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Reflect, Inform, Persuade: College Writing Today

By Elizabeth R. Kessler

Published by Longman

Published Date: Nov 29, 2009


Reflect, Inform, Persuade examines the purposes for writing while demonstrating the varying processes writers employ to reach an end.  The low price (~$25 net*) and practical three-part organization make Reflect, Inform, Persuade an option for a variety of interests or course objectives.  Author Elizabeth Kessler hones in on three important points: improving academic writing skills; writing for various purposes, gradually moving from self to a focus on the wider world; and using materials that can be used as models for good writing.

Table of Contents

Part I • The Writing Process


Chapter 1 • The Writing Process


The Writing Process—A Holistic View

The Writing Process—A Deconstructed View

What I Learned

Applying What I Learned

Working with What I Learned


Chapter 2 • Invention/Prewriting Strategies



            Free Writing/Power Writing      



            Journalistic Questions



Do We Write Now?

            Free Writing/Power Writing





What I Learned

Applying What I Learned

Working with What I Learned


Chapter 3  • Pre-Drafting:  Elements to Consider


Purpose, Modes, and Genre

            To Entertain

            To Reflect/Express—Genres


                        Personal Narrative

                                    From “Mama Sarah” Fortuna Benudiz Ippoliti                          

            To Inform—Modes

                        Descriptive Writing

                        Comparison and Contrast

                        Cause and Effect

                                    From “Find Yourself Packing It On? Blame Friends” Gina Kolata



                        Division and Classification

                        Process Analysis

                                    Ghirardelli™ Individual Chocolate Lava Cakes (advertisement)

                        Research, Exposition, Summary, Analysis

            To Inform—Genres                


                        Process Analysis

                        Movie Review

                                    From “Hogwarts Under Siege” A. O. Scott 


                        Op-Ed Piece

                                    From “Find Yourself Packing It On? Blame Friends”  Gina Kolata

                        Personal Narrative

                                    From “The Heart of the City” Terrell F. Dixon 


                                    Mr. Goodwrench

                                    The Starfish Story

                                    Teddy Grahams


            Geo. H. Lewis & Sons (advertisement)


What I Learned

Applying What I Learned

Working with What I Learned


Chapter 4  • Drafting the Academic Informative Essay


Building the Essay

            Step One—Invention

            Step Two—The Thesis

            Step Three—The Introduction

            Step Four—The Body Paragraphs

            Step Five—Transitions

            Step Six—The Conclusion

            Step Seven—The Sources

            Step Eight—The Complete First Draft

                        Allison’s Fury

What I Learned 

Applying What I Learned 

Working with What I Learned


Chapter 5  • Peer Review and Revision


The Reading-Writing Connection


            The Editing Process

                        Editing for Purpose

                        Editing for Audience


                        The Rubric for Structure, Organization, and Development



            How to Use Your Review

                        Editing for Audience


            Completing Your Revisions

What I Learned               

Applying What I Learned

Working with What I Learned


Chapter 6  • Editing and Formatting


Grammar Phobia

            The Mechanics Profile

Formatting MLA Style 

What I Learned

Applying What I Learned 

Working with What I Learned


Part II  • Genre Construction


Chapter 7  • To Reflect and Express



            Personal Reflection Journals

                        A Marine at War—Journal Entry—Persian Gulf

                                    War Narrative     Jason Douglas

            Pre-Reading and Reader Response Journals

                        Student Reader Responses

            Genre Construction


            The Personal Letter

                        Making Peace with My Dad; Making Peace With Myself Mari Carmen Marin

            The Formal Business Letter

            The Letter of Application

            Genre Construction

Autobiographical Narratives

            The Closed Form Narrative

                        Waste, A County Fair Tale Leilani Hall 

            The Open Form Narrative

                        The Cat Under the Bed:  Growing Up SurvivorPatricia Lee Yongue

            Chronological Organization

            Spatial Organization

                        The Lost Bills

Genre Construction




                        Peer Editing

                                    Editing for Purpose

                                    Editing for Audience



                        Editing and Formatting

                                    Rubric for Structure, Organization, and Development


            From Memory of Walking Antonio Jocson                                                           

            Genre Construction


Chapter 8  • To Inform


The Multi-Mode Essay

            From “The Classroom and the Wider Culture:  Identity as Key to Learning English Composition “ Fan Shen

            “Cultural Tyranny”  Gloria Anzaldúa

Genre Construction

            Editing for Purpose

            Editing for Audience

            The Rubric for Structure, Organization, and Development


            “Is This Where Your Teen Goes to Get High?”

Newspaper and Magazine Articles

            Newspaper Articles

                        “War on Words Heats Up in Immigration Debate” Lini Kadaba

            Magazine Articles

                        From “In the Hot Seat”  Chryso D’Angelo 

            The Movie Review               

                        Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007):Hogwarts Under Siege A.O. Scott

            Genre Construction


Chapter 9  • To Persuade and Convince


What Is Argument?


            A Debatable Topic and Its Thesis



            Strategies—Conceding Points

            Strategies—Refuting Points

            Changing Positions

Reading Argument           

            Suggestions for Reading Argument

            Personal Argument

                        I Am a Housewife Elisa Garza

            The Traditional Formal Argument

                        Time to Lower the Drinking Age Joseph McDade

            A Second Reading 

            Preparing to Write about an Argument

                        Some Things Can Wait

Reading Other Argumentative Genres

            The Op-Ed Piece

                        The Potterparazzi     Lisa M. Virgoe

            The Editorial and Political Cartoons

                        Justice     Pat Oliphant 

                        Obesity     Doug N. Marlette

                        Clemens and Steroids     Mike Luckovich 

            The Advertisement

Evaluating Genres        


Chapter 10  • Writing Argument


The Argument    

            The Topic—Invention 


                        Appeals and Structure


                                    Rogerian Argument



                        Logical Fallacies

                                    The Either/Or Fallacy, or the False Dilemma

                                    The False Analogy

                                    The Red Herring

                                    The Bandwagon Fallacy






            Peer Editing 

                        Editing for Purpose

                        Editing for Audience

                        The Rubric for Structure, Organization, and Development



            Formatting and Editing

            Revision Revisited

The Traditionally Constructed Argumentative Essay


            The Writing Process Deferred

            The Prompt for a 90-Minute Argumentative Essay Assignment

                        Stronger Standards for Admission

            The Final Draft

Evaluating Genres

Genre Construction


Part III · Reading about Personal Issues


Chapter 11 • Identity:  How Do I Construct My Identity?


Visual Literacy

            Community College Street Festival (Photograph)     Linda Daigle 

            Paris Wedding (Photograph)     Linda Daigle

            Traditions?     Elizabeth R. Kessler

Pausing to Consider                           

Reading about College and Young Adult Identity

            “Who Shall I Be?”  The Allure of a Fresh Start     Jennifer Crichton

            My Deep Dark Secret?  I Miss My Family     Hadley Moore

            The Classroom and the Wider Culture:  Identity as a Key to Learning English Composition Fan Shen 

Reading about Social/Ethnic Identity

            “Blaxicans” and Other Reinvented Americans     Richard Rodriguez 

            A Conversion Unveiled     Yvonne Ridley 

            The Price of Being “Americanized”  Michael Novak

Reading about Gender and Sexual Identity

            Never Quite Male or Female, It’s Her Decision  Now  Sarah Viren

            The Boy’s Desire     Richard Rodriguez 

Reflections on Identity                                

Reflecting to Write                        


Chapter 12  • Body Image and Health:  How Do I Construct My Physical Being?


Visual Literacy 

            Lost Identity, I (Photograph)     Franka Bruns

            Guerneville 1980 (Photograph)     Anja Leigh Russell 

            Asian Beauty (Photograph)     Linda Daigle           

            Surviving Beautifully  (Photograph)     Elizabeth Kessler 

Pausing to Consider

Reading about the Male Body

            Son of a Pretty Boy     Andrew Brininstool 

Reading about Weight

            The Radius of Beauty Leilani Hall 

            Fat and Happy:  In Defense Acceptance Mary Ray Worley                                

            Why Don’t They Just Eat?

Reading about Beauty

            Miss America:  More than a Beauty Queen?  Kate Shindle

            Finding My Eye-dentity Olivia Chung

Reflections on Body Image and Health

Reflecting to Write


Chapter 13 • Education and Work:  How Do I Construct My Mind and My Career?


Visual Literacy

            Professional Business Cards

                        Real Estate Card     Patti Diller    

                        Veterinarian Card

            Lipitor (Advertisement)

Pausing to Consider

Reading about Traditional Ways of Education 

            Forget the Fads—The Old Ways Work Best     Evan Keliher 

            I Didn’t Want to Work that Hard:  A Liberal Arts Education     Sherree Kessler

Reading about Different Perspectives in Work and Education

            “Truth Is, I’m the Same Guy I Always Was”     Paul McCartney 

            Help!  I’m a Mac Person in a PC World     Anne Perrin 

            Some Lessons from the Assembly Line     Andrew Braaksma 

            Letter to Friends     Sandra Cisneros  

Reflections on Education and Work 

Reflecting to Write 


Chapter 14 • Trauma:  How Do I Construct Trust?


Visual Literacy

            Little Hearts, Big Hurts (Poster)

            Maybe It’s Not Your Child Who Needs a Time-Out

            You Won’t Know If You Don’t Ask 

            Sexual Assault

            Strong & Silent or Ashamed & Alone?

Pausing to Consider

Reading about Authority Figures

            Goodbye Rita Hayworth, Hello Margarita Cansino Linda Rader Overman                                             

            Scouts Molested, Again Patrick Boyle and Elizabeth Marchak 

Reading about the Aftermath

            I Want Constantine’s Murder to Die Olga Polites

            How Would My Rape Shape My Kids’ Lives? Ellen Sussman

Reflections on Trauma

Reflecting to Write


Chapter 15 · Relationships:  How Do I Construct a Life with Others?


Visual Literacy                     

            Abuelita (Photograph)     Anja Leigh Russell 

            The Oscar Party (Photograph)     Linda Daigle

            The Red Hat Ladies (Photograph)     Patti Diller 

Pausing to Consider

Reading Selection about Marriage and Other Relationships

            Making Room for Dad’s New Girlfriend     Melissa Maynard 

Reading about Alternative Parenting

            Stop Setting Alarms on My Biological Clock     Carrie Friedman

            If Our Son Is Happy, What Else Matters?     Scott Sherman 

Reading about Getting Along with Others

            Becoming “Real” Men at Last     Topher Sanders

            That’s MS. to you, Bub  Abigail McCarthy 

Reflections on Relationships

Reflecting to Write


Chapter 16 · Closure:  How Will Others Construct Me?


Visual Literacy


Pausing to Consider           

Reading about the Media 

            When Harry Met Tony Malcolm Jones 

            No More Bikinis & Cowboys Scott Deveau 

Reading about Our Family and Friends

            You’re Going to End Up Like Your Mother Anyway, So Get Over It Sandy Jordan 

            A Father on a Poster Board Just Won’t Do Alison Buckholtz                         

Reading about Health and Medicine

            Find Yourself Packing It On?  Blame Friends Gina Kolata 

            Fat Comes in on Little Cat Feet Gail Collins  

Reading about Education and Growing Up—At Any Age

            Grades not Full Gauge of Talent     Cary Clack 

            The Teacher Who Changed My Life Nicholas Gage

            Student Evaluations     David Holmberg 

            Bringing Up Adultolescents     Peg Tyre 

Reading about Society’s Issues

            My Name Is Margaret     Maya Angelou 

            Dropping the “One Drop” Rule     George Will 

Reading about After I’ve Departed

            The Champion Oak, Glennwood Cemetery (Photograph)   Linda Walsh

            Daisies and Diaries:  Death and Defining Self  Stella Thompson 

            My Daddy Was My Hero Bindi Irwin 

            A Lady by Any Standard Michael Beschloss 

            The Paris Cemetery (Photograph) Linda Daigle 

Reflections on Closure

Reflecting to Write


Part IV ·Research           


Chapter 17 · Writing the Research Paper


What Is a Research Paper? 

            The Thesis



            Taking Notes

            Academic Honesty

            Writing the Paper

            Using Quotations



Chapter 18 · MLA Documentation and Sample Paper


Use of MLA Format for Documentation

The Works Cited Page

            Joseph McDade’s work Cited Page Revised

            General Rules

Internal Documentation

            General Rules

Sample Student Research Paper

            Stay At Home Moms: The New Choice Creating Controversy Lori Tiedt  


Appendix 1 · Glossary of Composition Terms                                                            

Appendix 2 · Permissions

Appendix 3 · Index

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