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Little, Brown Handbook, The, 12th Edition

By H. Ramsey Fowler, Jane E. Aaron

Published by Longman

Published Date: Oct 13, 2011

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The Little, Brown Handbook provides reliable and thorough coverage of handbook basics--the writing process, grammar and usage, research and documentation--while also giving detailed discussions of critical reading, academic writing, reading and writing arguments, writing in the disciplines, and public writing. Widely used by both experienced and inexperienced writers, The Little, Brown Handbook works as both a comprehensive classroom text and an accessible reference guide.

Table of Contents

Preface for Students: Using This Book         


Preface for Instructors           


Introduction   Joining the Academic Community             

I1.  Getting the most from college courses   

I2.  Becoming an academic writer     

I3.  Developing academic integrity     

I4.  Communicating in an academic setting  



1   Assessing the Writing Situation    

a. Understanding how writing happens         

b. Analyzing the writing situation        

c. Discovering and limiting a subject  

d. Defining a purpose 

e. Considering the audience

f.  Using genres   


2   Discovering and Shaping Ideas    

a. Discovering ideas  

b. Developing a thesis

c. Organizing ideas    



3   Drafting, Revising, and Editing     

a. Writing the first draft          

b. Revising the first draft        

c. Examining a sample revision

d. Editing the revised draft                 

e. Preparing and proofreading the final draft 


f. Giving and receiving comments    

g. Preparing a writing portfolio      


4   Writing and Revising Paragraphs  

a. Relating paragraphs in the essay  

b. Maintaining paragraph unity           

c. Achieving paragraph coherence    

d. Developing the paragraph              

e. Writing special kinds of paragraphs  


5   Presenting Writing   

a. Academic writing  


b. Visuals and other media

c. Web writing

    SAMPLE WEB SITE                


d. Making oral presentations




6   Forming a Critical Perspective      

a. Using techniques of critical reading

b. Summarizing         

c. Developing a critical response

d. Viewing visuals critically  


7   Writing in Academic Situations     

a. Determining purpose, audience, and genre  

b. Writing in response to texts           

c. Choosing structure and content

d. Acknowledging sources   

e. Using academic language 

f. Examining sample critical responses        




8   Reading Arguments Critically        

a. Recognizing the elements of argument    

b. Testing claims                   

c. Weighing evidence

d. Discovering assumptions  

e. Watching language, hearing tone    

f. Judging reasonableness     

g. Recognizing fallacies         

h. Reading visual arguments


9   Writing an Argument           

a. Finding a subject    

b. Conceiving a thesis statement      

c. Analyzing your purpose and your audience           

d. Using reason          

e. Using evidence                  

f. Reaching your readers

g. Organizing your argument             

h. Revising your argument     



10   Taking Essay Exams   

a.  Preparing for an essay examination           

b.  Planning your time and your answer  

c.  Starting the essay             

d.  Developing the essay


e.  Rereading the essay        


11   Public Writing           

a. Writing business letters and memos


b. Writing a job application


c. Writing business reports and proposals


d. Writing for community work




12   Understanding Sentence Grammar  

a.  Understanding the basic sentence           

b.  Expanding the basic sentence with single words  

c.  Expanding the basic sentence with word groups             

d.  Compounding words, phrases, and clauses       

e.  Changing the usual word order  

f.  Classifying sentences  


13   Case of Nouns and Pronouns       

a.  Compound subjects and subject complements   

b.  Compound objects  

c.  We or us with a noun        

d.  Appositives  

e.  Pronoun after than or as in a comparison  

f.  Subjects and objects of infinitives   

g.  Who vs. whom   

h.  Case before a gerund   


14   Verbs  

Verb Forms  

a.  Regular and irregular verbs  

b.  Sit and set; lie and lay; rise and raise       

c.  Omitted -s and -ed endings  

d.  Helping verbs  

e.  Verb plus gerund or infinitive         

f.  Verb plus article 


g.  Appropriate tense for meaning  

h.  Sequence of tenses  


i.  Subjunctive verb forms      


j.  Active vs. passive voice   


15   Agreement 

a.  Agreement between subject and verb      

b.  Agreement between pronoun and antecedent     


16   Adjectives and Adverbs  

a.  Adjectives only with nouns and pronouns  

b.  Adjectives after linking verbs  

c.  Adjectives with objects; adverbs with verbs  

d.  Comparative and superlative forms  

e.  Double negatives

f.  Overuse of nouns as modifiers     

g.  Present and past participles as adjectives  

h.  A, an, the, and other determiners 



17   Sentence Fragments  

a.  Tests for sentence completeness, revision of fragments 

b.  Subordinate clause  

c.  Verbal or prepositional phrase  

d.  Other fragments  

e.  Acceptable uses of incomplete sentences   


18   Comma Splices and Fused Sentences     

Comma Splices        

a.  Main clauses not joined by a coordinating conjunction  

b.  Main clauses related by a conjunctive adverb or transitional expression            

Fused Sentences  

c.  Main clauses with no conjunction or punctuation 


19   Pronoun Reference  

a.  Clear reference to one antecedent 

b.  Clear placement of pronoun and antecedent       

c.  Reference to specific antecedent  

d.  Indefinite use of you  

f.   Appropriate who, which, that  


20   Shifts  

a.  Person and number  

b.  Tense and mood  

c.  Subject and voice             

d.  Indirect and direct quotations and questions        


21   Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers  

Misplaced Modifiers  

a.  Clear placement of modifiers       

b.  Limiting modifiers   

c.  Squinting modifiers           

d.  Separation of subjects, verbs, and objects  

e.  Separation of parts of infinitives or verb phrases  

f.  Position of adverbs  

g.  Order of adjectives           

Dangling Modifiers  

h.  Dangling modifiers


22   Mixed and Incomplete Sentences            

Mixed Sentences  

a.  Mixed grammar 

b.  Mixed meaning (faulty predication)  

Incomplete Sentences  

c.  Compound constructions  

d.  Comparisons  

e.  Careless omissions  




23   Emphasizing Ideas

a.  Using subjects and verbs effectively  

b.  Using sentence beginnings and endings 

c.  Arranging parallel elements effectively 

d.  Repeating ideas 

e.  Separating ideas   

f.  Being concise       


24   Using Coordination and Subordination     

a.  Coordinating to relate equal ideas  

b.  Subordinating to distinguish main ideas  

c.  Choosing clear connectors   


25   Using Parallelism  

a.  Using parallelism for coordinate elements 

b.  Using parallelism to increase coherence      


26   Achieving Variety     

a.  Varying sentence length and structure     

b.  Varying sentence beginnings  

c.  Inverting the normal word order    

d.  Mixing types of sentences  




27   End Punctuation      

a. The period 

b. The question mark  

c. The exclamation point    


28   The Comma 

a.  Main clauses linked by coordinating conjunctions  

b.  Introductory elements  

c.  Nonessential elements     

d.  Absolute phrases              

e.  Phrases expressing contrast       

f.  Series and coordinate adjectives  

g.  Dates, addresses, place names, long numbers 

h.  With quotations 

i.  To prevent misreading  

j.  Misuse and overuse 


29   The Semicolon  

a.  Main clauses not joined by a coordinating conjunction  

b.  Main clauses related by a conjunctive adverb or transitional expression  

c.  Main clauses that are too long or contain commas  

d.  Series items that are long or contain commas    

e.  Misuse and overuse  


30   The Apostrophe       

a.  Possession           

b.  Misuses with noun plurals, verbs, and personal pronouns 

c.  Contractions 

d.  Plurals of abbreviations, dates, and words or characters named as words


31   Quotation Marks 


a.  Direct quotations 

b.  Quotation within a quotation 

c.  Dialog 

d.  Titles of songs, short stories, etc.  

e.  Words used in a special sense    

f.  Overuse 

g.  Placement with other punctuation marks 


32   Other Punctuation Marks   

a.  The colon 

b.  The dash   

c.  Parentheses 

d.  Brackets    

e.  The ellipsis mark   

f.  The slash 


PART 7  MECHANICS         

33   Capitals 

a.  First word of a sentence 

b.  Titles of works 

c.  Pronoun I and interjection

d.  Proper nouns and adjectives        

e.  Titles before proper names          

f.  Misuses of capitals  


34   Italics or Underlining  

a.  Titles of books and periodicals     

b.  Names of ships, aircraft, spacecraft, trains  

c.  Foreign words and phrases  

d.  Words, letters, and numbers  named as words  

e.  For emphasis        

f.  In online communication


35   Abbreviations  

a.  Titles before and after proper names       

b.  Familiar abbreviations and acronyms      

c.  BC, BCE, AD, CE, AM, PM, no., and  

d.  Latin abbreviations  

e.  Inc., Bros., Co., and     

f.  Misuse with units of measurement, geographical names, and so on  


36   Numbers  

a.  Numerals vs. words  

b.  For dates, addresses, etc.  

c.  Beginning sentences        



37   Using Appropriate Language  

a.  Revising nonstandard dialect       

b.  Revising shortcuts of online communication       

c.  Using slang only when appropriate  

d.  Using colloquial language only when appropriate  

e.  Using regionalisms only when appropriate  

f.  Revising neologisms  

g.  Using technical words with care  

h.  Revising indirect or pretentious writing  

i.  Revising sexist and other biased language  


38   Using Exact Language  

a.  Using a dictionary and a thesaurus  

b.  Using the right word for your meaning  

c.  Balancing the abstract and concrete, the general and specific  

d.  Using idioms  

e.  Using figurative language  

f.  Using fresh expressions    


39   Writing Concisely    

a.  Focusing on subject and verb      

b.  Cutting or shortening empty words and phrases 

c.  Cutting unnecessary repetition 

d.  Reducing clauses to phrases, phrases to single words 

e.  Revising there is and it is constructions 

f.  Combining sentences 

g.  Rewriting jargon    


40   Spelling and the Hyphen    

a.  Recognizing typical spelling problems 

b.  Following spelling rules 

c.  Developing spelling skills 

d.  Using the hyphen to form or divide words 



41   Planning a Research Project         

a.      Starting out             

b.      Finding a researchable subject and question                  

c.      Developing a research strategy       

d.      Making a working, annotated bibliography    


42   Finding Sources        

a.    Starting with your library’s Web site       

b.    Searching electronically 

c.    Finding reference works                         

d.    Finding books         

e.    Finding periodicals                      

f.    Finding sources on the Web       

g.    Finding sources using social media                   

h.    Finding government publications                        

i.     Finding visuals, audio, and video            

j.    Generating your own sources     


43   Working with Sources         

a.   Evaluating sources          

b.   Synthesizing sources      

c.   Mining and interacting with sources          

d.   Using summary, paraphrase, and quotation       

e.   Integrating sources into your text


44   Avoiding Plagiarism and Documenting Sources  

a.    Distinguishing deliberate from accidental plagiarism 

b.    Knowing what you need not acknowledge  

c.    Knowing what you must acknowledge              

d.    Obtaining permission when publishing your work          

e.    Documenting sources    


45   Writing the Paper                

a.    Developing a thesis statement               

b.    Creating a structure        

c.    Drafting the paper                       

d.    Revising and editing the paper   

e.    Preparing and proofreading the final draft  


46   Using MLA Documentation and Format    

a.    Using MLA in-text citations          

b.    Preparing the MLA list of works cited     

c.    Using MLA document format        


47   Two Research Papers in MLA Style

“The False Promise of Green Consumerism”          

“Annie Dillard’s Healing Vision”                      



48   Working with the Goals and Requirements of the Disciplines 

a.   Using methods and evidence  

b.   Understanding writing assignments        

c.   Using tools and language            

d.   Following styles for source citations and document format     


49   Reading and Writing About Literature                      

a.   Using the methods and evidence of literary analysis        

b.   Understanding writing assignments in literature             

c.   Using the tools and language of literary analysis                        

d.   Citing sources and formatting documents in writing about literature                  

e.   Drafting and revising a literary analysis  


f.   Writing about fiction, poetry, and drama   




50   Writing in Other Humanities  

a.   Using the methods and evidence of the humanities       

b.   Understanding writing assignments in the humanities                

c.   Using the tools and language of the humanities              

d.   Citing sources in Chicago style   

e.   Formatting documents in Chicago style 


51   Writing in the Social Sciences           

a.   Using the methods and evidence of the social sciences            

b.   Understanding writing assignments in the social sciences                    

c.   Using the tools and language of the social sciences   

d.   Citing sources in APA style  

e.   Formatting documents in APA style  



52   Writing in the Natural and Applied Sciences             

a.   Using the methods and evidence of the sciences                      

b.   Understanding writing assignments in the sciences       

c.   Using the tools and language of the sciences                             

d.   Citing sources in CSE style  

e.   Formatting documents in CSE style   

      SAMPLE SCIENCE PAPER             


Glossary of Usage

Glossary of Terms


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