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The Nuts and Bolts of College Writing Paperback – September, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0872205734 ISBN-10: 0872205738

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 103 pages
  • Publisher: Hackett Pub Co (September 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872205738
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872205734
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #302,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A worthy successor to Strunk and White. . . . Highly recommended. -- Choice, April 2004

Simply the best guide to clear and effective writing since Strunk and White. Indispensable for students. --Terry Nardin, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

About the Author

Michael Harvey is Assistant Professor of Business Management, Washington College.

Customer Reviews

Well I would give the book 5 stars but I thought it lacked a bit in advice for content.
Brandon B.
So what if you are not teaching English - if you require students to write, your students will produce better papers (that you have to read!)
Andy Knapp
The author gives plenty of examples along the way to show how we can improve our writing.
M.J. Ahmed

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 89 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
I first encountered "Nuts and Bolts" several years ago, when it was just a web-site. Back then, Yahoo! gave it one of their "cool sites" awards (complete with cute little sunglasses.) It became such a hit on the web, Hackett decided to give Professor Harvey a publishing contract.
Its great that they did, because the other college writing handbooks are either deadly dull or sprouting whiskers. Nuts and Bolts is neither dry nor bewhiskered -- it is hip, handy, and highly literate. This new book could (and should) evict Strunk and White, Turabian, Chicago Style Book, and all the other has-beens and never-weres as the one book every college student (yes, including science majors) should carry in their book bag. (Dissertation-writers may still need Chicago for their fine brush-work, but everyone else will find this jack-of-all-topics addresses most high-school and college needs.)
What's so great about this book? Essentially, it provides one-stop shopping for the essentials of good college term-paper writing -- usually dispensed in travel-sized doses of only three or four pages.
Nuts and Bolts presumes little, but teaches much. It rides no high horses, grinds no axes, curries no favors. Yet it is both idiot- and pedant -proof. Never written an essay before, but want to know what one is? Nuts and Bolts will tell you, without making you feel stupid for having asked. (Enlightening but non-overwhelming flashback to Montaigne included). Want to know what good sentences look like? (hint: active verbs) How to cite a "blog" in an essay? (take that, Strunk and White!) "Nuts and Bolts" does all this and (much) more while always remembering that brevity is the soul of pedagogy.
Read more ›
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By SCOTT A. MACPHEE on October 5, 2005
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I use this book in my AP Language and Composition class. My Seniors suffer all the typical problems . . . wordiness, imprecise use of language, poor introductions and conclusions, and weak transitions. Nuts and Bolts addresses all of these, and does so in a clear, convincing manner.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants to tighten his writing.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Crazy Mel W on October 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
I have taught English at the college level since 1989 and spend a great deal of time treating just the same errors that this text redresses. If you are an English instructor, I would highly encourage you to buy this book and consider adopting it for your classes. If you seek to write better prose, it would behoove you to buy this book, read it, and put its lessons into practice. Michael Harvey writes clearly and does not ask you to do anything stupid. I have never found a book that does that. Believe me, I have looked.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Andy Knapp on April 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
As a graduate student in Psychology I get to read and correct mountains of papers from intro-level classes. Now that I am about to get my degree and start teaching those classes, I realize that students need a book that shows them how to write a sentence. This is the book I have chosen for my Principles of Psychology classes. Harvey's concise style and recognition of the pompous style most young college students choose to write in is enlightening and entertaining. The small book is filled with great examples of what not to do alongside examples of how to fix the problem(s). Even though I have literally decades of technical and academic writing experience, the book has helped me to be more concise and to link my thoughts together in a more readable and efficient way. I highly recommend this book for students and especially for teachers. So what if you are not teaching English - if you require students to write, your students will produce better papers (that you have to read!) after using this book. It's required for my psych class!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Brandon B. on February 7, 2010
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Well I would give the book 5 stars but I thought it lacked a bit in advice for content. It had a lot of info regarding formatting, punctuation, etc. But not as much as I would have liked on writing a good introduction, conclusion, thesis, etc.

Still a great book; I definitely recommend it.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful By C. Sahu on November 9, 2004
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...it'll be good. The Nuts and Bolts Website helped me turn a C minus literary criticism paper (I was devastated - I couldn't figure out what I had done wrong) into an A. My particular problem is structuring my ideas logically and building a solid argument. This site, along with an hour with a good tutor ("No, what you have here is NOT a thesis statement!"), and another hour with my eminently logical husband (he's an engineer who works a lot with lawyers) helped me finally understand that I had to, in effect, build a path with brick walls on either side of it, leading my reader along by the hand, rather than wandering all over the countryside to every distraction, expecting my reader to keep up with my desultory ramblings and then find his own way back to the road. And how to do it.

The site is, unlike me, clear, methodical, and understandable, which is very important when you just can't grasp something because it's in your Writer's Blindspot.

I'm buying the book in case the Website ever goes down.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Blue Sky on July 15, 2007
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The Nuts and Bolts of College Writing goes over the fundamentals of good essay writing such as concision, clarity, flow, punctuation, and topic sentence for a paragraph and so on. It is an excellent reference book for college students and writers in general. The book however does not go into term or research paper writing.
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