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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2006
Format: Spiral-bound
The college where I teach English composition used Rules for Writers as the Handbook for three or four years. It now uses the Bedford Handbook. I found Rules for Writers to be very full and useful for every aspect of teaching, not only grammar and punctuation, but for composition and research writing as well. It tends to have fairly exhaustive explanations of most points of grammar. It has an especially good section on ESOL problems. All in all, it is a practical useful book that I keep on my writing desk for my own use, even though it is no longer used in our classes.

I was usually able to teach my courses without using any other text other than this book and the required reader. Before we had Rules and currently with the Bedford Handbook (also by Daina Hacker), I had to rely on handouts taken from the internet to emphasize areas like MLA documentation and developing cohesion in paragraphs and essays or to provide remedial materials for students with problems. With Rules for Writers, and also with the Little, Brown Handbook, another good handbook, I found better supplementary materials right in the book than anything I found on the Net.

The biggest problem with Rules for Writers is its spiral bound soft cover format. This book does not hold up. Pages fall out, the cover falls off, and the book gets banged up. I would have to replace it every semester, if only not to be embarassed by the wrecked appearance my copy would have when it was time to display the textbook on the first day of class!

Now as a professor who gets free textbooks, that is not a big problem. However, for students who are simply robbed blind paying for text books and may be required to use a handbook like this in a series of classes--and should always keep a handbook like this for reference in and out of school--having a book that falls apart and constantly needs replacing can be financial murder.

Still, I prefer this book to the Bedford Handbook. The Bedford Handbook is handbook in name only and does not have as many features or as deep coverage as books like Rules for Writers or the Little, Brown Handbook. It is a kind of dumbing down of the information here. Visually the Bedford Handbook is better as a visual object and has nice illustrations, charts and pictures. It is also well integrated with Diana Hacker's maze of web sites. However, if any professor is trying to decide between the Bedford and Rules for Writers, get Rules for Writers.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format: Spiral-bound
When I was a freshman in college (circa 1979), the official reference book for my honors English Comp class was "Rules for Writers, 2nd ed." And I still have that book on my bookshelf. When I discovered the book was still in publication and in its 5th edition (spiral-bound and fully updated to include the technology issues writers face), I had to have it.

No matter how much you THINK you know about the rules of writing, grammar and punctuation, there's always something else you can learn. This book can benefit you whether you are a professional writer, a student, a business person, or someone for whom English is your second language and you want to improve your writing skills. Well-organized and indexed, with easy-to-understand examples, this little book seems to have it all.

Add it to your reference library! Some things really are almost timeless.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2006
Format: Spiral-boundVerified Purchase
I'm an SAT tutor, and I haven't been thrilled with many of the grammar/usage/writing SAT books on the market. They usually do a decent job on a few topics but not all topics. I'm getting this book for every one of my students (and my own son) because it will not only help them with the SAT writing section but it serves as the best ongoing reference for their use in school. I haven't tried the CD-ROM yet (sold separately) but it has over 1000 practice exercises.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2001
Format: Spiral-bound
I found this book a useful tool for people who need a helping hand in their writing. It's not for the person looking for a quick referance. There are many helpful exercise to help you better understand you writing problems.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2008
Format: Spiral-boundVerified Purchase
This is a top shelf book in my writers tool box. It is clear, concise, and informative. It has many good examples, and its flow chart approach to identifying and correcting typical grammar errors is easy to use. As a new writer, I find this book very helpful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2007
Format: Spiral-bound
A formidable book aimed at helping young students to master the rules and syntax of the English grammar.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2006
Format: Spiral-bound
Comprehensive grammar book. Great sections on APA and MLA format writing.
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Format: Spiral-boundVerified Purchase
If you are a college student, you have GOT to get your hands on this book. APA formatting and loaded with info. Document Design, Grammar, Punctuation, Academic Writing, Conducting Research, MLA writing format, AND its a SPIRAL bound book - lays flat on any open page to review and type at the same time. A++, 5-Stars, Absolutely the best reference book that I have on my shelves ! Saves you hours of web surfing to find an answer ! Makes a great inserted reference for your word documents ! I use it daily !
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on February 11, 2014
Format: Spiral-boundVerified Purchase
Being a teacher for nearly 30 years, I have found all of Diana Hacker's editions most helpful. I would not think of leaving home without it! Students never "buy back" this handbook! It is thorough in its coverage, user friendly in finding information, and a great tool for all levels of writers. I have used previous editions and plan to continue to use updated versions.
A. A. Bowers, Jr., Ph.D.
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on November 12, 2011
Format: Spiral-boundVerified Purchase
The book that I purchased Rules for Writers has helped me tremedously with my writing projects. The book that I received was in excellent condition and the process was quick and delivery was great. This is the 2nd time that I ordered through the Amazon, and I will continue to do so, the prices, condition of the book and the delivery is wonderful.
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