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Strategies For College Writing: Sentences, Paragraphs, Essays

Second Edition

Jeanette Harris, Texas Christian University

Ann Moseley, Texas A&M-Commerce

Appropriate Courses

Designed for courses in Developmental Writing and Basic Writing.


Strategies for College Writing offers full coverage of the basics of writing essays, paragraphs, and sentences with a focus on preparing students for academic writing and reading assignments.

The book starts with detailed attention to the writing process at a pace that is comfortable for the developmental student. It emphasizes the importance of the controlling idea, the process of gathering information from both personal experience and other sources, the structure of an essay, and the way in which ideas are arranged and connected. In Part Two, students learn how to use models for each of the patterns of development. The sentence/grammar material is self-contained in Part Three for flexible use by students studying independently or by teachers who might want to focus on a particular topic. Students learn how to construct different types of sentences and how to use appropriate punctuation. Ample exercise material reinforces the instruction. Part Four, Critical Reading Strategies, focuses on the process of reading and relates it to the process of writing and provides students with effective strategies for summarizing, note-taking, and annotating reading material.


An emphasis on academic writing and reading assignments prepares students to deal successfully with college work.

Integration of reading and writing instruction reinforces how these two fundamental skills complement each other and helps students deal more effectively with academic discourse.

Abundant exercise work includes group activities called "Participating in the Academic Community" at the end of each chapter to help promote active learning through collaboration.

Chapters on doing research and conducting interviews and observations support students' efforts to look outside themselves for writing topics.

A separate section of readings is grouped thematically and offers material from academic and popular sources for practicing critical reading and writing skills.

Sentence exercises, including cloze and sentence-combining types, allow students to focus on the discrete skill being taught and then to work with the skill in the context of a paragraph or essay in passages provided in the text and in their own writing.

Extensive examples of student writing are included in the writing sections of the book to provide examples that are accessible to students.

An extensive instructor's manual supports a variety of course methods and emphases.


Each chapter ends with "Chapter Review," "Participating in the Academic Community," and "Writing Assignment."


Introduction: Understanding the Writing Process.


1. Selecting and Limiting a Topic.

Selecting Your Own Topic.

Modifying an Assigned Topic.

Limiting a Topic.

2. Generating Ideas.

Using Invention Strategies.

Using Informal Planning Outlines.

3. Constructing Paragraphs: Topic Sentences.

Basic Structure of a Paragraph.

Writing Effective Topic Sentences.

Identifying Topic Sentences/Main Ideas in Paragraphs.

4. Constructing Paragraphs: Supporting Details.

Using Specific Details to Support Topic Sentences.

Patterns for Structuring Supporting Details.

Relevant and Irrelevant Details.

5. Moving from Paragraph to Essay.

Introduction: Stating the Thesis.

Body: Developing the Thesis.

Conclusion: Re-Emphasizing the Thesis.

From Paragraph to Essay.

6. Achieving Coherence.

Arranging Ideas.

Connecting Ideas.

Unifying Ideas.

Achieving Coherence in Essays.

7. Revising Your Essay.

Revising for Focus and Unity.

Revising for Content and Development.

Revising for Organization and Coherence.

Strategies for Revising.

Editing and Proofreading.

8. Gathering and Documenting Information from Sources.

Using Textbooks and Magazines.

Using Library Resources.

Using Electronic Resources.

Documenting and Citing Sources.

Applying the Research Process.


9. Description.

Understanding Description.

Writing Descriptive Paragraphs.

Writing Descriptive Essays.

10. Narration.



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