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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
This book, `Patterns for College Writing: A Rhetorical Reader and Guide' edited by Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen R. Mandell, is a book widely used in colleges and universities, as well as advanced high school classes across the nation. It is a very useful text, and I use it when tutoring students in preparation for community college level writing and reading work. It is used at our college in the basic skills reading courses, too.
The book looks at how writers develop their work. The first few chapters look at some of the basic mechanics of writing - planning, writing, editing and revising. It also looks briefly at certain skills needed for writing, such as brainstorming and idea generation, as well as journal writing. There are many exercises included here to give students first-hand experience.
The second section looks at the various types of writing students will be called upon to produce - narrative papers, process papers, cause-and-effect, descriptive works, comparison-and-contrast, classification, definition, and persuasive/argumentative papers. Each chapter keeps a solid focus on the type of work presented, so that students can develop the particular skills; the final chapter in this section looks at combining the patterns, to produce more complex and comprehensive research papers and essays.
There is a thematic listing of articles that shows the breadth of topics covered - family relationships, language, education, business and work, sports, race and culture, gender, nature and the environment, media and society, history and politics, and ethics. Among more than one hundred articles are sixteen pieces written by actual students, so that students can see the model produced by people at their same level of development. Writings from famous people such as Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Flannery O'Connor and Mark Twain also give breadth and interest to the selections included here.
The writing assignments include journal writing, essays of the types modeled in the chapters, collaborative activities, and even an internet assignment. There is a companion website for students to use, and instructors can take advantage of materials provided by the publisher, such transparencies and additional samples.
The appendix has a ten-step process for writing a research paper (one of the more common types of college writing expected of students). The steps include everything from choosing a topic to documenting sources. Avoiding common pitfalls such as plagiarism (intentional and inadvertent) is also covered.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
I used this book in a highschool course called Advance Composition. It was excellent, not only as a tutor in how to write essays, but because of it's choice of examples. Essays on everything from workaholics to environmental issues, made for hours of reading pleasure. Also, it drew on works of relevant authors of the time, including Deborah Tannen and even Al Gore. I didn't realize essays could have such value, even for the casual reader.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
Very accessible and thorough..the eighth edition is a wonderful text for teaching introductory college writing. As a writing instructor, this text is highly recommended.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
For me, this collection of student and author essays was worth the purchase alone. However the chapters are also helpful how-tos for writing research papers and essays in college. The book provides a thorough look at different types of writing expected in college.
I remember using this book frequently. I also remember how much I had to write in college. The amount of paper I used in college is staggering. It is reflective of the move to higher expectations in society for composing professional writing.
I can't stress enough the importance of reading and writing as a learning tool. Through writing, students, readers and others can record their thoughts, become more expressive, and be more effective communicators.
Gradually the internet and the world wide web have made us more and more reckless with our writing. Books like this can only be beneficial. Chapters address essays, research papers, analysis , and reading responses. Although newer editions are available, the same high quality found in this edition can be expected. I have three editions of this book. All have been helpful.
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Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
As the first book I used for my College English class (and I'm sure for many infinite others), this was my first obstacle. Fortunately, the writing is thorough, friendly, and appealing.

The backbone of the book is of course focused on improving your English, but it does it good job giving you structure, grammar, vocabulary, and growth concepts (yes, contemplation, life, etc etc.) I never knew what my grammar school teacher meant by
"look up the dictionary" when I didn't understand a specific word until now. That's how I feel with this book. My English through the simple act of reading this book.

Highly recommended
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2008
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book helped me out a lot in my college writing class. When the teacher would correct my paper I could go back and look at some examples in the book to make my essays better. This is one book that I would not sell back after the end of the quarter.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
This textbook is helpful as well as enjoyable. The essays in this book are interesting and are great examples of the writing style. Although many of the essays are wonderful examples of the writing patterns, a few essays do not correctly display the patterns. I highly recommend this book to an professor trying to find a textbook for a compostion class. Students will enjoy the stories and learn helpful writing patterns at the same time. I also recommend this book to any student having troube writing college level essays.
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on December 13, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book was ordered to comply with the requirements of one of my son's dual credit classes in high school. It is a good book.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
The book was extreemly cheap and super quick shipping.
thank you Bunches of Books!!
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
Shipper was very helpful in getting me the book quicker than Amazon submitted. Book arrived in the condition described, Very happy with choice and very happy with shipper.
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