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The Wadsworth Handbook Review: How to Improve Your Writing Skills with This Book



The Wadsworth Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for College Writing




If you are a college student who wants to improve your writing skills, you might be looking for a reliable and helpful resource that can guide you through every aspect of academic writing. You might have heard of The Wadsworth Handbook, a popular and widely used book that covers everything from writing effective essays, paragraphs, and sentences to documenting sources and designing web pages. But what exactly is this handbook, how can you use it effectively, and why should you choose it over other similar books? In this article, we will answer these questions and more, so that you can decide if The Wadsworth Handbook is the right book for you.




by laurie g kirszner the wadsworth handbook 10th edition


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What is The Wadsworth Handbook?




The Wadsworth Handbook is a comprehensive and practical guide for college writing that was first published in 1986 by Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen R. Mandell, two best-selling authors who are well known nationally for their expertise in teaching writing. The book is currently in its tenth edition, which was published in 2013 by Cengage Learning. It has 864 pages and is available in hardcover, paperback, and ebook formats.


The authors and their credentials




Laurie G. Kirszner is a professor of English at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, where she has taught composition, literature, creative writing, and scientific writing for over 35 years. She has a PhD in English from the University of Pennsylvania and has published numerous articles, essays, textbooks, and anthologies on various topics related to writing. She has also received several awards for her teaching excellence.


Stephen R. Mandell is a professor of English at Drexel University in Philadelphia, where he has taught composition, literature, business writing, technical writing, and journalism for over 40 years. He has a PhD in English from the University of Pennsylvania and has published many books, articles, essays, textbooks, and anthologies on various topics related to writing. He has also received several awards for his teaching excellence.


Kirszner and Mandell have collaborated on writing best-selling books for nearly every English market since 1981. They have the deepest publishing record of any literature anthology author team and have successfully published up and down the curriculum from developmental to literature. Some of their most popular books include Patterns for College Writing, Foundations First, Writing First, Focus on Writing, Literature, Literature for Composition, and Portable Literature.


The main features and benefits of the handbook




The Wadsworth Handbook is designed to be the essential tool for any college student who wants to produce sound academic writing, introducing them to the principles of college writing in the twenty-first century. Some of the main features and benefits of the handbook are:



  • It covers a wide range of topics, from writing effective essays, paragraphs, and sentences to documenting sources and designing web pages, providing clear and concise explanations, examples, exercises, checklists, and tips for each topic.



  • It is tailored to the way students study and learn, offering flexible and accessible content that can be used in any order, at any level, and for any purpose.



  • It is updated and relevant, reflecting the latest trends and developments in college writing, such as digital literacy, visual rhetoric, multimodal composition, plagiarism prevention, and citation styles.



  • It is student-friendly and instructor-friendly, featuring a colorful and engaging design, a user-friendly layout, a comprehensive index, a glossary of terms, and cross-references throughout the book.



  • It is accompanied by online resources and tools that enhance the learning experience, such as InfoTrac Student Collections, an online library of academic articles; CengageNOWv2, an online learning platform that provides personalized feedback and practice; MindTap, an online learning solution that integrates the handbook with interactive activities and assignments; and Aplia, an online homework system that improves writing skills and outcomes.



The target audience and purpose of the handbook




The Wadsworth Handbook is intended for college students of any major, level, or background who want to improve their writing skills for academic, personal, or professional purposes. The handbook can be used as a standalone reference book or as a supplement to any writing course or textbook. The handbook can also be used by instructors who want to teach writing effectively and efficiently, providing them with a comprehensive and flexible resource that can be adapted to any curriculum or pedagogy. The handbook can also be used by anyone who wants to learn more about writing in general or about specific topics related to writing.


The main purpose of the handbook is to help students become better writers by providing them with practical advice, guidance, and support on every aspect of writing. The handbook aims to help students:



  • Understand the writing process and strategies that can help them plan, draft, revise, edit, and proofread their texts.



  • Explore the modes and genres of writing that they may encounter in college and beyond, such as narration, description, comparison-contrast, cause-effect, argumentation-persuasion, analysis-evaluation, summary-response, synthesis-research, reflection-evaluation, personal statement-application letter-resume-portfolio-cover letter-email-memo-report-proposal-review-abstract-annotated bibliography-literature review-web page-blog-poster-presentation-speech-podcast-video.



  • Develop the research and documentation skills that are essential for academic integrity and credibility, such as finding sources, evaluating sources, taking notes, integrating sources, avoiding plagiarism, citing sources, using MLA style, using APA style, using Chicago style, using CSE style.



  • Master the grammar and mechanics rules that are necessary for clear and correct communication, such as parts of speech, sentence structure, subject-verb agreement, pronoun-antecedent agreement, verb tense, voice, mood, modifiers, parallelism, coordination, subordination, punctuation, capitalization, spelling, hyphenation, abbreviations, numbers.



  • Improve the design and presentation skills that are important for effective visual rhetoric and multimodal composition such as document design typography color graphics tables figures web design accessibility usability oral presentation delivery visual aids audience analysis ethics.



How to use The Wadsworth Handbook effectively?




The Wadsworth Handbook is a versatile and adaptable resource that can be used in different ways depending on your needs, goals, preferences, and learning styles. Here are some suggestions on how to use the handbook effectively:


The organization and structure of the handbook




The online resources and tools available with the handbook




The handbook comes with access to various online resources and tools that can enhance your learning experience and help you practice and apply what you learn from the book. Some of the online resources and tools available with the handbook are:



  • InfoTrac Student Collections: an online library of academic articles that you can use for your research and assignments. You can search for articles by topic, keyword, author, title, or publication. You can also browse articles by discipline, such as arts and humanities, social sciences, sciences, or business. You can access InfoTrac Student Collections at http://gocengage.com/infotrac.



  • CengageNOWv2: an online learning platform that provides personalized feedback and practice for your writing skills. You can take diagnostic tests to identify your strengths and weaknesses in writing, and then receive a customized study plan that guides you to the relevant sections of the handbook and the online exercises that match your needs. You can also track your progress and performance with reports and grades. You can access CengageNOWv2 at http://login.cengagebrain.com.



  • MindTap: an online learning solution that integrates the handbook with interactive activities and assignments that help you apply what you learn to your own writing projects. You can access readings, videos, quizzes, simulations, games, and other multimedia resources that reinforce and extend your learning. You can also collaborate with your classmates and instructors through discussion boards, peer review, and feedback tools. You can access MindTap at http://login.cengagebrain.com.



  • Aplia: an online homework system that improves your writing skills and outcomes by providing you with engaging and challenging assignments that require you to write, revise, edit, and proofread your texts. You can receive immediate feedback and explanations for your answers, as well as tips and hints for improvement. You can also compare your work with model answers and samples from other students. You can access Aplia at http://login.cengagebrain.com.



The best practices and tips for using the handbook




Here are some best practices and tips for using the handbook effectively:



  • Use the handbook as a reference book whenever you need help or guidance on any aspect of writing. You can use the table of contents, the index, the glossary, or the cross-references to find the information you need quickly and easily.



  • Use the handbook as a supplement to your writing course or textbook. You can use the handbook to review what you have learned in class, to prepare for your assignments and exams, or to explore topics that interest you further.



  • Use the handbook as a self-study tool. You can use the handbook to improve your writing skills on your own, at your own pace, and according to your own goals. You can use the exercises, checklists, tips, examples, and online resources to practice and apply what you learn from the book.



  • Use the handbook as a collaborative tool. You can use the handbook to work with your classmates and instructors on your writing projects. You can use the discussion questions, peer review guidelines, feedback forms, and online tools to share your ideas, opinions, questions, drafts, revisions, and final products.



What are the topics covered by The Wadsworth Handbook?




The Wadsworth Handbook covers a wide range of topics related to writing in six main parts: Part 1: Writing Essays; Part 2: Writing Effective Paragraphs; Part 3: Writing Effective Sentences; Part 4: Writing Across the Curriculum; Part 5: Researching; Part 6: Documenting Sources. Here is a brief overview of each part and its chapters:


The writing process and strategies




Part 1: Writing Essays covers the writing process and strategies that can help you plan, draft, revise, edit, and proofread your essays effectively. It consists of four chapters:



  • Chapter 1: Understanding Purpose and Audience explains how to analyze your writing situation, identify your purpose, determine your audience, and adapt your tone and style to suit your purpose and audience.



  • Chapter 2: Planning explains how to generate ideas, focus your topic, develop a thesis statement, and organize your essay using various methods, such as brainstorming, freewriting, clustering, outlining, and mapping.



  • Chapter 3: Drafting explains how to write your first draft, develop your paragraphs, use transitions, and incorporate sources using various strategies, such as writing from an outline, writing in stages, writing collaboratively, and writing with sources.



  • Chapter 4: Revising, Editing, and Proofreading explains how to improve your essay at the global, paragraph, sentence, and word levels, using various techniques, such as peer review, self-evaluation, revision checklists, editing checklists, proofreading checklists, and online tools.



The modes and genres of writing




Part 2: Writing Effective Paragraphs covers the modes and genres of writing that you may encounter in college and beyond, such as narration, description, comparison-contrast, cause-effect, argumentation-persuasion, analysis-evaluation, summary-response, synthesis-research, reflection-evaluation, personal statement-application letter-resume-portfolio-cover letter-email-memo-report-proposal-review-abstract-annotated bibliography-literature review-web page-blog-poster-presentation-speech-podcast-video. It consists of nine chapters:



  • Chapter 5: Writing Paragraphs explains how to write effective paragraphs that have a clear topic sentence, adequate support, and a concluding sentence. It also explains how to use different types of paragraphs, such as introductory paragraphs, concluding paragraphs, transitional paragraphs, and body paragraphs.



  • Chapter 6: Writing Narratives explains how to write narratives that tell a story or recount an experience. It also explains how to use different elements of narratives, such as plot, characters, setting, point of view, dialogue, and theme.



  • Chapter 7: Writing Descriptions explains how to write descriptions that create a vivid picture or impression of a person, place, object, or event. It also explains how to use different techniques of descriptions, such as sensory details, figurative language, spatial order, and dominant impression.



  • Chapter 8: Writing Comparison-Contrast Essays explains how to write comparison-contrast essays that show the similarities and differences between two or more subjects. It also explains how to use different methods of comparison-contrast, such as point-by-point method, block method, and mixed method.



  • Chapter 9: Writing Cause-Effect Essays explains how to write cause-effect essays that show the causes and effects of a situation or phenomenon. It also explains how to use different types of cause-effect relationships, such as single cause-multiple effects, multiple causes-single effect, and causal chain.



such as claim, reasons, evidence, counterarguments, and refutations.


  • Chapter 11: Writing Analysis Essays explains how to write analysis essays that examine and interpret a text or a work of art. It also explains how to use different types of analysis, such as rhetorical analysis, literary analysis, visual analysis, and film analysis.



  • Chapter 12: Writing Summary, Response, and Synthesis Essays explains how to write summary, response, and synthesis essays that summarize, respond to, and synthesize information from one or more sources. It also explains how to use different strategies for summarizing, responding, and synthesizing, such as paraphrasing, quoting, evaluating, agreeing, disagreeing, and integrating.



  • Chapter 13: Writing Other Types of Essays explains how to write other types of essays that you may encounter in college and beyond, such as reflection essays, evaluation essays, personal statements, application letters, resumes, portfolios, cover letters, emails, memos, reports, proposals, reviews, abstracts, annotated bibliographies, literature reviews, web pages, blogs, posters, presentations, speeches, podcasts, and videos. It also explains how to use different features and conventions for each type of essay, such as purpose, audience, tone, style, format, and content.



The research and documentation skills




Part 5: Researching covers the research and documentation skills that are essential for academic integrity and credibility. It consists of six chapters:



  • Chapter 14: Finding Sources explains how to find sources that are relevant, reliable, and current for your research topic. It also explains how to use different types of sources, such as books, articles, websites, databases, catalogs, reference works, government documents, interviews, surveys, and observations.



  • Chapter 15: Evaluating Sources explains how to evaluate sources that are credible, accurate, objective, and comprehensive for your research topic. It also explains how to use different criteria for evaluating sources, such as authorship, publication, currency, coverage, bias, evidence, and quality.



such as outlining, summarizing, paraphrasing, quoting, and annotating.


  • Chapter 17: Integrating Sources explains how to integrate sources that are relevant, supportive, and balanced for your research topic. It also explains how to use different techniques of integrating sources, such as introducing sources, attributing sources, blending sources, synthesizing sources, and acknowledging sources.



  • Chapter 18: Avoiding Plagiarism explains how to avoid plagiarism that is intentional or unintentional for your research topic. It also explains how to use different strategies for avoiding plagiarism, such as understanding plagiarism, citing sources, using quotation marks, using your own words, using your own ideas, and checking your work.



  • Chapter 19: Documenting Sources explains how to document sources that are consistent, complete, and correct for your research topic. It also explains how to use different styles of documentation, such as MLA style, APA style, Chicago style, and CSE style.



The grammar and mechanics rules




Part 3: Writing Effective Sentences covers the grammar and mechanics rules that are necessary for clear and correct communication. It consists of 28 chapters that cover specific topics related to grammar and mechanics, such as parts of speech, sentence structure, subject-verb agreement, pronoun-antecedent agreement, verb tense, voice, mood, modifiers, parallelism, coordination, subordination, punctuation, capitalization, spelling, hyphenation, abbreviations, and numbers. Each chapter provides clear and concise explanations, examples, exercises, checklists, and tips for each topic.


The design and presentation skills




Part 6: Documenting Sources covers the design and presentation skills that are important for effective visual rhetoric and multimodal composition. It consists of four chapters:



  • Chapter 20: Designing Documents explains how to design documents that are attractive, readable, and accessible for your purpose and audience. It also explains how to use different elements of document design such as typography color graphics tables and figures.



  • Chapter 21: Designing Web Pages explains how to design web pages that are functional, usable, and appealing for your purpose and audience. It also explains how to use different elements of web design such as layout navigation links images audio video and interactivity.



  • Chapter 22: Making Oral Presentations explains how to make oral presentations that are engaging, informative, and persuasive for your purpose and audience. It also explains how to use different elements of oral presentation such as delivery visual aids audience analysis and ethics.



  • Chapter 23: Creating Multimedia Projects explains how to create multimedia projects that are creative, effective, and appropriate for your purpose and audience. It also explains how to use different elements of multimedia projects such as text sound image animation and interaction.



Why should you choose The Wadsworth Handbook for your college writing needs?




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