The Sense Of Structure: Writing from the Reader's Perspective by George GopenThe Sense Of Structure: Writing from the Reader's Perspective by George Gopen

The Sense Of Structure: Writing from the Reader's Perspective

byGeorge Gopen

Paperback | January 8, 2004

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Emphasizing “reader expectations,” this composition text provides an insightful guide to writing clearly and effectively.


Reflecting on the author's decades of experience as an international writing consultant, writer, and instructor, The Sense of Structure teaches writing from the perspective of readers. This text demonstrates that readers have relatively fixed expectations of where certain words or grammatical constructions will appear in a unit of discourse. By bringing these intuitive reading processes to conscious thought, this text provides students with tools for understanding how readers interact with the structure of writing, from punctuation marks to sentences to paragraphs, and how meaning and purpose are communicated through structure.

Andrew J. DuBrin, Ph.D. An accomplished author, Andrew J. DuBrin, Ph.D., brings to his work years of research experience in human relations and business psychology. His research has been reported in Entrepreneur, Psychology Today, the Wall Street Journal, Fortune Small Biz, and over 100 national magazines and local newspapers. An act...
Title:The Sense Of Structure: Writing from the Reader's PerspectiveFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.6 inPublished:January 8, 2004Publisher:Pearson EducationLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0205296327

ISBN - 13:9780205296323

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Read from the Book

Welcome to the seventh edition of Human Relations for Career and Personal Success. The purpose of this book is to show you how you can become more effective in your work and personal life through knowledge of and skill in human relations. A major theme of this text is that career and personal success are related. Success on the job often enhances personal success, and success in personal life can enhance job success. Dealing effectively with people is an enormous asset in both work and personal life. One major audience for this book is students who will meet human relations problems on the job and in personal life. The text is designed for human relations courses taught in colleges, career schools, vocational-technical schools, and other postsecondary schools. Another major audience for this book is managerial, professional, and technical workers who are forging ahead in their careers. ORGANIZATION OF THE BOOK The text is divided into four parts, reflecting the major issues in human relations. Part 1 covers four aspects of understanding and managing yourself: Chapter 1 focuses on self-understanding and the interrelationship of career and personal success, Chapter 2 explains how to use goal setting and other methods of self-motivation to improve your chances for success, Chapter 3 explains the basics of solving problems and making decisions with an emphasis on creativity, Chapter 4 deals with achieving wellness and managing stress, and Chapter 5 focuses on dealing with personal problems such as substance abuse, counterproductive habits, and other forms of self-defeating behavior. Part 2 examines the heart of human relations—dealing effectively with other people. The topics in Chapters 6 through 9 are, respectively, communicating with people; handling conflict with others and being assertive; getting along with your manager, coworkers, and customers; and developing competency in working with people from other cultures. Part 3 provides information to help career-minded people capitalize on their education, experiences, talents, and ambitions. The topics of Chapters 10 through 13 are choosing a career and developing a portfolio career, finding a suitable job, developing good work habits, and getting ahead in your career. Chapter 14 is about the related topics of developing self-confidence and becoming a leader. Part 4 is divided into two chapters. Chapter 15 offers realistic advice on managing personal finances. Chapter 16 describes how to enhance social and family life, including how to find happiness and new friends and how to keep a personal relationship vibrant. Human Relations for Career and Personal Success is both a text and a workbook of experiential exercises, including role plays and self-assessment quizzes. (An experiential exercise allows for learning by doing, along with guided instruction.) Each chapter contains one or more exercises and ends with a human relations case problem. All the experiential exercises can be completed during a class session. In addition, they emphasize human interaction and thinking and minimize paperwork. A CHANGES IN THE SEVENTH EDITION The seventh edition reflects an updating and selective pruning and/or expansion of concepts of previous editions. The text continues the Internet emphasis of the sixth edition, with each chapter containing an Internet Skill-Building Exercise and a Web Corner. Also, references to Web sites are mentioned throughout the text. Several more complex cases have been added, and many self-assessment exercises have been revised and many new ones added. Over 75 percent of the chapter openers, cases, and examples are new. Chapter 1 now includes two self-evaluation traps of underestimating and overestimating our capabilities. Chapter 2 has a boxed insert about how a worker used goal setting to finally enter his dream career. Chapter 3 contains a completely revamped presentation of problem-solving styles based on the Myers-Briggs typology and also introduces mindstorming, a variation of brainstorming that asks questions in order to solve problems. Chapter 4 includes a table describing 10 foods that help prevent serious ailments. Chapter 5 adds information about generalized anxiety disorders and meditation as a method of stress reduction, reflecting renewed interest in these two topics. Chapter 6 adds the topic of personal communication style. Chapter 7 now includes a table describing how accurately workers are able to identify acts of sexual harassment, the grievance procedure for resolving job conflicts, and the jury of peers for resolving job conflicts. Chapter 8 adds a description of developing a customer service orientation and service-oriented organizational citizenship behaviors. Chapter 9 now includes work orientation versus leisure orientation as a cultural value, religious values in the workplace, bicultural identities of many workers, microinequities (small slights) in cross-cultural relation, and role playing to forecast demands in negotiating. Chapter 10 has new information about the fastest-growing occupations through 2010 and different concepts, or models, of a career. Chapter 11 adds extreme job hunting—highly creative and complex methods of attracting a prospective employer. Chapter 12 now contains information about the inner game of work—removing obstacles to performance, such as self-criticism. Chapter 13 includes an exhibit on networking suggestions. Chapter 14 expands on the importance of trustworthiness for leadership and adds a table of character attributes for leaders and crisis management for leaders. Chapter 15 adds the role of aversion to risk in financial investments and supplemental retirement annuities as investments. Chapter 16 now includes leading a meaningful life as a key to happiness; speed dating for finding romance, and the contribution of occasional acquiescence to resolving conflict within relationships.

Table of Contents

1. The Complexity of the English Sentence.

Tools, Not Rules.

The Anatomy of a Sentence's Meaning, from the Reader's Perspective.

2. A Structural Anatomy of the English Sentence.

The Fallacy of Good and Bad Sentences.

Reader Expectations at the Sentence Level.

3. Weights and Balances; Motions and Connections.

Artificial EMPHASIS, and When to Use It.

Fred and His Dog: Competition for Emphasis.

Moments of Truth: The Shape of the Sentence, Revisited.

The Backwards Link of the Topic Position.

The Various Functions of the Stress Position.

The Flow of Thought from Sentence to Sentence.

4. “Whose Paragraph Is It, Anyway?”: The Shapes of the English Paragraph.

Procrustean Problems in Teaching the Paragraph.

The Issue.


Pointless Paragraphs.

Connections Between Paragraphs.

Summarizing Paragraph Structures.

A Note on Whole Documents.

5. “Write the Way You Speak” and Other Bad Pieces of Advice.

Bad Advice; and Why Not to Take It.

The Toll Booth Syndrome.

6. Mark My Words: A Reader's Perspective on the World of Punctuation.

From Fetters to Facilitators: Punctuation as Power.

The Semi-colon: A Hope for an Afterlife.

A Brief Glimpse at the History of Punctuation.

The Colon: Play It Again, Sam.

Dashes -- (Parentheses), Commas, and [Brackets]: Pardon the Interruption.

The Hyphen: In the Midst of Things.

The Question Mark: Is Anything Uncertain Here?

The Exclamation Point and Other Forms of Artificial Emphasis: Look at Me!

The Use of Punctuation with Quotation Marks: Consistency, Logic, and Illogical Consistency.

The Apostrophe: Whose Who's Are What's What.

The Ellipsis: Now You Don't.

The Period: A Comfort Zone.

The Comma: It Gives One Pause.