing 4

Point and Support 5

An Important Difference between Writing and Talking 5
Point and Support in a Paragraph 6

Knowing Your Purpose and Audience 8

Benefits of Paragraph Writing 9

Writing as a Skill 9

Writing as a Process of Discovery 11

Keeping a Journal 12

Tips on Using a Computer 14

Ways to Use a Computer at Each Stage of the Writing Process 15

2. The Writing Process 19

Prewriting 20

Technique 1: Freewriting 20
Technique 2: Questioning 23
Technique 3: Making a List 24
Technique 4: Clustering 26
Technique 5: Preparing a Scratch Outline 27

Writing a First Draft 28

Writing a First Draft: A Student Model 29

Revising 30

Revising Content 31
Revising Sentences 31

Editing 31

An Illustration of the Revising and Editing Processes 32

Using Peer Review 34

Identification 35
Scratch Outline 35
Comments 35

Review Activities 36

Taking a Writing Inventory 36
Prewriting 38
Outlining 40
Revising 46

PART TWO: BASIC PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE WRITING 52

3. The First and Second Steps in Writing 54

Step 1: Begin with a Point 55

Identifying Common Errors in Topic Sentences 57
Understanding the Two Parts of a Topic Sentence 59
Selecting a Topic Sentence 61
Writing a Topic Sentence I 62
Writing a Topic Sentence II 64

Step 2: Support the Point with Specific Evidence 65

The Point as an "Umbrella" Idea 66

Reinforcing Point and Support 68

The Importance of Specific Details 71

Recognizing Specific Details 71
Providing Supporting Evidence 74

The Importance of Adequate Details 75

Identifying Adequate Supporting Evidence 77
Adding Details to Complete a Paragraph 80
Writing a Paragraph 81

4. The Third and Fourth Steps in Writing 84

Step 3: Organize and Connect the Specific Evidence 85

Common Methods of Organization: Time Order and Emphatic Order 85
Transitions 90
Other Connecting Words 96

Step 4: Write Clear, Error-Free Sentences 99

Revising Sentences 99
Editing Sentences 117

5. Four Bases for Revising Writing 120

Base 1: Unity 121

Understanding Unity 121
Checking for Unity 123

Base 2: Support 127

Understanding Support 127
Checking for Support 128

Base 3: Coherence 130

Understanding Coherence 130
Checking for Coherence 132

Base 4: Sentence Skills 136

Understanding Sentence Skills 136
Checking for Sentence Skills 139

Evaluating Paragraphs for All Four Bases: Unity, Support, Coherence, and Sentence Skills 140

PART THREE: PARAGRAPH DEVELOPMENT 146

6. Exemplification 148

Paragraphs to Consider 149

Developing an Exemplification Paragraph 151

Development through Prewriting 151
Development through Revising 153

Writing an Exemplification Paragraph 153

7. Narration 159

Paragraphs to Consider 160

Developing a Narrative Paragraph 162

Development through Prewriting 162
Development through Revising 163

Writing a Narrative Paragraph 164

8. Description 168

Paragraphs to Consider 169

Developing a Descriptive Paragraph 171

Development through Prewriting 171
Development through Revising 173

Writing a Descriptive Paragraph 173

9. Process 179

Paragraphs to Consider 180

Developing a Process Paragraph 182

Development through Prewriting 182
Development through Revising 184

Writing a Process Paragraph 184

10. Cause and Effect 189

Paragraphs to Consider 190

Developing a Cause-and-Effect Paragraph 191

Development through Prewriting 191
Development through Revising 193

Writing a Cause-and-Effect Paragraph 193

11. Comparison or Contrast 198

Paragraphs to Consider 199

Methods of Development 200

One Side at a Time 200
Point by Point 201

Additional Paragraph to Consider 204

Developing a Comparison or Contrast Paragraph 205

Development through Prewriting 205
Development through Revising 207

Writing a Comparison or Contrast Paragraph 208

12. Definition 212

Paragraphs to Consider 213

Developing a Definition Paragraph 215

Development through Prewriting 215
Development through Revising 217

Writing a Definition Paragraph 217

13. Division-Classification 222

Paragraphs to Consider 223

Developing a Division-Classification Paragraph 226

Development through Prewriting 226
Development through Revising 228

Writing a Division-Classification Paragraph 229

Argument 233

Strategies for Arguments 234

Use Tactful, Courteous Language 234
Point Out Common Ground 235
Acknowledge Differing Viewpoints 235
When Appropriate, Grant the Merits of Differing Viewpoints 235
Rebut Differing Viewpoints 235

Paragraphs to Consider 238

Developing an Argument Paragraph 240

Development through Prewriting 240
Development through Revising 243

Writing an Argument Paragraph 244

PART FOUR: ESSAY DEVELOPMENT 252

15. Introduction to Essay Development 254

What Is an Essay? 255

Differences Between an Essay and Paragraph 255

Structure of the Traditional Essay 255

A Model Essay 255
Parts of an Essay 256
Introductory Paragraph 256
Body: Supporting Paragraphs 257
Concluding Paragraph 258
Diagram of an Essay 259
Identifying the Parts of an Essay 260

Important Considerations in Essay Development 262

Determining Your Point of View 262
Doing a Personal Review 264

16.Writing the Essay 265

Step 1: Begin with a Point, or Thesis 266

Understanding Thesis Statements 266
Writing a Good Thesis I 266
Writing a Good Thesis II 268

Step 2: Support the Thesis with Specific Evidence 273

The Importance of Specific Details 275
The Importance of Adequate Details 276
Adding Details to Complete an Essay 276

Step 3: Organize and Connect the Specific Evidence 278

Common Methods of Organization 278
Transitions 280
Other Connecting Words 283
Identifying Transitions and Other Connecting Words 283

Step 4: Write Clear, Error-Free Sentences 284

Use Active Verbs 285
Practice in Revising Sentences 286

Revising Essays for All Four Bases: Unity, Support, Coherence, and Sentence Skills 291

17. Introductions, Conclusions, and Titles 295

Introductory Paragraph 296

Functions of the Introduction 296
Common Methods of Introduction 296

Concluding Paragraph 299

Common Methods of Conclusion 299

Identifying Introductions and Conclusions 301

Titles 302

Essay Writing Assignments 304

18. Patterns of Essay Development 309

Developing an Essay with Emphasis on Exemplification 310

Considering Purpose and Audience 310
Student Essay to Consider 310

Writing an Essay with Emphasis on Exemplification 313

Developing an Essay with Emphasis on Narration 314

Considering Purpose and Audience 315
Student Essay to Consider 315

Writing an Essay with Emphasis on Narration 318

Developing an Essay with Emphasis on Description 319

Considering Purpose and Audience 319
Student Essay to Consider 319

Writing an Essay with Emphasis on Description 322

Developing an Essay with Emphasis on Process 323

Considering Purpose and Audience 323
Student Essay to Consider 323

Writing an Essay with Emphasis on Process 326

Developing an Essay with Emphasis on Cause and/or Effect 327

Considering Purpose and Audience 327
Student Essay to Consider 327

Writing an Essay with Emphasis on Cause and/or Effect 329

Developing an Essay with Emphasis on Comparison and/or Contrast 330

Considering Purpose and Audience 330
Student Essay to Consider 331

Writing an Essay with Emphasis on Comparison and/or Contrast 333

Developing an Essay with Emphasis on Definition 334

Considering Purpose and Audience 334
Student Essay to Consider 334

Writing an Essay with Emphasis on Definition 337

Developing an Essay with Emphasis on Division and Classification 341

Considering Purpose and Audience 338
Student Essay to Consider 338

Writing an Essay with Emphasis on Division and Classification 341

Developing an Essay with Emphasis on Argument 342

Considering Purpose and Audience 342
Student Essay to Consider 342

Writing an Essay with Emphasis on Argument 345

19. Special College Skills 346

Taking Essay Exams 347

Step 1: Anticipate Ten Probable Questions 347
Step 2: Prepare and Memorize an Informal Outline Answer for Each Question 348
Step 3: Look at the Exam Carefully and Do Several Things 349
Step 4: Prepare a Brief, Informal Outline before Writing Your Essay Answer 351
Step 5: Write a Clear, Well-Organized Essay 351

Writing a Summary 353

How to Summarize an Article 354
How to Summarize a Book 362

Writing a Report 363

Part 1 of a Report: A Summary of the Work 363
Part 2 of a Report: Your Reaction to the Work 363
Points to Keep in Mind When Writing a Report 364
A Model Report 364

20. Writing a Research Paper 367

Step 1: Select a Topic That You Can Readily Research 368

Researching at a Local Library 368
Researching on the Internet 368

Step 2: Limit Your Topic and Make the Purpose of Your Paper Clear 368

Step 3: Gather Information on Your Limited Topic 369

Step 4: Plan Your Paper and Take Notes on Your Limited Topic 370

Preparing a Scratch Outline 370
Note-Taking 371
A Caution about Plagiarism 372

Step 5: Write the Paper 375

Step 6: Use an Acceptable Format and Method of Documentation 375

Format 375
Documentation of Sources 375
Citation within a Paper 376
Citations at the End of a Paper 376
Model Entries for a List of "Works Cited" 377

Model Paper 379

PART FIVE: HANDBOOK OF SENTENCE SKILLS 392

SECTION I: GRAMMAR 394

21.Subjects and Verbs 395

A Simple Way to Find a Subject 395
A Simple Way to Find a Verb 395
More about Subjects and Verbs 396

22.Sentence Sense 400

What is Sentence Sense? 400
Turning On Your Sentence Sense 400
Summary: Using Sentence Sense 402

23.Fragments 403

Dependent-Word Fragments 403
How to Correct a Depedent-Word Fragment 404
-ing and to Fragments 406
How to Correct -ing Fragments 407
How to Correct to Fragments 407
Added-Detail Fragments 409
How to Correct Missing-Subject Fragments 409
Missing-Subject Fragments 411
How to Correct Missing-Subject Fragments 411

24.Run-Ons 415

What are Run-Ons? 415
How to Correct Run-Ons? 416
Method 1: Period and a Capital Letter 416
Method 2: Comma and a Joining Word 417
Method 3: Semicolon 420
A Note on Subordination 422

25.Regular and Irregular Verbs 426

Regular Verbs 426
A Brief Review of Regular Verbs 426
Nonstandard Forms of Regular Verbs 426
Irregular Verbs 428
A List of Irregular Verbs 428
Nonstandard Forms of Three Common Irregular Verbs 431

26.Subject-Verb Agreement 434

Words between Subject and Verb 434
Verb before Subject 435
Compound Subjects 435
Indefinite Pronouns 436

27.Additional Information about Verbs 439

Verb Tense 439
Helping Verbs 440
Verbals 441
Infinitive 441
Participle 441
Gerund 441

28.Pronoun Agreement and Reference 443

Pronoun Agreement 443
Indefinite Pronouns 444
Pronoun Reference 445

29.Pronoun Types 448

Subject and Object Pronouns 448
Subject Pronouns 448
Object Pronouns 450
Possessive Pronouns 451
Demonstrative Pronouns 452

30.Adjectives and Adverbs 454

Adjectives 454
What are Adjectives? 454
Using Adjectives to Compare 455
Points to Remember about Comparing 455
Adverbs 456
What are Adverbs? 456
A Common Mistake with Adverbs and Adjectives 456
Well and Good 457

31.Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers 459

Misplaced Modifiers 459
Dangling Modifiers 460

SECTION II: MECHANICS 469

32.Manuscript Form 470

33.Capital Letters 472

Main Uses of Capital Letters 472
First Word in a Sentence or Direct Quotation 472
Names and Titles 472
Other Uses of Capital Letters 474
Names that Show Family Relationships 474
Titles of Persons When Used with Their Names 475
Specific School Courses 475
Languages 475
Geographic Locations 475
Historical Periods and Events 475
Races, Nations, and Nationalities 476
Opening and Closing of a Letter 476
Unnecessary Use of Capitals 476

34.Numbers and Abbreviations 479

Numbers 479
Rule 1 479
Rule 2 479
Rule 3 479
Abbreviations 480

SECTION III: PUNCTUATION 484

35.Apostrophe 485

Apostrophe in Contractions 485
Apostrophe to Show Ownership or Possession 486
Points to Remember 486
Apostrophe versus Possessive Pronouns 488
Apostrophe verus Simple Plurals 488
Apostrophe with Plurals Ending in -s 489

36.Quotation Marks 491

Quotation Marks to Set Off the Words of a Speaker or Writer 491
Indirect Quotations 493
Quotation Marks to Set Off Titles of Short Works 494
Other Uses of Quotations Marks 495

37.Comma 498

Six Main Uses of the Comma 498
1. Comma between Items in a Series 498
2. Comma after Introductory Material 499
3. Comma around Words That Interrupt the Flow of Thought 500
4. Comma between Complete Thoughts 501
5. Comma with Direct Quotations 502
6. Comma with Everyday Material 503

38.Other Punctuation Marks 506

Colon (:) 506
Semicolon (;) 506
Dash (-) 507
Parentheses () 507
Hyphen (-) 508

SECTION IV: WORD USE 512

39.Spelling Improvement 513

Step 1: Use the Dictionary 513
Step 2: Keep a Personal Spelling List 513
Step 3: Master Commonly Confused Words 514
Step 4: Learn Key Words in Major Subjects 514
Step 5: Study a Basic Word List 514
Step 6: Use Electronic Aids 516

40.Commonly Confused Words 517

Homonyms 517
Other Words Frequently Confused 521

41.Effective Word Choice 526

Slang 526
Cliches 527
Inflated Words 529

42.Editing Tests 532

43.ESL Pointers 545

Articles with Count and Noncount Nouns 545
Using a or an with Nonspecific Singular Count Nouns 546
Using the with Specific Nouns 546
Omitting Articles 547
Using the with Proper Nouns 547
Subjects and Verbs 549
Avoiding Repeated Subjects 549
Including Pronoun Subjects and Linking Verbs 549
Including There and Here at the Beginning of Clauses 549
Not Using the Progressive Tense of Certain Verbs 550
Using Only Transitive Verbs for the Passive Voice 550
Using Gerunds and Infinitives after Verbs 550
Adjectives 553
Following the Order of Adjectives in English 553
Using the Present and Past Participles as Adjectives 554
Prepositions Used for Time and Place 555

PART SIX: READINGS FOR WRITERS 564

Introduction to the Readings 566

The Format of Each Selection 566
How to Read Well: Four General Steps 567
1.Concentrate as You Read 567
2.Skim Material before You Read It 567
3.Read the Selection Straight Through with a Pen in Hand 568
4.Work with the Material 568
How to Answer the Comprehension Questions: Specific Hints 569

Looking Inward 570

Shame, Dick Gregory 570
The Professor is a Dropout, Beth Johnson 576
Superman and Me, Sherman Alexie 585
Prison Studies, Malcom X 590
Straw into Gold: The Metamorphosis of the Everyday, Sandra Cisneros 595
Mother Tongue, Amy Tan 601

Observing Others 609

What's Wrong with Schools?, Casey Banas 609
Propaganda Techniques in Today's Advertising, Ann McClintock 614
This is How We Live, Ellen DeGeneres 622
Advice to Youth, Mark Twain 629
Start By Sitting Together, Randy Pausch 634
Inaugural Address, John F. Kennedy 638
Neat People vs. Sloppy People, Suzanne Brit (book excerpt) 644
Petophila, Jon Katz 649

Confronting Problems 655

How to Make It in College, Now That You're Here, Brian O'Keeney 655
In Praise of the F Word, Mary Sherry 664
Is Sex All That Matters?, Joyce Garity 669
Cyberbullying, Thomas J. Billitteri 676
Why Profiling Won't Work, William Raspberry 683
Here's to Your Health, Joan Dunayer 688

APPENDIX A: Writing a Resume and Cover Letter

APPENDIX B: Writing a Formal E-mail 695

APPENDIX C: Transition Words and Phrases 696

CREDITS 697

INDEX 699