Prewriting And Essay—Classification And Division?

Study Guide

English Composition By

Robert G. Turner, Jr., Ph.D.

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About the Author

Robert G. Turner, Jr., holds a B.S. in business and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in sociology. He has more than 20 years of teaching experience, mainly at the college level, and is currently serving as an adjunct professor at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg. Dr. Turner is primarily employed as a professional freelance writer. His literary credits include two stage plays, two novels, and two nonfiction works, along with an array of publications in academic and educational venues.

Copyright © 2012 by Penn Foster, Inc.

All rights reserved. No part of the material protected by this copyright may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be mailed to Copyright Permissions, Penn Foster, 925 Oak Street, Scranton, Pennsylvania 18515.

Printed in the United States of America


All terms mentioned in this text that are known to be trademarks or service marks have been appropriately capitalized. Use of a term in this text should not be regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark or service mark.




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INTRODUCTION Welcome to English Composition. You may be surprised to find out that, even now, you’re already a writer. You’ve probably done a great deal of writing as a student and perhaps in other roles, as well. Maybe you’ve kept a diary, tried your hand at poetry, or written a short story. Maybe you have a job or a voluntary position that requires records, reports, or case notes. Even if you’ve never thought of such activities as writing experience, they are.

This course is designed not to make you a writer but to encourage your growth as one. Both the textbook and the instructors will guide you in developing the skills and tech- niques of effective writing through practice. You’ll learn to make conscious decisions using particular tools to communicate more effectively and efficiently to your reader.

OBJECTIVES You’ll learn to apply different writing strategies in varying arrangements to explore, develop, and refine written work according to your purpose and audience.

When you complete this course, you’ll be able to

n Identify the steps in the writing process

n Use prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing to write formal, college-level essays

n Distinguish among different patterns of development

n Apply an appropriate pattern of development to a specific purpose and audience

n Write effective thesis statements

n Write effective introductions and conclusions

n Develop paragraphs using topic sentences, adequate detail, supporting evidence, and transitions

n Define plagiarism and academic honesty

n Employ responsible research methods to locate appropri- ate secondary sources



Instructions to Students

n Quote, paraphrase, and summarize secondary source material correctly and appropriately

n Use Modern Language Association (MLA) citation and documentation style to reference secondary source material correctly and appropriately

n Apply the conventions of standard written American English to produce correct, well-written essays

COURSE MATERIALS This course includes the following materials:

1. This study guide, which contains an introduction to your course, plus

n A lesson assignments page with a schedule of study assignments

n Assignment lessons emphasizing the main points in the textbook, including the text’s grammar handbook

n Self-checks and answers to help you assess your understanding of the material

2. Your course textbook, Successful College Writing, which contains the assigned reading material

3. A grammar supplement, The Little, Brown Essential Handbook

4. Online supplements, The Parts of Speech, World Usage, and Sentence Skills, which contain assigned reading, in addition to that of the textbook

YOUR TEXTBOOK Your primary text for this course is Successful College Writing, Brief Fifth Edition, by Kathleen T. McWhorter. Begin reviewing the text by reading the table of contents on pages xxiii–xxxix. Thereafter, follow the study guide for directions on what to read and when to read it. Note the following features of your text:

n The “To the Student” section starting on page xlv pro- vides important tips on how to use the text.




n The “Quick Start” features at the beginning of each chapter are relatively short and are designed to help you get a head start on the material. Make sure you work through the exercises, even though they won’t be formally evaluated.

n Note the organization within the chapters. The major headings and subheadings break down each chapter’s content into manageable sections. Also, note that exercises and illustrative writing are important parts of every chapter.

n Your text includes a complete guide to documenting sources in MLA and APA (American Psychological Association) styles, beginning on page 640 in Chapter 23.

YOUR GRAMMAR SUPPLEMENT Your grammar supplement for this course is The Little, Brown Essential Handbook, by Jane E. Aaron. Begin reviewing the handbook by reviewing the brief contents inside the front cover and the preface on pages v–vii. Thereafter, follow the study guide for directions on what to read and when to read it. Please note the following features of your grammar handbook:

n Your course assignments don’t begin in the beginning of the book. You jump to a late part for a review of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure. You’ll be using the earlier parts of the handbook later in the course.

n Note the organization of the handbook. The parts are divided by colors, and each initial page of a color lists what can be found within that part of the book.

n Near the back of the handbook is a glossary of usage, which provides notes on common words and phrases that often cause problems. There’s also a glossary of terms, which defines the main terms and concepts of English grammar. These can both be helpful when you’re working through the writing process.

Instructions to Students 3



Please also note that the index listings that refer to the glossaries of the Little, Brown Essential Handbook are incorrect. If you need to use the glossary, remember that any page number in the index that refers to page 239 or later is off by 32 pages. For example,

Absolute phrases comma with, 87 defined, 87, 249

In this example from the index, the references to page 87 are correct. However, the definition that’s listed to be on page 249 is actually on page 281. (249 + 32 = 281)

ONLINE SUPPLEMENTS Three online course study units are linked on your My Courses page in Lesson 1: Critical Thinking and Basic Grammar. These study units are part of the required reading for your first objective exam. They can also be useful reference sources for you when you’re writing your essays. The supplements are

n The Parts of Speech

n Word Usage

n Sentence Skills

ACADEMIC SUPPORT AND ONLINE RESOURCES Penn Foster’s digital library offers students access to online resources in all major disciplines and courses offered at Penn Foster, as well as one of the most comprehensive academic databases available today, Expanded Academic ASAP. Learn more about the library here:

How-To Guide—

Top 3 things—

Instructions to Students4


Please note that the is not included with your course. This is a sepa- rate purchase, but it’s not needed for your course.



Instructions to Students

Digital Library FAQ—

Citation Information—

Penn Foster’s librarian is available to answer questions about research and to help students locate resources. You can find her in the Community, by using the Contact an Instructor link in the Help Center in your student portal, and the Ask a Librarian link in the library.

Penn Foster has partnered with the tutoring service Smarthinking to provide support for students including writ- ing, science, math, and business. Smarthinking is available to all Penn Foster students through the link in the Help Center on their student portal. Smarthinking tutors are experts in their subject areas and can provide general help with courses and papers. They are not, however, Penn Foster employees, so students must be sure to clearly explain the purpose of an assignment to get the best possible results from their tutoring sessions. Students can live chat with tutors to ask questions about course material. Students can also take advantage of the Writing Center and upload a paper for review before sub- mitting it to Penn Foster for grading. You’ll need to check the Drop-In Tutoring schedule for hours of service for live chats, but you can submit a question at any time and a tutor will reply. Consider adding Smarthinking to your academic rou- tine; tutoring can help even the best students enhance their education. is offering discounts to Penn Foster students who register for a year of service. For $40 (a $95 savings), Penn Foster students have unlimited access to the Grammarly’s grammar, spelling, and punctuation check, as well as the plagiarism check. For students who have limited experience with research writing, Grammarly could be the helping hand you need to negotiate the research papers in your future.

Other online resources for grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and mechanics include the following:

Daily Grammar

Blue Book of Grammar and Mechanics


Please contact your English instructor for registration information.



Instructions to Students

Guide to Grammar and Writing, sponsored by Capital Community College Foundation

Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab

A STUDY PLAN Read this study guide carefully, and think of it as a blueprint for your course. Using the following procedures should help you receive maximum benefit from your studies:

1. Read the lesson in the study guide to introduce you to concepts that are discussed in the textbook and gram- mar supplement. The lesson emphasizes the important material and provides additional tips or examples.

2. Note the pages for each reading assignment. Read the assignment to get a general idea of its content. Then, study the assignment. Pay attention to all details, especially the main concepts.

3. To review the material, answer the questions and problems provided in the self-checks in the study guide.

4. After answering the questions, check your answers with those in the online Self-Check Answers supplement, which you can access on your My Courses page.

5. Complete each assignment in this way. If you miss any questions, review the pages of the textbook or grammar supplement covering those questions. The self-checks are designed to allow you to evaluate your understanding of the material and reveal weak points that you need to review. Do not submit self-check answers for grading.

6. After you’ve completed and corrected the self-checks for Lesson 1, complete the first exam.

7. Follow this procedure for all nine lessons. At any time, you can contact your instructor by email or telephone for information regarding the materials.




Instructions to Students 7

COURSE INFORMATION Study pace. You have a study time limit for the semester, but not one specific to English Composition. You must pace yourself wisely through the semester’s courses. Allow sufficient time for reading, prewriting, drafting, revising, and grading. Generally, you should allot at least two weeks for each English lesson, with some taking longer than that, and you must complete each exam in order.

Because the course goal is to help you grow as a writer, you’ll use the process approach to writing to identify your strengths and improve weaknesses. The prewriting assignments for Lessons 4 and 6 will help you to develop and organize your ideas, and must be evaluated before your essays for Lessons 5 and 7 will be accepted. You should, however, move ahead to work on the next lessons while waiting for an exam evaluation. If you have other courses available for study, you may work on those and submit those exams while also working to complete this English course.

Course Journal. Your course journal is an ongoing assign- ment that will be evaluated at regular intervals during the course. Your three grades for the journal will be averaged together and count as your final exam. For more information about your journal, see page 11.

Exam submissions. Use the following information for submitting your completed exams:

1. Multiple-choice examinations (Lessons 1, 2, 3, and 9): You’ll submit your answers for these exams online.

2. Written examinations (Lessons 4–8 and the final exam): Essays must be typed, double-spaced, using a standard 12-point font and left justification. Use 1-inch margins at the top and bottom and 1.25-inch margins for the left and right sides of the document. Each page must have a prop- erly formatted header containing your name, student number, exam number, page number, mailing address, and email address, as in the following example.

Jane Doe 23456789 05017700 Page 2 987 Nice Street My Town, AZ 34567



Instructions to Students8

Name each document using your student number first, then the six-digit lesson number, and finally your last name (for example, 23456789_050177 Doe). Save each as “File Type: Rich Text Format,” regardless of your word-processing program.

You should take care to check that the document you’ve uploaded is the one containing your final work for evaluation. To submit by regular postal mail, send your documents to

Penn Foster Student Service Center 925 Oak Street Scranton, PA 18515-0001

When it’s received, your written work will be coded as RCD with the date received. To receive emailed notification for an evaluated essay, you must type your email address accurately and add to the accepted senders list in your email browser.

Evaluation. Evaluation usually occurs within seven busi- ness days of receipt (from the RCD date code). Exams are scored according to the parameters of the exam assignment using the associated evaluation chart, located in the study guide. Your instructors will apply the grading criteria, ensur- ing all essays are evaluated in the same way. They may also include feedback on both the essay and the evaluation chart. Evaluations are monitored by the department chairs of both the General Education Department and Exam Control Department to ensure accuracy and reliability. To read the instructor’s comments, click on the View Project button next to your grade for the exam, then download the Instructor Feedback File. Be sure to save the Instructor Feedback File to your computer since it’s available on your My Courses page for just a brief time.

Retakes. You’re required to complete all assigned work, including a retake for any first-time failing attempt. The eval- uation of any first-time failing exam for English Composition will include a Required Retake form. That form must then be included with your retake exam submission to ensure proper handling. If the assigned work isn’t provided, submissions will be evaluated according to the criteria, but points will be deducted for not following the instructions. Please review school policy about retakes in the Student Handbook.

The Penn Foster Student Service Center is under contract with Penn Foster College.



Plagiarism. Carefully review the academic policies outlined in your Student Handbook. The first submission that departs from this policy earns a grade of 1 percent. If it’s a first-time submission, the student may retake the exam (as per retake procedures). A second such submission on any subsequent exam results in failure of the English Composition course.

Grammar and mechanics. The focus of this course is to engage you in the writing process so you learn to make delib- erate decisions about which writing strategies will best help you accomplish your purpose for your audience.

Essay assignments require you to apply standard conventions of American English, which include correct and appropriate grammar, diction, punctuation, capitalization, sentence structure, and spelling. The course provides various revision exercises throughout the self-checks and lesson examina- tions so that you can apply these conventions during the editing and proofreading phases of your writing. For more information on the fundamentals of writing, refer to the Academic Support and Online Resources section on page 4.

SIX TRAITS OF GOOD ESSAY WRITING All the assigned readings you’ve been given to date, coupled with the objective exams, have brought you to the point where you’re about to submit your first writing assignment. Your submission will be evaluated according to a predetermined standard.

From this point on, each time you submit a writing assign- ment, you’ll have a similar rubric. Working with these rubrics, both you and your instructors will understand exactly what’s expected. Therefore, you should have an understanding of what each of the areas in the rubric mean.

Criteria Ideas and content. The essay’s content is clear, original, and pertains to the assigned subject. In addition, you should have a well developed thesis that fits the topic, audience, and purpose of the assignment. There should be enough evidence (which shouldn’t be researched unless this is part of the assignment) to help the reader understand the point you’re making and to keep the reader’s interest.

Instructions to Students 9



Instructions to Students10

Organization. All essays need a clear beginning, middle, and end. Consider each paragraph as a mini-essay, contain- ing a thesis that’s related to the main purpose of the entire essay. Thinking this way can help your essay retain unity and make sense. Use transitional phrases to ease the move- ment and make connections between the paragraphs.

Voice. Use first person for personal essays. You want to connect to your audience and demonstrate that you’re present in your writing.

Word choice. Do not, however, use slang, jargon, Internet abbreviations, or profanity. Remember, these are college-level essays; you aren’t texting your friends. However, you do want to write from your heart—don’t use a thesaurus to find awk- ward words that you would never use in normal conversation.

Sentence fluency. Mix your sentence styles. Readers often dislike reading all short choppy sentences or one big run-on sentence.

Conventions. You’ve run a spell check and grammar check, and you’ve proofread the essay. In addition, you’ve met the length requirements.

Skill Levels All these criteria are evaluated according to skill levels. Here’s an explanation of the skill levels:

Skill not evident. If the essay scored in this category, the assignment either does not include this required element or severely lacks this trait.

Skill emerging. If the assignment scored in this category, the writing lacks the trait or is below average for a college- level paper.

Skills developing. If the essay scored in this category, the essay shows effort and competence but indicates a lack of complete understanding or command in this area.

Skill realized. If the assignment scored in this category, the writing demonstrates that you’re in command of the skills.

Now you’re ready to begin Lesson 1.

Good luck!



Instructions to Students 11

Course Journal

Your course journal isn’t just a series of examinations, it’s also record of your progress through English Composition. As you complete the 18 journal entries, you’ll have the opportunity to test the stages of the writing process, practice different methods of organizing your essays, and evaluate your progress in the course. All the journal entries are included in your digital study guide; each entry corresponds to the assigned reading in your textbooks.

The journal serves as the final exam. The three journal exams will count for 33% of your final grade. Remember the following objectives as you work on each journal.

• Identify the steps in the writing process.

• Use prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing to write formal, college-level essays.

• Distinguish among different patterns of development.

• Apply an appropriate pattern of development to a specific purpose and audience.

• Write effective thesis statements.

• Develop paragraphs using topic sentences, adequate detail, supporting evidence, and transitions.

• Define plagiarism and academic honesty.

• Employ responsible research methods to locate appropriate secondary sources.

• Quote, paraphrase, and summarize secondary source material correctly and appropriately.

• Use Modern Language Association citation and documentation style to reference second- ary source material correctly and appropriately.

• Apply the conventions of standard written American English to produce correct, well- written essays.

Directions: Read each entry assignment carefully. Some entries are based on textbook exercises for which the pages are given. Most entries require multiple parts to be considered complete. For example, you might have to complete both a prewriting and a thesis. Assignments generally include a minimum length, a range, or a general format (such as one paragraph). A few assignments allow you to choose the length and format to accomplish the required work. The guidelines list the minimum amount of work you may produce, but you should continue writing until you complete your thoughts.

The course journal is divided into three parts made up of six entries each. At the end of each course unit, you’ll submit your journal for evaluation. Therefore, you’ll submit your journals

• After you complete Lesson 3

• After you complete Lesson 7

• After you complete the course




Instructions to Students12

Format: Use the exam submission instructions already given, except that you should single- space your journal. Use double spacing between entries only. First, type the date, hit Tab once (one-half inch), and type in capital boldface letters the word ENTRY, followed by the number and name of that entry. Hit Enter once, and then type in and underline the first part label followed by your writing for that part. Then, do the same for any additional parts. Use this example as a guide:

June 29, 2014—ENTRY 1: ME, A WRITER? Attitude: I enjoy writing, but I hate being graded . . . Inventory: I am a social learner, so a distance education approach may be difficult for me . . .

July 5, 2014—ENTRY 2: The Role of Correctness in Writing

Evaluation: Your journal will be evaluated according to the following requirements:

• Ideas and content—How accurately and effectively you’ve responded to the entry; your writing is focused on the topic of the entry and is based on the correct reading assign- ments in your texts; you’ve effectively engaged with the content of the reading assignments and composed thoughtful original responses to each entry; when required, you cited and documented secondary source material appropriately and correctly.

Organization: How well you developed your prewriting or organizing entries; all paragraphs begin with an appropriate topic sentence and are developed fully by using examples, illustra- tion, and/or evidence; each entry meets the required minimum length.

General Correctness: How well entries meet the expectations of college-level academic writing in the following areas:

• Sentence structure

• Grammar

• Word choice and spelling

• Punctuation

Format: How accurately you’ve followed the prescribed format for the journal by including the required header, entry title and date, and used correct margins, font, and line spacing.



Unit 1: Introduction to Composition

Lesson 1: Critical Thinking and Basic Grammar For: Read in the Read in the Successful

study guide: College Writing textbook:

Assignment 1 Pages 18–22 Pages xlv–li and Chapter 1

Assignment 2 Pages 22–25 Chapters 2 and 3

Assignment 3 Pages 25–28 Chapter 4

Read in The Parts of Speech online supplement:

Assignment 4 Pages 29–30 Pages iii–14, 18–22, 26–34, 38–48, 51–56, and 58–65

Read in The Little, Brown Essential Handbook:

Pages 63–76

Assignment 5 Pages 31–32 Read in the Sentence Skills online supplement:

Pages 1–5, 6–21, 25–31, 34–58, and 60–71

Read in The Little, Brown Essential Handbook:

77–81 and 85–102

Assignment 6 Pages 33–34 Read in the Word Usage online supplement:

Pages 1–13

Examination 250482 Material in Lesson 1


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Lesson Assignments14

Lesson 2: The Reading and Writing Process For: Read in the Read in the Successful

study guide: College Writing textbook:

Assignment 7 Pages 35–39 Chapter 5

Assignment 8 Pages 40–43 Chapter 6

Assignment 9 Pages 44–50 Chapter 7

Assignment 10 Pages 51–54 Chapter 8

Examination 250483 Material in Lesson 2

Lesson 3: Revising and Editing For: Read in the Read in the Successful

study guide: College Writing textbook:

Assignment 11 Pages 56–61 Chapter 9

Assignment 12 Pages 62–66 Chapter 10

Examination 250484 Material in Lesson 3 Journal 1 Due 25049400

Unit 2: The Writing Process in Action

Lesson 4: Moving from Narration to Process Analysis For: Read in the Read in the Successful

study guide: College Writing textbook:

Assignment 13 Pages 69–74 Chapter 11

Assignment 14 Pages 75–79 Chapter 12

Assignment 15 Pages 80–82 Chapter 13

Assignment 16 Pages 83–85 Chapter 14

Examination 25048500 Prewriting—Process Analysis

Lesson 5: A Process Analysis Essay For: Read in the Read in the Successful

study guide: College Writing textbook:

The Essay Pages 93–96 Pages 351–359 and 362–371

Examination 25048600 Essay—Process Analysis



Lesson Assignments 15

Lesson 6: Moving from Comparison to Classification and Division

For: Read in the Read in the Successful study guide: College Writing textbook:

Assignment 17 Pages 98–103 Chapter 15

Assignment 18 Pages 104–108 Chapter 16

Assignment 19 Pages 109–112 Chapter 17

Assignment 20 Pages 113–115 Chapter 18

Examination 25048700 Prewriting—Classification and Division

Lesson 7: Classification and Division For: Read in the Read in the Successful

study guide: College Writing textbook:

The Essay Pages 123–129 Pages 432–438

Examination 250488000 Essay—Classification and Division Journal 2 Due 25049500

Unit 3: Research Writing and MLA Citation Lesson 8: Research and MLA Citation For: Read in the Read in the Successful

study guide: College Writing textbook:

Assignment 21 Pages 132–134 Chapter 21

Assignment 22 Pages 135–138 Chapter 22

Assignment 23 Pages 138–140 Chapter 23

Assignment 24 Pages 141–142 Chapter 25

Examination 250489RR Material in Lesson 8

Lesson 9: Writing Arguments For: Read in the Read in the Successful

study guide: College Writing textbook:

Assignment 25 Pages 144–151 Chapter 19

Assignment 26 Pages 151–166 Chapter 20

Examination 25049000 Argument Essay Journal 3 Due 25049100



Lesson Assignments16

Note: To access and complete any of the examinations for this study guide, click on the appropriate Take Exam icon on your “My Courses” page. You should not have to enter the examination numbers for the multiple-choice exams. These numbers are for reference only if you have reason to contact Student Services.




CRITICAL THINKING AND BASIC GRAMMAR INTRODUCTION Understanding basic grammar can help in all walks of life, from everyday conversation, to emails, to formal reports. Correct grammar can help you personally, professionally, and academically.

To become an effective writer, you must first have a strong understanding of English composition. You should know how words are pronounced, how they’re spelled, and how they fit into sentences. Knowing the basics will enable you to be more comfortable and confident when faced with any writing task.

The main topics discussed in this section are grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, and word usage.

OBJECTIVES When you complete this lesson, you’ll be able to

n Effectively use your textbook

n Discuss why writing is an important part of your study program

n Understand your unique learning style

n Use active reading methods to understand and analyze text

n Point out the importance of prewriting in developing a piece of writing

n Describe the parts of speech and how they work within sentence structure

n Develop effective, structured sentences

n Use a variety of words in your writing

n Discuss the need for a strong understanding of English composition

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English Composition18

ASSIGNMENT 1: GETTING STARTED Read the assignment in this study guide. Then, read “To the Student” on pages xlv–li, and Chapter 1, “Succeeding in College.” Be sure to complete the self-check before moving on to the next assignment.

To the Student

This section of your textbook is an introduction and includes guidelines for the exercises and assignments in the book. Don’t skip over it because you’ll miss valuable information on how to effectively use your textbook. By taking a few minutes now, you’ll save time later when you have to complete the assignments.

One of the best ways to be sure you understand and can apply what you’ve read is by completing each assignment’s self-check exercise. As you respond to the questions and activities, you’ll accomplish the objectives of both the assignment and the course. Don’t send your responses to the school. The answers are provided in the online Self- Check Answers supplement.

This study guide will direct you to write in various ways. To keep your work organized, create clearly labeled files in your word-processing program. First, create a primary file folder named “English Composition.” Within that folder, create a file for your course journal and a different file for your essays. Other possible files to keep in the folder include a Notes file, a Practice Writing file, and a self-check file. You must main- tain the course journal and essays on a computer, but the others can be done in separate notebooks, if you wish. Establish a clear naming system for each file you add in the Composition folder so that you don’t confuse your rough drafts with your final version of each essay.



Lesson 1 19

Succeeding in College

People write for two basic reasons. The first is private and personal. That is, some of us write to express ourselves, to translate thoughts and feelings into words. One example in this context is the poet Emily Dickinson. She wrote for her- self and one or two close friends—only a few of her poems were published during her lifetime. Many people keep per- sonal journals that express their feelings and sometimes help them to think through problems or opportunities. Still others find that writing down ideas and rephrasing concepts helps them study and learn.

The second reason people write is to convey feelings and thoughts to others. This purpose covers most other types of writing, from published novels to advertising, to blogs, to essays for school. By sharing ideas through effective language skills, we expand our experiences, make personal connections, and sharpen our communication skills.

For writing to be effective, standard rules must be learned and applied. You’ll practice using proper grammar, sentence structure, and organized paragraphs to help you achieve this purpose.

You can practice good writing by paying close attention while you’re reading. Pay attention to mistakes, too. If you come across a sentence or headline in a newspaper that you have to read several times before you understand it, try rewriting it to make it clear on the first reading. It may need to be rearranged, divided into two sentences, or have a comma or two added. If you can, keep a file of the poor sentences and your improve- ments. Note what the problem was and what it took to fix the sentence. Also, when you write, try reading aloud from your paper to see if there are any stumbling places.

The most agile of runners begins with baby steps. Likewise, all learning proceeds in stages, step by step. For a student of English composition, here are some of the most important principles:

1. Study the rules of effective sentence construction for all types of sentences, so you’ll be better able to say what you want to say clearly and concisely.



English Composition20

2. Learn to make your points directly and effectively. Back up your statements with evidence that supports your case and persuades your reader.

3. Keep your reader’s interest. Even the most boring sub- jects can be improved with anecdotes, examples, and clever word choices.

4. Approach different kinds of writing and different audi- ences in appropriate ways. Letters, memos, academic essays, instructions, and business reports each require a different style of writing. Always consider your audience before you begin writing.

5. Study the techniques used by skilled writers, including brainstorming, free association, outlining, organizing, revision, self-criticism, and editing.

Practical Applications of Writing As noted earlier, regardless of the career you choose, commu- nication is a key to success. Virtually all job descriptions include some kind of paperwork—record keeping, summaries, analyses—and the higher up the ladder you go, the more communication will matter. The following examples reveal the broad range in the types of writing different career fields require, from using narration to persuasive analysis. Even if your field of interest isn’t listed, you can see the importance of writing in a variety of careers.

Early Childhood Education

n Narration recording weekly observations of playground behavior among first-grade students

n Case study in early childhood cognitive development analyzing the concepts of Jean Piaget in light of the observed behavior of selected subjects

Health Information Technology

n Process analysis to explain what’s involved in a specific medical procedure



n Proposal and illustration of methods by which type-2 diabetes patients may be encouraged to pursue a prescribed health regimen

Accounting n Analytical essay comparing and contrasting the

American double-entry bookkeeping system with the European five-book system

n Comparison and analysis of corporate performance in metals-refining industries based on financial statement data derived from Moody’s Industrials


n Historical and analytical description of the evolution of load-bearing theories in bridge construction

n Process analysis to describe technology and molecular theory for detecting likely metal stress areas in an air- craft prototype

Journal Entry A great way to hone your writing skills is to keep a journal. In this course, your journal is not only a regular writing activity, but it also counts as a large portion of your course grade—33 percent. You submit your journal in three parts, after Unit 1, Unit 2, and then Unit 3.

Before you begin your first journal entry assignment, review the Course Journal evaluation information at the end of this study guide.

Lesson 1 21



English Composition22

ASSIGNMENT 2: WRITING AND READING TEXT Read the assignment in this study guide. Then, read Chapter 2, “Writing in College,” and Chapter 3, “Reading in College.” Test your progress by completing the self-check.

Writing in College Pages 24–34. Academic writing is distinctive from, say, writing a letter (or email) to a friend or expressing sentiments in a birthday card or keeping a personal diary. Here’s a pre- view of your text’s view of academic writing:

n You can expect your writing to shift from personal to less personal. You’ll use your “left brain” to take an objec- tive—as opposed to subjective—point of view.

n Academic writing takes different forms, generally depending on particular college courses. Lab reports, critical-analytical essays, book reports, and comparisons of different cultures will call for different perspectives and different writing styles. So, put simply, you’ll need to

Self-Check 1

At the end of each section of English Composition, you’ll be asked to pause and check your understanding of what you’ve just read by completing a “self-check” exercise. Answering these questions will help you review what you’ve studied so far. Please complete Self-Check 1 now.

1. Complete Exercise 1.2 on page 5. Write a paragraph to describe your academic and professional goals.

2. Complete Exercise 1.5 on page 10. Complete the Stress Mini Quiz.

3. Complete Exercise 1.7 on page 12. Rate your academic image.

There are no correct responses to these exercises. The answers are for practice and personal use.



Lesson 1 23

adopt the language of particular disciplines, such as world history, labor relations, art appreciation, social psychology, or organic chemistry.

n In every case, you’ll be expected to use standard American English. In many cases you’ll be expected to properly document sources, conduct online research, and, quite often, collaborate with fellow students.

You’ll review all of the excellent reasons that you’ll want to persistently strive to improve your writing skills. That process will include developing strategies for writing. To that end, be assured that you’ll get lots of useful tips, from how to make the best use of a course syllabus to discovering the virtues of keeping a writing journal.

TIP: Figure 2.2 on page 34 features “Starting Points for Journal Writing.” Study it, and feel free to refer to it as you work on your Course Journal.

Pages 35–43, Assessing Your Learning Style. Discovering your learning style is a crucial part of this course. After you respond to the Learning Style Inventory on pages 35–38, your text will guide you through the scoring process. You’ll dis- cover where you stand in terms of five dichotomies:

n Independent or Social. Do you like to work alone, or do you prefer collaborating within a group?

n Pragmatic or Creative. Do you like to line up your ducks and follow clear rules or guidelines? Or do you prefer open-ended problems that allow you to bend the rules in interesting and innovative ways?

n Verbal or Spatial. Do you rely in language and lan- guage skills to analyze a problem? Or do you prefer gathering information from photo images, graphs, charts, and graphic metaphors?

n Rational or Emotional. In writing an essay, do you prefer a cool and objective weighing of facts and figures? Or do you prefer finding the right words to express your subjective intuitions and feelings?

n Concrete or Abstract. In a critical essay, would you focus on observable facts and step-by-step analysis? Or are you inclined to seek out underlying assumptions to reveal the “big picture”?

The best way to improve your singing is to sing. The best way to improve your writ- ing is by writing.



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After you’ve got a sense of your learning style, your text will offer you some handy tips for applying your particular learn- ing style to different kinds of writing challenges.

TIP: Figure 2.3 on page 43, “Your Strengths as a Writer,” offers you a graphic you can use to assess your learning style.

Reading in College

Following some basic tips on critical reading skills, the heart of this chapter is a guide to active reading. Obviously, active is the opposite of passive. For example, you can stare blankly at an historical landmark, or you can pose questions to yourself. Who was John D. Rockefeller? Who designed this monument? When? How? Why? A key to your active reading guide is found in Figure 3.1 on page 49. You’ll notice a three- part framework:

n Before Reading—Check out the title and the author. Scan the first paragraph, any headings that organize the piece, and the conclusion.

n While Reading—Search for key elements. Highlight key points. Annotate or record your impressions.

n After Reading—Review what you’ve read. Use a graphic organizer to create a “map” of the author’s themes, ideas, assumptions, and sources.

Two readings are included in this chapter. “American Jerk: Be Civil, or I’ll Beat You to a Pulp” by Todd Schwartz is a funny piece meant to characterize the attitudinal contradic- tions in present-day American culture. Enjoy it, but force yourself to critically analyze the piece. Your text will guide you through that process.

TIP: Spend all the time you need to study Table 3.1 on page 59, and the graphics on pages 60–61 to understand how to create a graphic organizer.

The second reading, “Combat High,” by Sebastian Junger (author of The Perfect Storm), is gripping prose from an accomplished writer. It will give you a challenging perspective on the nature of war. It will also allow you to practice your new-found skills in analyzing text.



ASSIGNMENT 3: RESPONDING TO TEXT AND IMAGES Read the assignment in this study guide. Then, read Chapter 4, “Responding Critically to Text and Images” in your textbook, Successful College Writing. Test your progress using the self- check.

Pages 68–77, Strategies for Thinking and Reading. The primary purpose of this section is sharpening your critical thinking skills as you read and appraise texts.

Consider the source. Regardless of the medium—TV news, newspapers, magazines, the Internet, or scholarly journals— the same principle applies: Consider the source. We might expect scholarly journals to be more rigorously edited than popular magazine articles because they get published only after they’ve met the standards of peer review. On the other hand, a New Yorker article may offer us information scholars have avoided, and often, we may find alternative news sources via the Internet that are less biased than network cable news.

Understand nuance. A denotative definition provides the literal meaning of a word. For example, statuesque simply means “similar in form to a statue.” However, a connotative

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Self-Check 2

1. Complete Exercise 3.1 on page 52. Answer the five questions as either true or false.

2. In Exercise 3.2 on page 56, reread “American Jerk.” Annotate and provide highlights as you read.

Check your answers to item 1 with those on page 65 of your textbook. Check your answers to item 2 with the sample annotations given on page 56.



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definition of that word in common speech typically refers to someone’s physical attributes, especially in the context of describing a woman’s figure. A euphemism is a word or phrase that veils a more literal meaning. In the sentence, “The CFO told our reporter that Caldwell appears to have engaged in suspect behavior,” “suspect behavior” may veil an assertion that Caldwell is a cheat and a liar.

Distinguish facts from opinions. We can usually distin- guish a fact from an opinion in straightforward prose, but not always. Sometimes an opinion is presented as a fact. In other instances, selective approaches to gathering facts (emphasiz- ing the positive or the negative) can thinly veil an opinion. The clearest expression of a fact is an objective statement that credits a reliable source. Opinions, on the other hand, express subjective judgment that may or may not be justified— depending on one’s point of view. In other cases, one may detect purposeful omissions. That is often the case when a particular point of view draws on some facts and omits other facts that might weaken an argument.

Reliability refers to the extent to which we feel we can count on the validity of information. Sometimes personal, first per- son accounts can act like the picture worth a thousand words. They sway our opinion, usually by evoking emotional responses in the reader—none of which may be reliable. In other cases, the seemingly cold rational use of statistics may actually be misleading. That is too often the case when the statistical data presented is based on flawed approaches to gathering the data. Ultimately, the most reliable data may be derived from the findings of properly conducted experiments.

An author’s tone refers to the affect (feelings) his or her writ- ing may evoke in a reader. Sometimes we detect bitterness—a sense that the author feels victimized. Sometimes we suspect the author is wearing rose-tinted spectacles. In still other cases, it can be hard to differentiate satire from unfounded cynicism.

Pages 77–86, Interpreting Visuals and Graphics. This sec- tion offers you some helpful tips on making sense of visuals, such as photographs or computer-generated images, as well as charts and graphs designed to illustrate relationships among observable datasets. For most readers, interpreting visuals poses two basic challenges. First, you may get stuck



Lesson 1 27

on a particularly engaging image; you can get distracted from the flow of the written text. Second, you may simply tend to skip over or ignore the image. Instead, you should stop, look, and reflect on the image consciously. Then, as you study the image, reflect on its message and how it relates to the text. Always assume that the image is there to enhance the author’s narrative.

When it comes to graphics such as charts, graphs, or com- plex tables and figures, readers may be inclined to scan the graphic without analyzing it. That’s not a good idea. A better idea can be illustrated by how you should read text material related to mathematics. When you get to an equation, stop. Study it until you actually understand what it means. Apply that same principle to tables, charts, and graphs.

Pages 86–95, A Guide to Responding to Text. Your instructor may ask you to write a response paper—your response to a body of text. That’s your topic for this section of the assigned chapter. Figure 4.3 on page 87 offers you a clear graphic that shows you ideal steps for responding to a reading.

1. You can summarize the piece as a way of checking out your understanding of the author’s work.

2. You can link what you’ve read to your own personal experiences. That is, you can anchor ideas in the text to your own life experience.

3. Analyze the reading using one or more techniques that include n Devising critical questions

n Annotating comments directly onto the body of the text

n Responding to the text in a journal

n Employing a reading response worksheet

In this context, you’ll want to apply your personal learning style. Your text offers you some tips in that regard on pages 93–94.

Pages 96–98. The concluding section of this chapter intro- duces a “Students Write” essay. It’s a student response to the “American Jerk” article. Just preceding this essay, be sure to



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think about seven guidelines you’ll want to apply when read- ing a student essay. Perhaps the first of these tips should be emphasized: Namely, read an essay several times.

Self-Check 3

1. Complete Exercise 4.1 on page 70. Respond to the 10 questions as you evaluate the reliability of each of the information sources.

2. Complete Exercise 4.2 on page 71. Follow the instructions to work with the concepts of denotation and connotation.

3. Complete Exercise 4.4 on page 73. For two of the four topics, write one statement of fact and one of opinion.

4. Complete Exercise 4.6 on pages 75–76. Read each of the five statements to define its tone.

5. Complete Exercise 4.8 on page 77. Follow the instructions regarding each of the three scenarios. Decide what information is being withheld, meaning what more you would need to know to evaluate the situation.

6. Complete Exercise 4.10 on page 81. Using the guideline in pages 78–79, answer each of the five questions.

7. In Exercise 4.13 on page 85, study the table on page 84 and answer each of the six questions.

Check your answers with those in the online Self-Check Answers supplement.

Required Journal Entry 1: Me, A Writer?

Attitude: After reading Chapters 1–4 in your textbook, describe your attitude toward completing this course. As part of the description, explore how your feelings about being required to take a composition course may affect your performance in accomplishing the course objectives. (1 paragraph, 6 sentences)

Inventory: Take the learning inventory quiz starting on page 35 in your textbook. Explain what you learned about yourself as a writer working through the inventory exercise. Discuss two ways you want to improve as a writer and why. (1 paragraph, 6 sentences)



Lesson 1 29

ASSIGNMENT 4: GRAMMAR AND THE PARTS OF SPEECH Read the assignment in this study guide. Then, read pages iii–14, 18–22, 26–34, 38–48, 51–56, and 58–65 in The Parts of Speech online supplement and pages 63–76 in The Little, Brown Essential Handbook. Test your progress by completing the self-check.

This section covers the various parts of speech and how they work within the structure of a sentence.

Pages 8–14, The Parts of Speech. When we’re small children, nouns are generally the first words we learn. Any person, place, or thing is a noun. Nouns can be broken down into five categories: common, proper, collective, abstract, and concrete. Understanding the various types of nouns and how they’re used in sentences can help you become a stronger writer.

Pages 18–22, The Parts of Speech, and pages 63–70, The Little, Brown Essential Handbook. Pronouns substitute for nouns. Like nouns, pronouns can serve many purposes in a sentence. There are six types of pronouns: personal, posses- sive, demonstrative, interrogative, relative, and indefinite.

Pages 38–48, The Parts of Speech. Verbs express action; they tell what the subject of a sentence is doing. Depending on the action and when it’s taking place, a verb can appear in many forms, and it can be more than one word. Pay spe- cial attention to the figures that give you examples of verbs in various tenses in both singular and plural forms.

In addition, The Little, Brown Essential Handbook provides further explanation of verbs. This reading isn’t required, but it can help you gain better understanding.

Pages 26–34 and 51–56, The Parts of Speech, and pages 70–76, The Little, Brown Essential Handbook. Adjectives describe nouns and pronouns, and they can make your speaking and writing more definite. Adjectives generally help answer a question (What kind? Which one? How many? How much?), and they can indicate color, size, or shape. An adverb is generally used to modify a verb, but it can also be used to describe an adjective or other adverb. Adverbs answer other questions: How? When? Where? Why? How much? How long? To what extent? In what direction?



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Pages 58–65, The Parts of Speech. A preposition shows the logical relationship or placement of a noun or pronoun in relation to another word in a sentence. Many prepositions show placement, but some refer to time or a relationship between two things. A conjunction joins words, groups of words, or sentences. There are three kinds of conjunctions: coordinating conjunctions, correlative conjunctions, and sub- junctive conjunctions. An interjection expresses emotion. It doesn’t relate to the other words within the sentence, but it’s used to add an emotional element. A sentence with an inter- jection often ends in an exclamation point.

Self-Check 4

1. Complete Practice Exercise 2 on pages 16–17 of The Parts of Speech.

2. Complete Practice Exercise 3 on pages 23–25 of The Parts of Speech.

3. Complete Practice Exercise 4, items 1–35, on pages 35–37 of The Parts of Speech.

4. Complete English in Action 6 on page 47 of The Parts of Speech.

5. Complete English in Action 7 on page 56 of The Parts of Speech.

6. Complete Practice Exercise 7, items 1–14, on page 61 of The Parts of Speech.

7. Complete Practice Exercise 8 on pages 66–67 of The Parts of Speech.

Check your answers with those in the online Self-Check Answers supplement.



Lesson 1 31

ASSIGNMENT 5: SENTENCE SKILLS Read the assignment in this study guide. Next, read pages 1–5, 6–21, 25–31, 34–58, and 60–71 of the Sentence Skills online supplement and pages 77–81 and 85–102 in The Little, Brown Essential Handbook. Then, complete the self-check.

This section covers how to effectively structure and develop sentences.

Pages 1–5, Sentence Skills. A sentence is a group of words combined in an organized manner to convey meaning or a message. Understanding what a sentence is, and the different patterns of sentences, can help you become a better reader and writer.

Pages 6–21, Sentence Skills. When writing sentences, you can combine groups of words to convey a single meaning. These groups of words can take on a function in a sentence, and they can act as a particular part of speech. If the group of words has a subject and a verb, it’s a clause. If the group of words doesn’t have a subject and verb, it’s a phrase.

Pages 25–31, Sentence Skills. Now that you know the parts of speech and the roles words play within a sentence, it’s important to learn and understand how to properly struc- ture sentences. There are three types of sentences: simple, compound, and complex.

Pages 34–43, Sentence Skills, and pages 77–81, The Little, Brown Essential Handbook. People often make mis- takes when writing, especially when developing a rough draft. There are four main mistakes that most writers make (and which are easy to fix): run-ons, misplaced/dangling modifiers, fragments, and mixed constructions. Understanding what these are, and knowing how to fix them, can help you become more confident when proofreading and editing your work.

Pages 44–58, Sentence Skills, and pages 85–102, The Little, Brown Essential Handbook. Punctuation marks help refine a sentence and give the reader signs of how to read the words. Punctuation is referred to as the traffic signals of writing because they alert your reader to pause or stop. They also convey emotion or inflection. When you speak, you natu- rally pause where a comma would be or stop where a period



English Composition32

would be, and our voices are always our emotions. Now that you’ve learned the different parts of speech and how they work together to structure a sentence, you’re ready to gain a stronger understanding of how to refine your writing by using punctuation.

Pages 60–71, Sentence Skills. You know how to structure and punctuate a sentence, but you also need to know how to think in terms of sentences. How does a sentence actually come to be? Most well-written sentences are the product of thought and revision. They have a solid beginning, middle, and end, contain the correct and required parts of speech (in the correct places), and come from a place of confidence.

Self-Check 5

1. Complete Practice Exercise 1 on pages 5–6 of Sentence Skills.

2. Complete Practice Exercise 2, items 1–16 and 39–61 on pages 21–24 of Sentence Skills.

3. Complete English in Action 3 on page 32 of Sentence Skills.

4. Complete Practice Exercise 4 on pages 43–44 of Sentence Skills.

5. Complete Practice Exercise 5 on pages 58–60 of Sentence Skills.

6. Complete Practice Exercise 6 on pages 72–73 of Sentence Skills.

Check your answers with those in the online Self-Check Answers supplement.



Lesson 1 33

ASSIGNMENT 6: WORD USAGE Read the assignment in this study guide. Next, read pages 1–13 of the online supplement Word Usage. Then, complete the self-check. This section covers how to understand the meaning of words and use them effectively in your writing.

Pages 1–5, Word Usage. In your reading, you’ll occasionally come across a word that you may not understand. At these times, consulting a dictionary is helpful. A dictionary can give you the word’s meaning, its proper pronunciation and spelling, and knowledge of its background and history. Knowing how to effectively use a dictionary is an important part of being a good reader, and, consequently, a good writer.

Pages 6–13, Word Usage. A dictionary or a thesaurus can help you find synonyms and antonyms of words. Synonyms are words that have similar meanings. Antonyms are words that have opposite meanings. You can use synonyms to substitute a word you use frequently in the same piece of writing. You can use antonyms to contrast people or ideas.

Although you’re not required to read the remainder of the Word Usage supplement as part of this assignment, you’ll find that there’s further explanation of the ideas learned in the previous assignments, which may help you gain a better understanding of some of the material. You’ll want to read the remainder of the supplement before you complete the Lesson 3 exam, because material will be tested on that exam.

Lesson 1 33

Required Journal Entry 2: The Role of Correctness in Writing

As you complete the Parts of Speech, Sentence Skills, and Word Usage online study units, consider the importance of correctness in writing. How do errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation affect the relationship between the writer and the reader of an essay? What are your strengths and weaknesses as a writer? (2 paragraphs, 5–7 sentences for each question)



English Composition34

Self-Check 6

1. Complete Practice Exercise 1 on page 6 of Word Usage.

2. Complete Practice Exercise 2 on pages 14–15 of Word Usage.

Check your answers with those in the online Self-Check Answers supplement.




The Reading and Writing Process


If you don’t particularly enjoy writing, you may ask yourself why you should make the effort to improve your skills. The simple answer is that you can’t avoid writing—as a student or an employee, there will always be writing requirements. Learning to write well will give you tools for success no mat- ter what career you choose. That’s because logical thinking and effective communication are necessary for advancement, whether you’re an accountant, nurse, or newspaper reporter. The better your skills, the more choices you have and the better your chances are for achievement and satisfaction.


When you complete this lesson, you’ll be able to

n Apply narrowing strategies to focus your writing

n Develop effective thesis statements

n Support your thesis with appropriate evidence

n Use methods of organization in writing, including topic sentences

ASSIGNMENT 7: PREWRITING: HOW TO FIND AND FOCUS IDEAS Read the assignment in this study guide. Then, read Chapter 5, “Prewriting: How to Find and Focus Ideas.” When you’re done, be sure to check your progress by completing the self-check exercise.

Pages 102–106, Choosing and Narrowing a Topic. When presented with the challenge of writing an essay, assuming the topic hasn’t been established by your instructor, choosing

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English Composition36

a topic often seems like a formidable obstruction. The author of your text understands this very well and offers handy tips. (1) Devote serious time to choosing your topic. Thinking should precede prewriting. (2) Search out ideas and questions as a path to discovering a topic that interests you. For exam- ple, why do kids drop out of school? Are human beings predisposed to violence? Why was Galileo punished by the powers that be for revealing evidence that the Earth isn’t at the center of the solar system?

TIPS: Figure 5.1 on page 103 offers an excellent graphic overview of the writing process. You’ll want to study it care- fully and use it for refreshing your memory. Table 5.1 on page 104 will help you think about sources for essay topics.

Meanwhile, narrowing your topic is vital. For example, regarding the effects of television exposure on young children, you’ll find lots of approaches. So you might decide to narrow your topic by asking specific questions. For example, how is time watching TV related to obesity? Is time watching TV related to academic performance? Does TV content depict violence as a normal way to handle disputes?

Pages 106–109, Purpose, Audience, and Point of View. You must determine the purpose of your essay, article, op-ed, or bulletin. Do you want to persuade or simply inform your readers? Do you want to argue for or against a public policy? Do you want to disclose an interesting incident in the history of the Civil War?

In any case, if you haven’t considered your audience, you can’t expect to get your message across. To help you deal with that vital concern, you text offers you a list of salient questions. For example, what does your audience know (or not know) about your topic? What’s the general education or likely background of your audience? An article on unions will take a different slant if it’s directed to members of a trade union as opposed to anti-union lobbyists. What opinions, biases, or political sentiments are likely to be embraced by your readers?

If you don’t have a point of view on a given topic, you’re not likely to communicate effectively with your presumed audi- ences. Indeed, even in deciding whether to write in first person as opposed to third person, you’re choosing a point of view.

If you’re going to be a writer, the first essential is just to write. Do not wait for an idea. Start writing something and the ideas will come. You have to turn the faucet on before the water starts to flow.

—Louis L’Amour



Pages 110–119, Discovering Ideas to Write About. Here’s a preview of this section.

Freewriting. At this point, you’ve probably grasped the idea of freewriting. Basically, you write whatever comes to mind for 5 to 10 minutes. As you do this, you don’t need to pay attention to punctuation, spelling, and grammar. After completing a freewriting session, review it to underline or comment on ideas that may be useful.

Mapping. Mapping, also called clustering, is a visual tech- nique for discovering ideas and how they’re related. Think about a police detective drawing circles, boxes, and arrows on a whiteboard, trying to link possible suspects to locations or other suspects.

TIP: The best way to get the sense of this process is by devoting some time to studying Figure 5.2, “A Sample Map,” on page 112.

Brainstorming. Brainstorming is different from freewriting in that you write down any or all of the ideas that pop into your head while focused on a specific topic. Brainstorming may also involve a small group as opposed to a single individ- ual. Quite often, you’ll find that your ideas fall into clusters. For example, let’s say you written down 12 possible disad- vantages of the war on drugs. You might find clusters related to three narrowed topics: (1) the social and economic costs of massive imprisonment of offenders, (2) the social and mone- tary costs of deflecting law enforcement away from stopping organized and white collar crime, and (3) the impacts on children and families of those most often caught up in the drug war.

Questioning. Questioning is a process of raising and writing down all the questions one (or two) individuals may pose related to some topic, such as charter schools or communal vegetable gardening. Prefacing questions with “what if” can be helpful. In any case, the idea is to pose questions that lead to a narrowed topic.

Writing assertions. Writing assertions amounts to viewing a general topic from as many perspectives as possible. Abstract learning types may benefit from this approach because it helps a writer divide a “big picture” frame of reference into limited, manageable topics.

Lesson 2 37



Patterns of development. There are nine approaches to developing an essay: narration, description, illustration, process analysis, comparison and contrast, classification and division, definition, cause and effect, and argument. Each of these can be called a pattern of development.

TIP: Table 5.2, “Using the Patterns of Development to Explore a Topic,” on page 116 gives you a snapshot look at the kinds of questions you might ask while seeking to narrow a topic under specific patterns of development.

Visualizing or sketching. Imagine that you want to write a descriptive essay on the architecture of the Pantheon in Rome. To be sure, you’ll be adding in historical context. But you might benefit greatly from making rough sketches of interior and exterior views of this famous building. In another related approach, say about your descriptive observations of a county fair, you might close your eyes and visualize your impressions of people you saw, kids on a merry-go-round, pie contests, and so on.

Research. It’s typically a good idea to do research. In the age of the Internet and Google, that process can be greatly accelerated. However, it’s also a good idea to conduct some research in the old-fashioned way—in public or college libraries. You may be amazed at how helpful librarians can be. Also, keep in mind that direct fieldwork can be vital to a good essay. If you want to understand the behavior of ele- mentary school kids on playgrounds, you’ll be wise to visit playgrounds and observe children’s actual behavior.

The final two pages of the chapter will explain that, over the following five chapters of your text, the “Students Write” material will follow the work of Christine Lee, a first-year writing student.

English Composition38



Lesson 2 39

Self-Check 7

1. In Exercise 5.1, found on page 105, use branching diagrams to narrow three of the broad topics to more manageable topics suitable for a three to four-page essay.

2. In Exercise 5.2 on page 106, use questioning to narrow three of the five subjects to topics suitable for a three to four-page essay.

3. In Exercise 5.4 on page 109 determine which point of view (first, second, or third person) would work best for the three writing situations.

4. Turn to Exercise 5.7 on page 113. Select the first topic, “Values of Music.” Then, brainstorm to generate ideas about how write about your topic.

5. For Exercise 5.10 on page 117, chose one of the five topics. Then, use the patterns of devel- opment—narration, illustration, definition, and so on—to generate ideas about how to write about the topic. Consult Table 5.2 on page 116 to form questions based on each pattern.

Check your answers with those in the online Self-Check Answers supplement.



ASSIGNMENT 8: DEVELOPING A THESIS Read the assignment in this study guide. Then, read Chapter 6, “Developing and Supporting a Thesis.” Check your progress by completing the self-check.

A thesis statement is the main point of an essay. It tells you what the essay is about and what the author’s position is on the chosen topic.

TIP: Study Figure 6.1, “An Overview of the Writing Process,” on page 124. Think about the six steps:

n Prewriting

n Developing your thesis statement

n Supporting your thesis statement with evidence

n Drafting

n Revising

n Editing and proofing

Refer back to this figure if you forget this sequence.

Pages 125–128, Developing Your Thesis Statement. A guide to writing an effective thesis statement is found on pages 126–127. Here’s a preview:

n Make an assertion. An assertion takes a position, expresses a viewpoint, and often suggests your approach to the topic. For example, the state college class registra- tion procedures should be redesigned and simplified.

n Be specific. That means providing as much specific information as you can. For example, growing up on the south side of Chicago gave me firsthand experience of the challenges faced by inner city youth.

n Focus on a central point. For example, job training programs for single mothers are pointless if the few available jobs don’t provide a living wage.

English Composition40



n Offer an original perspective on your topic. Your thesis should be designed to get your reader’s attention. To do that, you should try to provide your readers with an interesting angle or point of view on your topic. Often, you can search your prewriting to come up with a unique, engaging angle.

n Avoid making an announcement. Many college essays falter at the outset with opening sentences like this: “The subject of my essay is the minimum wage.” An alterna- tive opening statement might look like this: “Raising the minimum wage may seem like a good idea, but, in fact, a higher minimum wage will reduce the number of avail- able jobs.”

n Use the thesis to preview the organization of your essay. For example, you can mention two or three key concepts or ideas that will focus your essay.

Your thesis statement should appear in your opening para- graph as part of your introduction.

Pages 128–133, Supporting Your Thesis Statement with Evidence. Without evidence to support your thesis, you efforts will be reduced to hazy clouds of unsupported surmise and baseless opinion. No evidence means no substance. To provide substance you can use typical forms of evidence including examples, explanation of a process, advantages and disadvantages, comparison and contrast, historical back- ground, definitions, and explanation of causes and their effects, among others.

TIP: Study Table 6.1 on page 129, which shows you the types of evidence that can be used to support a specific work- ing thesis: Namely, “Acupuncture, a form of alternative medicine, is becoming more widely accepted in the United States.” Figure 6.2, Worksheet for Collecting Evidence, on pages 131–132 deserves your undivided attention. When working on a thesis statement, you can use this sort of work- sheet to think about and organize evidence for your thesis.

As you consider this section of your text you may want to understand that the word evidence means different things in different contexts. In the context of law, acceptable evidence offered in a jury trial must conform strictly to statutes and

Lesson 2 41



legal precedents. Evidence is considered circumstantial or hearsay if it’s not supported by empirical facts. In the domains of science, evidence that supports a hypothesis must be confirmable by other researchers who can repeat a study or experiment under the same conditions. Even Einstein’s theory of relativity wasn’t confirmed until it was shown to be consistent with empirical studies. By contrast, a college essay may indeed rely, at least in part, on eyewitness reports, personal narratives, supported definitions, and arguments that may have more than one side. In short, techniques of persuasion and appeals to emotion aren’t necessarily out of bounds.

Pages 134–139, Working with Text. Your challenge in this section is reading and analyzing an essay by Greg Beato titled, “Internet Addiction.” You’ll note that the author addresses his fairly amusing piece from a libertarian perspective. Libertarians believe that people’s personal rights to do what they wish with their private property shouldn’t be abridged, as long as there’s no infringement on other people’s private property rights. See if you can detect that philosophy in this essay. Meanwhile, given that you or someone you know may be “addicted” to virtual gaming or, at least, often distracted by way of Internet surfing, you may find it interesting to assert your own opinion of the author’s thesis. Do you think there is, in fact, a behavioral profile related to electronic media that should be classified as “addictive” in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual frequented by mental health experts?

English Composition42

Required Journal Entry 3: Prewriting and Thesis Statement

Brainstorm: Review the description of brainstorming in your textbook on pages 112–113. Then write a list of all the social media and social networking websites and apps you might use to con- nect with friends and family and to meet people.

Respond: What are some differences among the sites you listed? How would you categorize them? (1 paragraph, 5 sentences)

Write a thesis statement: Review “Writing Assertions” on page 115 in your textbook. Then follow the guidelines on pages 126–127 in your textbook to write an effective thesis statement based on one of the topics you listed previously.

Reflect: Explain the position you’ve taken in your thesis statement and identify the items from your brainstorming list or categories that you believe will best support your position. (1 paragraph, 5 sentences)



Lesson 2 43

Self-Check 8

Thesis exercise: For each of the following sets of sentences, choose the one that works best as the thesis for a two- to five-page college essay.

1. a. A recent trend in law enforcement known as “community policing” shows much promise in deterring criminal activity.

b. “Community policing” is a recent trend in law enforcement used in many municipalities across the country.

2. a. Because air pollution is of serious concern to people in the world today, many countries have implemented a variety of plans to begin solving the problem.

b. So far, research suggests that zero-emissions vehicles are not a sensible solution to the problem of steadily rising air pollution.

3. a. Because it has become outdated, the Electoral College should be replaced by a system that allows the U.S. president to be elected by direct popular vote.

b. Rather than voting for a presidential candidate, voters in a U.S. presidential election merely choose their state’s Electoral College representatives, who actually vote for the president; in most states, all of the electoral votes go to the candidate who wins the popular vote in that state, no matter how close the outcome.

4. a. This paper presents the results of my investigation into electronic surveillance in the workplace.

b. Though employers currently have a legal right to monitor workers’ email and voicemail messages, this practice can have serious effects on employee morale.

5. a. Video games are not as mindless as most people think. b. Although they are widely ignored and derided as mindlessly violent, video games are a

form of popular art that deserves to be evaluated as seriously as television and film. 6. a. Social workers in Metropolis leave much to be desired.

b. The social service system in Metropolis has broken down because today’s workers are underpaid, poorly trained, and overworked.

Examining the reading: Having read (or reread) the Essay by Greg Beato, “Internet Addiction,” turn to page 137 and respond to all four of the items under “Examining the Reading.”

Check your answers with those in the online Self-Check Answers supplement.



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ASSIGNMENT 9: DRAFTING AN ESSAY Read the assignment in this study guide. Then, read Chapter 7, “Drafting an Essay.” Check your progress by answering the self-check exercise.

Pages 142–143, The Structure of an Essay. It’s not a bad idea to store the basic structure in your memory. Your mental notes could look a bit like this:

n Title—Announce your topic in a way that sparks your readers’ interest.

n Introduction—Paragraph 1 (or maybe 1 and 2) introduces your narrowed topic, presents your thesis, provides background, and tries to engage your readers’ interest.

n Body—The body is four or more paragraphs that support and explain your thesis using evidence.

n Conclusion—You emphasize your thesis without simply repeating it. That is, you want to end with a flourish that amplifies your thesis. Draw your essay to a close.

TIP: On page 142, Figure 7.1 reviews the writing process. On the facing page, Figure 7.2 graphically illustrates the structure of an essay, including its parts and functions. This is a useful reference when you review an assigned essay.

Pages 143–150, Organizing Your Supporting Details. The basic structure of a well-written essay already has three parts—an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. But you’ll have to make decisions about how organize supporting details in the body of your essay.

In some cases, such as when you’re writing an argument, you may want to follow either the “most-to-least” principle or the “least-to-most” principle. So, if you have three main pieces of supporting evidence you can rank that evidence in the order of its importance—1, 2, and 3. On the other hand, if you want to end your essay with a bang, you might organ- ize your evidence so as to save the best for last—3, 2, and 1.



Lesson 2 45

When your essay is a narrative, you’re likely to organize your paragraphs in chronological order. First A happened, then B, then C, and so on. However, in a descriptive essay, for exam- ple, you might want to use a spatial order. Imagine you’re writing an essay about the many wondrous features of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. Different “body spaces” can be appointed to describe the Air and Space Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the American Historical Museum.

An outline or graphic organizer offers you a way to organize your evidence after you’ve selected an organizing principle. An informal outline or scratch outline is based on key words and phrases that give you a shorthand summary of each of your essay’s paragraphs.

Paragraph 1: I learn about the ghost of McBride mansion. I get permission to spend the night in the mansion. Paragraph 2: Night falls and the house creaks. Whispering in the upstairs bedroom. The piano begins to play.

A formal outline is organized like this:

I. First Main Topic

A. First sub-topic

B. Second sub-topic

a. First detail

b. Second detail

Once an outline has been completed you can proceed to create a graphic organizer.

TIP: Figure 7.3 on page 151 provides you with a “Sample Graphic Organizer.”

In any case, keep in mind that outlining and constructing a graphic organizer isn’t simply tedious busy work. The work you do in organizing your essay serves two key purposes: (1) It helps you eliminate irrelevant material and stay on topic, and (2) it can help you generate new ideas you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.



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Pages 150–152, Using Transitions and Repetition to Connect Your Ideas. Here are the main ideas. (1) To write a readable and engaging essay, provide transitional words or phrases to create smooth transitions between paragraphs. (2) Remember to repeat key words or their synonyms to keep your reader on topic. The following excerpt illustrates both of these ideas. See if you can locate the transitional words or phrases and instances of using key terms in different (syn- onymous) language.

Pages 152–159. This section includes helpful tips for writing a strong introduction, an effective conclusion, and a strong, evocative title. These are excellent tips and worthy of being consulted as you tackle the essay assignments that are part of this course.

The “Students Write” section, on pages 158–159, is the first draft of an essay by Christine Lee titled, “The Reality of Real TV.” She prepared the draft based on her freewriting (covered in Chapter 5) and her established working thesis (covered in Chapter 6).

Pages 160–163, Working with Text. The concluding sec- tion of your assigned chapter focuses on an essay by Brent Staples called “Black Men and Public Space.” This is a chal- lenging essay. If you’re African American or Hispanic, you may recognize the bitter reality of this essay from personal

Regional Identities in a New Republic

By 1800, American expansion was creating distinct regional identities. Westerners, even in different Western states, identified with ideals of independent self-reliance and toughness. New Englanders saw themselves as sturdy, virtuous proponents of American values and masters of America’s maritime trade with the world.

However, particularly in the west, expansion was continually obstructed by the presence of the original occupants of North America. For their part, Native Americans had become dependent on trade with the whites. And, in that context, native cultures were steadily eroded by exposure to mercenary traders, alcohol, disease, and land predators.

At this point, some 84 percent of Americans made their living from the land. Cities, harboring around 7 percent of the population, were mainly ports reliant on transshipping British and French goods, mainly from the West Indies. This so-called carrying trade would be regularly disrupted by war and hostility between France and England.

(R. Turner, U.S. History: With permission from Penn Foster)



Lesson 2 47

experience. If you’re white, you may find yourself a tad embarrassed from recognizing the other side of this sad aspect of life in America. Finally, whatever your cultural or racial perspective, you’ll recognize the power of a well-written narrative.

In working with the text, you’ll be expected to underline the author’s thesis, examine the reading to determine things like his reference to “the ability to alter public space,” analyze the writer’s technique, think critically about the reading, visual- ize the reading, and, finally, react to the reading.



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Self-Check 9

1. Turn to Exercise 7.1 on page 145. For each of the five narrowed topics, identify several qualities or characteristics that you could use to organize details in either a most-to-least or least-to-most order.

2. Turn to Exercise 7.2 on page 146. Study the four statements. Identify at least one of them that could be used to organize an essay using chronologically ordered paragraphs.

3. Exercise 7.4 is on page 157. After reviewing your text’s treatment on writing a good title, which offers five tips, study each of the five essay types to suggest a title. Try to use each of the five suggestions at least once.

4. Having read or reread the essay by Brent Staples, turn to page 162. Under “Examining the Reading,” respond to all four items.

5. For each set of two sentences, pick the one that would work best as the topic sentence for a paragraph.

a. Mumia Abu-Jamal was convicted of murdering a police officer in Philadelphia in 1981.

b. Mumia Abu-Jamal’s murder conviction shows that the U.S. criminal justice system is not always fair and impartial.

a. Broken and obsolete computers must be recycled so they don’t end up in landfills leaking toxic substances into the soil.

b. Many offices update their computer hardware on a regular basis, thus generating waste.

a. Cellular phones are dramatically improving lives in third-world countries.

b. In India, fishermen and farmers living in areas without phone lines are using cellular phones to market their products.

a. Figures from the 2000 census indicate that Americans are willing to accept a commute of an hour or more if moving to a distant area means that they can afford a larger house.

b. According to the 2000 census figures, the average amount of time an American spends commuting to work is 24 minutes.




Lesson 2 49

Self-Check 9

6. Transition exercise: Choose the most logical transition for the context from each set given.

Environmental experts caution that water resources are finite, (a. but / so / for) they also offer tips for doing your part to conserve. (b. Thus / For example / Besides), if you install low-flow showerheads and water-saving toilets, your household can save dozens of gallons of water a day. Many people resist such measures because they think that these inventions don’t work as well as the old models. (c. Consequently / Therefore / On the contrary), because of technological advances, today’s water-conserving showers and toilets work surprisingly well. By purchasing newer, environmentally friendly clothes washers and dishwashers, you can also conserve water. (d. As a result / In addition / Nevertheless), you can save more water by running loads only when they are full. Another way to conserve water is to replace your thirsty lawn with drought-resistant native plants, grasses, and shrubs. If you can’t bear to give up your lawn, (e. for instance / however / moreover), you can decide to water it early in the morning or late in the evening when the weather is cooler and water loss from evapora- tion is less likely. (f. Finally / That is / Thus), turn the water off instead of letting it run when brushing your teeth or washing dishes by hand. If every American household takes these sim- ple steps, the country will save significant amounts of water.

7. Introduction exercise: Choose the better introduction from each pair given. The introduction should engage the reader’s attention and clearly state a thesis for an essay of three to five pages.

a. In the eighteenth century, an English clockmaker named John Harrison received a prize for a clever invention that allowed sailors to calculate longitude. He created a clock that required no pendulum and contained different kinds of metal. This clock worked onboard a ship at sea, and it worked in many different temperatures and climate.

b. Until the eighteenth century, ships at sea had no way of calculating longitude with any accuracy. As a result, countless sailors died when their ships lost track of their position in the ocean and ran aground or failed to find their way home. Great scientific minds tried to solve the problem of longitude without success, but a self-taught English clockmaker, John Harrison, invented a device that worked. Harrison’s invention must rank as one of the greatest contributions to the field of navigation.




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Self-Check 9 a. A summer job at a burger joint taught me lessons I might not otherwise have learned for

years. I discovered that many people treat workers in menial jobs with contempt, and I learned how miserable it feels to be treated that way. Working with people I had always despised in high school taught me that I had judged others too quickly. Finally, I learned to question bad decisions made by my supervisors—even though I ended up unemployed as a result. Though burger flipping paid only minimum wage, the job taught me invaluable lessons about life.

b. After school let out for the summer in early June, I went straight to a local fast-food restaurant and filled out an application. The manager called a few days later and asked me to come in for an interview. Although one of my friends told me the work there was hot and boring and the pay was poor, I took the position anyway when the manager offered it to me. I didn’t like the job much in the beginning, but by the end of the summer I was glad to have had the experience.

a. The reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park restores an important missing piece from that ecosystem. Wolves, hunted to extinction in Wyoming and Montana in the twentieth century, occupy a vital place in the natural cycle of the area. As predators, wolves control the population of deer and other herbivores, which reproduce prolifically. Returning wolves to the place where they once belonged will eventually reestablish the natural balance in this wild, beautiful part of the United States.

b. Because every part of an ecosystem affects every other part, disturbing the natural cycle can have devastating effects. In almost every type of environment, a variety of plants feed a variety of small herbivores, which in turn feed a variety of predators. Wolves are a good example of predators that should not be disturbed.

Check your answers with those in the online Self-Check Answers supplement.



Lesson 2 51

ASSIGNMENT 10: EFFECTIVE PARAGRAPHS Read the assignment in this study guide. Then, read Chapter 8, “Writing Effective Paragraphs.”

A sentence is to a paragraph as a cell is to an organism. Or put another way, a paragraph is a set of interrelated sentences that develop an idea or topic. In terms of essay writing, you should assume that each of your paragraphs will develop your reader’s understanding of what you have to say about a specific idea. In short, one unfolded idea equals one paragraph. If you find any sentence that’s drifting away from or not relevant to a paragraph’s anchoring idea, that sentence needs to find another home or simply be deleted from your essay.

Pages 166–170. This section introduces the structure of a paragraph and the vital importance of topic sentences. A properly crafted paragraph will include a finely focused topic sentence; specific supporting details, such as examples, evidence, or explanation; and well-placed transitions and repetitions that weave your sentences into a coherent, engag- ing, unified thought. A topic sentence is to a paragraph as a thesis is to an essay.

TIP: Study Figure 8.1 on page 166 to get an overview of a properly crafted paragraph.

There are basic guidelines for writing a topic sentence.

n Focus. A topic sentence should focus a reader’s atten- tion on a topic. It should illuminate what the paragraph is about. For example, this topic sentence is unfocused: “Marijuana has medical applications.” This topic sen- tence is focused: “Marijuana has been used to treat patients suffering from glaucoma and also to reduce the suffering of cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.”

n Previewing. A topic sentence may be used to preview the organization of a paragraph. For example, a topic sentence might read: “Marijuana’s medical uses include treatment for glaucoma, the alleviation of symptoms for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, and easing the



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mental anguish of people suffering from post traumatic stress disorders.” In this example, the paragraph’s subtopics are presented in the order in which they’ll be addressed in the paragraph, using evidence or examples to illustrate the each point.

n Support your thesis. In a well-written screenplay or short story, every sentence should move the plot forward. In much the same way, your topic sentences should sup- port your thesis as you move from your introduction to your conclusion.

n Strategic placement. Most often, a topic sentence is the first sentence of a paragraph. That makes sense because you often want to lead a paragraph with a key to your paragraph’s topic. On the other hand, good writ- ing is a creative process. Slavish attention to typical usages can lead to prosaic, flat, and uninspired prose. Sometimes, placing a topic sentence just after your lead sentence can better serve as the key to you your para- graph. In still other cases, a paragraph can lead up to a final, concluding topic sentence.

Pages 170–179. Through numerous examples and exercises, several pages in this section will help you better understand how supporting details can be woven together to create well- developed, unified paragraphs. The best way to get the most from this section is spending time studying the examples.

In this context, you’ll learn that well-developed paragraphs often depend on what writers call concreteness. Compare these two passages. Which one best engages your imagination?

Passage 1: Entering the shop, I was fascinated by the merchandise. Then I noticed the tall woman behind the counter looking at me in a strange way.

Passage 2: Entering the shop, I looked around, wide- eyed at the wild variety of merchandise. Between an antique Victorian clock and what looked like a statue of Isis was an African tribal mask that seemed to glare at me. Tapestries with strange designs covering the walls and the faint odor of incense made me feel like I’d been transported to a different time and place. And then I noticed the tall woman behind the counter.



Lesson 2 53

Raven colored hair spilled over her shoulders. A faint smile shadowed her scarlet lips even as her dark, luminous eyes seemed to look through me.

Passage 2 illustrates the idea of a paragraph furnished with descriptive detail. The details, in turn, illustrate the concrete- ness of images that engage the imagination by way of the senses.

Once again, in a slightly different context you’ll revisit the importance of using transitions and repetition to weave your sentences into a unified whole.

TIP: Study the graphic on page 176. It shows you how differ- ent kinds of transitions may be used in the context of logical, spatial, and time connections.

NOTE: The reading on pages 177–178, a student essay by Robin Ferguson titled “The Value of Volunteering,” was written using the graphic organizer you encountered in Chapter 7. That’s followed by the ongoing work of Christine Lee, here featuring her first draft paragraph (on her thesis about reality TV).

Required Journal Entry 4: Organizing and Drafting

Using your thesis statement and evidence from Journal Entry 3, select a method of organization from your textbook on pages 141–150. Choose one of the graphic organizers or formal outlines to organize your evidence so that it supports the position you take in your thesis statement in the most effective way possible. Include your outline in your journal.

Reflect: Explain why you chose this particular method of organization over the other possibilities. Why do you believe it’s the most effective way to present your topic to your audience? (1 paragraph, 6 sentences)



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Self-Check 10

1. Turn to Exercise 8.1 on page 168. Revise each of the five topic sentences to make it specific and focused. At least two of your rewrites should also preview the organization of the paragraph.

2. Exercise 8.2 on page 169 requires you to identify topic sentences for each of the two thesis statements that don’t support the thesis.

3. Turn to Exercise 8.4 on page 173. Use Table 6.1 (on page 129) to suggest the type or types of evidence you might use to develop a paragraph based on each of the five topic sentences.

4. In Exercise 8.5, also found on page 173, create a well-developed paragraph by adding details to this paragraph, which is also provided in your text.

Although it is convenient, online shopping is a different experience than shopping in an actual store. You don’t get the same opportunity to see and feel objects. Also, you can miss out on other important information. There is much that you miss. If you enjoy shop- ping, turn off your computer and support your local merchants.

5. Turn to Exercise 8.7 on page 177. After reading or rereading the essay by Robin Ferguson on “The Value of Volunteering,” respond to each of the four items on page 178.

Check your answers with those in the online Self-Check Answers supplement.




Revising and Editing


If you were a master carpenter, you would never show up for a job without your tools. As a writer, you should never undertake revision work without the tools you’ll find in this lesson. The job of revision is to make your written interpreta- tion of an idea, an image, or a scene easier for your reader to understand and more pleasant to read.

One key to revision involves combining patience, persistence, and objectivity. While patience is a virtue in every aspect of life, in writing it’s especially important because a first effort in drafting a report, a poem, or an essay is extremely unlikely to be a final draft.

It takes time and practice to be able to see where improve- ment is needed in your own work. (The American poet Walt Whitman revised and expanded his Leaves of Grass through- out his entire lifetime!) It’s best to schedule time over the course of a week—or several weeks for a lengthy essay or research project—so you can let each revision rest for at least a day or two before you reread it and make corrections. The resting phase allows you to read your work with fresh eyes— as your reader will—and get to the root of revision, which is presenting your ideas clearly.

Persistence is an extension of patience. It may be tempting to think that a few quick changes will turn your initial draft into polished prose. But unless you’re a professional editor, you’re unlikely to catch every error and organizational problem the first time around (and even professional editors use proof- readers). To make your presentation better, stronger, and more lucid, plan ahead and allow time for persistence.

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Finally, the art of revision demands objectivity. Looking at your own views with an impartial eye may be the hardest part of revision. After letting your first draft rest, read your work as though the ideas came from someone else. Look for clear organization, well-developed paragraphs, and specific examples to support your thesis. Make sure each detail is relevant to both the topic of the paragraph and your thesis. You’ll learn the value of patience, persistence, and objectivity as you work through several versions of your paper and see what a difference your revisions make.

OBJECTIVES When you complete this lesson, you’ll be able to

n Explain why revising content and organization is important to the writing process

n Apply appropriate techniques of revision and organization to your writing

n Apply the rules of standard written American English for punctuation and spelling

ASSIGNMENT 11: REVISING CONTENT AND ORGANIZATION Read the following assignment. Then read Chapter 9, “Revising Content and Organization.” To gauge your progress, complete the self-check.

Pages 180–181. Read through the “Quick Start” exercise and study the photo. In your self-check file or notebook, list everything you see from left to right. The point of your list is to seek ways to make the picture more understandable. Then, look again to revise your perception. Add details interpreting that information. Consider questions like these: What’s going on? Who’s coming home? What’s the predominant gender of the people in the picture and why? If you were entertaining a visitor from Europe, how would you explain this photo? Finally, write a paragraph describing and interpreting a main idea about the photograph. The sentences you write should

Mario Puzo, author of The Godfather, said, “Writing is rewriting.”



Lesson 3 57

summarize the content of the image in ways that can help people see things they wouldn’t see on their own. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but sometimes words can make a picture more interesting and more revealing.

As you work through the chapter, pause after each section to apply the suggested techniques and strategies toward analyz- ing and revising your paragraph.

Pages 182–183. As you probably already know, revising is a part of the process most student writers dread—and therefore skip, condemning themselves to submitting unclear, unfocused writing. Revising should account for at least 50 percent of the process, because to this point you’ve been exploring your ideas and the relationships among them. Your draft is merely a tentative step to pull everything together, to make sense of it all, to find your way. Revising requires you to step back and examine your work as if you were the target audience, seeing the writing for the first time. It involves looking at the big picture—the forest of trees in connection with each other, rather than individual trees, trunks, branches, or leaves.

Any time you revise, try to make changes on a printed or handwritten copy of your writing. If, however, you have to work solely on the computer, be sure that when you open your draft—before you start revising—do a “Save as” and rename the document with a title like “Revision 1” in case you delete something you later decide you need.

Pages 183–184. Review the six “Useful Techniques for Revision.” You may want to flag this section for frequent review.

Page 185–187. Note the “Key Questions for Revision” heading. Get in the habit of using these questions to find the weaknesses in your writing. For your next written project in any of your courses, try using the graphic organizer, Figure 9.2 on page 184, to note needed changes. Also study Figure 9.3 on pages 186–187. It’s a flowchart for evaluating your thesis statement, topic sentences, and evidence. Use this one to see how it works in evaluating your work.

Pages 188–192. Although you have no classmates for peer review, study this section to learn ways other reviewers, such as a family member, friend, or boss, could help you revise



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your work. If you can find a good reviewer for your work-in- progress, this section will provide an excellent guide. Ask your reviewer to answer the questions on page 191. To prac- tice your skills, use the flowchart in Figure 9.4 on page 189 to evaluate your “Quick Start” paragraph.

Pages 192–195. Under the heading “Using Your Instructor’s Comments,” read the illustrative essay “Guerilla Street Art.” Note how the essay is critiqued, and apply the knowledge when your reviewer analyzes your writing. For this course, you won’t be able to resubmit an essay, but you can use the feedback from a previous evaluation to guide your revision on the next assignment.

Pages 195–201. Under the “Students Write” heading, note that the work of Christine Lee is again used. This time, you’ll be offered insights into how constructive criticism helps a writer revise an essay. In particular, notice how the reviewer focused on big-picture ideas—structure, organization, clarity of explanation, and level of supporting detail—not the editing or proofreading. As you can see from Lee’s revisions, she needs to improve these areas first. After all, why spend time correcting what you may delete? In addition, study the essay’s entire process of development. Review pages 120–121, 133–134, and 158–159.



Lesson 3 59

Required Journal Entry 5: Revising

This journal entry requires you to review the rough draft of the essay that follows. As you analyze the draft according to each of the areas listed, identify what needs revision. For each area, explain why and how you would change the draft. (4 paragraphs, 5 sentences each)

Analyze the essay’s

• Purpose and audience—Can you clearly identify the audience and the purpose of the essay?

• Thesis statement, topic sentences, and paragraphs—Is there a clear thesis statement? Are there paragraphs with topic sentences?

• Evidence—Has the author provided enough evidence to support the main idea of the essay?

• Organization—Are the author’s points organized well enough for a reader to follow easily?

Rough Draft: Email vs. Letters

Instead of using emails, mail a letter to your grandparents, an aunt or uncle, or another role model who’s older than you are. We live in a fast-paced world. We use computers to send emails and instant messages. Some, though, don’t live in that time zone. Forget all the fonts, emoticons, and abbreviations like LOL. You point and click, but some people want to hold something, unwrap a letter, and smell it. A crayoned picture smells and feels special; no scanner can do that. People’s senses want to be used. We live in a physical world, not an invisible one. People can touch some- thing that’s mailed. Sometimes it’s as if touching the ink or pencil on paper helps them touch the writer. A picture can be held and used in so many ways. For example, I get to see how my grand- kids’ handwriting is changing as they grow. I know how they feel just from the way they write the words.

A letter gives someone the real thing. A letter exists in time and space. Even if someone emails you regularly, the surprise of a mailed letter provides something to cherish rather than to be deleted. Of course, they may like getting through the Internet a photograph of you on the day of a special event. However, a printed photograph can be put into an album or used for a bookmark or posted on the refrigerator for regular review. They don’t have to worry about color cartridges or paper because you’ve given them what they need in the mail. Though they may have a hard time reading your handwriting, a letter is a tangible way to remind them that you care enough to take the time and effort to communicate with them and them alone.

The convenience and efficiency of computers can’t be matched by regular postal service. However, they sometimes bleep and blurp in a frustrating conversation, one that older persons can’t always hear or understand. One wrong click here and another there can mean mass destruction. They may get a paper cut from your letter, but even sucking on a finger while reading makes their experience more memorable and satisfying. The cut heals; the letter remains alive.

To evaluate your essay in progress complete the following exercises: “Essay in Progress 1” on page 185, “Essay in Progress 2” on page 187, and both “Essay in Progress” 3 and 4 on page 188.



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Self-Check 11

1. “Analyzing the Revision” on page 201: Respond to all four items.

2. Reviewer response exercise: For the following pairs of reviewer responses, choose the comment that’s more appropriate and helpful for revising a first draft.

a. I didn’t understand where you were headed with this essay until the middle of the second page. Why not move your thesis to the first paragraph? By cutting the background material about icebergs, you could get to the point faster.

b. You need a transition between the information about icebergs and your thesis in the middle of the second page. Also, I noticed that you misspelled separate and truly. Did you forget to use your spell-checker?

a. This essay is great! I really liked it a lot, especially the examples. b. The new examples really help me see your point. You might want to work on the example

about elephants’ emotions, though. I didn’t see what it had to do with your thesis. Can you make the connection clearer?

a. You seem to be saying that the theory of evolution is right and creationism is wrong, but last week I saw a television show that said evolution is just a theory, like creationism. You should reconsider your thesis.

b. I think you need to spend more time explaining the concept of creationism, rather than simply implying it’s wrong. What do creationists believe, and how do their beliefs differ from those of evolutionists? I need to know that before I can figure out if you’ve made a good case for your argument.

3. If you didn’t complete the “Quick Start” exercise, do so now. Be sure you work from the listing stage through the drafting, reviewing, and revising stages. As you revise, ask yourself why you’re making each change—what purpose does adding this detail or changing the place of a sentence serve in clarifying the main idea of your paragraph? Then, create a final draft of the paragraph.




Lesson 3 61

Self-Check 11 4. Paragraph revision exercise: Each of the following paragraphs contains a problem with

coherence. The sentences either don’t contain proper transitions or they contain information that should be relocated to another place in the paragraph. Locate the problems and revise the paragraphs as necessary (for example, add a transitional word, phrase, or clause; add another sentence or combine sentences; delete words, phrases, or sentences; rewrite the topic sentence).

a. Poor Louis seemed destined by nature to become the butt of every practical joke we could devise that summer at camp. Whenever someone was chosen to go on some silly errand, such as to get the keys to the oarlocks, find a can of striped paint, or get a paper stretcher, Louis was inevitably the victim. We all considered it great fun. I regret our youthful thoughtlessness. Who knows what deep psychological wounds we inflicted on him by our teasing and ridicule?

b. There seem to be good grounds for making the assumption. Business plans for capital spending this year are so strong that they may spill over into the coming year. The increase in capital spending for the second half of the year may turn out to be a mainstay of the economy. Investors have shown their interest in the capital-spending sector by increased investment in business equipment, instruments and electronics, and movie and recreational stocks. This could come as a welcome event, because many business analysts are now predicting a recession in the latter part of this year or the beginning of next year.

c. Arson destroys neighborhoods as surely as mass bombing. Only a few people commit the crime, but all residents must suffer the consequences. How could it be otherwise, given the nature of the problem, with its tangle of social and economic issues? Decaying build- ings are torched by their owners to collect insurance money. This is a despicable crime and ought to be vigorously investigated and punished. Most arsonists escape punishment. Burned-out structures are, in turn, a haven for gangs and drug traffickers, who cause even more arson. Once several blocks have been gutted, a kind of collective hopelessness grips those who can’t afford to move. The young may continue to set fires from hatred or from despair of never escaping their crumbling prison. The end comes when the municipal government gives up, curtails most services, and abandons the neighborhood.

d. In the eighteenth century, Englishmen had a reputation throughout Europe for their love of eating. Visitors to England were amazed at the large quantity and fine quality of the fish and meat consumed. However, they couldn’t understand the English attitude toward vegetables, which were served only as trimmings to meat. English cooks seemed unable to prepare an appetizing vegetable dish. Vegetables were abundant at the time and were grown in the gardens of both the rich and poor.

Check your answers with those in the online Self-Check Answers supplement.



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ASSIGNMENT 12: EDITING SENTENCES AND WORDS Read the assignment in this study guide. Then, read Chapter 10, “Editing Sentences and Words.”

Introduction In this assignment, we’ll look at strategies for correcting grammatical errors through the editing process. Proofreading and editing are the last steps in the writing process, but are just as necessary as addressing errors in organization and content.

Here are a few tricks to help you with your editing:

n Let your work rest at least overnight so you can read it with fresh eyes.

n Read the work aloud to hear how it flows. Does it keep your interest? Is it presented in logical order? Are there adequate transitions between ideas?

n Look at your wording with a cold eye. Even a well-written sentence has to go if it breaks up the flow of your work or leads anywhere but straight to your conclusion.

n As you proofread, make sure your punctuation supports the meaning of each sentence. If, as you read aloud, you stumble or have to reread passages, consider rewriting or breaking up long sentences to clarify your ideas.

On page 203, Read the instructions for the “Chapter Quick Start.” Study the two cartoons on the facing page. What do you think the cartoons suggest about writing, as well as about editing sentences and words?

Pages 204–214. The main heading, “Analyzing Your Sentences,” offers illustrations and specific techniques for sentence analysis. Are your sentences concise or wordy? Are your sentences varied? Think about music and rhythm. One-note melodies are boring. In fact, melodies depend on variation. The same goes for passages in an essay. Pay care- ful attention to the concept of parallelism on pages 212–213.

It is better to write a bad first draft than to write no first draft at all.

—Will Shetterly



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Study the examples. Also study the information on action verbs on pages 213–214. Active verbs get the reader’s atten- tion and demand an emotional response.

Pages 215–220. The section “Analyzing Your Word Choice” starts with a discussion of tone and the level of diction. The tone of an essay, for example, might be grave and melancholy, flippant and sizzling with irony, or, perhaps, cool and scien- tific. By contrast, the level of diction refers to grammar and word choice. An academic essay or a legal contract uses for- mal diction. Popular diction, found in newspapers or popular magazines, sounds more like everyday speech. Finally, infor- mal diction is relaxed and not always technically correct. Fiction writers may capture a character’s personality through diction. Word connotations, concrete-specifics, abstract lan- guage, and figures of speech all contribute to tone and diction.

When you read, “Janet walked into the room,” what picture comes to mind? The verb walk offers little sense of connota- tion, emotion, or imagination. Yet strode, slunk, wandered, bounced, sidled, tiptoed, and raced convey the same general action with clear connotations. Strode suggests confidence and purpose, whereas slunk indicates guilt or fear. Another example is house and home. The first is more generic, with home having a more positive connotation—it usually gives people a feeling of warmth or sense of security. Did you ever notice that real estate agents often use home in their sales pitch instead of house?

Read through the following three sentences and, based on the word choices, label each one positive, neutral, or nega- tive, according to its connotative strength regarding the organization MADD.

n The goals of the organization called Mothers against Drunk Driving (MADD) are “to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking.”

n After my daughter was brutally murdered when some drunken teenager without a license mowed her down, I joined MADD to help impose righteous laws on such lawless people.



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n Through Mothers against Drunk Driving (MADD), I dis- covered not only how to deal with my grief, but also how to take action on the serious problem of drunk driving that caused the death of my daughter.

As a simple, factual mission statement, the first sentence is the most neutral of the three, even though the criminal- oriented words victim and violent reveal the group’s negative feelings about drunk driving. The second is quite critical and negative as the writer forces readers to engage with her emo- tional pain within a legal and moral framework through the words impose, righteous, and lawless. The phrases brutally murdered and mowed her down imply the driver made con- scious choices causing the death and, as a result, MADD is portrayed as a group seeking retribution. The third sentence is more positive, as it focuses on healing and on action to correct a problem. The words indicate a favorable slant on the personal benefits associated with MADD.

Sometimes, particularly if English isn’t your first language, you may find it difficult to discern the connotations for words with similar denotations. A dictionary or thesaurus can help, but proceed with caution. Word choices that seem to work based on their definition may have a completely different connota- tion than the context requires. Read Exercise 10.7 on page 218, and think about the connotations of each set of words.

Diction also includes choosing words that work best for the purpose and audience. Take the term spaghetti. For most people, it’s understood that the writer is talking about long, thin pasta in marinara sauce. Writing for an Italian audience, however, you would use “macaroni and gravy.”

Pages 221–222. Whenever you write, you want your readers to understand and respect your ideas. But careless errors or a poor presentation give the impression that your work is at best unfinished and at worst second-rate. In other words, to be respected as a writer, you must respect your reader. “Suggestions for Proofreading” offers advice on checking your work and keeping an error log to observe patterns so you can keep your writing error-free.



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Pages 222–224. Under the “Students Write” section is a revision of the essay by Christine Lee, which criticizes reality television. Note the changes, and carefully consider the reasons for the changes as given on pages 223–224.

Note: To ensure you’re comfortable with the material, you should review your online supplements, The Parts of Speech, Word Usage, and Sentence Skills, before completing your examination for Lesson 3.

Required Journal Entry 6: Evaluation of Unit 1

Briefly summarize each stage of the writing process that you learned about in Unit 1 of your Successful College Writing textbook. Identify three elements you learned that you think will be the most helpful to you as you continue in this course. Explain why. (3 paragraphs, 6 sentences each)

Once you’ve completed this entry, you can submit it according to the submission instructions on page 65.

Self-Check 12

1. Exercise 10.1, on page 206: Edit the five sentences to make them concise.

2. Exercise 10.2, on page 210: Combine the pairs of sentences into single, compound, or complex sentences.

3. Exercise 10.3, on page 212: Add modifiers to create varied sentence patterns in the five sentences.

4. Exercise 10.4, on page 213: Edit the five sentences to eliminate problems with parallelism.

5. Exercise 10.5, on page 214: Edit the five sentences, changing passive verbs to active ones and, where needed, adding a subject.

6. Exercise 10.8, on page 218: Revise the five sentences by adding concrete, specific details.

7. Exercise 10.9, on page 219: Invent fresh figures of speech to characterize items 1–3.




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Self-Check 12

8. Revising and editing exercise: Revise, edit, and proofread each paragraph (taken from student drafts).

a. I dashed out of my bed that morning, hasting toward the bathroom like a confused being to wash my face only, I wasn’t going to shower that morning, because I was going to be late for my first class in standard five.

b. “Good by.” I said angrily then payed the cashier and walked away from her. I say her face colour changed right before my eyes from light brown to peach, I knew then that she was angry. Tanishea was a short and stout in stachur with long flowing hair, great smile,wonderful personality and a certain spark for life only describable only if you knew her. I hurried home nervously,and hope Simone did not detected it.

c. I am sitting here coughing and can barley breathe. I am wandering why I haven’t left this smoked field restaurant. I wish more places would ban smoking. In fact people in general could enjoy closed environments that ban smoking. If they did this parents of today wouldn’t have to worry as much for children developing asthma. As a mother I could see why parents would fear children will want to try it when they get older because of all the influences that surround them. That is why I support banning of smoking.

d. I am currently sitting on my bed in my two bedroom trailer. A dresser sits in front my bed; next to the dresser is my TV stand which holds my TV. On the right side of my bed is my desk and chair. Past the desk is the bathroom. These are just a few important things in my room. The dresser that sits in front of my bed is plastic and white. This is important because it holds my paperwork for school. It helps me stay organized so I will not lose my mind. If not for my dresser, searching for paperwork would be like searching for a needle in a haystack. Next to my dresser is my black TV stand. My TV stand holds my 19 inch Curtis Mathis TV. I enjoy watching movies in my room.

Check your answers with those in the online Self-Check Answers supplement.



Lesson 3


To submit the assignment, follow these steps:

1. Type the essay.

2. Save the document.

3. Go to your Student Portal.

4. Go to My Courses.

5. Find the section for this project, and click on the Take Exam icon.

6. That will bring up a Browse menu. You must then find where you’ve saved your work in your computer. The writing should have been saved under your student number_exam number_last name_first name. Your exam number for this assignment is 25049400.

7. Click on the exam, and then click on Open.

8. Enter a correct email address.

9. Click on Upload file. There’s no need to worry about the project sheet. The instructor will add one for you.


Journal 1

Unit 1: Introduction to Composition, Entries 1–6

Journal Entry Criteria

Your journal will be evaluated according to the following requirements:

Ideas and Content: How accurately and effectively you responded to the entry; your writing focused on the topic of the entry and is based on the correct reading assignments in your texts; you effectively engaged with the content of the reading assignments and composed thoughtful original responses to each entry; when required, you cited and documented secondary source material appropriately and correctly.

Organization: How well prewriting or organizing entries are developed; all paragraphs begin with an appropriate topic sentence and are developed fully by using examples, illustration, and/or evidence; each entry meets the required minimum length.

General Correctness: How well entries meet the expectations of college-level academic writing in the areas of sentence structure, grammar, word choice and spelling, and punctuation.

Format: How accurately you followed the prescribed format for the journal by including the required header, entry title and date, and used correct margins, font, and line spacing.



10. You’ll receive an email within 24 hours that tells you the exam has been received. You’ll notice a label indicating RCD on your record next to that exam until a grade is posted. Exams are evaluated within five days of receipt, although sometimes they’re evaluated sooner. You’ll receive the evaluation and exam with comments from an instructor by clicking on View Exam Results once you see your grade posted.

If you choose to mail the project, here’s the address:

Penn Foster Attn: Student Service Center 925 Oak Street Scranton, PA 18515-0001


Your instructor will evaluate your project based on the following criteria.

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100–90 89–80 79–70 69–0

Journal Entry 1, Me a Writer? Attitude, inventory 10–9 9–8 8–7 7–0

Journal Entry 2, Correctness in Writing 15–14 14–13 13–12 12–0

Journal Entry 3, Prewriting/Thesis Brainstorm, respond, and reflect 20–17 17–15 14–12 11–0

Journal Entry 4, Organizing/Drafting Organize or outline; reflect 20–18 17–15 15–13 13–0

Journal Entry 5, Revising 15–14 14–13 13–12 12–0

Journal Entry 6, Evaluation 10–9 9–8 8–7 7–0

Format Header, title and date, margins, font, line spacing

10–9 9–8 8–7 7–0




Moving from Narration to Process Analysis

INTRODUCTION In this lesson, you’ll study several patterns of development for writing, including narration, description, illustration, and process analysis. Each technique applies to specific pur- poses. Your assignments include readings that demonstrate the effectiveness of each writing mode. You’ll use the ideas and tools you’ve studied so far, and you’ll build on what you’ve learned to further improve your approach to writing.

OBJECTIVES When you complete this lesson, you’ll be able to

n Describe and apply the elements of an effective narrative

n Explain and apply the principles of descriptive writing

n Define the characteristics of illustration and apply them to writing projects

n Summarize the techniques of process analysis and apply them to writing

ASSIGNMENT 13: NARRATION Read the following assignment summary. Then read Chapter 11, “Narration: Recounting Events.” To gauge your progress, com- plete the self-check.

Introduction A narrative is a story that makes a point. Usually, we think of a narrative as a short story, a novel, or a screenplay that has a beginning, a middle, and an end. A nonfiction narrative, such as an account of someone’s visit to the Grand Canyon, the history of Connecticut, or an editorial, also follows some kind of logical course from its opening to its conclusion.

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Effective written narratives

n Make a point

n Relate action and detail

n Utilize tension and conflict

n Follow a sequence in time

n Often use dialogue

n Take a point of view

Historically, narratives have been shared orally. Literacy wasn’t widespread in many cultures, including early Western culture, so legends, epic poems, and story songs communi- cated important information and provided entertainment. In ordinary modern life, narratives are still often spoken. A joke is a narration that has a point called a punch line. Explaining to a friend why you had a bad day is a narrative. The “point” as well as the “point of view” often amounts to a plea for sympathy. Today’s narratives may include political rhetoric and advertising, as well as stories or poems revisiting age-old themes.

READING HIGHLIGHTS The “Quick Start” feature on page 227 asks you to imagine a series of events that may have led to this scene of mourning. While you may be able to imagine various scenarios, focus on a specific one and think through the sequence of experiences.

Pages 228–234. The chapter opens by explaining why a writer might use the narrative pattern of development. It then provides an example of a narrative with the essay “Right Place, Wrong Face.” Before you read it, however, take a moment to scan over the “Characteristics of a Narrative” on pages 231–234. Then, as you read the story, evaluate how well it reflects those characteristics. In particular, identify the specific sequence of events and the manner in which each event builds on the previous one to increase the tension of the experience until it reaches the climax. The tension reflects the conflict or problem the writer is developing. Even as he shares the story, he also chooses details that show the significance of the problem (racial profiling).

“The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.”

—Linus Pauling



After reading the essay, closely review and study the narrative characteristics on pages 231–234. Included in the discussion is a sample “Quick Start” paragraph, which makes a clear point about the homeless and about other people’s attitudes toward them. Read “The Lady in Red” on pages 235–238 if you find graphic organizers useful and want to see the appli- cation of one for narratives.

Page 239. Although most college or academic essays aren’t literary narratives, narrative is often integrated into these essays. The text discusses each pattern of development for the overall structure of an essay and as a writing strategy to be integrated within another, primary pattern. For instance, you may use some narrative techniques in a persuasive essay. In addition, as you develop the main point of the essay using the primary pattern, any other pattern of development can be applied to an individual paragraph to provide interest and depth for that particular evidence or support. In fact, your first writing assignment will require you to integrate either narration or illustration with the required primary pattern of development. As you study each pattern covered in the textbook, remember to take notes listing its uses as an overall structure and as a strategy.

Pages 240–248. For each pattern of development, the text- book provides a “Guided Writing Assignment,” which takes you through the writing process to produce that type of essay. Depending on the pattern, you’ll skim through or carefully study the instructions, even though you may not develop an essay for each one. By doing so, you’ll gain a bet- ter understanding of the process and see how the concepts covered in the first seven chapters fit in. In addition, the “Editing and Proofreading” tips within each guided assign- ment apply to other patterns of development. Because your next journal entry refers to the narrative guided assignment and because your first exam suggests you may want to use the narrative as a supporting pattern of development, read through the narrative assignment, but don’t develop an essay unless you wish to do so on your own for practice. (If you do attempt a draft, please don’t submit it to the school for review, but keep it for your personal use.)

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Pages 248–251. This section provides tips for thinking criti- cally while you read. Although it’s aimed toward reading and responding to someone else’s narrative, the questions can also be useful when you’re revising your own writing. In fact, the most painless way to improve your own writing is to read others’ writing thoughtfully.

Pages 252–257. After carefully reading “Working with Text” and “Thinking Critically about Narration,” read the essay “Selling in Minnesota” by Barbara Ehrenreich on pages 254–256. Ponder your impressions of the essay as you take some time to analyze the reading. Does the topic com- mand your attention? Why?

Pages 258–263. To consider the possibilities of combining narration with other patterns of development, read “Alien World: How a Treacherous Border Crossing Became a Theme Park” by freelance journalist Alexander Zaitchik. You’ll find that this fascinating essay is made stronger with the photo images. This essay demonstrates the way current social issues related to illegal immigration can be illuminated by sharp-eyed, creative writing.



Lesson 4 73

Self-Check 13

1. Exercise 11.1, on page 232: First complete all five partial sentences as instructed. Then, for item 5 only, write three or four sentences that build tension through action or dialogue.

2. Exercise 11.2, on page 233: Complete the exercise using only scenario 2, about the dating dilemma.

3. Review the essay, “Selling in Minnesota.” Respond in writing to items 1, 3, and 5 in “Examining the Reading,” on page 256. Be sure to respond to specific questions within those items.

4. Proofreading and editing: The following are some basic writing tips collected by the “intrepid linguist” William Safire. Ironically—and purposely—each contains an error that relates to the tip given. Identify the errors.

a. Verbs has to agree with their subject.

b. And don’t start a sentence with a coordinating conjunction.

c. Do not be redundant; do not use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.

d. The passive voice is to be avoided.

e. Kill all exclamation points!!!

f. Use the apostrophe in it’s proper place and omit apostrophes’ when its not needed.

g. Proofread carefully to if you any words out.

h. Be sure your work contains no misspelled words.




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Self-Check 13

5. Sentence revision exercise: Reduce wordiness in the following sentences by reordering, simplifying, and/or improving their construction. Also revise for correct and varied sentence structure.

a. The small city of Wilkes-Barre was built next to the Susquehanna River and it was a fertile farming area until coal became a very valuable natural resource and mining took over.

b. Jason hid Jared’s keys they were in the planter.

c. I asked Gwendolyn if there is a shop that sells gifts that are nice that is near the hotel.

d. Carlos went to college. He attended the University of Pittsburgh. He earned a degree in marketing. He works for Allegheny Advertising, Ltd. He is a market analyst.

e. George Washington was born in 1732 in Virginia, he was raised on a farm established by his great-grandfather.

f. Washington had a big nose and a pockmarked face, however he was still considered a handsome man.

g. A wellness program for all employees makes sense for Allied Technical Services because it reduces absenteeism among employees, improves employees’ overall health, improves performance and productivity, and saves money on health care costs.

h. At 15, Washington became a surveyor his first job was to survey the six-million-acre estate of his neighbor Lord Fairfax.

i. Among several goals discussed for the next fiscal year, the company’s executives agreed that reducing production costs will be most important.

j. In the business world, both male and female workers put in long hours to get ahead then they find it difficult to make time to raise a family.

k. Most people are familiar with chain letters, this type of correspondence requires a person to copy a letter and send it on to five or more friends.

l. Today, electronic chain letters are very common almost anyone who uses email has seen at least one.

Check your answers with those in the online Self-Check Answers supplement.



Lesson 4 75

ASSIGNMENT 14: DESCRIPTION Read the assignment in this study guide. Then read Chapter 12, “Description.” To test your progress, complete the self-check.

A description of a desert sunrise may touch your emotions through the visual images you imagine. An effective descrip- tion of a day in a coal mine may evoke surprising sights, sounds, odors, and textures. A clear depiction of life on a Gulf of Mexico shrimp boat may do the same. What do these simple examples have in common? Effective description appeals to our senses; it calls up specific sights, sounds, tastes, and odors of people, places, and things. Why should a writer use descriptions that appeal to the senses? Because it’s a good way to quickly immerse the reader in the experi- ence. For example, a well-designed food advertisement can instantly bring to mind the sight, sound, and smell of grilling hamburgers or the smooth, sweet taste of a milkshake. It may trigger salivation and a sudden craving for the food, even in the absence of hunger.

The “Writing Quick Start” for this chapter features a classic Volkswagen Beetle transformed into a work of art with wheels. Your mission is writing a new and improved, enticingly descriptive ad because your first ad fell flat.

Pages 268–269. As you did with the narrative, turn to pages 270–271 and take a few moments to scan through the characteristics of a descriptive essay before you read MacClancy’s essay. (Whether you have or haven’t ever eaten a chili pepper, you’ll certainly feel you’re having that experi- ence as you read.)

Pages 270–275. After reading the story critically, study the descriptive characteristics carefully and slowly. As the text says, descriptive writing can be used as a primary pattern of development, but is more often used to support another primary pattern, such as narration or illustration. Use description judiciously. Sometimes student writers fall in love with overblown figurative descriptions which, instead of providing a clear, concrete picture, actually obscure the meaning they wish the reader to gain. Even when using another pattern, writers must always consider the dominant

Detail makes the difference between boring and terrific writing. It’s the dif- ference between a pencil sketch and a lush oil painting. As a writer, words are your paint. Use all the colors.

—Rhys Alexander



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impression of their word choices. Finally, notice how the graphic organizer for a descriptive essay is quite similar in its development to that of a narrative.

Pages 276–278. This essay provides an excellent example of a descriptive essay. If you find that graphic organizers help you, then read the story and review the organizer based on it.

Descriptive writing isn’t merely for creative or poetic writers. It’s an essential skill for anyone. For example, technical writers preparing how-to manuals often include the sensory details for a machine or product (color, size, texture, and even odor). Preschool teachers include specific, concrete descriptions of a child’s behavior to identify and track their teaching techniques, as well as to offer parents or psycholo- gists key information. Medical assistants must notice the smallest details about their patients, including color, smell, texture, and sound.

Pages 279–287. Although the guided writing assignment isn’t required, skim over it to reinforce what you’ve been learning, particularly as it applies to your thinking and writ- ing process.

Pages 287–291. The “Students Write” feature for this assignment is an essay by a journalism student. Notice that the topic of his essay, “Heatstroke with a Side of Burn Cream,” appears only in the first sentence of the second paragraph. Also, the author’s topic sentences are highlighted, which allows you to see how well the essay follows the topic sentence. Overall, this essay is made more informative through lively description. But, as you take some time to analyze the reading, you’ll need to draw your own conclusions.

Pages 291–297. The section, “Working with Text: Reading Descriptive Essays,” precedes an essay by a Pulitzer Prize– winning author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard. In this essay, “The Deer at Providencia,” Dillard shows us what a masterful command of descriptive writing can achieve. Think of this essay as a fine example of literature as art—art that dares to explore the deep mysteries of human experi- ence. In any case, don’t skimp on time devoted to a analyzing and critiquing the essay, including your sense of what the photograph contributes to the essay.



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Pages 298–303. To explore an example of how description can be combined with other patterns of development, you’ll want to read the essay by “Riverbend,” It will give you some insight into the suffering delivered to millions courtesy of the War on Iraq. Indeed, as you read this essay, you may gain some insight into the effects of violent conflicts now raging all across the Middle East and much of Africa.

Required Journal Entry 7: Description and Narration Prewriting

Choose a photograph that depicts an important event in your life.


1. In your journal, make a list of everything you see in the photo. Work from left to right and from the background to the foreground.

2. List two specific, concrete details for each sense that describes your experience of the event as follows:

• Sight

• Sound

• Smell

• Taste

• Touch


Write one fresh, creative comparison (one simile or metaphor) for one of your details .


Sketch out the narrative details of your picture.

1. Scene—Where did the event take place?

2. Key actions—What events led up to the one depicted? Did anything significant happen afterward?

3. Key participants—Who is depicted in your photo?

4. Key lines of dialogue—What was being said at the time? By whom?

5. Feelings—What were you feeling at the time the photo was taken?



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Self-Check 14

1. Exercise 12.2, on page 273: You may cross out details directly in the text paragraph.

2. Exercise 12.3, on page 274: Write a paragraph describing a food you enjoy, focusing on one sense.

3. Review the essay by Annie Dillard on pages 293–296. Under “Examining the Reading,” respond to all five items.

4. Subject-verb agreement and passive/active voice: Correct the errors in both subject- verb agreement and any shift between passive and active voice in the same sentence.

a. There is many things that the police and other crime-solvers do not know about death.

b. Martin drove his car too fast, and a speeding ticket was received by him.

c. Anyone who reads mysteries know that forensic technology often solves the crime.

d. New research at a unique laboratory in Tennessee are helping to reduce the possibility of someone’s getting away with murder.

e. Experts in the field of forensic anthropology recognizes that the University of Tennessee’s open-air cemetery is a remarkable teaching tool.

f. Not all of the bodies at this cemetery is buried; some is left on the ground, some is placed in cars, and some is wrapped in plastic bags.

g. The boat lost its rudder, and it was towed to shore by the Coast Guard.

h. Learning what chemicals a decaying body leaves behind also allow the police to find places where bodies have been hidden.

i. Every check and money order cost fifty cents.

j. My paper was nearly finished until my computer was walked on by my cat.




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Self-Check 14

k. Learning how to navigate the Web and conduct searches do not take the place of developing critical thinking skills.

l. If rhythm and blues are your kind of music, try Mary Lou’s.

m. His merry disposition and his success in business makes him popular.

n. The vapors were a Victorian term for hypochondria.

o. Neither the lighting nor the frame display the painting well.

p. Most of the voters supports a reduction in nuclear weapons.

q. Her favorite thing in the whole world were horses.

Check your answers with those in the online Self-Check Answers supplement.



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ASSIGNMENT 15: ILLUSTRATION Read the assignment in this study guide. Then read Chapter 13, “Illustration.” To gauge your progress, complete the self-check.

The purposes of illustration include making a general idea specific, illuminating an unfamiliar concept, and engaging a reader’s interest. Effective illustration should be very selec- tive. Appropriate examples must reinforce your argument or support your thesis. However, rather than simply listing an example or two as reinforcements of your statements, in this section, you’ll see how to use illustration to help develop your essay, which requires planning, good organization, and care- ful integration of your examples as you write. Think through the “Chapter Quick Start” exercise on page 305. Try to get a clear picture in your mind of each example you would use and the scenes you would use to support the topic sentence regarding environmental pollution.

Pages 306–312. Before reading “Rambos of the Road,” scan the characteristics of illustration (pages 309–313). After read- ing the essay, study them more carefully. Illustration is generally used to support a generalization. The text provides a good explanation and examples. As you read, notice that using a generalization by itself isn’t an appropriate writing technique—a generalization must be developed using a pat- tern of development, such as illustration, to provide specifics showing how the generalization reflects your purpose.

Pages 313–316. “Sustainability on the Menu,” by editorial intern Carl Pino, is an example of an illustration essay. The essay focuses on the ways that select schools and universi- ties have started programs that supply lunchrooms and college cafeterias with locally grown organic produce. Other localized food sustainability programs, like Princeton’s pro- gram for distributing some excess food to local food shelters, using other excess food as animal feed, and composting, also get our attention.

TIP: You might want to spend some time with the graphic organizer in Figure 13.2 to see how Pino’s essay can be “mapped.”

Pages 317–323. The guided writing assignment on these pages isn’t required in this course, but you might benefit from skimming through it.



Pages 323–326. The “Students Write” feature here takes a critical look at present-day American “female body obsessions.” You might find it interesting because so many Americans, most of them women and girls, have eating disorders. However, be sure to read and analyze this essay closely to gain its main advantage. Notice the placement of the thesis statement, the character of the topic sentences, and the loca- tion of a transitional sentence.

Pages 326–330. The section begins with “Reading Illustration Essays.” As usual, you’ll want to study this material carefully before reading and analyzing the essay by Bill Bryson, “Snoopers at Work.” The topic is disturbing because the author’s thesis, that employees (and citizens) are subject to widespread invasions of privacy, is heavily and effectively illustrated by examples.

Pages 331–335. To explore how illustration can be com- bined with other patterns of development you’ll read and analyze an essay by Cristina Rouvalis, “Hey Mom, Dad, May I Have My Room Back?” It’s all about the sad topic of “boomerangers.” In our present economic and political envi- ronment, young people are finding it harder and harder to find jobs that provide living wages. The skyrocketing increase in student loan debt often means that Junior will have to live at home long after graduation.

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Self-Check 15 1. Exercise 13.1, on page 310: Follow the instructions.

2. Exercise 13.3, on page 311: Respond to item 1 only.

3. Review the essay “Snoopers at Work” on pages 328–329. In “Examining the Reading,” respond to items 1–5.




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Self-Check 15 4. Diction and word choice exercise: Each sentence contains an error needing correction

because of misused words, weak diction, shifts in voice (person), or problematic connotation. Rewrite each sentence correctly.

a. When Americans think of sports, you tend to think of the sports that you see on television on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

b. In today’s modern world it’s very unusual to find someone who has never told a deliberate lie.

c. Any reasonable person would recognize this scheme.

d. That lady in the public relations department seems smart, but she never changes her mind once she says something.

e. The survey evaluated the attitudes of each guy in our department.

f. Swinging his lasso, the calf dived under the cowboy’s legs and escaped.

g. For instance, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) usually draws over 100,000 people to your typical race.

h. One reason Jackson was elected president was because he was a popular general.

I. I have difficulty coping and dealing with pressure-type situations.

j. My boss was too cheap to fork over the dough for the new lab equipment.

k. Eying each other by the corral, the hats and boots showed years of wear and tear.

l. The supervisor divided the project between Joe, Dave, and I.

m. The incident was significant in several ways. One of the ways the incident was significant is that it marked the first time I was totally and completely on my own.

n. In her speech at the department meeting, our supervisor inferred that if production didn’t increase, a few workers may be dismissed.

Check your answers with those in the online Self-Check Answers supplement.



Lesson 4 83

ASSIGNMENT 16: PROCESS ANALYSIS Read the assignment in this study guide. Then read Chapter 14, “Process Analysis.” To gauge your progress, complete the self- check.

In the world of employment, you’ll find that the techniques of process analysis are vital to achievement and success. For example, if you’re an administrative assistant, a salesperson, or a carpenter, you’ll receive instructions in some form that tell you what to do and how to do it, whether in a memo, in person, or in a blueprint. If you’re an office manager, a sales manager, or a job foreman, you’ll be giving instructions to others. To properly explain a job or understand what needs to be done and in what order, you must understand process analysis.

There are two basic forms of process analysis. How-to writing is intended for people who may need guidelines for doing something or learning something. Instructions for using an appliance, step-by-step guidelines for responding to an emer- gency, or tips for taking stains out of clothing illustrate this kind of process analysis.

Informative process analyses explain how things work or how they’re done for people who might like to know, even if they don’t need that information in their everyday lives. A process explanation of a surgical technique or an anthropologist’s account of how Cheyenne youth prepare for a vision quest are examples of this kind of process analysis.


First, read through the “Quick Start” exercise on pages 336–337 and think about how you would complete the exercise.

Pages 338–342. Read “What Is Process Analysis?” Then, read the essay “How to Interview” provided by It’s an example of process analysis of the “how-to” variety. Under “Characteristics of Process Analysis,” on pages 342–344, study the guidelines for writing a process analysis. Notice



English Composition84

that when a thesis statement is included in a process analy- sis, it’s typically devoted to explaining how the process is valuable, whether it’s a weight-loss diet, an exercise regimen, or an approach to money management. It’s important to present the steps or stages in chronological order, define technical terms, provide detail, and warn of possible trouble spots.

Because your first writing assignment is a process analysis essay, study each part of this chapter very carefully.

Pages 345–350. After spending some quality time studying the characteristics of process analysis essays, read the essay “Inside the Engine,” by Tom and Ray Magliozzi, formerly of “Car Talk” radio. You’ll find lots of practical “how-to” tips on auto maintenance presented in the engaging, often amusing conversational style for which the “car guys” are famous. The essay is followed by a graphic organizer (Figure 14.2 on page 349). Study it. Then study the section on integrating process analysis into an essay.

Pages 351–358. Here’s your guided writing assignment for this chapter. You can choose one of the suggested topics or pick one of your own. But in either case, you’ll want to make sure you truly understand what it takes to write a process analysis essay.

Pages 359–362. An essay by Eric Michalski is featured in the “Students Write” section for this chapter. It’s all about how to make chili for a crowd. As you have before, take advantage of the essay’s autopsy. Note the chronological sequence of steps. Admire the author’s figures of speech.

Pages 362–367. Read about working with text while reading a process analysis essay. Then read “Dater’s Remorse,” by Cindy Chupack. Ms. Chupack is a writer who became the executive producer of “Sex and the City.” That fact may give you a hint as to the author’s angle on the precarious game of dating while in search of an ideal relationship. Enjoy the writer’s engaging and amusing style. Think about your own relationships as you decide if the author’s points ring true.

Pages 367–371. To explore how process analysis may be combined with other patterns of development, read Anne Lamott’s piece, “Shitty First Drafts.” You may well benefit from the author’s ideas about how a ragged and wretched



Lesson 4 85

first draft may become a springboard to a “not bad” second draft and even, in the end, an essay that captures and nails a thesis in all the right ways.

Required Journal Entry 8: Description and Narration

Write: Using the details you collected in Journal Entry 7, write the story to accompany the photo. Be sure that your story has a clear beginning, middle, and end, and that you use your dia- logue and descriptive elements effectively to convey your feelings to your reader. (3 paragraphs, 6 sentences)

Reflect: Does your photo tell an audience everything they would need to know about this event? What does your story provide that your picture can’t? Is the saying, “A picture is worth a thou- sand words” true? (Length open)

Self-Check 16

1. Exercise 14.1, on page 343: Draft a working thesis statement for one of the five topics and a chronological list of the steps or stages of the process.

2. Exercise 14.2, on page 344: List technical terms and definitions for one the three process topics.

3. Read or reread the essay “Dater’s Remorse” on pages 364–366. On page 366, under “Examining the Reading,” respond to all four items.

4. Read or review the essay, “Shitty First Drafts” on pages 367–369. On page 370, under “Examining the Reading,” respond to all five items.

Check your answers with those in the online Self-Check Answers supplement.



English Composition86





Objectives For this exam, you’ll

n Use prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing to write formal, college-level essays

n Distinguish between different patterns of development

n Apply an appropriate pattern of development to a specific purpose and audience

n Develop paragraphs using topic sentences, adequate detail, supporting evidence, and transitions

n Apply the conventions of standard written American English to produce correct, well-written essays

Topic Balancing Penn Foster studies with work, family, and other activities and responsibilities

Drafting Your Essay This assignment requires two paragraphs. Each paragraph employs a pattern of development that was covered in the reading for this lesson. If you’re not familiar with narration, description, or process analysis, you should review the required reading for Lesson 4.

For your first paragraph, use the narrative and description techniques you learned in this lesson to describe daily activi- ties. You’ll write about the activities you dedicate your time to: schoolwork, family responsibilities, and your job. Don’t forget to include other pursuits such as hobbies, sports, and volunteer and social activities. Since this is your prewriting, write as much as you can, up to 500 words.

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Lesson 4 Prewriting—Process Analysis





In your second paragraph, focus on how you manage your time to accomplish everything you need and want to. For this paragraph, use process analysis to explain how you manage your time. Consider the tools you employ such as a planner or calendar, whether paper or electronic, or even a chart or list. Again, write as much as you want, up to 500 words, to clearly illustrate your process for managing your busy schedule.

This is an example of what the description portion might look like:

My name is Jean. I am in my mid-forties, and I would never have expected that I would one day have so many different hats to wear. My husband thought it was a great idea; he knew that I always wanted to be a real nurse and that if we hadn’t gotten married so young and I hadn’t put him through school that I would have been one. He was so encouraging about it in the beginning. The boys thought it was cool too; they both said it was going to be fun to have to nag me to do my homework for a change. So finally, with my family’s blessing, I decided to go back to school to get a degree in nursing. When I made the decision, everyone in my family agreed to do their part to make sure I would have time to study and get through the exams successfully. But now, a few months into school, when I come home from my full-time job as a nurse’s aide and take off that hat, it seems as though my day has barely started. With two teenage children living at home, I must put on my mother’s hat and enforce household rules, dispense of advice, help with homework, and occa- sionally provide a shoulder to cry on. Before my husband comes home from his job, I have to pop on my chef’s hat and get dinner started; the maid’s hat will come out later when I do the family’s laundry and clean the bathrooms. As if all this weren’t enough, the responsibility has also fallen to me for looking after my aging mother, thanks to my sister who can’t even look after herself. Two or three evenings a week I slip on my daughter’s hat and make the trip across town to my mother’s house, where I spend an hour or so paying bills, restocking the cupboards, and helping with other household chores. At least all I have to do is light dusting, sitting at the table, and listening to her talk about her television programs. In between all of

Examination, Lesson 488



Examination, Lesson 4 89

these other pressures on my time, I need to study and take a test because I got an email and need to attend another webinar! Sometimes I really don’t know where I am going to find the time, energy, or money to do all of this, and I wonder once again if this is really worth it. When I finally get some time around 11:30 at night, I dis- cover that the dog has chewed through my study guide. Okay, I take a breath because I think I can remember most of the material, and I log onto the website to take the test. However, when I do I discover that my son has gotten onto my account and taken the exam. Of course he failed! The next day when I call the school, no one there believes me at first, and then I get advice not to leave my passwords out and that I can retake the exam in 48 hours. My frustration level has hit a new high! Once again I am wondering why I am putting myself through all this.

Here’s an example of what the process portion might look like:

After the first time that rotten dog chewed one of my study guides and my 13-year-old son took one of my exams because he wished to be helpful, I realized I needed a better strategy to accomplish this whole school thing. I mean, I am organized at work. After all, I need to be because I am a nurse’s aide and I can’t mess up people’s charts or else I would get fired. I must be organized in paying my mother’s bills and taking care of my home finances, or else the bill collectors will come after me. I make decent meals and make thought-out grocery lists for both houses because I only want to go to the store once a week and don’t want to track back and forth through the aisles and buy impulse items like I know they want me to. However, I need to get a plan in place to make this work because this is important to me. First, I call a family meeting and remind them about the conversation we had and all the promises they made before I started school. Next, I decide to change my password and not leave it lying around so that my son won’t get at it when he thinks he is trying to help. Then, I get all my books and put them in one place on a shelf next to the dining room table. I cannot have my own room because we can’t afford another computer, but now everyone knows this is my stuff and no one is supposed to touch it. I made that fact



Examination, Lesson 490

clear after I yelled at them during my tirade over the destroyed book and exam my son took. Next, I ask my husband if he could help with the cooking or would mind pizza one night a week so I would have more time to study. Then, I teach my oldest son how to run the washer and dryer; after all he is almost 16, and if he thinks I am going to follow him to college and do his laundry he has another thought coming! I cannot do anything about the time I devote to my mom, and I will not begrudge her that. However, my sister can help a bit more and has agreed to at least do the shopping and spend one night a week with her; I’ll still pay the bills because my sister can’t manage her own finances. Honestly, now that I have a plan and everyone has agreed to help out more, I don’t feel so stressed and have a bit more time to study, so I feel better and think I can accomplish this.


To submit the assignment, follow these steps:

1. Type the essay.

2. Save the document.

3. Go to your Student Portal.

4. Go to My Courses.

5. Find the section for this project, and click on the Take Exam icon.

6. That will bring up a Browse menu. You must then find where you’ve saved your work in your computer. The writing should have been saved under your student number_exam number_last name_first name. Your exam number for this assignment is 25048500.

Essays must be typed, double-spaced, using a standard 12-point font and left justification. Use 1-inch margins at the top and bottom and 1.25-inch margins for the left and right sides of the document. Each page must have a properly formatted header containing your name, student number, exam number, page number, mailing address, and email address (see page 6 for an example). Name each document using your student number first, then the six-digit lesson num- ber, and finally your last name (for example, 23456789_050177 Doe). Save each as “File Type: Rich Text Format,” regardless of your word-processing program.



7. Click on the exam, and then click on Open.

8. Enter a correct email address.

9. Click on Upload file. There’s no need to worry about the project sheet. The instructor will add one for you.

10. You’ll receive an email within 24 hours that tells you the exam has been received. You’ll notice a label indicating RCD on your record next to that exam until a grade is posted. Exams are evaluated within five days of receipt, although sometimes they’re evaluated sooner. You’ll receive the evaluation and exam with comments from an instructor by clicking on View Exam Results once you see your grade posted.

If you choose to mail the project, here’s the address:

Penn Foster Attn: Student Service Center 925 Oak Street Scranton, PA 18515-0001


Your instructor will evaluate your prewriting based on the criteria on the next page.

Examination, Lesson 4 91

The Penn Foster Student Service Center is under contract with Penn Foster College.



Examination, Lesson 492

Please note that any numerical grade indicated on this evaluation will not be posted. This assignment will be graded as either Pass or Return.

Skill Realized 100–85

Skill Developing


Skill Emerging


Skill Not Shown 59–0

Ideas and Content: The writer addressed all three areas of his or her life—home and family, school, and work; used narrative and description to show the reader what’s happening in his or her life at the present time; used description and process analysis to show how he or she manages his or her schedule. The content meets the requirements of the assignment.

Organization: The writer followed the instructions and wrote two para- graphs. Each paragraph begins with a topic sentence that introduces the main idea—what’s happening in the writer’s life and how the writer manages his or her time. Each para- graph is developed effectively and presents enough evidence use in the process analysis essay.

General Correctness: The writer used correct sentence structure, grammar, spelling, and punctuation; used spell and grammar checks and proofread the paper to check for errors in word choice and typos. The paper is reasonably free of errors that interfere with a reader’s ability to understand the content.

Format: The writer met the length requirement of 1,000-1,100 words; used the required font, line spacing, and margins; included the required information in the header at the top of the paper.

Exam number: Exam Grade: Date of evaluation: Evaluated by:

Instructions for Process Analysis Essay:

Instructions for revision:

Important note: Along the right-hand side of your evaluated exam, you should see marginal or “bubble” comments from your instructor. You should also see a series of highlighted num- bers in the evaluation chart identifying the rating you earned on each trait. If you don’t see this feedback, click on the View tab and Print Layout, or click on Review and the option Final Showing Markup. If you still can’t see the feedback, please contact the school for the complete evaluation.

Process Analysis Prewriting Evaluation: Pass or Return for Revision




In the Successful College Writing textbook, read pages 338–345 and page 350. Then complete the examination.

OBJECTIVE To prepare a 1,000-1,200 word, process analysis essay that incorporates narration and description, using elements from the Process Analysis Prewriting assignment

Objectives For this essay, you’ll

n Use prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing to write formal, college-level essays

n Distinguish among different patterns of development

n Apply an appropriate pattern of development to a specific purpose and audience

n Write effective thesis statements

n Develop paragraphs using topic sentences, adequate detail, supporting evidence, and transitions

n Apply the conventions of standard written American English to produce correct, well-written essays


To illustrate your process for balancing your time and man- aging your schedule for the purpose of helping other distance education students learn how they can do the same

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Lesson 5 Essay—Process Analysis





Examination, Lesson 594

Writing Your Essay

In your prewriting, you focused on what’s happening in your life. For your essay, you’ll revise and reorganize your prewrit- ing to create an essay that would help other students manage the challenges they may face when taking online courses. You’ll also give them hope that they can manage their time effectively to accomplish everything they want.

Your prewriting will require major reorganization and revision including

n An introductory paragraph with a thesis statement that addresses the purpose of the essay

n Three to four body paragraphs that begin with topic sentences and clearly relate to and support the thesis statement as well as combine elements from the narra- tive and process prewriting paragraphs

n A conclusion that reinforces the thesis statement and purpose of the essay


To submit the assignment, follow these steps:

1. Type the essay.

2. Save the document.

3. Go to your Student Portal.

4. Go to My Courses.

5. Find the section for this project, and click on the Take Exam icon.

Essays must be typed, double-spaced, using a standard 12-point font and left justification. Use 1-inch margins at the top and bottom and 1.25-inch margins for the left and right sides of the document. Each page must have a properly formatted header containing your name, student number, exam number, page number, mailing address, and email address (see page 6 for an example). Name each document using your student number first, then the six-digit lesson num- ber, and finally your last name (for example, 23456789_050177 Doe). Save each as “File Type: Rich Text Format,” regardless of your word-processing program.



Examination, Lesson 5 95

6. That will bring up a Browse menu. You must then find where you’ve saved your work in your computer. The writing should have been saved under your student number_exam number_last name_first name. Your exam number for this assignment is 25048600.

7. Click on the exam, and then click on Open.

8. Enter a correct email address.

9. Click on Upload file. There’s no need to worry about the project sheet. The instructor will add one for you.

10. You’ll receive an email within 24 hours that tells you the exam has been received. You’ll notice a label indicating RCD on your record next to that exam until a grade is posted. Exams are evaluated within five days of receipt, although sometimes they’re evaluated sooner. You’ll receive the evaluation and exam with comments from an instructor by clicking on View Exam Results once you see your grade posted.

If you choose to mail the project, here’s the address:

Penn Foster Student Service Center 925 Oak Street Scranton, PA 18515-0001


Your instructor will evaluate your essay based on the criteria on the next page.

The Penn Foster Student Service Center is under contract with Penn Foster College.



Examination, Lesson 596

Process Analysis Essay

Traits of Good Writing Review pages 9–10 in your study guide for a complete explanation of the rating you earned for each trait, as well as references you can study to improve your writing skills.

Skill Realized

A 100–90

Skill Developing

B 89-80

Skill Emerging

C 79-70

Skill Not Shown

F 69–0

Ideas and Content: The writer pro- vides a clear thesis statement that addresses the purpose of the essay and combines elements of narrative, description, and process analysis to illustrate the purpose of the essay.

30–28 27–25 24–22 21–0

Organization: There’s a clear intro- duction with a thesis, body, and conclusion. The writer uses topic sentences to organize body para- graphs and transitions appropriately to guide the reader from point to point. The conclusion reinforces the thesis statement and provides a satisfactory ending to the essay.

25–23 23–21 21–19 19–0

Voice: The writer interacts with the assigned audience using an appropri- ate, consistent point of view and tone. The writer offered adequate evidence from his or her own experi- ence to effectively engage readers’ interest and address the purpose of the essay.

20–18 18–17 17–16 16–0

Grammar, and Sentences, and Word Choice: The writer uses cor- rect grammar, spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure. The writer makes correct word choices, defines unfamiliar terms, and conveys a clear message. The writer has edited and proofread the essay.

15–13 13–10 10–8 8–0

Format: The writer met the required length (1,000-1,200 words), used the assigned font and margins, and included the required header infor- mation correctly.

10–8 8–7 7–5 5–0

Exam number: Exam Grade: Date of evaluation: Evaluated by:

Important note: Along the right-hand side of your evaluated exam, you should see marginal or “bubble” comments from your instructor. You should also see a series of highlighted num- bers in the evaluation chart identifying the rating you earned on each trait. If you don’t see this feedback, click on the View tab and Print Layout, or click on Review and the option Final Showing Markup. If you still can’t see the feedback, please contact the school for the complete evaluation.




Moving from Comparison to Classification and Division


In this lesson, we’ll examine several more patterns of develop- ment. You’ve probably been practicing writing and exploring various approaches to writing since at least junior high, so these techniques will no doubt look familiar. Our purpose is to help you build on what you know and to improve your writing in preparation for real-world communication require- ments, as well as college writing.

You’ll also examine still more patterns of development, as we continue to help you build on what you know and to improve your writing in preparation for college writing and real-world communication.


When you complete this lesson, you’ll be able to

n Define comparing and contrasting as a pattern of development

n Apply the techniques of comparing and contrasting

n Explain the characteristics of classification and division

n Use classification and division in your writing

n Discuss the use of definition as a writing technique

n Employ simple and extended definitions in your essays

n Explain the use of causal analysis to show how one action or event leads to another

n Define cause-and-effect as a pattern of development, and apply its techniques

n Effectively integrate definition into your writing

n Employ classification in a cause-and-effect essay

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ASSIGNMENT 17: COMPARISON AND CONTRAST Read the assignment in this study guide. Then read Chapter 15, “Comparison and Contrast.” To gauge your progress, complete the self-check.

To compare is to point out similarities; to contrast is to point out differences. As you approach a writing assignment, you need to be able to do both. For instance, in an essay on fruit production, you might recognize ways that oranges and lemons are similar: both of them are citrus fruits that pro- duce juice and have flavorful rinds. You could then contrast them in terms of color, sweetness, and typical uses for each in the American diet.

Comparing and contrasting should make a point. For example, a comparison and contrast of two political parties may seek to prove that one party is more progressive or conservative than another. In a similar sense, comparing and contrasting a vegetarian diet with one containing meat may be used to support a thesis on the health benefits of one or the other.

The “Quick Start” for this chapter, on page 373, asks you to compare and contrast the experience of playing golf on an actual golf course and playing simulated golf using Nintendo Wii. The exercise consists of making two lists—one listing the similarities (comparisons) and one listing the differences (contrasts) between the two kinds of experience.

Pages 374–381. While distinguishing between similarities and differences isn’t difficult, writing effective comparisons and contrasts requires discrimination, balance, flow, and all the other characteristics of good writing. It also requires organization, of which there are two types—point-by-point and subject-by-subject.

For example, imagine you’re looking at two photographs depicting a scene from a wedding. In one, you see the full “Hollywood” church-wedding fantasy. The bride wears a wed- ding gown. She is attended by bridesmaids while a young girl holds the train of her dress. The groom wears a tuxedo. The nuptial pair stands before an altar where a priest or pastor stands ready to officiate. The second photo is of a couple

When something can be read with- out effort, great effort has gone into its writing.

—Enrique Jardiel Poncela



Lesson 6 99

standing before a justice of the peace. The bride wears a tai- lored suit, as does the groom. The room looks rather like an office, and there are no witnesses. You could use a point-by- point approach to compare the attire of the two brides, the attire of the bridesmaids, or the nature of the audience, then contrast the settings of the two wedding scenarios. Or you could use a subject-by subject approach in which you would describe key facets of the first photo, and then detail the con- trast in the second photo. You decide which approach to use based on your purpose and on the parallelism of the shared characteristics—that is, you may not be able to make a one- to-one correlation for all the same points for each item. What if the justice of the peace wedding photo remained as it is but the church wedding photo depicted the reception for the newly married pair? Although you would probably draw simi- lar conclusions about the similarities and differences, you would describe each photo separately (subject-by-subject).

The text provides two essays that can help you understand these organizational patterns. As you read, note how the specific examples keep the reader’s attention and how the transitional devices guide the reader from one point or sub- ject to the next (from paragraph to paragraph). You may be fascinated by “Amusing Ourselves to Depth: Is The Onion Our Most Intelligent Newspaper?” by Greg Beato. The essay explores the reasons why a newspaper spun of laugh-out- loud satire and devoted to fake news (reflecting actual news) remains both popular and financially solvent. If you conclude from this essay that humor is a missing ingredient in present- day mainstream journalism, you’ve recognized one of the author’s main points—especially if you’re a fan of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.

“Dearly Disconnected” uses subject-by-subject. In a personal- ized, nostalgic way, Ian Frazier first discusses his love of pay phones. He then describes the loss of that romance with the cell phone as its usurper.

Pages 382–384. As with any other pattern of development, the comparison or contrast essay requires a clear purpose. Just as important, however, is identifying the basis of comparison. If you were using the topic “means of trans- portation,” you would first establish the specific items to be



English Composition100

compared or contrasted, such as rail travel with air travel. Then you would determine the basis of comparison, such as differences in cost or time.

Next, you must identify in a thesis the main point you want to make through your comparison. Why do you want to con- trast rail versus air travel? Perhaps you’re trying to persuade readers who are planning a vacation to choose air travel. You might explain the cost and time benefits to convince your readers. However, if you want to convince vacationers to consider rail, you might describe its lively engagement with workers and fellow travelers and the enjoyment of scenic beauty. A possible thesis might be “Although air travel is touted as the most efficient way to get to a destination, rail travel underscores the beauty of the journey itself.” This thesis contains the subjects of air and rail travel, identifies contrast through the use of although, and suggests the main point of enjoying the travel itself. Study the examples of thesis statements on page 381, which make the contrast or compar- ison meaningful and interesting.

The student essay by Christine Lee, which you studied earlier in your textbook, involved two types of television program- ming. Initially, she began developing an essay trying to show the differences between TV before reality shows with all real- ity shows (excluding Survivor). As she worked through the writing process, she noticed that her purpose and basis for comparison were unclear. She decided that she wanted to describe the ways the reality show Survivor is one of a kind, despite all the copycats. She used comparison/contrast as a supporting pattern of development to prove that idea, using a subject-by-subject pattern for most of her illustrations.

Consider the subjects of situation comedies versus dramas. Two possible bases of comparison could be the complexity of plots and timeliness, with a possible thesis of “Situation comedies and drama in popular television programming each provide a break from the stresses of daily living, but situation comedies deal with timeless human foibles and thus are a more positive antidote to stress than drama.”

Figure 15.1, on page 382, provides a graphic organizer for point-by-point organization of an essay. Figure 15.2 on the next page charts a subject-by-subject design. Even if your



Lesson 6 101

learning style isn’t spatial-visual, you’ll benefit from studying the two kinds of graphic organizers. Notice that if parallel comparisons/contrasts can’t be laid out in a point-by point essay, it’s best to use a subject-by-subject approach.

Pages 384–385. Carefully study the guide for integrating comparison and contrast into an essay. The five points of this development style will help you use these techniques in an effective essay.

Pages 385–392. Take a moment to read through the “Guided Writing Assignment,” because it reinforces the characteristics of this pattern of development in terms of the writing choices you must make, providing additional exam- ples and explanation. Carefully study the editing and proofreading tips on pages 390 and 392.

Pages 393–395. Your “Students Write” feature for this chapter is “Border Bites” by first-year writing student Heather Glanakos. The analysis for this piece highlights the author’s thesis, which appears as the final sentence of her first paragraph. Note the highlighting of the prime subjects of her essay—Mexican and Southwestern cuisine.

Pages 395–403. After carefully studying the “Working with Text” material, read the comparison and contrast essay by Daniel Golman, Ph.D., “His Marriage and Hers: Childhood Roots.” Golman is probably best known as the author of Emotional Intelligence. This essay explores research and studies that inform us that girls and boys are literally brought up in different cultures. You’ll see many points of comparison that illustrate that assertion as you read the essay. The point of the essay is that husbands and wives live in different emo- tional realities. They speak different emotional languages. That would explain a lot about the “battle of the sexes.”

Pages 403–407. To explore how comparison and contrast may be combined with other patterns of development, read “Defining a Doctor, with a Tear, a Shrug, and a Schedule,” by Abigail Zuger. It gives some insight into the attitude changes that accompany different stages in the training and expecta- tions of medical students.



English Composition102

Required Journal Entry 9: Comparison and Contrast

Brainstorm: Make a list of all the things you write each day such as texts, status updates, tweets, emails, reports, essays, and so on. Include all the people you write to or for such as friends, family, supervisors, instructors, clients, and so on.

Organize: Rearrange the items into two groups that represent formal writing and informal writing and the audiences who receive each.

Write: Compare and contrast the style of writing you use when you write to friends and family with the style you use when you write to your coworkers, supervisors, or instructors. How does your interaction with your audience change? Describe the differences in your tone and your spelling, grammar, and punctuation. (2 paragraphs, 6 sentences)

Self-Check 17

1. Essay by Abigail Zuger on pages 403–405: “Examining the Reading”: Respond to items 1–4 in writing. Look up unfamiliar terms in item 5. “Analyzing the Writer’s Technique”: Respond to all five items.

2. Comparison-contrast exercise: The table that follows on the next page compares and contrasts the competence of the writer’s listening skills in two conversations, the first with her good friend Kim and the second with a supervisor. The writer’s name is Jill.

n Establish a thesis informing Jill’s instructor about Jill’s competency in listening skills. (Remember a good comparison-contrast thesis identifies the subjects; designates focus, whether on similarities, differences, or both; and states the usefulness and/or interest of the information.)

n Choose either point-by-point or subject-by-subject organization and explain your choice.

n Draft one or two paragraphs according to your organizational choice.




Lesson 6 103

Self-Check 17

Check your answers with those in the online Self-Check Answers supplement.

Points of comparison—

listening skills Conversation with Kim

Conversation with



Leaned forward most of conversation without hunching shoulders or slouching; nodded my head several times

Began sitting straight up; most of conversation leaning backward though shoulders straight; shook head no

Facial expressions

Smiling in response to joke; frowning at unhappy remark; eyes opened wide at a surpris- ing statement

Frowned frequently; squinted my eyes with uncertainty; fore- head wrinkled

Eye contact

Generally held about eight sec- onds before breaking slightly and reengaging; couple times did look at the clock in between.

First minute held about five seconds before break-off but rest of time only one-second glances; looked mostly at wall of photos above her left shoulder or at my lap


Hands clapped with delight a couple times; fidgeted with the TV remote some of the time (though I didn’t turn the TV on)

Twisted my hands together several times; put hands in my pocket briefly; crossed arms over my chest for great deal of time



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ASSIGNMENT 18: CLASSIFICATION AND DIVISION Read the assignment in this study guide. Then read Chapter 16, “Classification and Division.” To test your progress, complete the self-check.

In general, classification sorts individual people, ideas, or things into specific groups or categories, while division begins with a single item and breaks it down into parts or subcate- gories. For example, taxonomy, a classification system for identifying organisms, was developed by Carolus Linnaeus in the 1700s. Living things are grouped under major categories, from kingdom to phylum, class, order, family, genus, and finally, species. Humans belong to the phylum Chordata, animals with backbones, and by genus and species are named Homo sapiens. But how does classification and divi- sion apply to writing?

People naturally divide their world and their experience into parts in an effort to simplify and make sense of it. Such a task often involves analysis, which takes the parts and con- siders the relationship of each part to the others and to the whole. When you revise, you analyze the parts of your essay in this manner.

When you use classification and division, you divide your information into parts to help your reader understand and absorb it. For example, the first line in Julius Caesar’s Commentaries on the Gallic War is “All Gaul is divided into three parts.” With this type of opening, the reader immedi- ately knows how the material will be presented and will look for the breakdown of the material into three parts, as well. Remember, the main purpose of classification and division is to clarify subject matter. Both operations organize your ideas so you can present them clearly.

Pages 408–409. The “Quick Start” exercise on page 409 asks you to consider how you would group categories in retail displays or on websites for the convenience of customers or browsers. Interpret the “Swiss Army” personalities; then apply the same idea to yourself and several people you know well. This is a fun way to begin classifying and dividing into categories.



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Pages 410–419. Read the textbook’s introduction to classification and division. Skim through the identifying char- acteristics and then read “My Secret Life on the McJob.” As you read this essay, notice the one principle the author’s classification follows: managerial styles are applied to the category managers. (For a division essay, an author might examine one type of manager and break it into components.)

After reading the first essay, study the characteristics more carefully. The most important step for using this pattern is to narrow your topic to one principle under one category. On pages 413–414, the text explains using “birds” as a topic. One category under “birds” is their diet, of which there are several types. The word types indicates that you’ll be using classification, because you aren’t dividing the bird into its parts. On the other hand, you could choose a single type of diet and break that into its parts using division. You proba- bly can see that if you don’t first identify one principle, you could waste time exploring ideas and gathering information you won’t be able to use.

Consider the topic of “sports teams.” If you brainstormed on this topic, you might generate a list of football leagues, hockey penalties, equestrian competitions, offensive versus defensive basketball strategies, coaches, and baseball players’ RBIs. Any one of these represents a principle of organization. How do you decide which one to use? Your choice must be based on your purpose and the interests of your audience. Suppose you wish to encourage more teenagers to try a sport. Although you could describe each sport in general, you would be merely tossing handfuls of information at your readers—the teens—without their knowing why they should care. Instead, identify the organizing principle underlying the purpose and audience. If you determine that most teens believe previous training in a sport is required, classify the sports according to the skill level required to join each one.

If your topic is “fast-food restaurants,” one principle of classi- fication could be “wait time,” for which you would establish categories of wait times and sort the various restaurants into one of those categories. (When classifying, you can assign each item or person to only one category.) If you’re a shift manager writing the owner of your franchise, you might classify a series of shifts according to the wait time to persuade the supervi- sor to approve hiring additional personnel for a particular shift.



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(Notice that you could incorporate comparison-contrast strategies to develop that purpose further.) If you were writ- ing a news article for the lunch-hour crowd, however, you would classify several fast-food restaurants according to their wait time during 11 A.M. to 1 P.M. to help readers choose the one best meeting their needs. Other principles of organization on the topic might be store layouts, nutrition, or service. Again, the key is to focus your topic on one principle.

Pages 417–419. These pages present another example of a classification/division essay, “A Brush with Reality: Surprises in the Tube.” Study the graphic organizer for this essay on page 419.

Pages 420–431. Skim through the “Guided Writing Assignment” to reinforce what you’ve read, and note the edit- ing tips on pages 426 and 428. Then read the student essay “Immigration: Legal and Illegal.” Identify the basis or princi- ple of classification, the categories used, and any other patterns of development he integrates into his essay.

Pages 432–437. Read the material on reading a classifica- tion or division essay. Then read “The Dog Ate my Flash Drive, and Other Tales of Woe,” by Carolyn Foster Segal. As you evaluate the essay, keep in mind that the English profes- sor’s essay combines classification with description and illustration. Take a look at the boxed display in page 437 to see the types of support given for each of the five categories, from “Family” to “The Totally Bizarre.”



Self-Check 18

1. Exercise 16.2, on page 415: For the topics “novels” and “academic subjects,” choose a principle of classification or division.

2. Essay “Immigration: Legal and Illegal” on pages 429–431. Respond to all four items under “Thinking Critically.”

3. Classification revision exercise: This exercise has been adapted from “Module 7: Classification and Division Essay” by Camille Willingham of Kennedy-King College.

1. The thesis statement for the essay containing the following paragraph is “One attractive way to have fun exists in the free-admission shopping mall.” What might be the organizing principle and categories for this essay?

2. Identify the topic sentence of the following paragraph and reorganize its sentences into a more coherent, logical order for that topic sentence. Delete any sentences that don’t fit with the topic sentence.

They come to “pick up chicks,” to “meet guys,” and just to “hang out.” Mall managers have obviously made a decision to attract all this teenage activity. The guys saunter by in sneakers, T-shirts, and blue jeans, complete with a package of cigarettes sticking out of a pocket. Traveling in a gang that resembles a wolf pack, the teenagers make the shopping mall their hunting ground. The girls stumble along in high-heeled shoes and daring tank tops, with a hairbrush tucked snugly in the rear pocket of their tight-fitting designer jeans. The kids’ raised voices, loud laughter, and occasional shouted obscenities can be heard from as far as half a mall away.


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Self-Check 18

3. Identify two sentences from the following which could be used as the topic sentences for two supporting paragraphs that develop the thesis.

a. For many people, “fun” involves getting out of the house, seeing other people, having something interesting to look at, and enjoying a choice of activities, all at a reasonable price.

b. The mall provides something special for every member of the family.

c. Mall managers have obviously made a decision to attract all this teenage activity.

d. Couples find fun of another sort at shopping malls.

e. Mom walks through a fabric store, running her hand over the soft velvets and slippery silks.

Check your answers with those in the online Self-Check Answers supplement.



Lesson 6 109

ASSIGNMENT 19: DEFINITION Read the assignment in this study guide. Then read Chapter 17, “Definition.” To test your progress, complete the self-check.

American psychologist and philosopher William James said our consciousness is always engaged in sorting out the “blooming, buzzing confusion” of the sensory world. Language is a vital tool in this struggle to adapt to events and mental impressions. Through language, we share a code that names persons, places, and things and permits people to define rela- tionships among all of these. For example, in the American kinship system, the word uncle is defined as the brother of a person’s mother or father. Words like here or there indicate places. Rose and anvil designate things.

In writing, language may be used to provide extended defini- tions. An extended definition should follow a theme and have a purpose. Consider, for example, the concept of the freegans, which is the topic of one of your readings in this chapter. A simple definition doesn’t suffice for a person who has never heard of a freegan. An extended definition like the one offered by Jan Goodwin in her essay, not only defines the concept, but also describes freegans through extended exam- ples, especially in the case of Leia MonDragon. A surprising finding in the piece is that people who systematically live on the food people throw away are generally quite healthy. As you’ll see, definition is one more pattern of development that may be used alone or in conjunction with others, such as narration or comparing and contrasting.

Pages 440–441. As you can see from the “Quick Start” exercise on page 441, definition requires interpretation. You can’t define something you don’t understand. Because words are our tools for both interpreting and defining things, defini- tions require effective writing.

Pages 442–449. A formal definition (1) states the term, (2) identifies the general nature of the term by placing it in a class, and (3) differentiates the term from other terms in the same class. Identifying the nature of a term and differentiating it may remind you of the classification and division pattern of development. These strategies are part of writing a definition.



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However, defining focuses on a specific term (instead of ana- lyzing the entire category) and identifies the ways the term is unique in that category. For example, while reviewing a stu- dent draft, Jack found himself confused by the way Alana used the term animal in her essay because she seemed to have a more narrow view of the term than he had as a sci- ence major. After discussing the matter, Alana decided to include a definition in her essay so her readers would know what she meant by animal whenever she used it: An animal is a living creature that moves and ingests food through its mouth. The term is animal; it’s placed in the class of living creature and is differentiated from other living creatures according to movement and food ingestion. Although Jack felt her definition was unscientific, he agreed that once he knew what Alana meant, he could better understand her essay.

A definition addresses the reader’s need for clarity. A definition essay focuses solely on the class and differentiating charac- teristics of the term and therefore is considered an extended definition. Of course, your essay must have a point for devel- oping the definition, such as correcting misconceptions some readers might have about the term. An extended-definition essay almost always uses other patterns of development that clarify the uniqueness and the specific nature of the term, particularly through illustrations.

Review the text’s introduction to definition essays, and, before reading the sample essay “Freegans: They Live on What We Throw Away,” skim through the characteristics of this pattern. (Then, study those more closely after reading the essay.)

Read pages 452–453, “Integrating Definitions into an Essay.” Flag page 452 because the instructions establish four kinds of terms you should define no matter what the essay’s purpose or pattern of development is. The need to define technical and abstract terms may be obvious, particularly for an audi- ence unaware of the jargon. Although defining judgmental and controversial terms requires a bit more reflection, they’re perhaps the more important ones to define. For example, if you use the term slow learners in your writing, you need to clarify your use of it because for most readers the term implies a negative judgment. The same applies to words like feminism, which carries different implications (and connota- tions) for different readers.



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By referring to these categories whenever you write some- thing, particularly for the other courses in your degree program, your instructor will see that you understand the concepts and know how to avoid misconceptions.

Pages 451–453. The essay by Mike Crissey, “Dude, Do You Know What You Just Said?” is an amusing and fascinating piece on the evolution of the “dude” concept as our culture becomes increasingly youth centered. Following the essay, be sure to think carefully about integrating definitions into an essay. Think about the four tips on page 452 to differentiate judgmental, technical, abstract, and controversial terms. Study the graphic organizer for the “Dude” essay in Figure 17.2 on page 453.

Pages 454–461. Scan the “Guided Writing Assignment.” Look through all of it but pay special attention to the editing and proofreading tips on pages 460–461.

Pages 461–471. The “Students Write” section for this chap- ter features an essay by Kate Atkinson, “Guerilla Street Art: A New Use of Public Space,” on pages 461–463. Note the high- lighted words and passages in the essay while you analyze the reading. Having done that, proceed to the section under “Reading Definitions” before you read and analyze the rather disturbing essay by Jessica Ramirez on pages 466–469, “The Appeal—and Danger—of War Porn.” You’ll want to spend some time thinking about the messages conveyed by the shocking photo on page 468.

Required Journal Entry 10: Definition

Read the definition of plagiarism, including deliberate and accidental plagiarism, on page 150 in The Little, Brown Essential Handbook.

Define: Prior to reading the definition in the textbook, what did you believe plagiarism meant? Explain where your definition matched or fell short of the textbook’s definition. (1 paragraph, 6 sentences)

Reflect: How does this knowledge change the way you approach your coursework? (1 paragraph, 6 sentences)



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Self-Check 19

1. Exercise 17.1, on page 448: Define two of the five terms.

2. Exercise 17.2, on page 448: Based on Exercise 17.1, write an explanation for how you might use other patterns of development in an extended definition.

3. Exercise 17.4, on page 449: Following the instructions for the exercise, respond to items 1 (dance) and 4 (a term related to an academic course), being sure you correct misconceptions and use negation in an extended definition.

4. After reviewing the essay by Jessica Ramirez on pages 466–469, respond to all four items under “Examining the Reading.” Then turn to page 470 and respond to all six items under “Thinking Critically about Text and Images.”

5. Word-choice revision exercise: In each of the following items, correct errors in word choice, including everyday expressions, slang, and other informal terms.

a. My family lived in Trinidad for the first ten years of my life, and we went through a lot; but when we came to America, we thought we had it made.

b. Only recently have ladies landed seats on the Supreme Court.

c. The Democrats are plotting and conspiring on a new education bill.

d. Last night, a group of firemen came into the emergency room with minor scrapes and burns.

e. Every doctor in the emergency room performs his job under tremendous pressure.

f. The totally weird practice of trepanation, which involves drilling a hole in a person’s skull, has found modern supporters in today’s society.

g. Ancient people may have used trepanation to relieve pressure from head injuries, or perhaps it is possible that they thought it was a headache cure.

h. We’re not talking about accidents here; these holes were intentionally drilled.

i. Trepanation supporters are perhaps not playing with a full deck, but they insist that having a hole drilled in one’s skull produces a permanent euphoria.

j. The International Trepanation Advocacy Group is aware of the fact that many people find trepanation very uniquely disturbing.

Check your answers with those in the online Self-Check Answers supplement.



Lesson 6 113

ASSIGNMENT 20: CAUSE AND EFFECT Read the assignment in this study guide. Then read Chapter 18, “Cause and Effect.” To test your progress, complete the self- check.

Isaac Newton’s third law of motion, based on scientific principles, states that for every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. “The price of Bride Electronics stock will rise if the company merges with Canberra Enterprises.” This statement is an opinion, probably based on research and prior learning. “Whenever I watch The Wizard of Oz, I think of my childhood in Kansas.” This statement refers to a sub- jective response to a film and applies to only one individual. Each statement, in its own way, is an example of cause and effect.

Pages 472–473. Imagination is among any writer’s most valuable tools. In this “Quick Start” exercise, your assign- ment is to imagine what led to the scene in the photo on page 472. What could have been the cause, or sequence of causes, that led to this apparent disaster? Consider several possible scenarios.

Page 474. A cause-and-effect essay, also called a causal analysis, is sometimes intended as an argument that sup- ports a set of observations, identifying a particular cause or sequence of causes. In other cases, a causal analysis is intended to inform readers. Read the information in this section as an introduction to this pattern of development.

Pages 475–477. Read “Can Diet Help Stop Depression and Violence?” by Jurriaan Kamp.

Pages 477–482. The characteristics of properly written cause-and-effect essays are explained. Note that effects may have multiple causes. Poverty, for example, results from factors (variables) that can include age, parent education, quality of education, and racial discrimination, to name a few. But apparent causes may be misleading. For example, if ice cream consumption is statistically related to higher crime rates, one could conclude that ice cream promotes criminal



English Composition114

behavior when, in fact, it’s warmer temperatures that are among the causal factors leading to both higher crime rates and higher levels of ice-cream consumption.

There are three general approaches in a causal analysis. First, a cause-and-effect essay may focus on one or more causes with respect to an effect, or it may explore how a cause, such as poor health in children, may produce multiple effects, such as poor reading skills, absenteeism, and disrup- tive behavior. Second, an essay may explore chains of events. For example, low self-esteem in a child may produce asocial behavior. Asocial behavior, in turn, may lead to delinquency, and so on. A third approach may explore multiple causes and effects. Figures 18.1, 18.2, and 18.3 are graphic organizers for cause-and-effect essays.

Pages 496–498. Read the “Students Write” essay, “An Early Start,” by Harley Tong. The author specifies the causes for his decision to leave high school and move on to community college. Be sure to appraise the essay following the steps on page 498.

Pages 498–509. Under the heading “Reading Cause-and- Effect Essays,” you’ll encounter two essays. After working through the material on “Working with Text” and “Thinking Critically about Cause and Effect,” read the causal analysis essay by Courtney E. Martin on pages 500–502. “Why Class Matters in Campus Activism” raises thorny questions. The springboard question is this: Why is student activism so much more robust in the United Kingdom than it is in the United States? In partial response to that question, you’ll be challenged to think about the role of social class in either country. And you may wonder why British students are more tuned in to basic economic and social inequality issues.

The second essay, “Hitting the ‘Granite Wall,’” by Gary M. Stern, raises another social issue. Why is it the case that white Americans are disproportionately represented in cor- porate management? What factors work against blacks, Hispanics, and Asians? You’ll have an opportunity to explore those questions as you examine and analyze the essay.



Lesson 6 115

Self-Check 20

1. Exercise 18.1, on page 478: List one or more causes for each of the five events.

2. Exercise 18.2, on page 478: List one or more possible effects for each of the five events.

3. Exercise 18.3, on page 485: Draw a graphic organizer for “Can Diet Help Stop Depression and Violence,” on pages 475–477. Use Figure 18.3 on page 482 as a model, listing various research studies as causes and then outcomes as effects.

4. After reviewing the “Students Write” essay by Harley Tong on pages 496–497, turn to page 498. Respond to all three items under “Thinking Critically about Cause and Effect.”

5. After reviewing “Hitting the ‘Granite Wall’” on pages 503–506, turn to page 507 and respond to all three items under “Reacting to the Reading.”

Check your answers with those in the online Self-Check Answers supplement.

Required Journal Entry 11: Cause and Effect

Brainstorm: List the causes that made you decide to return to school. Then add the short-term effects your decision has had on your life in the present. Finally, include the long-term effects you hope your decision will have on your future.

Organize: Review the graphic organizers from pages 481–482 in your Successful College Writing textbook. Choose the organizer that you think would best present the information you brain- stormed to an audience of your fellow Penn Foster classmates and arrange your content using that format. Remember to include a thesis statement in your graphic organizer. (Length open)



English Composition116






For this exam, you’ll choose one of the assigned topics and write an outline or graphic organizer to plan and develop your information before you begin to draft your essay.

The information you use to prepare your graphic organizer should be based on your own knowledge and experience of your subject. If you do research or incorporate information that’s not considered common knowledge into your prewriting, you must cite it according to MLA format. Refer to Chapters 22–23 in Successful College Writing or Chapters 39–40 in The Little, Brown Essential Handbook.


For this exam, you’ll

n Identify the steps in the writing process

n Use prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing to write formal, college-level essays

n Distinguish among different patterns of development

n Apply an appropriate pattern of development to a specific purpose and audience

n Write effective thesis statements

n Develop paragraphs using topic sentences, adequate detail, supporting evidence, and transitions

n Apply the conventions of standard written American English to produce correct, well-written essays

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Lesson 6 Prewriting—Classification and Division





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You will choose one of the following topic areas. Review the graphic organizer on page 416 in your textbook. The graphic organizer that you create doesn’t need to have boxed outlines or arrows, but it should show your organization.

Choose one of the following topics, and divide it into classes.

n Sports—general, types of fans, or influence on culture

n Genres of movies, television shows, or video games

n Social media or networking sites and applications

n Places you’ve lived, visited, or vacationed

As an example, following is a graphic organizer for the topic “Types of Food.”



Examination, Lesson 6 119

Title: Types of Food

Topic announcement: Restaurants

Introduction Background: Dieting is more difficult when eating out.

Thesis statement: Watching one’s diet is far more difficult when dining out, especially when eating out more than eating at home.

Burger King and McDonald’s; Burgers and fries, basic kind of chain everyone is familiar with; too much sodium.

Taco Bell: Mexican and other cultural restaurants; Drive-thru Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts: Coffee and donuts,

on-the-run convenience

Good things: Convenience, speed, consistency, usually friendly, clean, and open most of the time. Bad issues: Salt, fat, sometimes not clean, sometimes staffed by teens or others that don’t

Body Paragraphs seem to really care.

Outback: Popular steak and potato chain

Olive Garden: Italian; Chinese: good food, relatively inexpensive

Sit-down Good things: Once again, chains are familiar, consistent, and have standards to meet. Bad issues: Often processed, microwaved food. Portions are too large.

Silver diners or bowling alley: Family style and greasy spoons, but when you want to spend time

Homestyle/fancy with friends, this is where you go.

Five-star dining: Has a reputation for special occasions

Local hangouts are inexpensive but often serve large portions and fried food. Expensive places may serve smaller portions but may add high-

Conclusion calorie sauces.

Every type of eating establishment has pitfalls for a dieter. There are trade-offs for convenience, price, companionship, and enjoyment of special occasions.

Essays must be typed, double-spaced, using a standard 12-point font and left justification. Use 1-inch margins at the top and bottom and 1.25-inch margins for the left and right sides of the document. Each page must have a properly formatted header containing your name, student number, exam number, page number, mailing address, and email address (see page 6 for an example). Name each document using your student number first, then the six-digit lesson num- ber, and finally your last name (for example, 23456789_050177 Doe). Save each as “File Type: Rich Text Format,” regardless of your word-processing program.



Examination, Lesson 6120

Submitting Your Assignment

To submit the assignment, follow these steps:

1. Type the graphic organizer.

2. Save the document.

3. Go to your Student Portal.

4. Go to My Courses.

5. Find the section for this project, and click on the Take Exam icon.

6. That will bring up a Browse menu. You must then find where you’ve saved your work in your computer. The organizer should have been saved under your student number_exam number_last name_first name. Your exam number for this assignment is 25048700.

7. Click on the exam, and then click on Open.

8. Enter a correct email address.

9. Click on Upload file. There’s no need to worry about the project sheet. The instructor will add one for you.

10. You’ll receive an email within 24 hours that tells you the exam has been received. You’ll notice a label indicating RCD on your record next to that exam until a grade is posted. Exams are evaluated within five days of receipt, although sometimes they’re evaluated sooner. You’ll receive the evaluation and exam with comments from an instructor by clicking on View Exam Results once you see your grade posted.

If you choose to mail the project, here’s the address:

Penn Foster Student Service Center 925 Oak Street Scranton, PA 18515-0001

Evaluation Rubric Your instructor will evaluate your prewriting based on the following criteria.

The Penn Foster Student Service Center is under contract with Penn Foster College.




Examination, Lesson 6 121

Please note that any numerical grade indicated on this evaluation won’t be posted. This assignment will be graded as either Pass or Return.

Skill Realized 100–85

Skill Developing


Skill Emerging


Skill Not Shown 59–0

Ideas and Content: The writer chose one of the assigned topics and included all the required introductory information—a topic, background statement, and thesis statement. The thesis statement makes a claim or takes a position on the topic. The writer included at least three main points on the topic, with at least three supporting elements for each. The main points connect clearly to and support the thesis statement. The conclusion reinforced the thesis statement.

Organization: The writer used an outline or graphic organizer format and arranged the main points in a logical order to suit the claim made in the thesis statement. The support- ing elements provided for each main point are relevant and adequately illustrate the classification and/or division pattern of development for the chosen topic.

General Correctness: The writer used a spell-checker and proofread the paper to check for errors in word choice and typos. The paper is rea- sonably free of errors that interfere with a reader’s ability to understand the content.

Format: The writer used the required font, line spacing, and margins and included the required information in the header at the top of the paper.

Exam number: Exam Grade: Date of evaluation: Evaluated by: Process Analysis Prewriting Evaluation: Pass or Return for Revision Instructions for Revision: Instructions for the Classification and/or Division Essay:

Important note: Along the right-hand side of your evaluated exam, you should see marginal or “bubble” comments from your instructor. You should also see a series of highlighted numbers in the evaluation chart identifying the rating you earned on each trait. If you don’t see this feedback, click on the View tab and Print Layout, or click on Review and the option Final Showing Markup. If you still can’t see the feedback, please contact the school for the com- plete evaluation.

Classification and Division Prewriting Evaluation: Pass or Return for Revision



Examination, Lesson 6122





Before you begin the examination, please read pages 432–438 in your Successful College Writing textbook.

OBJECTIVE To prepare 1,200–1,500-word classification and division essay based on your graphic organizer

Objectives For this exam, you’ll

n Identify the steps in the writing process

n Use prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing to write formal, college-level essays

n Distinguish among different patterns of development

n Apply an appropriate pattern of development to a specific purpose and audience

n Write effective thesis statements

n Develop paragraphs using topic sentences, adequate detail, supporting evidence, and transitions

n Apply the conventions of standard written American English to produce correct, well-written essays

Topic Use your topic from the previous classification and division assignment. Don’t switch topics. You’ll develop your essay from the graphic organizer you submitted for your previous assignment. Your topic should be one of the following:

n Sports—general, types of fans, or influence on culture

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Lesson 7 Essay—Classification and Division





Examination, Lesson 7124

n Genres of movies, television shows, or video games

n Social media or networking sites and applications

n Places you’ve lived, visited, or vacationed

Note: You may not submit this essay until you’ve received your grade and instructor feedback on your prewriting exam.

While you’re waiting for your prewriting, you should

n Review the reading assignments for Lesson 6.


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