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Writing Program

Faculty Picks

Faculty Picks of Great Books and Online Resources for Teaching Writing in Disciplines

(all of the books are available at the Duggan Library)

John C. Bean, Engaging Ideas: The Professor's Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom, 2nd ed. (Jossey-Bass, 2011).
The standard faculty guide to teaching writing within disciplines and across the curriculum. Especially helpful for exploring how various genres of writing foster critical thinking. Great for ideas in designing and evaluating different kinds of writing assignments. Recommended by Lauren Griffith, Anthropology.

Joan H. Garrett-Goodyear, Elizabeth W. Harries, Douglas L. Patey, Margaret L. Shook, Writing Papers: A Handbook for Students at Smith College. Revised Edition (Sundance Publishing, 1980). (Out of print, but available used for one penny)
A slim, concise, highly readable guide to the basics of organization, diction, grammar and punctuation, and source use. Great for W1 courses. Recommended by Melissa Eden, English.

Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein, They Say, I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2014). (Under $20).
A clear, readable, friendly guide to the rhetoric of good writing. Includes helpful "templates" throughout for summarizing and responding to the arguments of others, and crafting arguments of one's own. Great for W2 courses in particular. Recommended by President Lake Lambert, III.

V.A.Howard and J.H. Barton, Thinking on Paper (New York: Quill/William Morrow, 1986). (Under $20).
Great guide for taking students from idea to sentence to essay. Chapter three on "The Essay: A Framework for Thinking in Writing" is especially good for exploring the basics of writing for beginners. Also includes sound guidance on grammar and punctuation. Great for W1 courses. Recommended by Dominique Battles, English.

OWL (Online Writing Lab), owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/ (Free)
An excellent, free-service website by the Writing Lab at Purdue University offering resources, instructional materials, and writing projects and ideas for in-class and out-of class. Recommended by Paul Battles, English.

William Strunk and E.B. White, The Elements of Style (Longman, 1999), 4th edition. (Under $20).
The slim, time-honored classic book on clarity and style in writing. Great for W1 or W2 courses. Recommended by Dee Goertz, English.

John R. Trimble, Writing with Style: Conversations on the Art of Writing (Longman, 2010), 3rd edition.
Full of practical writing tips, written in a lively, conversational style. Recommended by Dee Goertz, English.

Peter Elbow, Writing with Power: Techniques for Understanding the Writing Process (Oxford University Press, 1998), 2nd edition. (Under $20).
A classic guide for writers that emphasizes process in writing and revising. Has many activities and exercises for helping students generate and formulate ideas in writing. Recommended by Dee Goertz, English.

Katherine L. Acheson, Writing Essays About Literature: A Brief Guide for University and College Students (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2010). (Under $20).
One of the few books about writing that is hard to put down. A slim, friendly guide that takes students through the steps of composing thoughtful, compelling, well-supported arguments about literary texts. Can't recommend it enough. Great for W2 courses in particular. Recommended by Dominique Battles, English.

Guide to Grammar and Writing (online). http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/
A super helpful website containing digital handouts on grammar and English usage, over 170 computer-graded quizzes, and excellent recommendations on writing. Recommended by Elizabeth Winters, Communication.

William Zinsser, On Writing Well (30th Anniversary Edition) (New York: Harper Perennial, 2006). (Under $20).
A refreshingly sensible, readable classic on good writing. Especially good for matters of style (simplicity, word choice, usage, clutter). The second half contains chapters on writing within specific disciplines, including Science and Technology, Travel, Business, Sports, History, and the Performing Arts. Great for W1 or W2. Recommended by Dominique Battles, English.

Wayne Booth, Gregory Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, The Craft of Research, 3rd edition (University of Chicago Press, 2008). (Under $20).
One of the standard guides to planning, reasoning, and writing research papers in a variety of disciplines. Contains models for diagramming claims, reasons, and evidence, and has practical advice on revising research papers. This book is distinctive for its emphasis on role-taking as an essential step in the writing process. Good for W2 courses. Recommended by Dominique Battles, English.

Victoria E. McMillan, Writing in the Biological Sciences, 5th ed. (Bedford/St. Martin, 2011).
"I like the book because it is extremely accessible and breaks down the writing process, giving rationales for why we do things the way we do. As an undergraduate and graduate student, I found this book particularly useful in terms of the mechanics of writing in the biological sciences." Good for W2 courses. Recommended by Glene Mynhardt, Biology.

Ann Longknife, Ph.D. and K. D. Sullivan, The Art of Styling Sentences, 5th ed.  (Barron's, 2012).  (Under $10).
A great guide, with exercises, for teaching sentence structure as a rhetorical tool for packaging concepts and ideas more effectively.  The different sentence patterns lend themselves to different rhetorical contexts that students will realize they encounter all the time.  Great for W1 courses. Recommended by Miriam Pittenger, Classical Studies.