66 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2002
Good little book, but I'll take her full version any day for upper COLLEGE LEVEL and grad school level work ("A Writer's Reference"), even at twice the price. It's been worth every dollar I paid for it and then some! I've used many ref guides: Ms. Hacker outstrips them all by light years.
But this little guy is very handy, and will get you where you need to go with citations and such as long as you're into basics. PERFECT for high schoolers and for freshmen/sophs in college, but beyond that: GET THE BIG BOOK ("A Writer's Reference")! It's too good to pass up!
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 1999
I highly recommend this manual--it is very useful for undergraduates, graduate students, and those in the professional world. Some handbooks cover a lot of material but tend to be bulky and intimidating. Hacker's manual, in contrast, is clear, succinct, and non-intimidating. It covers the fine points of grammar, style, essay and research paper writing, and MLA documentation. If I had to recommend one reference book in English style and grammar to own, I would choose this one. I am a Graduate Student in the M.A. English program at Holy Names College and this manual is helping me get through the Program! Note: if you have a few more dollars to spend, get A Writer's Reference. Third Edition. by Hacker...It is an expanded version of the Pocket Style Manual, adding such subjects as ESL trouble spots, preparing Outlines, etc. It also comes with helpful tab dividers for easy reference use.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2009
A Valuable Resource *****
Let's get one thing clear. This book is not a comprehensive book on grammar, syntax, or anything else. It's designed to be a handy little quick-reference for busy people. In this respect, the book succeeds admirably. It covers everything you might need to look up in a pinch--I'm a writer and it's nice to have something that is even faster than the internet to use. That's the goal of this book (I think).
The spiral binding is nice--it's a bother to have a reference book that won't stay open when you are trying to type on a computer. Hacker thought of everything to make the book more efficient to use. The trim size is odd. I think it's designed to fit in a back pocket, although I don't know any woman that would ever stuff a book into her pants, I guess it's possible that a male reader might do it.
It's a little pricey for a quick-reference, but I'm betting that Amazon will discount the book eventually. At least it qualifies for super-saver shipping at full price. Great little reference!
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2003
I have taught high school junior English for 16 years, and Hacker's manual is the best I've found...by far.
First, since many schools have abandoned grammar altogether, many students have little grasp on basic skills. This manual allows students to take a refresher course, complete with detailed examples. Also, this manual helps students with tedious writing strategies that are not taught in some schools. For example, voice, tense, person and tone are all covered, as well as transitions, introductions and effective conclusions. It's easy to read and understand. Finally, in the area of research, MLA, APA and Chicago are all covered. In this fashion, one can compare and easily see the differences each style requires. Often, a student is taking 3 different classes that require 3 different formats. This book succinctly transcends from one to the next.
An invaluable section is that of citations. It teaches how to cite, how to avoid plagiarism, and also how to integrate quotations into your paper. Many students don't know how to paraphrase, as some teachers allow copying straight from the encyclopedia to the notebook paper! This book show you how!Finally, for the visually dependent, Hacker includes a sample page of a title page,works cited page, and a first page.
A final note in this computer age, Hacker keeps up with the Internet and helps the student with any and all websites and databases. This alone is invaluable. Be sure you get the most updated version. This is the third edition, and I have all my juniors use it. I call it our "mini bible."
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2009
This is the writing reference I assign for all my college English classes. Most writing handbooks are way too big; this one has just the information you need, clearly laid out and well-organized. Includes how to correct all the most common errors, how to edit for conciseness and clarity. Also includes a handy index and a glossary of usage. The spiral binding allows you to lay it flat when using using it for reference. Very handy and necessary are the included guides to the most common documentation styles: MLA, APA, and Chicago Manual of Style. Buy this one and keep it always for an essential reference for all writers, whether college or professional or amateur.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2001
I teach in a high school where we have just opened a brand-new freshmen-only campus. We are trying all sorts of innovative things to help maximize the learning experience. One of the best innovations so far this year is the distribution of this style manual to every student, teacher and staff member in the school. The hope is the students will carry it with them for four years (and beyond) and that teachers and staff will use it as a reference when working with students and other members of the school community. I was especially grateful to receive a copy of this, since I had just lost my MLA guide, the Chicago Manual of Style and Elements of Style by Strunk and White in a flood. This quick-reference guide replaces all of these books in one portable guide. I especially like the spiral binding and laminated cover -- Very durable for stashing in a book bag or in a locker. Professional writers and those writing graduate-level papers will probably need the full versions of these books. However, the average student, whether in high school or in college, will find this book to be indispensible.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2002
Lets say you're a business or a psychology major and you're working on a history minor. Did you know these academic disciplines all write in different styles? What to do? Get this book! While some professors will let you cite in your field, they're more likely to give you a better grade if you cite in the style of their discipline.
Therefore, you're only going to benefit by having this manual. Whatever style you end up writing in, all the writing formats are easily spelled out for you. Furthermore, if you're a visual learner, there are sample papers at the end of each section for clarification.
In addition to being a reference manual for the different styles, "A Pocket Style Manual," also includes sections on clarity, grammar, punctuation, mechanics, research sources, usage and grammatical terms. All are in an easily to find, readable and understandable formats.
Overall, an excellent choice for undergraduate students who will be taking courses in many different disciplines.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 1998
I require that all of my freshman composition students purchase this book. It is a concise and well organized resource for beginning writers, as well as for more advanced academic and independant writers. It is a handy reference for several standard modes of documentation and for style basics.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
`The Pocket Style Manual' compiled by Diana Hacker is one of the most useful tools for student and professional writing available. One of the more confusing aspects of writing for many students (and those beyond student level) is the range of styles for citation, organisation and structure in texts. Different schools and different professions expect their own styles to be applied - just what is the difference between MLA (Modern Language Association) and APA (American Psychological Association) style, anyway? This book provides the answer in short, easy-to-use fashion.
The first section of Hacker's text goes over the basics of good writing - grammar, clarity, punctuation, and essential mechanics such as capitalisation, abbreviation, numbers, etc. This is not a guide that will teach the reader, but rather serve as a reminder, refresher, and quick ready-reference guide for those who (usually at the deadline and in a hurry) need information quickly to finish their assignments and projects.
The three primary styles presented for organising and documenting a research paper are MLA, APA and Chicago - the majority of papers done in sciences, social sciences, humanities and arts are expected to be done in one of these three styles (there are yet other styles, lesser used, as well as foreign styles, but these are relatively rare in the United States). Each section of style shows cover pages, sample pages of text, footnote/endnote formats, as well as the many levels of documentation and citation of sources required. Even with the dozens of documentary examples for sources from books, articles, journals, newspapers, videos, lectures, internet and more, there are always new situations arising that make documentation problematic. This guide does not solve every citation problem, but will solve the vast majority of them.
In the conclusion, there are glossaries of usage, grammatical terms, and a list of style manuals for more in-depth work. Perhaps the one omission here (somewhat surprising to me, given its wide usage in colleges) is that Turabian's `Manual for Writers of Term Papers' is not included in this list.
Overall, the design and format of this book is very useful, incredibly handy, and makes it one that I keep readily available for consultation whenever I write for academic purposes.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2006
This is a wonderful little resource book that is a must-have addition to any student's backpack. As a graduate student who, in my undergrad days, studied journalism and mass communication as a minor, I have been exposed to a good number of writing styles and their respect style books. What is nice about this volume is the concise nature.
Hacker presents not only one style, but the three most-used styles (MLA, APA, and my favorite, Chicago). While this is by no means exhaustive, it does provide a guide to the most frequently cited forms of publication. If you are a full-time student, I recommend purchasing the full version of your preferred or required style. However, have this in your bag too!
I recommend this book to all who have to write papers.