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Moving from the general to the specific, the topics become appropriate for essay-length writing. In moving from a broad subject to a particular topic, you should take into account any assigned constraints on length or format. You will also want to consider the amount of time you have to write. These practical considerations will affect the scope of your topic. For example, you couldnt adequately address subjects such as farming or. These subjects are usu- ally taken up in book-length publications.
Once you have found your topic, you will need to determine what you want to say about it. The best way to do this is to gather infor- mation. Your ideas about a topic must be supported by information, such as facts and examples. The information you gather about a topic will influence your ideas about the topic and what you want to say.
Here are some of the ways you can gather information: Ask questions about your topic. If you were assigned the topic of theoretical modeling, for example, you could ask, what is theo- retical modeling? Why, where, and by whom is theoretical. What are the benefits of using it? Is it taught in school? Is it difficult to learn to use? Once the questioning starts, one question will lead to another, and the answers to these ques- tions will be the stuff of your writing.
Like a newspaper reporter going after a story, asking questions and getting answers are essen- tial ways to understand a topic before trying to explain it to others. Jot down the things you know about a topic, freely as- sociating ideas and information as a way to explore the topic and its possibilities.
See pp. Dont censor or edit your notes, and dont worry about spelling or punctuation. Dont write your notes in list form because such an organization will imply a hierarchy of ideas, which may hamper your creativity and the free flow of your thoughts.
The objective of brainstorming is to free up your thinking before you start to write. You may want to set aside your notes and return to them over several days. Once you generate a substantial amount of brainstormed material, you will want to study the items, attempt to see relationships among them, or sort and group the entries by using different colored highlighters.
Another strategy for stimulating your thinking about a topic is clustering. Place your topic in a circle, and draw lines from that circle to other circles in which you write related key words or phrases.
Around each of these key words, generate more circles representing the various aspects of the key word that come to mind. See p. The value of clustering over brainstorming is that you are generating ideas and organiz- ing them at the same time. Both techniques work very well, but you may prefer one over the other or may find that one works better with one topic than another.
You may want to add to what you already know about your topic with research. Research can take many forms beyond formal research carried out in your library. For example, firsthand observations and interviews with people knowledgeable about your topic can provide up-to-date information. Whatever your form of research, take careful notes so you can accurately paraphrase an author or quote an interviewee. Chapters 10 and 22 see pp.
Think creatively. To push an idea one step further, to make a con- nection not easily recognized by others, to step to one side of your topic and see it in a new light, to ask a question no one else would,. Dont be afraid to step outside conventional wisdom and ask a basic or unorthodox question. Take risks. Such bravery can add creativity to your writing. Once you have generated ideas and information, you are ready to begin the important task of establishing a controlling idea, or thesis.
The thesis of an essay is its main idea, the point the writer is trying to make. The thesis is often expressed in one or two sentences called a thesis statement. Heres an example:. The so-called serious news programs are becoming too much like tabloid news shows in both their content and their presentation.
The thesis statement should not be confused with your purpose for writing. Whereas a thesis statement makes an assertion about your topic and actually appears in your essay as such, your purpose is what you are trying to do in the essay to express, to explain, or to argue. For example, the purpose behind the preceding thesis statement might be expressed as follows: By comparing the transcripts of news shows like the CBS Evening News and tabloid shows like Entertainment Tonight, I will show trou- bling parallels in what the two genres of programs find newsworthy.
This type of purpose statement should not appear in your essay. In other words, its not a good idea to tell your readers what you are going to do in an essay. Just do it. A thesis statement should be The most important point you make about a topic, More general than the ideas and facts used to support it, and Focused enough to be covered in the space allotted for the essay.
A thesis statement should not be a question but rather an assertion.
If you find yourself writing a question for a thesis statement, answer the question first, and then write your statement. How to Write a Thesis Statement An effective method for developing a thesis statement is to begin by writing, What I want to say is that. What I want to say is that unless language barriers between patients and healthcare providers are overcome, the lives of many patients in our more culturally diverse cities will be endangered.
Later, when you delete the formulaic opening, you will be left with a thesis statement: Unless language barriers between patients and healthcare providers are overcome, many patients lives in our more culturally diverse cities will be endangered. A good way to determine whether your thesis is too general or too specific is to consider how easy it will be to present information and examples to support it. If you stray too far in either direction, your task will become much more difficult.
A thesis statement that is too general will leave you overwhelmed by the number of issues you must address. For example, the statement, Malls have ruined the fabric of American life would lead to the question How? To an- swer it, you would probably have to include information about traf- fic patterns, urban decay, environmental damage, economic studies, and so on. You would obviously have to take shortcuts, and your paper would be ineffective.
On the other hand, too specific a thesis statement will leave you with too little information to present. The Big City Mall should not have been built because it reduced retail sales at the existing Big City stores by The thesis statement is usually set forth near the beginning of the essay, although writers sometimes begin with a few sentences that es- tablish a context for the piece.
One common strategy is to position the thesis as the final sentence of the first paragraph. In the opening paragraph of an essay on the harmful effects of quick weight-loss diets, student Marcie Turple builds a context for her thesis statement, which she presents in her last sentence: Americans are obsessed with thinness even at the risk of dying.
In the s, people took dinitrophenol, an industrial poison, to lose weight. It boosted metabolism but caused blindness and some deaths.
Since then dieters have used hormone injections, am- phetamines, liquid protein diets, and, more recently, the controver- sial fen-phen. What most dieters need to realize is that there is no magic way to lose weight no pill, no crash diet plan. The only way to permanent weight loss is through sensible eating and exercise. Marcie Turple, student. Once you have selected a possible thesis for an essay, ask yourself the following questions: Does my thesis statement take a clear stance on an issue?
If so, what is that stance? Is my thesis too general? Is my thesis too specific? Does my thesis apply to a larger audience than myself? If so, who is that audience?
For a list of guidelines that will help you check the validity of your thesis, see the box above. For more on the various ways to build an effective thesis, see Chapter 3, Thesis pp. Although it is not always possible to know who your readers are, you nevertheless need to consider your intended audience. Your attitude toward your topic, your tone, your sentence structure, and your choice of words are just some of the important considerations that rely on your awareness of audience.
For a list of questions to help you determine your audience, see the box below. Who are my readers? Is my audience specialized for example, all those in my geology lab or more general college students? What do I know about my audiences age, gender, education, religious affiliation, socioeconomic status, and political attitudes? What do my readers need to know that I can tell them? Will my audience be interested, open-minded, resistant, objective, or hostile to what I am saying?
Is there any specialized language that my audience must have to understand my subject or that I should avoid? What do I want my audience to do as a result of reading my essay? Part Four of Models for Writers includes chapters on the various types of writing most often required of college students. Often these types of writing are referred to as methods of development, rhetorical patterns, or organizational patterns.
Studying these organizational patterns and practicing the use of them are important in any effort to broaden your writing skills. In Models for Writers, we look at each pattern separately because we be- lieve this is the most effective way to introduce them, but it does not necessarily mean that a well-written essay adheres exclusively and rig- idly to a single pattern of development.
Confining yourself exclusively to comparison and contrast throughout an entire essay, for instance, might prove impractical and result in a formulaic or stilted essay.
In fact, it is often best to use a single pattern to organize and develop your essay and then use the other patterns as your material dictates. For a description of what each method of development involves, see the box below. As you read the model essays in this text, you will find that many of them use a combination of patterns to support the dominant pattern.
Illustration Using examples to illustrate a point or idea Narration Telling a story or giving an account of an event Description Presenting a picture with words Process Analysis Explaining how something is done or happens Definition Explaining what something is Division and Classification Dividing a subject into its parts and placing them in appropriate categories Comparison and Contrast Demonstrating likenesses and differences Cause and Effect Explaining the causes of an event or the effects of an action Argument Using reason and logic to persuade someone to your way of thinking.
Combining organizational patterns is probably not something you want to plan or even think about when you first tackle a writing assign- ment. Instead, let these patterns develop naturally as you organize, draft, and revise your materials. The combination of patterns will enhance the interest and effect of your writing. If youre still undecided or concerned about combining patterns, try the following steps:. Summarize the point you want to make in a single phrase or sentence.
Restate the point as a question in effect, the question your essay will answer. Look closely at both the summary and the question for key words or concepts that suggest a particular pattern. Consider other strategies that could support your primary pattern.
Here are some examples: Venus and Serena Williams are among the best female tennis players in the history of the game. How do Venus and Serena Williams compare with other tennis players? Comparison and contrast. The writer must compare the Williams sisters with other female players and provide evidence to support the claim that they are among the best.
Illustration and description. Good evidence includes examples of the Williams sisters superior ability and accom- plishments and descriptions of their athletic feats. How to build a personal Web site. How do you build a personal Web site? Process analysis. The word how, especially in the phrase how to, implies a procedure that can be explained in steps or stages.
It will be necessary to describe the Web site, especially the look and design of the site, at various points in the process. Petroleum and natural gas prices should be federally controlled.
What should be done about petroleum and natural gas prices? The word should signals an argument, calling for evidence and reasoning in support of the conclusion. Comparison and contrast and cause-and-effect analysis. The writer should present evidence from a comparison of federally controlled pricing with deregulated pricing as well as from a discussion of the effects of deregulation. These are just a few examples showing how to decide on a pattern of development and supporting patterns that are suitable for your topic and what you want to say about it.
In every case, your reading can guide you in recognizing the best plan to follow. Once you decide what you want to write about and you come up with some ideas about what you might like to say, your next task is to jot down the main ideas for your essay in an order that seems both natural and logical to you. In other words, make a scratch outline.
In constructing this outline, if you discover that one of the organiza- tional patterns will help you in generating ideas, you might consider using that as your overall organizing principle. Whether you write a formal outline, simply set down a rough sequence of the major points of your thesis, or take a middle ground between those two strategies, you need to think about the overall organization of your paper.
Some writers make a detailed outline and fill it out point by point, whereas others follow a general plan and let the writing take them where it will, making any necessary adjust- ments to the plan when they revise. Here are some major patterns of organization you may want to use for your outline: Chronological oldest to newest, or the reverse Spatial top to bottom, left to right, inside to outside, and so forth Least familiar to most familiar Easiest to most difficult to comprehend Easiest to most difficult to accept According to similarities or differences.
Notice that some of these organizational patterns correspond to the rhetorical patterns in Part Four of this book. For example, a narrative essay generally follows a chronological organization. If you are hav- ing trouble developing or mapping an effective organization, refer to the introduction and readings in Chapter 5, Organization.
Once you have settled on an organizational pattern, you are ready to write a first draft. Write quickly, and let the writing follow your thinking. Do not be overly concerned about spelling, word choice, or grammar because such concerns will break the flow of your ideas.
After you have completed your first draft, you will go over your essay to revise and edit it. As you write your draft, pay attention to your outline, but do not be a slave to it. It is there to help you, not restrict you. Often, when writing, you discover something new about your subject; if so, follow that idea freely. Wherever you deviate from your plan, place an X in the margin to remind yourself of the change. When you revise, you can return to that part of your writing and reconsider the change you made, either developing it further or abandoning it.
It may happen that while writing your first draft, you run into difficulty that prevents you from moving forward. For example, sup- pose you want to tell the story of something that happened to you, but you arent certain whether you should be using the pronoun I so often.
Turn to the essays in Chapters 11 and 14 to see how the authors use diction and tone and how other narrative essays handle this problem. You will find that the frequent use of I isnt necessarily a problem at all. For an account of a personal experience, its perfectly acceptable to use I as often as you need to.
Or suppose that after writing several pages describing someone who you think is quite a character, you find that your draft seems flat and doesnt express how lively and funny the person really is. If you read the introduction to Chapter 13, you will learn that descriptions need lots of factual, concrete detail; the se- lections in that chapter give further proof of this. You can use those guidelines to add details that are missing from your draft.
If you run into difficulties writing your first draft, dont worry or get upset. Even experienced writers run into problems at the begin- ning. Just try to keep going, and take the pressure off yourself. You might even want to go back and look over the ideas and information youve gathered.
What makes a good title? There are no hard-and-fast rules, but most writers would agree that an effective title attracts attention and hooks the reader into reading the essay, either because the title is unusual or colorful and intrigues the reader or because it asks a question and the reader is curious to know the answer.
A good title announces your subject and prepares your reader for the approach you take. You can create a title while writing your first draft or after you have seen how your ideas develop. Either way, the important thing is to brainstorm for titles and not simply use the first one that comes to mind. With at least a half dozen to choose from, preferably more, you will have a much better sense of how to pick an effective title, one that does important work explaining your subject to the reader and that is lively and inviting.
Spend several minutes reviewing the titles of the essays in Models for Writers see table of contents, pp.
Youll like some better than others, but reflecting on the effectiveness of each one will help you strengthen your own titles. The beginning of your essay is vitally important to its success. Indeed, if your opening doesnt attract and hold your readers attention, readers may be less than enthusiastic about proceeding. Your ending is almost always as important as your beginning. An effective conclusion does more than end your essay. It wraps up your thoughts and leaves readers satisfied with the presentation of your ideas and information.
Your ending should be a natural outgrowth of the development of your ideas. Avoid trick endings, mechanical sum- maries, and cutesy comments, and never introduce new concepts or information in the ending. Just as with the writing of titles, the writing of beginnings and endings is perhaps best done by generating several alternatives and then selecting from among them.
Review the box on page 20 and Chapter 6 for more help developing your beginnings and endings. Beginnings and endings are important to the effectiveness of an essay, but they can be difficult to write.
Inexperienced writers often think that they must write their essays sequentially when, in fact, it is better to write both the beginning and the ending after you have completed most of the rest of your essay. Pay particular attention to both parts during revision. Ask yourself the following questions: Does my introduction grab the readers attention? Is my introduction confusing in any way? How well does it relate to the rest of the essay?
If I state my thesis in the introduction, how effectively is it presented? Does my essay come to a logical conclusion, or does it just stop short? How well does the conclusion relate to the rest of the essay?
Am I careful not to introduce new topics or issues that I did not address in the body of the essay? Does the conclusion help underscore or illuminate important aspects of the body of the essay, or is it just another version of what I wrote earlier?
Removed from the process of drafting, you can approach the revision of your draft with a clear mind. When you revise, consider the most important elements of your draft first. You should focus on your thesis, purpose, content, organization, and paragraph structure. You will have a chance to look at grammar, punctuation, and mechanics after you revise. This way you will make sure that your essay is fundamentally solid and says what you want it to say before deal- ing with the task of editing.
It is helpful to have someone your friend or member of your writing class listen to your essay as you read it aloud. The process of reading aloud allows you to determine if your writing sounds clear and natural. If you have to strain your voice to provide empha- sis, try rephrasing the idea to make it clearer. Whether you revise your work on your own or have someone assist you, the questions in the. Have I focused on my topic? Does my thesis make a clear statement about my topic?
Is the organizational pattern I have used the best one, given my purpose? Does the topic sentence of each paragraph relate to my thesis? Does each paragraph support its topic sentence? Do I have enough supporting details, and are my examples the best ones that I can develop? How effective are my beginning and my ending? Can I improve them? Do I have a good title? Does it indicate what my subject is and hint at my thesis?
EDITING Once you are sure that the large elements of your essay are in place and that you have said what you intended, you are ready to begin editing your essay.
At this stage, correct any mistakes in grammar, punctuation, mechanics, and spelling because a series of small errors can add up and distract readers. Such errors can cause readers to doubt the important points you are trying to make. In this section we provide sound advice and solutions for the edit- ing problems instructors have told us trouble their students most. For more guidance with these or other editing or grammar concerns, refer to your grammar handbook or ask your instructor for help.
To practice finding and correcting these and many other problems, go to bedfordstmartins. Writers can become so absorbed in getting their ideas down on paper that they often combine two independent clauses complete sentences that can stand alone when punctuated with a period incorrectly,. A run-on sentence fails to show where one thought ends and where another begins and can confuse readers.
There are two types of run-on sentences: A fused sentence occurs when a writer combines two indepen- dent clauses with no punctuation at all. To correct a fused sentence, divide the independent clauses into separate sentences, or join them by adding words, punctuation, or both.
She edited Jen loves Harry Potter she was the first in line to download. A comma splice occurs when writers use only a comma to com- bine two independent clauses. A sentence fragment is a word group that cannot stand alone as a complete sentence. Even if a word group begins with a capital letter and ends with punctuation, it is not a sentence unless it has a subject the person, place, or thing the sentence is about and a verb a word that tells what the subject does and expresses a complete thought.
Word groups that do not express complete thoughts often begin with a subordinating conjunction such as although, because, since, or unless. To correct a fragment, add a subject or a verb, or integrate the frag- ment into a nearby sentence to complete the thought. I divided edited Divided my time between work and school last.
Because it brought up. Creative use of intentional sentence fragments is occasionally acceptable in narration essays, for example when writers are try- ing to establish a particular mood or tone. I asked him about his recent trip. He asked me about work. Short questions. One-word answers. Then an awkward pause. David P. Subjects and verbs must agree in number that is, a singular subject one person, place, or thing must take a singular verb, and a plural subject more than one person, place, or thing must take a plural verb.
Most native speakers of English use proper subject-verb agree- ment in their writing without conscious awareness. Even so, some sentence constructions can be troublesome. When a prepositional phrase a phrase that includes a preposition such as on, of, in, at, or between falls between a subject and a verb, it can obscure their relationship.
To make sure the subject agrees with its verb in a sentence with an intervening prepositional phrase, mentally cross out the phrase of basic training in the following example to isolate the subject and verb and determine if they agree. Writers often have difficulty with subject-verb agreement in sen- tences with compound subjects two or more subjects joined together with the word and. As a general rule, compound subjects take plural verbs. However, in sentences with subjects joined by either.
While editing your essay, be sure to identify the subjects and verbs in your sentences and to check their agreement. A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun in a sentence. To avoid repeating nouns in our speech and writing, we use pronouns as noun substitutes.
The noun to which a pronoun refers is called its antecedent. A pronoun and its antecedent are said to agree when the relationship between them is clear.
Pronouns must agree with their antecedents in both person and number. There are three types of pronouns: First-person pronouns refer to first-person antecedents, second-person pronouns refer to second-person antecedents, and third-person pronouns refer to third-person antecedents. A pronoun must agree in number with its antecedent; that is, a sin- gular pronoun must refer to a singular antecedent, and a plural pro- noun must refer to a plural antecedent.
When two or more antecedents are joined by the word and, the pronoun must be plural. When the subject of a sentence is an indefinite pronoun such as everyone, each, everybody, anyone, anybody, everything, either, one, neither, someone, or something, use a singular pronoun to refer to it or recast the sentence to eliminate the agreement problem. Both resums edited Each of the women submitted their resume. A verbs tense indicates when an action takes place sometime in the past, right now, or in the future.
Using verb tense consistently helps your readers understand time changes in your writing. Generally, you should write in the past or present tense and maintain that tense throughout your sentence. A modifier is a word or words that describe or give additional infor- mation about other words in a sentence.
Always place modifiers as close as possible to the words you want to modify. An error in modifier place- ment could be unintentionally confusing or amusing to your reader. Two common problems arise with modifiers: A misplaced modifier unintentionally modifies the wrong word in a sentence because it is placed incorrectly.
A dangling modifier appears at the beginning or end of a sentence and modifies a word that does not appear in the sentence often an unstated subject. Jon saw edited Staring into the distance, large rain clouds form. While editing your essay, make sure you have positioned your modifiers as close as possible to the words you want to modify, and make sure each sentence has a clear subject that is modified correctly. Parallelism means using similar grammatical forms to show that ideas in a sentence are of equal importance.
Faulty parallelism can interrupt the flow of your writing and confuse your readers. Writers have trouble with parallelism in three kinds of sentence constructions. In sentences that include items in a pair or series, make sure the elements of the pair or series are parallel in form.
Delete any unneces- sary or repeated words. In sentences that include connecting words such as both. Delete any unnecessary or repeated words. In sentences that include the comparison word as or than, make sure the elements of the comparison are parallel in form.
Inexperienced writers often believe that adjectives and adverbs are the stuff of effective writing. Theyre right in one sense, but not wholly so. Although strong adjectives and adverbs are crucial, good writing depends on well-chosen, strong nouns and verbs. The noun vehicle is not nearly as descriptive as Jeep, snowmobile, pickup truck, or SUV, for example.
Why use the weak verb look when your mean- ing would be conveyed more precisely with glance, stare, spy, gaze, peek, examine, or witness? Instead of the weak verb run, use fly, gal- lop, hustle, jog, race, rush, scamper, scoot, scramble, or trot.
While editing your essay, look for instances of weak nouns and verbs. If you cant form a clear picture in your mind of what a noun looks like or what a verbs action is, your nouns and verbs are likely weak.
The more specific and strong you make your nouns and verbs, the more lively and descriptive your writing will be. When you have difficulty thinking of strong, specific nouns and verbs, reach for a thesaurus but only if you are sure you can identify the best word for your purpose.
Thesauruses are available free online and in inexpensive paperback editions; most word processing programs include a thesaurus as well. A thesaurus will help you avoid redundancy in your writing and find specific words with just the right meaning. The language that you use in your college courses, known as American Standard English, is formal in diction and objective in tone.
American Standard English is the language used by educators, civic leaders, the media, and professionals in all fields. Although the standard is fairly narrow in scope, it allows for individual differences in expression and voice so that your writing can retain its personality and appeal. Tone is the distance that you establish between yourself and your audience and is created by your diction the particular words you choose and the complexity of your sentences.
Formal writing creates a distance between yourself and your audience through the use of third-person pronouns he, she, it, they and provides the impression.
Formal writing values logic, evidence, and reason over opinion and bias. Informal writing, on the other hand, uses first-person pronouns I, we ; is usually found in narratives; and respects feelings, individual tastes, and personal preferences. Similarly, the second-person pronoun you is used to bring your reader close to you, as is done in this text, but it is too familiar for most academic writing and is best avoided if there is any question about its appropriateness.
When writing in a particular discipline, use discipline-specific lan- guage and conventions that reflect your understanding of the disci- pline. Key resources are your readings and the language you use with your instructors and classmates in each discipline.
As you read, note how the writer uses technical language point of view and denouement, for example, in literature; mean distribution in statistics; derivatives in financial analysis; pan, tilt, and track in film study; exogamy and en- dogamy in anthropology; and polyphony and atonality in music to communicate difficult concepts, recognized phenomena in the disci- pline, and nuances that are characteristic of the discipline.
It is a form of excessive self-focus, a preoccupation with ones thoughts, feelings, and physical reac- tions. It may vary from mild social awkwardness to totally inhibit- ing social phobia. Shyness may be chronic and dispositional, serving as a personality trait that is central in ones self-definition. Situational shyness involves experiencing the symptoms of shyness in specific social performance situations but not incorporating it into ones.
Shyness reactions can occur at any or all of the follow- ing levels: Among the most typical are: Metaphorically, shyness is a shrinking back from life that weakens the bonds of human connection.
Shyness, Lynne Henderson and Philip Zimbardo. If you listen carefully and read closely, you will be able to discern the discipline-specific language cues that make a writer sound more like, say, a historian or an anthropologist than a psychologist. In turn, you will be able to use the language of your own discipline with greater ease and accuracy and achieve the subtleties of language that will allow you to carry out your research, draw sound conclusions, and write effectively and with authority.
Two areas of English grammar that can be especially problematic for nonnative speakers of English are articles and nouns. In English, correct use of articles and nouns is necessary for sentences to make sense. There are two kinds of articles in English: Use a before words beginning with a consonant sound and an before words beginning with a vowel sound.
Note, too, that a is used before an h with a consonant sound happy and an is used before a silent h hour. There are two kinds of nouns in English: Count nouns name individual things or units that can be counted or separated out from a whole, such as students and pencils.
Noncount nouns name things that cannot be counted because they are consid- ered wholes in themselves and cannot be divided, such as work and furniture. Use the indefinite article a or an before a singular count noun when you do not specify which one. Plural count nouns take the.
I would like to borrow the colored pencils. If a plural count noun is used in a general sense, it does not take an article at all. Noncount nouns are always singular and never take an indefinite article. The is sometimes used with noncount nouns to refer to a specific idea or thing. While editing your essay, be sure you have used articles and nouns correctly.
Do I include any fused sentences or comma splices? Do I include any unintentional sentence fragments? Do my verbs agree with their subjects? Do my pronouns agree with their antecedents? Do I make any unnecessary shifts in verb tense? Do I have any misplaced or dangling modifiers? Are my sentences parallel? Do I use strong nouns and active verbs?
Do I pair articles and nouns correctly? Also do not assume that because you used your word processors spell-check or grammar-check function youve found and corrected every spelling and grammatical error. In fact, such checkers often allow incorrect or misspelled words to pass while flagging correct grammatical constructions as incorrect. Although your word processors spell-checker and grammar-checker are a good first line of defense against certain types of errors, there is no replacement for a human proofreader you.
Print out your essay and carefully proofread it manually. Check to make sure you do not use your where you intend youre, its where you mean its, or to where you want too. Spell-checkers never catch these types of errors. If you know you are prone to certain mistakes, go through your essay looking for those particular problems. For example, if you often have trouble with placing commas or other punctuation marks with quotations, proofread your essay for that specific problem.
Proofread a hard copy of your essay to make sure all your electronic changes appear on it and you have caught and corrected any grammati- cal problems.
Be sure to refer to the Questions for Editing Sentences box on p. Check to be certain you have followed your instructors for- matting guidelines. Above all, give your hard-copy essay one final read- through before submitting it to your instructor. Have I printed a hard copy of my essay for proofreading? Have I misspelled or incorrectly typed any words?
Has my spell-checker inadvertently approved commonly confused words like its and its, or their, there, and theyre? Have I checked my essay for errors I make often? Do all my edits and corrections appear in my hard copy? Have I formatted my essay according to my instructors directions?
Have I given the hard copy of my final draft a thorough review before turning it in? After making a brief list of the subjects that interested him, he chose to write about golf. Golf had been a part of Oleskys life since he was a youngster, so he figured he would have enough material for an essay.
First, he needed to focus on a specific topic within the broad subject area of golf.
Having considered a number of aspects of the game how its played, its popularity because of Tiger Woods, the controversies over the exclusion of women and minorities from pri- vate clubs he kept coming back to how much golf meant to him. Focusing on his love of golf, he then established his tentative thesis: Golf has taught me a lot. Olesky needed to develop a number of examples to support his the- sis, so he brainstormed for ideas, examples, and anecdotes anything that came to mind to help him develop his essay.
These are his notes:. Brainstorming Notes Golf is my life I cant imagine being who I am without it. I love to be out on the course early in the morning. Its been embarrassing and stressful sometimes. Theres so much to know and remember about the game, even before you try to hit the ball. The story about what my father taught me felt badly and needed to apologize.
You know better than that, Jeffrey. I have pictures of me on the greens with a cut-down golf putter. All kinds of character building goes on. Its all about rules and playing fairly. Wanted to be like my father. The frustration is awesome, but you can learn to deal with it. Golf is methodical.
I use golf to clear my head. Golf teaches lifes lessons. Golf teaches you manners, to be respectful of others. Golf teaches you to abide by the rules. Golf is an internal tool. When he thought that he had gathered enough information, he began to sort it out. He needed an organizational plan, some way to present his information that was not random but rather showed a logical progression. He realized that the character-building benefits of golf that he included in his brainstorming notes clustered around some key subtopics.
He decided to do some clustering and drew cir- cles that included his ideas about golf: He then sorted out his related ideas and examples and added them, mapping their relationship in this diagram.
Early Appreciative morning of nature. Reflective benefits Physical demands. Golf has taught me a lot Mental Social values demands and morals. Control Rules Story emotions about my father. Before beginning to write the first draft of his paper, Olesky thought it would be a good idea to list in an informal outline the major points he wanted to make. Here is his informal outline:. Brief introductory paragraph announcing the topic 2.
An expansion of the introductory paragraph and the thesis state- ment: Golf has taught me a lot 3. A discussion of how, above all, golf teaches one to control ones emotions 4. A discussion of how much one needs to know and remember to play golf well 5. The values that golf teaches 6. A multiparagraph example illustrating a valuable lesson taught through golf 7. Golf provides an opportunity to reflect 8.
Reflection, in turn, leads to a deeper appreciation of nature. With his outline before him, Olesky felt ready to try a rough draft of his paper. He wrote quickly, keeping his organizational plan in mind but striving to keep the writing going and get his thoughts down on paper. He knew that once he had a draft, he could deter- mine how to improve it. Olesky wrote some fairly solid paragraphs, but he sensed that they were on different aspects of his topic and that the logical order of the points he was making was not quite right.
He needed a stronger organizational plan, some way to present his information that was not random but rather showed a logical progression. Reviewing his outline, Olesky could see that there was a natural progression from the physical lessons of the sport to the social and moral lessons to the psychological, emotional, and even spiritual benefits that one could derive. He decided therefore to move item 3 A discussion of how, above all, golf teaches one to control ones. Here is his reordered outline:.
A discussion of how much one needs to know and remember to play golf well 4. The social values that golf teaches 5. A multiparagraph example illustrating a valuable lesson taught through golf 6. A discussion of how, above all, golf teaches one to control ones emotions 7.
Olesky was satisfied that his essay now had a natural and logical organization: However, he now needed to revise his thesis to suit the argument he had established.
He wanted his revised thesis to be focused and specific and to include the idea that the lessons and values golf taught him could not be learned as easily in other ways. Here is his re- vised thesis statement:. In its simplicity, golf has taught me many lessons and values that other people have trouble learning elsewhere. After revising the organization, he was now ready to edit his essay and to correct those smaller but equally important errors in word choice, wordiness, punctuation, and mechanics.
He had put aside these errors to make sure his essay had the appropriate content. Now he needed to make sure it was grammatically correct. Here are several sample paragraphs showing the editing Olesky did on his essay:. Ever since I was a little boy, no older than two or three, I Addition as a toddler for clarity have had a golf club in my hand.
My mother has pictures of me. Elimination with my father on the putting green of the golf course. With a cut-down putter, the shaft had been mation reduced in length so that it would fit me, I would spend hours.
Change of sure at first that I took to the game to be like my father. To act period to colon to like him, play like him, and hit the ball like him. However, it is eliminate sentence not what I have learned about the mechanics of the golf swing or fragment about and intro- all the facts and figures of the game that have caused golf to duce appos- it is itive phrase mean so much to me, but rather the things golf has taught me in general Correction about everyday life.
In it-s simplicity, golf has taught me many of its to its lessons and values other people have trouble learning elsewhere. Elimination Golf is a good teacher because of wordiness Along the same lines, there are many variables and aspects.
You are constantly having to think, analyze, your position and strategy and evaluate. That is the difficulty of the game of golf. Unlike that rely on ing many sports once you committed the actions to muscle golf requires memory, there is no guarantee you will still perform well.
There is. Legs shoulder-width apart, knees flexed, fingers. But having to go about things so methodically has information the skills of patience and analysis for clarity enabled me to apply the methods of golf to many other parts.
I dont believe I would have nearly the same integral Improved personality if golf had not played such an intricate role in dicton my development. In addition to editing his revised paper, Olesky reexamined his title, Character Builder.
Olesky considered a half dozen alterna- tives. He finally settled on the use of Golf as a main title because it was such a key word for his topic and thesis; he used A Character Builder as his subtitle.
He also thought about his con- clusion, wondering whether it was forceful enough. After giving it considerable thought and seeking the advice of his classmates, Olesky decided to end with the low-key but meaningful final para- graphs he generated in his original draft. Here is the final version of his essay: Final Essay. It is what I do, and it is who I am. I couldnt possibly imagine my life without golf and what it has meant for me.
Ever since I was a little boy, no older than two or three, effective opening I have had a golf club in my hand. My mother has pictures of me as paragraph a toddler with my father on the putting green of the golf course. Im sure at first that I took to the game to be like my father: However, it is not what I have learned about the mechanics of the golf swing or about the Thesis state- facts of the game that have caused golf to mean so much ment: In its simplicity, golf has taught me in the many lessons and values other people have trouble learning readers mind elsewhere.
Golf is a good teacher because there are many variables discussion moves to and aspects to the game. You constantly have to think, analyze, how the and evaluate your position and strategy. Unlike many sports that game influences rely on committing actions to muscle memory, golf requires a personality phenomenal amount of information to think about and keys to Golf remember.
Legs shoulder-width apart, knees flexed, fingers requires lots interlocked, body loose. But having to go about things so methodically in golf has physical and enabled me to apply the skills of patience and analysis to many mental. I dont believe I would have nearly the same personality if golf had not played such an integral role in my development.
Golf teaches Golf has also changed and shaped my personality by life lessons. You know the ones Im referring to, the rules you learn in kindergarten: Golf may not blare them out as obviously as my kindergarten teacher, but in its own subtle, respectful tone, golf has imbued me with many of the values and morals I have today.
Simply by learning the rules of such a prestigious, honest, and respected game, you gradually learn the reasoning behind them and the ways that they relate to life. A good example of such a life lesson comes from the first extended example in time my father ever took me out on an actual golf course. I had narrative been waiting for this day for quite some time and was so excited of some lessons that when he finally gave me the chance. He had gone out to play with a golf teaches few of his friends early one Saturday morning in one of the larger tournaments.
I was caddying for my father. Although I was too young to actually carry his bag, I would clean his golf ball, rake the bunkers for him, and do the other minor tasks that caddies do. But the fact that I was actually out with the big boys, watching them play golf, was enough to make me happy. Besides, none of the other gentlemen my father was playing with seemed to mind that I was along for the ride. Narrative The lesson I learned that day appears rather simple now. It came on the putting green of the second hole.
My father had finished putting out, and I was holding the flagstick off to the side of the green while the other players finished. Generally, my father would come stand next to me and give me a hand, but due to circumstances we ended up on opposite sides of the green.
During the next players putt, my father lowered his eyebrows at me and nodded his head to one side a few times.
Curious as to what he wanted me to do, I almost let the question slip out of my mouth. But I knew better. I had already learned the rules of not talking or moving while other golfers were hitting.
I quietly stood my ground until everyone was finished and then placed the flagstick back in the hole. While walking toward the next tee box, I neared my father. Regardless of what he had wanted me to do, I thought he would commend me for not talking or moving during the ordeal. You know better than that, Jeffrey, he said. I asked curiously, disappointed that he had not tells and praised me on a job well done.
He had reminded me a thousand times before. You never allow your shadow to fall in the line of someones putt because it is distracting to the person putting. I rationalized to my father that maybe the man hadnt noticed or that it didnt bother him. Unfortunately, my father wasnt going to take that as an excuse.
After explaining to me what I had done wrong, he suggested that I go over and apologize to the gentleman. I was still a young boy, and the figure of the older man was somewhat intimidating. This task was no easy chore because I was obviously very scared, and this is perhaps what made the lesson sink in a little deeper. I remember slowly approaching my fathers friend and sheepishly looking back to my father for help.
Once I realized I was on my own, I bashfully gave him my apologies and assured him that it wouldnt happen again. As you. Once my father had pointed out my mistake, I begged him to reconcile with the gentleman for me. However, in apologizing for myself, I learned a valuable lesson. Golf golf can also be a is important because it has taught me many social values such as personal, this, but it can also be a personal, internal tool. No this book isn't "50 shades of grey" but if you want good grades in your English class, look no further.
Highly recommended! Paperback Verified download. I really like this book. Not only are the chapters short and to the point. The examples given with each chapter are very helpful to understand what the chapter was talking about. Book was required reading for school. It only works on our IPADs. In both cases the app said this book was not supported on the platform. I had hoped to be able to view this on my PC where I write. I really wish site would fix this at least for the PC version.
I absolutely loved this book! Great stories and I learned a lot from other people's experiences that were true in some of the stories. I ordered this book and it came by the shipping date.
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