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Strategies for Successful Writing: A Rhetoric, Research Guide, Reader and Handbook, CourseSmart eTextbook

By James A. Reinking, Robert von der Osten

Published by Longman

Published Date: Jan 26, 2010

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For college writing courses.


Just enough of everything...clearly.


This, the leading writing guide organized by rhetorical modes, gets the basics right, presenting all of the material for an introductory college writing course with exceptional clarity and in appropriate measure.  Refreshingly, the student examples are realistic models for emulation, and the professional selections are engaging, student-centered pieces of prose that make clear use of the rhetorical mode under consideration.  Reinking and von der Osten's conversational yet concise style eases student apprehensions, while their reliability supports individual teachers and entire writing programs alike.

Table of Contents


To The Student




Chapter 1 Writing: A First Look

The Purposes of Writing

The Audience for Your Writing

The Qualities of Good Writing

Writing and Ethics 1


Chapter 2 Strategies for Successful Reading

Orienting Your Reading

A First Reading

Additional Readings

Mastering Reading Problems

Reading to Critique

Reading Assignments Carefully

Reading as a Writer

“The Appeal of the Androgynous Man” by Amy Gross

Writing About What You Read


Chapter 3 Planning and Drafting Your Paper

Understanding the Assignment

Zeroing In on a Topic

Gathering Information

Organizing the Information

Creating an Outline

Developing a Thesis Statement

Writing the First Draft

Planning and Drafting with a Computer


Chapter 4 Revising and Editing Your Paper

Preparing to Revise

Considering the Whole Essay

Strengthening Paragraph Structure and Development

Sharpening Sentences and Words

Writing the Introduction and Conclusion

Selecting a Title

Peer Evaluation of Drafts

Proofreading Your Draft

Revising with a computer

Collaborative Writing

Maintaining and Reviewing a Portfolio


Chapter 5 Paragraphs

Characteristics of Effective Paragraphs

Paragraphs with Special Functions


Chapter6 Effective Sentences

Sentence Strategies


Chapter 7 Diction, Tone, Style

Toward Clear Diction

Toward Rhetorical Effect

Special Stylistic Techniques

Eliminating Flawed Diction


Chapter 8 Narration: Relating Events




Point of View

Key Events


Ethical Issues

Writing a Narrative

*SAMPLE STUDENT ESSAY OF NARRATION: “Joy through the Tears” by Brittany Coggin

Critical Edge


Chapter 9 Description: Presenting Impressions


Sensory Impressions

Dominant Impression

Vantage Point

Selection of Details

Arrangement of Details

Ethical Issues

Writing a Description


Critical Edge


Chapter 10 Process Analysis: Explaining How

Kinds of Process Analysis Papers

Ethical Issues

Writing a Process Analysis

*SAMPLE STUDENT ESSAY OF PROCESS ANALYSIS: “Basic Song Writing Technique” by Hannah Hill

Critical Edge


Chapter 11 Illustration: Making Yourself Clear 

Selecting Appropriate Examples 

Number of Examples 

Organizing the Examples 

Ethical Issues 

Writing an Illustration 

SAMPLE STUDENT ESSAY OF ILLUSTRATION: “If It Is Worth Doing” by Janice Carlton 

Critical Edge 


Chapter 12 Classification: Grouping into Categories 

Selecting Categories 

Number of Categories 

Developing Categories 

Ethical Issues 

Writing a Classification 

SAMPLE STUDENT ESSAY OF CLASSIFICATION: “Types of Video Games for Children” by Kyra Glass

Critical Edge 


Chapter 13 Comparison: Showing Relationships 

Selecting Items for Comparison 

Developing a Comparison 

Organizing a Comparison 

Using Analogy 

Ethical Issues 

Writing a Comparison 

*SAMPLE STUDENT ESSAY OF COMPARISON: “Differences between Korean and English” by Sunho Lee 

Critical Edge 


Chapter 14 Cause and Effect: Explaining Why 

Patterns in Causal Analysis 

Reasoning Errors in Causal Analysis 

Ethical Issues 

Writing a Causal Analysis 

SAMPLE STUDENT ESSAY OF CAUSE AND EFFECT: “Why Students Drop Out of College” by Diann Fisher 

Critical Edge 


Chapter 15 Definition: Establishing Boundaries 

Types of Definitions 

Ethical Issues 

Writing an Extended Definition 

SAMPLE STUDENT ESSAY OF DEFINITION: “Rediscovering Patriotism” by Peter Wing 

Critical Edge 


Chapter 16 Argument: Convincing Others 

The Rational Appeal 

Reasoning Strategies 

The Emotional Appeal 

The Ethical Appeal 

Ferreting Out Fallacies 

Ethical Issues 

Writing an Argument 

*SAMPLE STUDENT ESSAY OF ARGUMENT: “Bottled Troubled Water” by Scott Lemanski 

Critical Edge 


Chapter 17 Mixing the Writing Strategies 

Why and How to Mix Strategies 

Ethical Issues 

Problem/Solution Report 

Evaluation Report 

*SAMPLE ESSAY USING SEVERAL WRITING STRATEGIES: “Eating Alone in Restaurants” by Bruce Jay Friedman 

Critical Edge 


Chapter 18 The Essay Examination 

Studying for the Examination 

Types of Test Questions 

Preparing to Write 

Writing the Examination Answer 


Chapter 19 Writing About Literature 

The Elements of Literature 

Ethical Issues 

Writing a Paper on Literature 

SAMPLE STUDENT ESSAY ON LITERATURE: “Scratchy Wilson: No Cardboard Character” by Wendell Stone 


Electronic Chapter:

Business Letters and Résumés 

This chapter, enhanced with fourteen case-based business writing scenarios, appears after the

index in the e-Book version of MyCompLab for this text. If your book did not come packaged

with access to MyCompLab and you wish to gain access, please visit and be

sure to specify “e-Book Version.”


Research Guide


Chapter 20 The Research Paper 

Learning About Your Library 

Choosing a Topic 

Assembling a Working Bibliography 

Taking Notes 

Organizing and Outlining 

Ethical Issues 

Writing Your Research Paper 

SAMPLE MLA STUDENT RESEARCH PAPER: “House Arrest: An Attractive Alternative to Incarceration” by Keith Jacque 

Using a Computer 


Chapter 21 Documenting Sources 

Preparing Proper MLA Bibliographic References 

Preparing Proper APA Bibliographic References 

Handling In-Text Citations 

Handling Quotations 

Avoiding Plagiarism 


Chapter 22 Additional Research Strategies: Interviews, Questionnaires, Direct Observations 

The Value of Primary Research 

General Principles for Primary Research 

Ethical Issues 


SAMPLE STUDENT INTERVIEW REPORT: “Budget Cuts Affect State Police: An Interview Report with Officer Robert Timmons” by Holly Swain 



SAMPLE STUDENT QUESTIONNAIRE REPORT: “Findings from Smoking Questionnaire Distributed to Bartram College Students” by Kelly Reetz 

Direct Observations 

SAMPLE STUDENT OBSERVATION REPORT: “Observations of an Inner-City Apartment Building” by Caleb Thomas 



Rhetorical Table of Contents



“The Perfect Picture” by James Alexander Thom 

“Sound and Fury” by Dan Greenburg 

“Momma’s Encounter” by Maya Angelou 

“The Scholarship Jacket” by Marta Salinas 



“When the Full Moon Shines Its Magic over Monument Valley” by John V. Young 

“Assembly Line Adventure” by Lesley Hazleton 

“Once More to the Lake” by E. B. White 


Process Analysis

“Fast Track to Perfection” by Ian Dunbar 

*“Taking Carbon Down” by Caroline Golman 

“Let’s Get Vertical!” by Beth Wald 

“Can Generation Xers Be Trained? by Shari Caudron 



“Binge Drinking: A Campus Killer” by Sabrina Rubin Erdely 

“Rambos of the Road” by Martin Gottfried 

“Going for Broke” by Matea Gold and David Ferrell 

“The Company Man” by Ellen Goodman 



“What Are Friends for?” by Marion Winik 

“The Men We Carry in Our Minds” by Scott Russell Sanders 

“A Tale of Four Learners” by Bernice McCarthy 

“Which Stooge Are You?” by Ron Geraci



“Grant and Lee: A Study in Contrasts” by Bruce Catton 

“Conversational Ballgames” by Nancy Masterson Sakamoto 

“Barbie Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” by Mariflo Stephens 

“Private Language, Public Language” by Richard Rodriguez 

“Art Form for the Digital Age” by Henry Jenkins 


Cause and Effect

“Old Father Time Becomes a Terror” by Richard Tomkins 

“Why We Keep Stuff” by Caroline Knapp 

“Why Marriages Fail” by Anne Roiphe 

*“Why We Flirt” by Belinda Luscombe and Kate Stinchfield 



“The Sweet Smell of Success Isn’t All That Sweet” by Laurence Shames 

“The Blended Economy” by Marc Zwelling 

*“Krumping” by Marc Zwelling 



*“The Problem with Single-Payer Plans” by Ezekiel J. Emanuel 

*“Has Canada Got the Cure?” by Holly Dressel 

“The Misguided Zeal of the Privacy Lobby” by Alan Ehrenhalt 

“Halt and Show Your Papers!” by Barbara Dority 

“I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King, Jr. 

“A Journalist’s View of Black Economics” by William Rasberry 

*“The Case for Amnesty” by Nathan Thornburgh 

*“Not Amnesty but Attrition” by Mark Krikorian 


Mixing the Writing Strategies

*“Supermarket Pastoral” by Michael Pollan 

From “Social Bodies: Tightening the Bonds of Beauty” by Deborah A. Sullivan 

“Gender Gap in Cyberspace” by Deborah Tannen 





Sentence Elements

Subjects and Predicates 



Parts of Speech 

Phrases and Clauses 


Editing to Correct Sentence Errors

Revising Sentence Fragments 

Revising Run-On Sentences and Comma Splices 

Creating Subject–Verb Agreement 

Achieving Pronoun–Antecedent 


Using Effective Pronoun Reference 

Managing Shifts in Person 

Using the Right Pronoun Case 

Creating Consistency in Showing Time 

Using Adjectives and Adverbs 


Placing Modifiers Correctly 

Revising Dangling Modifiers 

Maintaining Parallelism 

Revising Faulty Comparisons 


Editing to Correct Faulty Punctuation and Mechanics




Periods, Question Marks, and Exclamation Points 

Colons, Dashes, Parentheses, and Brackets 

Quotation Marks 








Spelling Rules 

Helpful Spelling Tips 

List of Troublesome Words 

Glossary of Word Usage 




*new to this edition

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Strategies for Successful Writing: A Rhetoric, Research Guide, Reader and Handbook, CourseSmart eTextbook
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$45.99 | ISBN-13: 978-0-205-75206-5