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Good Writing

Connie Snyder Mick

Publication Date - 31 August 2018

ISBN: 9780199947256

560 pages

In Stock

Because good writing does change the world


Connie Snyder Mick's innovative textbook shows how good writing changes the world. Designed for first-year writing courses, Good Writing: An Argument Rhetoric provides a step-by-step approach to help students design scalable, supportable, and significant compositions. The book's rhetorical instruction and diverse readings advance the concept of writing for social change, providing a strong foundation for community-engaged writing.


  • Focuses on applying an ethical lens to every element of writing
  • Offers an interdisciplinary approach to composition informed by Future Studies, Performance Studies, Poverty Studies, and Peace Studies
  • Provides ample support for instructors teaching courses with service-learning requirements
  • Eight highly engaging and diverse readings with "Headnotes" sections, providing preliminary context, and "For Reflection" sections, offering concluding questions for discussion
  • "Critical Questions" give instructors opportunities to assess student understanding and engagement with the reading
  • "In Process" sections describe major writing assignments and offer detailed templates with student writing models
  • "Office Hours" help students pinpoint human help on campus (peers, professors, writing center consultants, and librarians)

About the Author(s)

Connie Snyder Mick is Academic Director of the Center for Social Concerns and Co-director of the Poverty Studies Interdisciplinary Minor at the University of Notre Dame.


"When students are exposed to a view of writing that includes ethics and social responsibility, they are better prepared to recognize the kind of writing they will do in their professions and also understand what it means to be a citizen and write for the community." --Kara Poe Alexander, Baylor University

"Good Writing excels in its logical organization, its attention to citizenship, its focus on rhetorical knowledge and application, and its audience awareness." --Aimee N. Taylor, Ball State University

"This is the kind of composition textbook that I could imagine students holding on to and referencing long after their freshman composition course is complete." --Theresa Conefrey, Santa Clara University

"Writing anything has responsibility attached to it, and I think that Connie Mick has absolutely found a way to make this argument compelling and interesting." --Kim Lacey, Saginaw Valley State University

Table of Contents

    Front Matter

    PART ONE: Foundations of Writing and Critical Reading
    Chapter 1: Why Write?
    WHY Write? Reasons for Writing
    WHO Cares? Understanding Audience, Understanding Self
    WHERE Are We? Rhetorical Domains: Scope and Limitations
    HOW Should I Compose? Mode and Medium
    WHEN Should I Speak Out? Kairos, Context, and Listening
    WHAT Do I Think I Know? Message from Discernment

    Chapter 2: Elements of Rhetoric
    Rhetorical Situation
    Audience and Stakeholders

    Chapter 3: Reading and Listening for Writing
    The Rhetorical Reading Process
    The Rhetorical Listening Process

    Chapter 4: Argument
    Academic Arguments
    Arguable Claims
    Qualifying Claims
    Good Reasons: Aesthetic, Practical, and Ethical
    The Rhetorical Appeals: Ethos, Pathos, Logos
    Logical Fallacies
    Student Reading: Karmela Dalisay's Researched Proposal Argument, "Motivating the Homeless"

    Chapter 5: Writing Ethics, Responsibility, and Accountability
    Guidelines for Writing with Integrity
    Questions to Guide Ethical Writing
    Office Hours: Understanding Common Knowledge

    PART TWO: The Writing Process
    Chapter 6 Analyze the Assignment
    Rhetorical Analysis of Writing Prompts
    Three Elements for Rhetorical Analysis of a Writing Prompt
    Office Hours: Clarifying Cross-Cultural Assumptions
    Critical Questions

    Chapter 7: Plan: Organizing the Process
    Scheduling Tasks and Resources for Writing
    Writer's Rituals: Knowing What Works for You
    Confronting Writer's Block
    Office Hours: Resetting Your Writing Rituals

    Chapter 8: Question: Exploring Issues
    Finding a Topic: Who Decides?
    Moving from a Topic to an Issue
    Strategies for Finding Issues
    Gathering Initial Resources
    Office Hours: Engaging Libraries and Librarians to Find Topics and Issues

    Chapter 9: Read: Strategies for Reading in Research
    Active Reading for Research: Methods and Tools
    Office Hours: Surprises in Reading for Research

    Chapter 10: Invent: Take Note and Create
    Strategies for Invention
    Invention After Doing Preliminary Research
    Office Hours: Inventing at the Writing Center

    Chapter 11: Arrange: Prioritize, Organize, Outline
    Strategies for Prioritizing Ideas
    Strategies for Organizing Ideas
    Strategies for Selecting a Structure
    Strategies for Outlining Arguments
    Office Hours: Taking Time to Test the Thesis

    Chapter 12: Draft: Introduction, Body, Conclusion
    Strategies for Drafting
    Laying the Foundation
    Office Hours: Writer's Block, Writer's Bloat, and Writer's Bleh

    Chapter 13: Revise: Strategies for Re-seeing
    Articulating Questions for Revision
    Creating New Perspectives in Revision: Three Approaches
    Doing Revision
    Reviser's Block
    Office Hours: Converting Comments into Acts of Revision

    Chapter 14: Review: By Peers and Experts
    Why? The Purpose of Reviews
    When? Timing and Frequency of Reviews
    Who? People Who Can Help
    Where? Face-to-Face and Digital Exchanges
    How? Ways of Receiving Review
    Resisting Review
    Office Hours: Instructor Writing Conferences

    Chapter 15: Proofread and Submit
    Aims of Proofreading
    Strategies for Proofreading
    Submitting Work with Care and Confidence
    Office Hours: Proofreading for Non-Native Speakers of English

    PART THREE: Arguing With Purpose
    Chapter 16: Rhetorical Analysis: Getting the Message
    Strategies for Rhetorical Analysis
    Elements of Rhetorical Analysis
    In Process: Rhetorical Analysis of a Speech
    Published Reading: Ta-Nehisi Coates, "How the Obama Administration Talks to Black America"
    Student Reading: Dan J, "'We shall overcome': Passion, Freedom, and Triumph as Americans"
    The Writing Process
    What Happens Next?
    Office Hours: Honor Codes

    Chapter 17: Narration: Composing from Personal Experience
    Strategies for Narrative Arguments
    Elements of Narrative Argument
    In Process: Autoethnography
    Published Reading: Phil Garrity, "Measuring the Immeasurable"
    For Reflection
    Student Reading: Geraldine M., "The Elephant Ear Memory"
    The Writing Process
    What Happens Next?
    Office Hours: Setting Boundaries for Narrative Arguments with Personal Experience

    Chapter 18: Causation: Making Connections
    Strategies for Causal Arguments
    Elements of Causation
    In Process: Arguing Why Something Happened or What Will Happen
    Published Reading: Michelle Alexander, "The New Jim Crow: How the War on Drugs Gave Birth to a Permanent Undercaste"
    Student Reading: Kevin B., "Substance Abuse and Homelessness: Addressing a Complicated Relationship"
    The Writing Process
    What Happens Next?
    Office Hours: Getting Past Correlation: Calling a Cause a Cause

    Chapter 19: Definition: Explaining the Nature of Something
    Definitions that Differentiate and Exemplify
    Strategies for Definition Arguments
    Elements of Definition
    In Process: Differentiation
    Published Reading: Mariah Blake, "'Crack Babies' Talk Back"
    Student Reading: Ishmael A., "Social Justice: More Than Meeting an Immediate Need"
    The Writing Process
    What Happens Next?
    Office Hours: Handling Controversial Topics

    Chapter 20: Evaluation: Considering Criteria
    Strategies for Evaluation Arguments
    Elements of Evaluation
    In Process: Evaluate Policies, Programs, or People in Public Office
    Published Reading: Tressie McMillan Cottom, "A Middle-Class Anti-Poverty Solution"
    Student Reading: Rebecca V., "So Efficient - Too Efficient: Evaluating SNAP"
    The Writing Process
    What Happens Next?
    Office Hours: High Stakes Evaluations: When Claims on the Common Good Collide

    Chapter 21: Rebuttal: Negotiating Opposing Viewpoints
    Strategies for Rebuttal Arguments
    Elements of Rebuttal Argument
    In Process: Academic Counterarguments
    Published Reading: Kai Wright, "Young, Black, and Buried in Debt"
    Student Reading: Avani A., "Revisiting Moral Authority"
    The Writing Process
    Office Hours: Toning Down, Yet Dialing Up: Balancing How You Rebut

    Chapter 22: Proposal: Advocating for Change
    Strategies for Proposal Arguments
    Elements of Proposal
    In Process: Advocating for an Issue
    Published Reading: Karen Howard, "End the School-to-Prison Pipeline by Addressing Racial Bias"
    Student Reading: Fauvé L., "Providing Higher Education within the Prison System is Beneficial for All"
    The Writing Process
    Office Hours: Going Public: Writing an Op-Ed

    PART FOUR: Writing Strategies
    Chapter 23: Multimodal Composition
    A Definition of Classical Modes
    Types of Classical Modes
    A Definition of Modern Modes
    Types of Modern Modes
    Strategies for Multimodal Composing
    Office Hours: Moving Modes: Working with Reviewers to Select, Order, and Balance Modes

    Chapter 24: Style
    Four Core Elements of Style
    Office Hours: Breaking the Rules with Style

    Chapter 25: Inclusive Writing
    Principles for Inclusive Writing
    Beyond Words: Visual Inclusivity
    Published Reading: John Franklin Stephens, "I Am the Person You Hurt When You Say the R-Word"
    Office Hours: Learning Inclusive Language

    Chapter 26: Design and Delivery: Print, Digital, and Oral Presentations
    Why Design Matters
    Types of Visuals
    Elements of Design
    Principles of Design
    Delivery of Visuals
    Delivering Oral Presentations
    MLA Style: Formatting Delivery
    Office Hours: The Color of Culture: Researching Visual Norms Across Contexts

    PART FIVE: Doing Research
    Chapter 27: Working with Published Sources
    Finding Sources
    Evaluating Sources
    Arguing from Sources
    Office Hours: Who Thought That? Claiming Claims While Citing Sources

    Chapter 28: Working with Human Sources
    Human Subjects Research: A Definition
    Common Types of Human Subjects Research
    Office Hours: When What You Hear is Heavy

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