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General Books on Writing Style &/or Mechanics

Need some guidance on the mechanics or style of writing?

These books provide some great advice:

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10 Steps in Writing the Research Paper - Peter T. Markman; Alison L. Heney; Roberta H. Markman; Marie L. Waddell
Call Number: PE 1478 .M3 2011 c.1-2
Updated to conform to today's academic standards and the most recent Internet research sources, this succinct, easy-to-follow guide gives students clear directions for writing papers in virtually all academic subjects. The authors describe how to determine a subject, formulate and outline a provisional thesis, prepare a bibliography, take notes from sources, write a draft, then revise and edit the paper, bringing it to its final form. Added advice includes avoiding plagiarism and making the most of library and Internet resources.

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Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen - Mary Norris
Call Number: PE 1450 .N67 2015
Mary Norris has spent more than three decades in The New Yorker's copy department, maintaining its celebrated high standards. Now she brings her vast experience, good cheer, and finely sharpened pencils to help the rest of us in a boisterous language book as full of life as it is of practical advice.

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Eats, Shoots and Leaves: the Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation - Lynne Truss
Call Number: PE 1450 .T75 2004
We all know the basics of punctuation. Or do we? A look at most neighborhood signage tells a different story. Through sloppy usage and low standards on the internet, in email, and now text messages, we have made proper punctuation an endangered species.

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The Elements of Style - William Strunk; E. B. White
Call Number: PE 1408 .S772 2000
This book has conveyed the principles of English style to millions of readers. Use the fourth edition of "the little book" to make a big impact with writing. William Strunk, Jr. first used his own book, The Elements of Style, in 1919 for his English 8 course at Cornell University. The book was published in 1935 by Oliver Strunk. E. B. White was a student in Professor Strunk's class at Cornell, and used "the little book" for himself. Commissioned by Macmillan to revise Strunk's book, White edited the 1959 and 1972 editions of The Elements of Style.

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Excuse Me, Your Participle's Dangling - Catherine DePino
Call Number: PE 1313 .D47 2013
Excuse Me, Your Participle’s Dangling will give you all the bare essentials of grammar that you need to write like a pro. The book also offers a simple yet foolproof method of writing under pressure, the key to success in any college program or workplace. If you’re a businessperson, college student, or ESL student seeking a user-friendly grammar book that aims to make you a better writer, this book is for you!

The Hodges Harbrace Handbook, 2009 MLA Update Edition - Cheryl Glenn; Loretta Gray
Call Number: RefDesk PE 1112 .H6 2010

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How to Not Write Bad - Ben Yagoda
Call Number: PE 1408 .Y38 2013
According to Ben Yagoda's website, "This book is based largely on my twenty years experience teaching writing at the University of Delaware. I've noticed that a relatively small list of mistakes and problems accounted for the vast majority of the comments and corrections I make on my students' work. The book is an explanation of these problem spots, and a guide to getting them out of your writing."

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In the World - John H. Timmerman; Donald R. Hettinga
Call Number: PE 1417 .T58 2004
Good writing "doesn't just happen," say the authors. It takes work and a basic understanding of rhetorical situations. "Whatever our goals, we want readers to be affected by our writing," they assert. "The work of writing clarifies who we are in relation to both God and the world about us." In the World equips readers to become better writers. It also introduces quality writing with over sixty classic and contemporary selections from numerous writers, including Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, John Donne, Henri Nouwen, Walter Wangerin Jr., and Charles Darwin. This second edition contains a completely updated and revised rhetoric section and added contemporary essays that represent a broad range of ethnicity, gender, and point of view.

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Making Sense: a Student's Guide to Research and Writing - Margot Northey; Joan McKibbin
Call Number: LB 2369 .N67 2012
This wonderful resource for writers "outlines the general principles of style, grammar, and usage, while covering such topics as how to conduct academic research, how to write essays, and how to properly document sources. Concise and accessible, with new information on technology-based research and group presentations, this latest edition continues to be an invaluable resource for students throughout their academic careers and beyond." -- from publisher

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The Modern Researcher - Henry F. Graff; Jacques Barzun
Call Number: LB 2369 .B28 2004
This classic introduction to the techniques of research and the art of expression is used widely in history courses, but is also appropriate for writing and research methods courses in other departments. Barzun and Graff thoroughly cover every aspect of research, from the selection of a topic through the gathering, analysis, writing, revision, and publication of findings presenting the process not as a set of rules but through actual cases that put the subtleties of research in a useful context. Part One covers the principles and methods of research; Part Two covers writing, speaking, and getting one's work published.

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Rhetorical Grammar - Martha J. Kolln; Loretta S. Gray
Call Number: PE 1408 .K696 2010
Rhetorical Grammar encourages writers to recognize and use the grammatical and stylistic choices available to them and to understand the rhetorical effects those choices can have on their readers. Rhetorical Grammar is a writer's grammar - a text that presents grammar as a rhetorical tool, avoiding the do's and don'ts so long associated with the study of grammar. It reveals to writers the system of grammar that they know subconsciously and encourages them to use that knowledge to understand their choices as writers and the effects of those choices on their readers. Besides providing key strategies for revision,Rhetorical Grammar presents systematic discussions of reader expectation, sentence rhythm and cohesion, subordination and coordination, punctuation, modification, diction, and other principles.

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The Rowman and Littlefield Guide to Writing with Sources - James P. Davis
Call Number: PE 1478 .D37 2012
The Rowman & Littlefield Guide to Writing with Sources offers the most thorough and up-to-date discussion of plagiarism and the proper use of sources available today. The new edition incorporates the latest revisions to MLA, CSE, and CMS styles and the lexicon of electronic materials. This succinct and accessible handbook helps writers of all levels to assess, quote, cite, and present information from a variety of sources, including electronic and Internet sources. It features samples, updated throughout, of writing and style sheets, as well as a checklist for quoting and paraphrasing, to help strengthen writing in any field.

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Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace - Joseph M. Williams; Gregory G. Colomb
Call Number: PE 1421 .W545 2010
Williams own clear, accessible style models the kind of writing that audiences both in college and after will admire. The principles offered here help writers understand what readers expect and encourage writers to revise to meet those expectations more effectively. This book is all you need to understand the principles of effective writing.

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Teaching Writing As Reflective Practice - George Hillocks
Call Number: PE 1404 .H56 1995
George Hillocks, Jr. starts with the basic assumption that writing is at the heart of education, and provides a metatheory to respond to this question: "What is involved in the effective teaching of writing at the secondary and college freshmen levels?" The author outlines a variety of theories, explains the bridges between them, and provides a coherent theoretical basis for thinking about the teaching of writing. This concern with theory and research is offset by his attention to the practical matters of the classroom; teachers are shown how to plan activities and sequences of activities that are appropriate for students who are within Vygotsky's "zone of proximal development".

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They Say / I Say - Gerald Graff; Cathy Birkenstein; Russel Durst
Call Number: PE 1431 .G73 2012
They Say / I Say demystifies academic writing by identifying its key rhetorical moves, the most important of which is to summarize what others have said ("they say") to set up one's own argument ("I say"). The book also provides templates to help students make these key moves in their own writing.

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Tools Students Need to Be Skillful Writers - Phyllis Hostmeyer
Call Number: Oversz LB 1576 .H673 2013
Includes information and activities for students to learn parts of speech, sentence patterns, and sentence combining, as well as practice for short writing assignments, and essays.

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Writing That Makes Sense - David S. Hogsette
Call Number: PE 1408 .H63 2009
Writing That Makes Sense takes students through the basics of the writing process and critical thinking, and it teaches them how to write various types of academic essays they are likely to encounter in their academic careers.

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Writing Well in the 21st Century - Linda Spencer
Writing Well in the 21st Century: The Five Essentials provides students, career-builders, and professional writers with the basic elements needed for writing in the 21st century.

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Writing with Style - John R. Trimble
Call Number: PE 1408 .T69 2011
This bestselling brief text is for anyone who needs tips to improve writing. Writing with Style is storehouse of practical writing tips--written in a lively, conversational style. This text providesinsight into: how to generate interesting ideas and get them down on paper; how to write a critical analysis; how to write a crisp opener; how to invigorate a dull style; how to punctuate with confidence; how to handle various conventions--and much more.


Discipline-Specific Guides on Writing Style &/or Mechanics

Need some writing guidance in a new discipline?

Information about style and mechanics may be available in your discipline's style manual.

Visit our Citing Sources page to find out how to access these style guides.


Here are a few other titles that may be helpful:

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The Associated Press Stylebook 2014 - Associated Press Staff (Editor)
Call Number: StyleMnl PN 4783 .A83 2014
The style of the Associated Press is the gold standard of news writing. With The AP Stylebook in hand, you can learn to write with the clarity and professionalism for which the Associated Press is famous.

Request this item at the Check-Out Desk.

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Writing about Literature - Edgar V. Roberts
Call Number: PE 1479 .C7 R59 2005
Writing about Literature serves as a hands-on guide for writing about literature, thus justifying the integration of literature and composition. The reading of literature encourages students to think, and the use of literary topics gives instructors a viable way to combine writing and literary study.

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The Handbook of Technical Writing - Gerald J. Alred; Charles T. Brusaw; Walter E. Oliu
Call Number: T 11 .B78 2015
From formal reports and manuals to everyday e-mails, The Handbook of Technical Writing uses smart, accessible language to spotlight and clarify technical writing today. Hundreds of topic entries, 90+ sample documents, at-a-glance checklists, and dynamic videos break down the best-practices, models, and real-world skills that successful writers use to clearly and persuasively communicate technical information and data.

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Pocket Guide to Technical Communication - William S. Pfeiffer
Call Number: PE 1475 .P465 2011
The Pocket Guide to Technical Communication is a handy reference for on-the-job business, technical and scientific writing. Its brief format provides quick, easy-to-read answers to common writing problems. Filled with examples, it features samples of every major document type and emphasizes quality and planning throughout.

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Business Writing in the Digital Age - Natalie Canavor
Call Number: HF 5781.3 .C365 2012
Business Writing in the Digital Age fills an urgent need to equip business and MBA students to write more effectively in a style that works for today's business world. Using a readable, highly accessible approach and numerous concrete examples, this book frames writing as a strategic tool to accomplish goals. Readers learn a step-by-step system that tells them what to say, and how to say it in every circumstance. At the same time they learn how to improve their technical skills by applying practical techniques rather than grammatical rules.

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How to Write a Business Plan - Mike McKeever
Call Number: HD 30.28 .M3839 2012
Need to write a business plan for the first time? This wonderful resource will get you started by providing ideas for sources of capital, drafting your resume, determining gain and loss forecasts, writing marketing plans, and more. Sample business plans for are provided for small service companies, manufacturing businesses, and product development. Check it out!

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A Pocket Guide to Writing in History - Mary Lynn Rampolla
Call Number: StyleMnl D 13 .R295 2012
An essential writing, reading, and research tool for all history students,A Pocket Guide to Writing in History offers a best-selling combination of concise yet comprehensive advice in a portable and accessible format. This quick-reference guide provides a practical introduction to typical history assignments, exercising critical reading skills, evaluating and documenting sources, writing effective history papers, conducting research, and avoiding plagiarism. Building on its time-tested approach, the seventh edition offers expanded, hands-on guidance for writing and researching in the digital age, and additional coverage on working with primary and secondary sources.

Request this item at the Check-Out Desk.

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A Student's Guide to History - Jules R. Benjamin
Call Number: StyleMnl D 16.3 .B4 2010
A Student’s Guide to History provides the practical help students need to be effective in their history courses. In addition to introducing students to the nature of the discipline, it teaches a wide range of skills from preparing for exams to approaching common writing assignments, and it explains the research and documentation process using numerous examples throughout. With clear and accessible advice, A Student’s Guide to History is an indispensable resource for history students.

Request this item at the Check-Out Desk.

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Writing History in the Digital Age - Jack Dougherty; Kristen Nawrotzki
Call Number: D 16.12 .W75 2013
Writing History in the Digital Age began as an experiment by posing a question: How have Internet technologies influenced how historians think, teach, author, and publish? To illustrate their answer, the contributors agreed to share the stages of their book-in-progress as it was constructed on the public web. The finished product now presents 20 essays from a wide array of notable scholars, each examining (and then breaking apart and reexamining) if and how digital and emergent technologies have changed the historical profession.

The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation
Call Number: StyleMnl KF 245 .B58 2010
Request this item at the Check-Out Desk.

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Point Made: How to Write Like the Nation's Top Advocates - Ross Guberman
Call Number: KF 251 .G83 2014
With Point Made, legal writing expert, Ross Guberman, throws a life preserver to attorneys, who are under more pressure than ever to produce compelling prose. What is the strongest opening for a motion or brief? How to draft winning headings? How to tell a persuasive story when the record is dry and dense? The answers are "more science than art," says Guberman, who has analyzed stellar arguments by distinguished attorneys to develop step-by-step instructions for achieving the results you want. The author takes an empirical approach, drawing heavily on the writings of the nation's 50 most influential lawyers, including Barack Obama, John Roberts, Elena Kagan, Ted Olson, and David Boies. Their strategies, demystified and broken down into specific, learnable techniques, become a detailed writing guide full of practical models.

How to Write Mathematics - Norman E. Steenrod
Call Number: QA 41 .H6 1981

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A Guide to Writing as an Engineer - David F. Beer; David McMurrey; Beer; David A. McMurrey
Call Number: T 11 .B396 2009
This invaluable resource guides engineers through the technical writing issues that they must know in order to succeed in the field. The third edition includes numerous new examples integrated throughout the chapters that illustrate content, organization, and format of different types of documents. Discussions are included on plagiarism, ethics, and citing material properly. In order to accomplish this, the IEEE system of documenting sources is presented.

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Scientific Writing = Thinking in Words - David Lindsay
Call Number: T 11 .L5286 2011
Telling people about research is just as important as doing it. But many researchers, who, in all other respects, are competent scientists, are afraid of writing. They are wary of the unwritten rules, the unspoken dogma and the inexplicably complex style, all of which seem to pervade conventional thinking about scientific writing. This book has been written to expose these phantoms as largely smoke and mirrors, and replace them with principles that make communicating research easier and encourage researchers to write confidently. It presents a way of thinking about writing that emulates the way good scientists think about research. It concentrates on the structure of articles, rather than simply on grammar and syntax. So, it is an ideal reference for researchers preparing articles for scientific journals, posters, conference presentations, reviews and popular articles; for students preparing theses; and for researchers whose first language is not English. Scientific Writing = Thinking in Words expounds principles that produce scientific articles in a wide range of disciplines that are focused, concise and, best of all, easy to write and read. As one senior scientist observed, This book not only made me a better writer; it made me a better scientist .

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Taking Science to the People - Carolyn Johnsen (Editor)
Call Number: Q 223 .T35 2010
The American public, government, and the news media continually grapple with myriad policy issues related to science and technology. Those issues include global warming, energy, stem-cell research, health care, childhood autism, food safety, and genetics, to name but a few. When the public is informed on such topics, chances improve for reasoned policy decisions. Journalists have typically bridged the gap between scientists and the public, but the times now call for more engagement from the experts. The authors in this collection write convincingly about why scientists and engineers should shake off their ivory-tower reticence and take science to the people. Taking Science to the People calls on scientists and engineers to polish their writing and speaking skills in order to communicate more clearly about their work to the public, policy makers, and reporters who cover science.

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Writing and Speaking in the Technology Professions - David F. Beer (Editor)
Call Number: Oversz T 11 .W75 2003
An updated edition of the classic guide to technical communication. Consider that 20 to 50 percent of a technology professional's time is spent communicating with others. Whether writing a memo, preparing a set of procedures, or making an oral presentation, effective communication is vital to your professional success. This anthology delivers concrete advice from the foremost experts on how to communicate more effectively in the workplace. The revised and expanded second edition of this popular book completely updates the original, providing authoritative guidance on communicating via modern technology in the contemporary work environment. Two new sections on global communication and the Internet address communicating effectively in the context of increased e-mail and web usage. As in the original, David Beer's Second Edition discusses a variety of approaches, such as: * Writing technical documents that are clear and effective * Giving oral presentations more confidently * Using graphics and other visual aids judiciously * Holding productive meetings * Becoming an effective listener.

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Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes - Robert M. Emerson; Rachel I. Fretz; Linda L. Shaw
Call Number: GN 307.7 .E44 2011
In Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes, Robert M. Emerson, Rachel I. Fretz, and Linda L. Shaw present a series of guidelines, suggestions, and practical advice for creating useful fieldnotes in a variety of settings, demystifying a process that is often assumed to be intuitive and impossible to teach. Using actual unfinished notes as examples, the authors illustrate options for composing, reviewing, and working fieldnotes into finished texts. They discuss different organizational and descriptive strategies and show how transforming direct observations into vivid descriptions results not simply from good memory but from learning to envision scenes as written. A good ethnographer, they demonstrate, must learn to remember dialogue and movement like an actor, to see colors and shapes like a painter, and to sense moods and rhythms like a poet.

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Writing the Community: Concepts and Models for Service Learning in Composition - Linda Adler-Kassner (Editor); Robert Crooks (Editor); Ann Watters (Editor)
Call Number: PE 1405 .U6 W765 2006
The first volume in AAHE and Campus Compact's series on service-learning in the disciplines, the book discusses the microrevolution in college-level Composition through service-learning. The essays in this volume show why service-learning and communication are a natural pairing and give a background on the relationship between service-learning and communication with maps to suggest where it should go in the future.

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Your Guide to Writing Quality Research Papers for Students of Religion and Theology - Nancy Jean Vyhmeister; Terry Dwain Robertson
Call Number: BL 41 .V94 2014
Taking students through all phases of writing a research paper, this book has become a standard reference text for writing research papers in the fields of religion and theology with new material focused on internet research.


Teaching Writing

Do you teach writing or a Writing-Intensive Course?

You may also find these titles interesting:

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Because Digital Writing Matters - National Writing Project Staff; Dànielle Nicole DeVoss; Elyse Eidman-Aadahl; Troy Hicks
Call Number: PE 1404 .B43 2010
How to effectively apply digital writing skills in the classroom, from the prestigious National Writing Project. A debate has arisen on how and whether digital writing should be taught and what skills should be expected of students. As many teachers know, students may be very adept at text messaging, and communicating online, but do not know how to craft a basic essay. In the classroom, students are increasingly required to create web-based or multi-media productions that also include writing. Since writing in and for the online realm often defies standard writing conventions, this book defines digital writing and examines how best to integrate new technologies into writing instruction.

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Becoming a Teacher - Robert W. Blake; Brett Elizabeth Blake
Call Number: LB 1707 .B53 2012
Becoming a Teacher provides "a cross-disciplinary approach linking elements of narrative theory to all aspects of pre- and in-service teaching. In essence, it embraces the notion that what teachers say matters. The rationale behind this text is the idea that narrative can not only be a conceptual lens through which a particular discipline can be re-examined, but also an aid to help preservice teachers understand the potential importance of personal experience and reflective ways of knowing as they learn to become teachers."

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Getting It in Writing - Deborah M. Stankevich
Call Number: LB 1576 .G4435 2011
Sixteen teachers. Sixteen journeys. All on a quest to become outstandingteachers of writing. All taking different paths to acquire and hone those skillsthat make a teacher effective. From kindergarten to college, teachers are facedwith the daunting task of instilling the art of writing in their students. Fromcreative writing to research, the art of writing incorporates the writing process tocreate the inking of our thinking. These 16 teachers from across the nation havetraveled a long and arduous path to seek and to reach for the methods andstrategies that will make them successful writing teachers. This is their stories.

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Power, Resistance, and Literacy - Julie A. Gorlewski
Call Number: LB 1631 .G655 2011
By incorporating inquiry and dialogue, this theoretical framework opens a space where resistance can be revealed and examined. In this case, the study exposed glimmers of resistance, spaces in the structure of schooling where students and teachers critique the system and suggest ways of subverting the negative effects of the neoliberal reforms through dialogic, empowering, culturally responsive pedagogies. This book would interest teacher educators, teachers, and school administrators.

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Rehearsing New Roles - Lee Ann Carroll
Call Number: PE 1404 .C346 2002
In Rehearsing New Roles: How College Students Develop as Writers, Lee Ann Carroll argues for a developmental perspective to counter the fantasy held by many college faculty that students should, or could, be taught to write once so that ever after, they can write effectively on any topic, any place, any time. Carroll demonstrates in this volume why a one- or two-semester, first-year course in writing cannot meet all the needs of even more experienced writers. She then shows how students' complex literacy skills develop slowly, often idiosyncratically, over the course of their college years, as they choose or are coerced to take on new roles as writers. As evidence, Carroll offers a longitudinal study of a group of students and the literacy environment they experienced in a midsize, independent university. Her study follows the experiences that altered their conception of writing in college and fostered their growing capacities as writers.

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Writing to Teach; Writing to Learn in Higher Education - Susan Leist
Call Number: PE 1404 .M657 2006
Writing to Teach; Writing to Learn in Higher Education is a comprehensive guide for professors seeking to integrate writing-across-the-curriculum principles into their pedagogy. Through the exploration of theory and practice, treating both pre-writing techniques and classical rhetorical patterns as heuristics, Leist outlines the process of incorporating writing into a curriculum. The text includes appendices with sample checklists, a master scoring rubric, and examples of syllabi and individual assignments. From beginning to end, Writing to Teach; Writing to Learn in Higher Education helps prepare professors to use writing as an intrinsic part of their curriculum.


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