The College Writer

It is always hard to create a book that speaks to all audiences. A college English course might contain a mixture of barely-interested-in-English students who just want to get on with their chemistry passion, students who adore writing and who fill journals up with stories every month, and in our world of online degrees it could also contain adult students in their 30s and 40s who have been writing professionally for years. The one course book has to somehow address all of these different students and help each one make progress in their studies.

This book isn't about "use I before E" or "proper placement of periods". It's about constructing an essay that will be appreciated and well received. It begins with basic process - something that can benefit just about anybody. Plan out your essay's theme. Start with rough drafts. Give yourself AMPLE time for multiple revisions. Don't skimp on proofreading!

There is direct advice in here for how to tweak an essay (or really anything you write) to make it more engaging and powerful. Specific suggestions on word choice, sentence style, and vivid verbs can really help a writer polish their writing from being "standard" to "exceptional".

Many times it helps to read something in action in order to absorb it. There are MANY sample essays in the book that are highlighted to illustrate which key parts help them shine. The essays are enjoyable to read and the points made really help bring to life some of the instructions.

A variety of essay styles are included here. Compare and contrast. Making a position. Writing for work tasks.

There is a special section for MLA documentation format requirements, updated for 2009. Whatever types of references you need to make - to books, websites, etc. - the instructions are here.

While I said early on that the book isn't about punctuation and such, there is in fact an appendix in the back that contains that kind of information. Where to use colons. How to properly use quotation marks. People in need of that sort of reference material will find it in here.

I realize that not every book exactly meets every person's requirements. Undoubtedly some beginner students might find this a bit too confusing. There are experienced students who might find some of the material too basic. The key is to draw from a book what you need to learn. I myself fall into the "mature student" category. I write for a living, and publish a literary magazine. I am generally familiar with writing essays. Even so, I found a lot of quite helpful and insightful material in here to help me polish and tune my works.

Well recommended.

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