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A Writer's Reference with 2009 MLA and 2010 APA Updates Sixth Edition Edition

57 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0312664763
ISBN-10: 0312664761
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A Writer's Reference
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

DIANA HACKER's handbooks, used at almost half of the colleges and universities in the country, are the most widely adopted in America. A member of the English faculty at Prince George's Community College in Maryland for almost 35 years, Diana Hacker personally class-tested her handbooks with nearly four thousand students. Diana Hacker's other handbooks, all published by Bedford/St. Martin's, include The Bedford Handbook (2006); Rules for Writers (2004); andA Pocket Style Manual (2004).


NANCY SOMMERS, who has taught composition and directed composition programs for thirty years, now teaches writing in the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. A two-time Braddock Award winner, Sommers is well-known for her research and publications on student writing. Her recent work involves a longitudinal study of undergraduate writing. Nancy Sommers is co-author of Fields of Reading, Ninth Edition (2010) for Bedford/St. Martin’s.

TOM JEHN teaches composition and directs the writing across the disciplines program at Harvard University. A recipient of numerous teaching awards both at Harvard and at the University of Virginia, he also leads professional development seminars on writing instruction for public high school teachers through the Calderwood Writing Fellows Project.

JANE ROSENZWEIG, a published author of fiction and non-fiction, teaches composition and directs the writing center at Harvard University. She has also taught writing at Yale University and the University of Iowa.

MARCY CARBAJAL VAN HORN, assistant professor of English and ESL at Santa Fe Community College (FL), teaches composition to native and nonnative speakers of English and teaches the Advanced ESL Writing course. She has also taught university-level academic writing and critical thinking at Instituto Technológico y de Estudios Superiores in Mexico.
Of the more than 500 experienced composition instructors who reviewed the new edition, a core group served as an editorial advisory board — carefully reviewing all new material in depth, making sure the book would work as well for their students as it always had.
University of Colorado, Denver
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Paige BYAM
Northern Kentucky University
Elizabeth CANFIELD
Virginia Commonwealth University
Richard CARR
University of Alaska, Fairbanks
Michele CHEUNG
University of Southern Maine
Northern Kentucky University
Tacoma Community College
Sacramento City College
Green River Community College
Nancy GISH
University of Southern Maine
Jacqueline GRAY
St. Charles Community College
Barclay GREEN
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University of Alaska, Fairbanks
Daytona Beach Community College
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Tacoma Community College
Cheryl LAZ
University of Southern Maine
Tacoma Community College
Jeanette LONIA
Delaware Technical and Community College
Walter LOWE
Green River Community College
Michael MACKEY
Community College of Denver
Tammy MATA
Tarrant County Community College
Missouri Southern State University
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Patricia MURPHY
Missouri Southern State University
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Diane Allen O’HERON
Broome Community College
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Terry Myers ZAWACKI
George Mason University


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Product Details

  • Spiral-bound: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's; Sixth Edition edition (May 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312664761
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312664763
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By S. Wozniak on May 10, 2011
Format: Spiral-bound
I teach developmental writing and English 101 at a community college. I adopted this book after having used another book which represents itself as a comprehensive guide, The Norton Field Guide to Writing. I found the Norton Field Guide repetitious. It commits a sin all too many college texts commit today: it comes pre-highlighted. If instructors are supposed to lead their students to think critically, doesn't a text in which the main points are highlighted defeat that purpose by spoonfeeding the students and by not treating them as adults?

Furthermore, the addition of color doubles the price of a book. At $90+ per book, students deserve a break in the form of a black and white text.

A Writer's Reference contains everything a student in 101 needs to know in order to make the transition from high school writing to college writing. The tabs are a plus. All a student has to do is go to the MLA or APA tab to find how to cite and how to construct a bibliography. There is no need to "teach" these things: simply direct the students to the book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Brandon Solomon on April 12, 2011
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
Ill keep this short. I am currently attending university level schooling and this book has been at my side for well over a year. Not only does it show how to use MLA, but also APA and CMS. The binder style of this book is great because it lays flat and you dont have to worry about the page turning itself right in the middle of your using of it. I'd recommend getting a book stand for it, not only to help reduce the clutter around you, but also to be able to use it 'at a glance'. The only negative thing about this design is that the pages can be more easily ripped from the book, so some extra awareness of how you treat this book is recommended.

The majority of this book deals with the foundation of writing in general which will come in handy if the person this book was purchased for is still in high school or has a shaky writing foundation. Occasionally, one finds themselves needing to look up the odd rule of grammar that they learned too long ago to use effectively. This section helps with that as well. I have even used it to argue grammatical penalization marks that professors have given me on papers.

This book will prove to be valuable to all who see it and it is recommended that you know where it is at all times. Considering the price of the book, it is not cost effective to keep replacing it when others have decided that they want it more than you do and steal it from you. (It is for this reason alone that I have two copies. With two copies, I know immediately if foul play has happened because I know which one is missing immediately; to be fair, I have only had one stolen from me and I plan on keeping it that way. When I get up from my table, I take my laptop and this book with me. It is more valuable than text books)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Laura on October 15, 2011
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
It is well organized by subjects and well explained, with examples. Easy to learn to speak and write English well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ribeiri on August 21, 2011
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
The book was helpful for the writing class I needed it for and I am going to use it for at least one of my other classes. Anything I had a question on about citing references and other rules about writing was in the book. Except for the specific questions I had about the paper and assignments, I found the answers to my questions in the book. I would recommend it to anyone who has to write papers or cite anything even if you are not taking a writing class. This is one of those books that is good for pretty much any class.
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Format: Spiral-bound
In our modern world of the internet, there is always a decision process involved in purchasing a "reference" book. For example, I have given away all my dictionaries. I hadn't used them in years - the web gave me quick answers from multiple sources. I grew up with a full set of Britannica Encyclopedia in the house - but now that I'm on my own I don't own any encyclopedias. The web provides that information in a far more accurate manner. With the online sources, you don't have to worry if the information about Ghana is still accurate, for example. My birding books were great - but with online birding sites I can see videos of the birds in motion, and hear audio files of their song.

So with that all being said, I understand why people might have mixed feelings about a book like A Writer's Reference by Diana Hacker. It does not contain anything "special". It tells you how to use commas. It explains how to format documents for 2009 MLA format and 2010 APA. It helps you learn how to get subjects and verbs to agree. I'm sure most of us could Google a few of these topics and land on pages that help us step by step through the information, for free. So why pay a fairly high price for commonly found information where half of it will go out of date in a few years?

I suppose one answer is that our English courses in college require us to have it :) Do they get some sort of kick backs or bonuses from publishers for pushing certain books? If it's a student's responsibility to know how to format their paper using 2009 MLA format, should the instructor really care if the information comes from a printed book or from a trustworthy website? In either case they're just going to say "make sure your website reference looks like this: xxxxxxxx". The same is true for comma usage.
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