Rules for Writers with Writing about Literature (Tabbed Version) with 2016 MLA Update)
Eighth Edition   ©2016

Rules for Writers with Writing about Literature (Tabbed Version) with 2016 MLA Update)

Diana Hacker (late of Prince George's Community College) , Nancy Sommers (Harvard University)  

  • ISBN-10: 1-319-08351-X; ISBN-13: 978-1-319-08351-9; Format: Spiral Bound, 768 pages

Preface for instructors 000

The Writing Process

1 Exploring, planning, and drafting 3

a Assess the writing situation. 3

b Explore your subject. 12

c Draft and revise a working thesis statement. 14

d Draft a plan. 19

e Draft an introduction. 22

f Draft the body. 24

g Draft a conclusion. 25

h Manage your files. 29

2 Revising, editing, and reflecting 30

a See revision as a social process. 30

b Use peer review: Revise with comments. 30

c Use peer review: Give constructive comments. 33

d Highlights of one student’s peer review process 35

e Approach global revision in cycles. 38

f Revise and edit sentences. 43

g Proofread the final manuscript. 44

h Sample student revision 45

i Prepare a portfolio; reflect on your writing. 48

3 Building effective paragraphs 49

a Focus on a main point. 49

b Develop the main point. 52

c Choose a suitable pattern of organization. 52

d Make paragraphs coherent. 59

e If necessary, adjust paragraph length. 63

Academic Reading, Writing, and Speaking 65

4 Reading and writing critically 66

a Read actively. 66

Sample annotated article 67

b Outline a text to identify main ideas. 71

c Summarize to deepen your understanding. 72

d Analyze to demonstrate your critical reading. 73

Writing guide: Analytical essay 76

e Sample student writing: Analysis of an article 77

Sample analysis paper 78

5 Reading and writing about multimodal texts 80

a Read actively. 81

Sample annotated advertisement 83

b Outline to identify main ideas. 84

c Summarize to deepen your understanding. 85

d Analyze to demonstrate your critical reading. 86

e Sample student writing: Analysis of an advertisement 88

Sample analysis of an advertisement 88

6 Reading and writing arguments 91

a Distinguish between reasonable and fallacious argumentative tactics. 92

b Distinguish between legitimate and unfair emotional appeals. 98

c Judge how fairly a writer handles opposing views. 100

d When writing arguments, consider purpose and context. 103

e View your audience as a panel of jurors. 103

f In your introduction, establish credibility and state your position. 105

g Back up your thesis with persuasive lines of argument. 106

h Support your claims with specific evidence. 107

i Anticipate objections; counter opposing arguments. 109

j Build common ground. 111

k Sample student writing: Argument 111

Sample argument paper 112

Writing guide: Argument essay 118

7 Speaking confidently 119

a Identify your purpose, audience, and context. 120

b Prepare a presentation. 120

c Focus on delivery. 122

d Remix an essay for a presentation. 123

Clarity 125

8 Prefer active verbs. 126

a Active versus passive verbs 126

b Active versus be verbs 127

c Subject that names the actor 128

9 Balance parallel ideas. 129

a Parallel ideas in a series 130

b Parallel ideas presented as pairs 130

c Repetition of function words 132

10 Add needed words. 133

In compound structures 133

b that 134

c In comparisons 134

d a, an, and the 136

11 Untangle mixed constructions. 137

a Mixed grammar 137

b Illogical connections 138

c is when, is where, and reason . . . is because 139

12 Repair misplaced and dangling modifiers. 140

a Limiting modifiers 140

b Misplaced phrases and clauses 141

c Awkwardly placed modifiers 142

d Split infinitives 142

e Dangling modifiers 144

13 Eliminate distracting shifts. 147

a Point of view (person, number) 147

b Verb tense 148

c Verb mood, voice 149

d Indirect to direct questions or quotations 150

14 Emphasize key ideas. 152

a Coordination and subordination 152

b Choppy sentences 157

c Ineffective or excessive coordination 158

d Ineffective subordination 160

e Excessive subordination 160

f Other techniques 162

15 Provide some variety. 163

Sentence openings 163

b Sentence structures 164

c Inverted order 164

16 Tighten wordy sentences. 166

Redundancies 166

b Unnecessary repetition 166

c Empty or inflated phrases 167

d Simplifying the structure 168

e Reducing clauses to phrases, phrases to single words 169

17 Choose appropriate language. 170

a Jargon 171

b Pretentious language, euphemisms, "doublespeak" 171

c Slang, regional expressions, nonstandard English 174

d Levels of formality 175

e Sexist language 176

f Offensive language 179

18 Find the exact words. 180

a Connotations 180

b Specific, concrete nouns 181

c Misused words 181

d Standard idioms 182

e Clichés 184

f Figures of speech 185

Grammar 187

19 Repair sentence fragments. 188

a Subordinate clauses 190

b Phrases 191

c Other fragmented word groups 192

d Acceptable fragments 194

20 Revise run-on sentences. 195

a Revision with coordinating conjunction 197

b Revision with semicolon, colon, or dash 198

c Revision by separating sentences 199

d Revision by restructuring 200

21 Make subjects and verbs agree. 202

a Standard subject-verb combinations 202

b Words between subject and verb 202

c Subjects joined with and 203

d Subjects joined with or, nor, either . . . or, or neither . . . nor 206

e Indefinite pronouns 206

f Collective nouns 207

g Subject following verb 209

h Subject, not subject complement 209

i who, which, and that 210

j Words with plural form, singular meaning 211

k Titles of works, company names, words mentioned as words, gerund phrases 211

22 Make pronouns and antecedents agree. 213

a Singular with singular, plural with plural (indefinite pronouns, generic nouns) 213

b Collective nouns 215

c Antecedents joined with and 215

d Antecedents joined with or, nor, either . . . or, or neither . . . nor 216

23 Make pronoun references clear. 218

a Ambiguous or remote reference 218

b Broad reference of this, that, which, and it 219

c Implied antecedents 219

d Indefinite use of they, it, and you 220

e who for persons, which or that for animals or things 221

24 Distinguish between pronouns such as I and me. 222

a Subjective case for subjects and subject complements 223

b Objective case for objects 223

c Appositives 224

d Pronoun following than or as 225

e we or us before a noun 225

f Subjects and objects of infinitives 225

g Pronoun modifying a gerund 226

25 Distinguish between who and whom. 227

a In subordinate clauses 228

b In questions 229

c As subjects or objects of infinitives 229

26 Choose adjectives and adverbs with care. 230

a Adjectives to modify nouns 231

b Adverbs to modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs 232

c good and well, bad and badly 233

d Comparatives and superlatives 234

e Double negatives 235

27 Choose appropriate verb forms, tenses, and moods in Standard English. 237

a Irregular verbs 237

b lie and lay 241

c -s (or -es) endings 242

d -ed endings 245

e Omitted verbs 246

f Verb tense 247

g Subjunctive mood 252

Multilingual Writers and ESL Challenges 255

28 Verbs 256

a Appropriate form and tense 256

b Passive voice 259

c Base form after a modal 261

d Negative verb forms 264

e Verbs in conditional sentences 265

f Verbs followed by gerunds or infinitives 267

29 Articles 270

a Articles and other noun markers 270

b When to use the 271

c When to use a or an 274

d When not to use a or an 276

e No articles with general nouns 277

f Articles with proper nouns 277

30 Sentence structure 279

a Linking verb between a subject and its complement 280

b A subject in every sentence 280

c Repeated nouns or pronouns with the same grammatical function 281

d Repeated subjects, objects, and adverbs in adjective clauses 282

e Mixed constructions with although or because 283

f Placement of adverbs 284

g Present participles and past participles as adjectives 285

h Order of cumulative adjectives 287

31 Prepositions and idiomatic expressions 288

a Prepositions showing time and place 288

b Noun (including -ing form) after a preposition 290

c Common adjective + preposition combinations 291

d Common verb + preposition combinations 291

Punctuation 293

32 The comma 294

a Independent clauses joined with and, but, etc. 294

b Introductory elements 295

c Items in a series 297

d Coordinate adjectives 297

e Nonrestrictive and restrictive elements 299

f Transitions, parenthetical expressions, absolute phrases, contrasts 303

g Direct address, yes and no, interrogative tags, interjections 305

h he said, etc. 305

i Dates, addresses, titles, numbers 306

j To prevent confusion 307

33 Unnecessary commas 308

a Between two words, phrases, or subordinate clauses 308

b Between a verb and its subject or object 309

c Before the first or after the last item in a series 309

d Between cumulative adjectives, an adjective and a noun, or an adverb and an adjective 309

e Before and after restrictive or parenthetical elements 310

f Before essential concluding adverbial elements 310

g After a phrase beginning an inverted sentence 311

h Other misuses 311

34 The semicolon 313

a Between independent clauses not joined with a coordinating conjunction 313

b Between independent clauses linked with a transitional expression 314

c In a series containing internal punctuation 315

d Misuses 315

35 The colon 317

a Before a list, an appositive, or a quotation 317

b Conventional uses 318

c Misuses 318

36 The apostrophe 319

a Possessive nouns 319

b Possessive indefinite pronouns 320

c Contractions 321

d Not for plural numbers, letters, abbreviations, words as words 321

e Misuses 322

37 Quotation marks 323

a Direct quotations 324

b Quotation within a quotation 325

c Titles of short works 325

d Words as words 325

e With other punctuation marks 326

f Misuses 328

38 End punctuation 330

a The period 330

b The question mark 331

c The exclamation point 331

39 Other punctuation marks 332

a The dash 332

b Parentheses 333

c Brackets 334

d The ellipsis mark 334

e The slash 335


40 Abbreviations 338

a Titles with proper names 338

b Familiar abbreviations 338

c Conventional abbreviations 339

d Units of measurement 339

e Latin abbreviations 340

f Plural of abbreviations 340

g Misuses 340

41 Numbers 341

a Spelling out 341

b Using numerals 342

42 Italics 343

a Titles of works 343

b Names of ships, spacecraft, and aircraft 344

c Foreign words 344

d Words as words, letters as letters, numbers as numbers 344

43 Spelling 345

a Spelling rules 345

b The dictionary 347

c Words that sound alike 351

d Commonly misspelled words 351

44 The hyphen 353

a Compound words 353

b Hyphenated adjectives 354

c Fractions and compound numbers 354

d With certain prefixes and suffixes 355

e To avoid ambiguity or to separate awkward double or triple letters 355

f Word division 355

45 Capitalization 356

a Proper vs. common nouns 356

b Titles with proper names 358

c Titles and subtitles of works 358

d First word of a sentence 359

e First word of a quoted sentence 359

f First word after a colon 359

Grammar Basics 361

46 Parts of speech 362

a Nouns 362

b Pronouns 363

c Verbs 365

d Adjectives 367

e Adverbs 368

f Prepositions 369

g Conjunctions 370

h Interjections 371

47 Sentence patterns 375

a Subjects 375

b Verbs, objects, and complements 378

c Pattern variations 382

48 Subordinate word groups 383

a Prepositional phrases 384

b Verbal phrases 385

c Appositive phrases 388

d Absolute phrases 388

e Subordinate clauses 389

49 Sentence types 392

a Sentence structures 392

b Sentence purposes 394

Research 395

50 Thinking like a researcher; gathering sources 396

a Manage the project. 396

b Pose questions worth exploring. 398

c Map out a search strategy. 401

d Search efficiently; master a few shortcuts to finding good sources. 402

e Conduct field research, if appropriate. 406

f Write a research proposal. 408

51 Managing information; taking notes responsibly 408

a Maintain a working bibliography. 409

b Keep track of source materials. 410

c Take notes carefully to avoid unintentional plagiarism. 410

52 Evaluating sources 416

a Think about how sources might contribute to your writing. 416

b Select sources worth your time and attention. 418

c Select appropriate versions of online sources. 421

d Read with an open mind and a critical eye. 422

e Assess Web sources with care. 424

f Construct an annotated bibliography. 427

Writing guide: Annotated bibliography 428

Writing Papers in MLA Style 431

53 Supporting a thesis 435

a Form a working thesis. 435

b Organize your ideas. 436

c Use sources to inform and support your argument. 437

d Draft an introduction for your thesis. 439

e Draft the paper in an appropriate voice. 440

54 Citing sources; avoiding plagiarism 441

a Understand how the MLA system works. 441

b Avoid plagiarism when quoting, summarizing, and paraphrasing sources. 442

55 Integrating sources 445

Summarize and paraphrase effectively. 446

b Use quotations effectively. 447

c Use signal phrases to integrate sources. 450

d Synthesize sources. 454

56 Documenting sources in MLA style 458

a MLA in-text citations 458

b MLA list of works cited 468

c MLA information notes 512

57 MLA manuscript format; sample research paper 513

a MLA manuscript format 513

b Sample MLA research paper 516

Writing Papers in APA Style 527

58 Supporting a thesis 530

a Form a working thesis. 530

b Organize your ideas. 531

c Use sources to inform and support your argument. 532

59 Citing sources; avoiding plagiarism 534

a Understand how the APA system works. 534

b Avoid plagiarism when quoting, summarizing, and paraphrasing sources. 535

60 Integrating sources 537

a Summarize and paraphrase effectively. 538

b Use quotations effectively. 539

c Use signal phrases to integrate sources. 541

d Synthesize sources. 545

61 Documenting sources in APA style 546

a APA in-text citations 547

b APA list of works cited 553

62 APA manuscript format; sample paper 580

a APA manuscript format 581

b Sample APA research paper 584

Appendixes 597

A document design gallery 597

Glossary of usage 608

Answers to lettered exercises 622

Index 636

Writing about Literature

L1 Reading to form an interpretation

a Read actively.

b Form an interpretation.

L2 Planning the paper

a Draft a thesis.

b Sketch an outline.

L3 Writing the paper

a Draft an introduction.

b Support your interpretation; avoid simple plot summary.

L4 Observing conventions

a Refer to authors, titles, and characters.

b Use the present tense.

c Use MLA style to format quotations.

L5 Integrating quotations from the text

a Distinguish between the author and a narrator or speaker.

b Provide context for quotations.

c Avoid shifts in tense.

d Indicate changes in a quotation: use brackets and the ellipsis mark.

e Enclose embedded quotations in single quotation marks.

f Use MLA style to cite passages from the work.

L6 Using secondary sources

a Document sources.

b Avoid plagiarism.

L7 Sample papers

An analysis of a poem

Poem: "Ballad of the Landlord," by Langston Hughes

An analysis of a short story (with secondary sources)

Short story: "A Jury of Her Peers," by Susan Glaspell

Index for Writing about Literature