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Writer's Handbook: Developing Writing Skills for University Students 4ed

by Leslie E Casson Broadview Press
Pub Date:
Spb 168 pages
AU$27.99 NZ$30.43
Product Status: In Stock Now
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& Academics:
Written collaboratively by writing instructors at the Queen’s University Writing Centre, A Writer’s Handbook is a compact yet thorough guide to academic writing. This clear and concise handbook outlines strategies both for thinking assignments through and for writing them well.

The fourth edition is revised and updated throughout and reflects changes to MLA style for 2016.

Chapter one: Understanding the Assignment

Looking for Action

Different Verbs, Different Essays

Chapter two: Planning and Outlining

Gathering Material


Organizing Material—Developing Your Thesis and Outline

Chapter three: Paragraphs

The Long and the Short of It

What/How/Why … Again

Focus and Coherence


Beginnings and Endings

Know Your Project

Chapter four: Stylistic Decisions

Editing with Your Ears

Content vs. Grammar

To Be or Not …

Prepositional Phrases


Beware Your Thesaurus

Figurative Language

Be Precise and Be Realistic

Chapter five: Essential Grammar


Voice: Passive or Active?

Making Contact: Working with Connectors

She or Her, Who or Whom? It All Depends on the Case

He, She, or They?: Pronoun Agreement and Gender Neutrality

Chapter six: Punctuation

That’s All I Have to Say. Period.

Connecting Ideas: Commas and Dashes

Connecting More Ideas: Colons and Semicolons

Exclamation Points!

Ellipses and Brackets: Clarifying Quoted Material

Contraction and Possession: The Apostrophe

Apostrophes and Plurals

When Not to Use an Apostrophe: Possessive Pronouns

Chapter seven: Documentation

The P Word: Plagiarism

When to Cite a Source

When Not to Cite a Source

Documentation Systems

Modern Language Association (MLA) Format

American Psychological Association (APA) Format

Chicago Manual of Style (Chicago Style) Format

Chapter eight: Business Writing

Reader-Centred Writing: It’s All about You

Always Look on the Bright Side: Making Negatives Positive

Creating Information Snapshots: Parallel Structure

Creating More Information Snapshots: Bullets and Headings

Memos, Letters, and Reports: Conventional Formats

Some Notes on Email

Chapter nine: Writing in the Sciences

IMRAD: Formatting Your Lab Report

Abstracts: Making the Essentials Concrete

Passive Voice: It’s Not All about You

Giving Credit: Documentation Formats

Tone: Be Direct and Be Objective

Appendix: Confusable Words: Usage and Misusage

Praise for previous editions

“The third edition of A Writer’s Handbook beautifully speaks to and meets the needs of its target readers: university undergraduate students. Casson and the other contributors truly understand the common and most significant issues of undergraduate writing, whether in the humanities or the sciences, and they communicate with refreshing clarity the strategies, techniques, and information students will need in order to write effectively. An accessible, concise, and engaging resource. Highly recommended!” — Michael Johnstone, University of Toronto

“My students will find A Writer’s Handbook immediately helpful; it makes sense of what professors often fail to explain but expect students to know and perform effortlessly.” — Caroline L. Eisner, Director of Academic Writing, AcademicCoachingandWriting.org, and co-editor of Originality, Imitation, and Plagiarism: Teaching Writing in the Digital Age
Leslie E. Casson is Associate Dean, Justice Studies and Applied Arts at St. Lawrence College.