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Little, Brown Essential Handbook, 8th Edition

By Jane E. Aaron

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Dec 27, 2013


For first year composition and undergraduate courses across the curriculum.

The Little, Brown Essential Handbook, Eighth Edition, is a brief, accessible, and inexpensive pocket-sized handbook that answers questions about writing in the disciplines, the writing process, grammar and usage, research writing, and documentation.


Teaching and Learning Experience 

This text will provide a better teaching and learning experience—for you and your students. It provides:

·   Minimal terminology, clear explanations and examples, and pointers for ESL writers:   Help students at all levels of learning.

·   Extensive sections on academic writing, research writing, source    documentation, and document design: Support writers in all disciplines.

·   Convenient pocket size, four-color design, spiral binding, and numerous reference aids:  Make the book convenient to carry and easy to use. 

Table of Contents

Finding What You Need  00

Preface  0




1  Academic Writing 

a  The writing situation

b  Thesis and organization

c  Evidence and research

d  Synthesis

e  Responsible use of sources

f  Language

g  Revision

h  Editing and proofreading

2  Writing Arguments 

a  Elements of argument

b  Balance in argument

c  Organization of argument

d  Visual arguments

e  Sample argument

3  Writing in the Disciplines 

a  Literature

b  Other humanities

c  Social sciences

d  Natural and applied sciences


4  Presenting Writing 

a  Formats for academic papers

b  Visuals and other media

c  Oral presentations

d  Readers with vision loss



5  Emphasis 

a  Subjects and verbs

b  Sentence beginnings and endings

c   Coordination

d  Subordination

6  Conciseness 

a  Focusing on the subject and verb

b  Cutting empty words

c  Cutting unneeded repetition

d  Reducing clauses and phrases

e  Revising there is or it is

f  Combining sentences

7  Parallelism 

a  With and, but, or nor, yet

b  With both…and, either…or, etc.

c  With lists, headings, outlines

8  Variety and Detail 

a  Varied sentence lengths and structures

b  Details


9  Appropriate Words 

a  Nonstandard dialect

b  Slang

c  Colloquial language

d  Technical words

e  Indirect and pretentious writing

f  Sexist and other biased language

10 Exact Words 

a  Right word for meaning

b  Concrete and specific words

c  Idioms

d  Clichés



11 Forms

Sing/sang/sung and other irregular verbs

b  Helping verbs

c  Verb + gerund or infinitive

d  Verb + participle

12 Tenses 

a  Present tense (sing)

b  Perfect tenses (have/had/will have sung)

c  Consistency

d  Sequence


13 Mood

a  Subjunctive (I wish I were)

b  Consistency

14 Voice

She wrote it (active) vs. It was written (passive)

b  Consistency

15 Subject-Verb Agreement

-s ending for noun or verb

b  Words between subject and verb

c  Subjects with and

d  Subjects with or or nor

Everyone and other indefinite pronouns

Team and other collective nouns

Who, which, that

News and other singular nouns ending in –s

i  Inverted word order

Is, are, and other linking verbs


16 Forms 

She and I vs. her and me

It was she vs. It was her

Who vs. whom

d  Other constructions

17 Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement 

a  Antecedents with and

b  Antecedents with or or nor

Everyone, person, and other indefinite words

Team and other collective nouns

18 Pronoun Reference 

a  Single antecedent

b  Close antecedent

c  Specific antecedent

d  Consistency


19 Adjectives and Adverbs 

a  Adjective vs. adverb

b  Adjective with linking verb: felt bad

Bigger, most talented, and other comparisons

d  Double negatives

e  Present and past participles: boring vs. bored

f  Articles: a, an, the

20 Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers 

a  Misplaced modifiers

b  Dangling modifiers


21 Fragments  00

a  Tests

b  Revision

22 Comma Splices and Fused Sentences 

a  Main clauses without and, but, etc.

b  Main clauses related by however, for example, etc.



23 The Comma  00

And, but, or, nor, for, so, yet

b  Introductory elements

c  Interrupting and concluding elements

d  Series

e  Adjectives

f  Dates, addresses, place names, numbers

g  Quotations

24 The Semicolon 

a  Main clauses

However, for example, etc.

c  Series

25 The Colon 

a  For introduction

b  Salutations, titles and subtitles, time

26 The Apostrophe 

a  Possessives

b  Misuses: plural noun, singular verb, personal pronoun

c  Contractions

d  Plural abbreviations, etc.

27 Quotation Marks 

a  Direct quotations

b  Titles of works

c  Words used in a special sense

d  With other punctuation

28 End Punctuation 

a  Period

b  Question mark

c  Exclamation point

29 Other Marks 

a  Dash or dashes

b  Parentheses

c  Ellipses mark

d  Brackets

e  Slash



30 Spelling and the Hyphen 

a  Spelling checkers

b  Spelling rules

c  The hyphen

31 Capital Letters 

a  First word of sentence

b  Proper nouns and adjectives

c  Titles and subtitles of works

d  Titles of persons

e  Online communication

32 Italics or Underlining 

a  Titles of works

b  Ships, aircraft, spacecraft, trains

c  Foreign words and phrases

d  Words or characters named as words

e  Online alternatives

33 Abbreviations 

a  Familiar abbreviations

b  Latin abbreviations

c  Words usually spelled out

34 Numbers 

a  Numerals, not words

b  Words, not numerals



35 Research Strategy 

a  Subject, question, thesis

b  Goals for sources

c  Working bibliography

36 Tracking Sources 

a  Working bibliography

b  Annotated bibliography

c  Files, printouts, and notes

37 Finding Sources 

a  Electronic searches

b  Reference works

c  Books

d  Periodicals

e  The Web

f  Social media

g  Government publications

h  Images, audio, and audio

i  Your own sources

38 Evaluating and Synthesizing Sources 

a  Evaluation

b  Synthesis

39 Integrating Sources into Your Text 

a  Summary, paraphrase, direct quotation

b  Introduction and interpretation of source material

c  Clear boundaries for source material

40 Avoiding Plagiarism 

a  Deliberate and careless plagiarism

b  What not to acknowledge

c  What must be acknowledged

d  Online sources

41 Documenting Sources 

a  Discipline styles

b  Bibliography software

42 MLA Documentation and Format 

a  Parenthetical text citations

b  List of works cited

c  Paper format

d  Sample pages

43 APA Documentation and Format 

a  Parenthetical text citations

b  Reference list

c  Paper format

d  Sample pages

44 Chicago Documentation and Format 

a  Notes and list of works cited

b  Models

c  Paper format

d  Sample pages

45 CSE Documentation 

a  Name-year text citations

b  Numbered text citations

c  Reference list

Commonly Misused Words

Grammar Terms 


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