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Rewriting: How To Do Things With Texts Paperback – July 15, 2006


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Rewriting: How To Do Things With Texts + "They Say / I Say": The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing (Third Edition) + A Pocket Style Manual
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 150 pages
  • Publisher: Utah State University Press; 1 edition (July 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874216427
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874216424
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"While the book is aimed at undergraduates, [it] reads like a thoughtful primer on doing scholarly writing and, even more importantly, on forming a professional identity as a publishing scholar. . . . Harris provides the 'terms of art,' as it were, for writers to achieve that self-awareness."
—Howard Tinberg, CCC


"[O]ne of the reasons why I find the book so teachable and important is that it invites us to think more deeply than we might otherwise about what we want our writing to do and how we intend to make that happen."
—Laura Micciche, CCC


"Writing this essay in response to Rewriting has given me a better sense of the moves I, myself, make. . . . I can think of no higher praise."
—Donna Qualley, Reader, special issue on Rewriting

More About the Author

Joe Harris teaches academic writing, critical reading, creative nonfiction, and digital writing at the University of Delaware. He also likes dogs, movies, chess, and minor league baseball. See josephharris.me for more.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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It is much more of a "book" than a "textbook."
Paul Corrigan
Harris, applying the very content he prescribes, weaves quotes, theory, examples, and suggested practices to expand and illuminate writing instruction.
B Daniel
It's an easy read; it is brief, to the point, organized, and thought-provoking.
Claire

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on January 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
Written by Duke University Writing Program director Joseph Harris, Rewriting: How to Do Things with Texts is a guide written especially for college students and professionals seeking to refine their academic writing technique. Leaning away from the static ideas of thesis, support and structure and toward a more naturally flowing and dynamic writing style, Rewriting challenges the reader to think of writing an adaptive, social activity and shape one's written intellectual opinions and discussions accordingly. Presented strategies for coaxing a more persuasive and intuitive tone into one's logical academic written arguments include forwarding (taking words, images, or ideas from text and putting them to use in new contexts), countering (suggesting different ways of thinking rather than simple nullification of a given ideal), and much more. Recommended for intermediate to advanced academic writers for its solid recommendations to make prose more readable, immersive, thought-provoking and natural-sounding.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Paul Corrigan on January 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book has helped me immensely in my teaching and in my own writing. I use it as a textbook for my college composition students.

Four chapters are on making "interesting use of sources" in your writing. These chapters--"Coming to Terms" (more than just summarizing), "Forwarding" (more than just agreeing with), "Countering" (more than just disagreeing) and "Taking an Approach" (more than just "applying" someone else' ideas)--show the moves for using the words and ideas of others to present and develop words and ideas of your own.

The final chapter on "Revising" gives practical, useful ideas and strategies for moving beyond a first draft. The "Afterward" lays out in brief Harris' idea of a writing course. Though somewhat positioned as "bonus" chapters, either of them alone are worth reading the book for.

The explanations of concepts throughout are clear and yet intellectually rich enough to chew on. One of the biggest strengths of this book are the very concrete examples throughout, often in the form of multi-paragraph quotations from published intellectual writing. It is much more of a "book" than a "textbook." Harris' intelligent and generous voice comes through well in the writing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charles Grimm on August 31, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm using this book in a composition teaching class at the master's level, and so far I am very impressed with the quality of content and how the book was put together. I will likely require this text later when I teach English, because it is a very good look at how to use texts in academic settings without coming across as a style guide. The emphasis is on engaging ideas with respect and integrity to highlight or adjust your own writing accordingly, and I can see this being very useful as a tool to explain why proof-texting is so harmful.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By mrgah on December 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
Harris' Rewriting is a thoughtful discussion of a number of the basic moves in academic writing, particularly in the humanities and social sciences. Other reviewers have brought up some issues with Harris' book, and I'd like to echo these. Harris' book presents little new information, reviewing some of the basic methods in academic writing, but is written in a sophisticated and playful manner that may put some students off.

Harris' is a book to be read slowly. I'd be tempted to assign it in a college-level class with a major writing component, but students may not read it at the slow speed the book requires. I suspect this book would work best for intermediate to advanced undergraduate writers. It might overwhelm beginning students who are just getting a handle on the nuts and bolts of academic work, while there should be little new here for students who are further along in humanities and social science majors.

All the same, Harris' book is a graceful and enjoyable treatment of academic writing, a lucid reconsideration of topics other handbooks on research and writing treat only briefly.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Claire on August 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this book, Harris really spins things around to make you think. He shows you-- the writer-- how to integrate other people's texts into your work. He takes great care to explain what is needed, when it is needed, and every option imaginable as far as slants and takes on what to do. I recommend this book to anyone who is writing research, critiques, or even to anyone who grades student papers. It has given me insight far beyond what I had thought I needed, and because of that I have learned a great deal. It's an easy read; it is brief, to the point, organized, and thought-provoking.
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Format: Paperback
A required reading for a college course, but very beneficial and full of fresh ideas. Harris, applying the very content he prescribes, weaves quotes, theory, examples, and suggested practices to expand and illuminate writing instruction. He offers a wealth of knowledge and experience to future instructors of writing, yet he also shapes his advice to all writers throughout the text. I have to admit that I had to reread certain sections due to text complexity, but all to the ends of comprehending the text and expanding my lexicon.
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