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A Reader for Writers

Todd James Pierce

Publication Date - 31 December 2015

ISBN: 9780190279950

384 pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

In Stock


Developed for courses in first-year writing, College: A Reader for Writers includes an interdisciplinary mix of public, academic, and cultural reading selections. It provides students with the rhetorical knowledge and analytical strategies required to participate effectively in discussions about college and culture.

College: A Reader for Writers is part of a series of brief, single-topic readers from Oxford University Press designed for today's college writing courses. Each reader in this series approaches a topic of contemporary conversation from multiple perspectives.


  • Explores important issues that continue to shape the American college system, including curriculum, tuition, and social structure
  • Prompts students to assess the value of extracurricular experiences like the Greek System and college sports
  • Includes hundreds of discussion questions and over fifty writing prompts

About the Author(s)

Todd James Pierce is Professor of English at Cal Poly University in San Luis Obispo, California, where he directs the creative writing program.

Table of Contents


    1 Admissions
    Malcom Gladwell "Getting In: The Social Logic of Ivy League Admissions"
    Eric Hoover "Application Inflation: When Is Enough Enough?"
    Thomas Frank, "The Price of Admission"
    Robert J. Stenberg "College Admissions, Beyond the No. 2 Pencil"
    Dalton Conley "When Roommates Were Random"

    2 What Is College?
    Graeme Wood "The Future of College?"
    Dan Berrett "The Day the Purpose of College Changed"
    William Deresiewicz "The Disadvantages of an Elite Education"
    Vauhini Vara "Is College the New High School?"
    Derek Newton "Higher Education is Not a Mixtape"

    3 Academic Life
    Eric Hoover "The Comfortable Kid"
    Trip Gabriel "Learning in Dorm, Because Class Is on the Web"
    Douglas Belkin "Cracking Down on Skipping Class: High-Tech Trackers Aim to Boost Attendance, as Colleges Seek Higher Graduation Rates"
    Jacques Steinberg "More Professors Give Out Hand-Held Devices to Monitor Students and Engage Them"
    Cecilia Capuzzi Simon "Major Decisions"
    Laura Pappano "Take Notes From the Pros"
    Marcia Y. Cantarella "Just Not Feeling it -- Or When You Don't Love a Subject You Have to Take"
    Paul Fain "Competent at What?"

    4 The Ever-Changing Curriculum
    Laura Pappano "Learning to Think Outside the Box: Creativity Becomes an Academic Discipline"
    Rajat Bhageria "Should We Require Computer Science Classes?"
    Valerie Strauss "Why College Freshmen Need to Take Emotions 101"
    Rich Barlow "BU Mandates Online Alcohol Course for First-Year Students"
    Scott Carlson "When Colleges Abandon Phys Ed, What Else Is Lost?"

    5 The Greek System
    Caitlin Flanagan "The Dark Power of Fraternities"
    Editors of Bloomberg.com "Bloomberg: Ban Fraternities"
    Peter Jacobs "I Still Think Joining a Fraternity Was One of the Best Decisions I've Ever Made"
    Risa C. Doherty "Greek Letters at a Price"

    6 College Sports
    Taylor Branch "The Shame of College Sports"
    Ian Crouch "Are College Athletes Employees?"
    Dr. Alan Kadish "Colleges Prepare Athletes for Bad Behavior in the NFL"

    7 Campus Life
    Scott Carlson "Spending Shifts as Colleges Compete on Students' Comfort"
    Abigail Sullivan Moore and Julie Turkewitz "Legally High at a Colorado Campus"
    Phyllis Korkki "The Internships as Inside Track"
    Jonathan Lash "Educating for Change"
    Carla Rivera "Women's Colleges Lead Push to Redefine Gender Roles"
    Nathan Deuel "On Maleness and Deep Springs College"

    Appendix: Researching and Writing About College

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