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Patterns of Exposition, 20th Edition

By Robert A. Schwegler

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Oct 5, 2011


Incorporating readings representing new voices and styles in nonfiction that will appeal to contemporary readers, this classic composition reader continues to provide engaging, instructive models of the rhetorical modes.


A wealth of new selections appear in this respected modes-based reader, continuing its tradition of offering high-quality, accessible readings, both classic and with a contemporary “edge” and style. The readings encourage students to take a stand on questions of culture, identity, and value in college communities, in the workplace, and in society. Thorough introductions to each rhetorical pattern, numerous exercises, and sample student essays throughout the book emphasize practical concrete writing strategies. A thematic table of contents and table of “Essay Pairs”—which groups essays particularly well-suited for study and discussion—make this book versatile and convenient for instructors to adapt for their classes.

Table of Contents

** denotes new to this edition


1. Reading for Writers


2. Ways of Writing






3. Example

Andy Rooney, In and Of Ourselves We Trust 

Wil Haygood, Underground Dads

Mary Karr, Dysfunctional Nation


Issues and Ideas: Characterizing Behavior

            Brent Staples, Just Walk On By

            Jonah Lehrer, The Uses of Reason



4. Classification

** William Zinsser, College Pressures

** Amy Tan, Mother Tongue

Michael Ventura, Don’t Even Think About It!


Issues and Ideas: Sorting Out How We Communicate

            ** Deborah Tannen, But What Do You Mean?

            ** Stephanie Ericsson, The Ways We Lie


5. Comparison

** Rachel Carson, Fable for Tomorrow

Mark Twain, Two Ways of Seeing a River

Bruce Catton, Grant and Lee, A Study in Contrasts

Bill McKibben, Old Macdonald Had a Farmer’s Market


Issues and Ideas: Evaluating Traditions

           ** Bharati Mukherhee, Two Ways to Belong in America

           ** WilliamOuchi, Japanese and American Workers


6. Analogy

Alice Walker, Am I Blue?

** Robert Benchley, Advice to Writers

** Virginia Woolf, The Death of the Moth


Issues and Ideas: Perceiving Likeness in Differences

            ** Henry David Thoreau, The Battle  

            ** Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Oyster Bed

            ** Visual Text (Advertisement) TK


7. Process Analysis

** Amy Sutherland, What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage

** Barbara Kingsolver, Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Ian Frazier, How to Operate the Shower Curtain 


Issues and Ideas: Demystifying Everyday Rituals

          ** Stanley Fish: Getting Coffee Is Hard to Do

          ** Ernest Hemingway, Camping Out


8. Cause-Effect

** Michael Jernigan, Living the Dream

** Norman Cousins, Who Killed Benny Paret?


Issues and Ideas: Fathoming Consequences

            Cullen Murphy, Hello, Darkness

           Verlyn Klinkenborg, Our Vanishing Night


9. Definition

John Berendt, The Hoax

** Jhumpa Lahiri, My Two Lives

Anne Fadiman, Coffee


Issues and Ideas: Clarifying Values and Roles

           Stephen L. Carter, The Insufficiency of Honesty

           ** Mary Pipher, Beliefs about Families


10. Description

** Suzanne Berne, Ground Zero

George Simpson, The War Room at Bellevue 

Daniel Thomas Cook, Children of the Brand 


Issues and Ideas: Expressing Memories

           Donna Tartt, A Garden Party

           E. B. White, Once More to the Lake 


11. Narration

Geoffrey Canada, Pain

** Langston Hughes, Salvation

** Sandra Cisneros, Only Daughter


Issues and Ideas: Dramatizing Ethical Dilemmas

            Martin Gansberg, Thirty-Eight Who Saw Murder Didn’t Call the Police

            ** George Orwell, Shooting an Elephant


12. Induction and Deduction

Nancy Friday, The Age of Beauty


Issues and Ideas: Digital Realities

             J. C. Herz, Superhero Sushi


12. Argument

Issues and Ideas: Persuading an Audience


            Christopher B. Daly, How the Lawyers Stole Winter

            Stephanie Mills,  Could You Live with Less?

            Anna Quindlen, The Drug That Pretends It Isn’t

            Andrew O’Hehir, The Myth of Media Violence

            ** Al Gore, The Time to Act Is Now

            ** Mark Twain, The Damned Human Race

            Elizabeth Svoboda, “I Am Not a Puzzle, I Am a Person”

            Margaret Atwood, Pornography

            Sarah Min, Language Lessons

            Martin Luther King, Jr.,  Letter from Birmingham Jail


 14. Further Readings

Jason Kelly, The Great TV Debate

Leslie Marmon Silko, Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit

George Orwell, A Hanging

Jean E. Kilbourne, Beauty . . . And the Beast of Advertising



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