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Substance, Style, and Strategy

Lee A. Jacobus

Publication Date - March 1998

ISBN: 9780195078374

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

Retail Price to Students: $104.99


Ideal for courses in advanced composition, Substance, Style, and Strategy offers a comprehensive guide to develop effective writing in every student. It enables students to form a personal style, to write about issues that are substantial and meaningful, and to use a range of strategies for solving writing problems of all kinds.
Recognizing that students often require basic reminders of elementary stylistic principles, the book begins with a review in the first chapter, "Developing a Personal Style," that brings writers up to speed in standard skills. It discusses issues of subject, audience, style, and the writing process. Following chapters examine not only the types of essay writing students must do in college but also ways of writing that will be useful to them as developing writers later in life. The author presents workable, direct, and useful strategies for writing effective personal, biographical, argumentative, familiar, and critical essays. Each essay form is discussed in detail and illustrated through examples that are analyzed in depth; these examples are illuminating and instructive because they offer ways of solving problems that all writers confront. The text concludes with a practical appendix on research materials that outlines the most useful research strategies for modern writers, discussing both print resources and new on-line resources such as Lexis-Nexis, CD-ROM on-line databases and services, and the World Wide Web.
Substance, Style, and Strategy stimulates students to develop their thoughts and feelings in skillful, meaningful, and expressive prose, providing them with a thorough grounding in how to be writers for life.

Table of Contents

    1. Developing a Personal Style
    The Writing Process
    Box: Ten Tips for a Vigorous Style
    Box: Tips on Polishing Your Prose
    Matters of Style
    Style: Words and Sentences
    Box: Three Considerations for Style
    Box: General Rules that Sometimes Work for Word Choice
    Box: Rules that Sometimes Work for Paragraphs
    Developing Your Own Sense of Style
    How Writers Work
    The Course in Advanced Writing
    2. Writing the Personal Essay
    Maintaining a Journal or Diary
    Box: Tips for Keeping a Journal
    Sample Journal Entries
    The PErsonal Essay
    Richard Ford, "Accommodations"
    Bos: Ford's Opening Sentences
    The Search for Significance
    Let Your Story Unfold
    Box: Tips for Writing a Personal Essay
    3. Writing the Biographical Essay
    Another Person's Life
    What We Learn from Writing About People
    Catherine S. Manegold, "Kara S. Hultgreen: The Short Flight of a Fighter Pilor"
    Following Personal Interests
    Gathering Sources for a Biography
    Box: General Biographical Resources
    Judging Someone's Life
    Paul Theroux, "Chatwin Revisited"
    Strategies for Writing About Another Person
    Joan Didion, "Georgia O'Keeffe"
    Suggestions for Interesting Essays About Another Person
    Box: Tips That Sometimes Work for Writing About People
    4. Writing the Argumentative Essay
    What Is an Argument and Why Argue?
    Three Appeals in Argument
    Argument as Information
    Box: Argument as Information
    Claire Sterling, "Redfellas"
    Argument as Inquiry
    Evan S. Connell, "Were Custer's Men Brave?"
    Persuasion Through Argument
    The Tone of an Argument
    Box: Argumentative Tone
    Argument as Debate
    Katha Pollitt, "Subject to Debate"
    Midge Dector, "Welfare Feminism"
    Writing Argumentative Essays
    Box: Nine Sources for Arguments
    Box: Generally Reliable Suggestions for the Structure of an Argument
    Box: Nestorian Order
    Box: Tips that Sometimes Work
    for Writing Argumentative Essays
    5. Writing the Familiar Essay
    Beginning from Personal Experience
    Concrete Details
    Cynthia Ozick, "North"
    Analyzing an Abstraction
    Box: Generally Reliable Tips for Dealing with Abstraction
    Familiar Style
    E.M. Forster, "My Wood"
    Anonymous, "Coping with Anger"
    Box: Generally Reliable Tips for Discovering Significance in Events
    Andre James, "Malls and the Gender Gap"
    Box: Tips That Usually Help in Writing Familiar Essays
    6. Writing the Critical Essay
    What Is the Critical Essay?
    Thinking Critically About Ideas
    Analyzing an Essay: Francis Bacon's " Of Studies"
    Thinking Critically About the Arts
    Analyzing a Poem: William Wordsworth's "The Sonnet"
    Box: Some Usually Reliable Questions for Evaluating a Sonnet
    Analyzing Texts
    Box: Some Generally Useful Tips for Analyzing Texts
    Niccolo Machiavelli, "The Prince"
    The Structure of the Critical Essay
    Box: Tips Often Useful concerning the Structure of the Critical Essay
    Heinrich Boll, "The Laugher"
    Appendix: Modern Research Methods
    Where to Begin
    Box: Basic Print Reference Sources
    Box: Special Online Resources
    Box: CD-ROM Online Databases
    Box: Print Resources
    Choosing an Interesting Research Subject
    Conducting a Search of the Online Catalog
    Richard Worsnop, "Gun Control"
    The Importance of Your Research
    Formal Considerations
    Box: Tips that May Help as a Guide to Quoting from Sources

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