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Home & Contents                       Basics                       College Writing             




Click on any  part or section below:

Part I. Basics/Process

  A. Chapters 1-6: Start

  B. Ch. 7-13: Organize

  C. Ch. 14-20: Revise/Edit

Part II. College Writing

   D. Ch. 21-23: What Is It?

   E. Ch. 24-30: Write on Rdgs.

   F. Ch.31-35: Arguments

  G. Ch. 36-42: Research

  H. Ch. 43-48: Literature

   I.  Ch. 49-58: Majors & Work

Part III. Grammar

 Study Questions





This first major part or division of"Basics"--shows basic principles and methods of writing in high school and college.  It contains sections "A"-"C" with chapters 1-19:

I. BASICS--Sections & Chapters:


A. Start

   1. How I Learned

   2. Focus

   3. First Drafts

   4. Self & Others

   5. Modes

   6. Thinking


B. Organize

   7. What Is "Organizing"?

   8. Major Organization

   9. Basic Paper Layouts

 10. Typical Body Section

 11. Paragraph Patterns

 12. Details & Images


C. Revise/Edit

 13. What Is "Revising"?

 14. Peacock Sentences

 15. Peacock Punctuation

 16. Punctuation Review

 17. Five Special Methods

 18. Typing/Printing

 19. Revision Checklist


If you are a student in a basic or developmental writing course in college--or a high school-level writing course--the above chapters contain essential information.  In addition, you (and your instructor) may be interested in the following additional chapters:

News Article  -  Project Report  - 
Literary Analysis

What is Argument?  -  Thesis Essay  - 
Professional Proposal

Reading & Writing:
Reading a Textbook
 -  Disagreeing w/a Reading  -  Analyzing a Reading

A "basic college writer" is a person taking a writing class in college that is at a high school level, or it is "between" high school and college level.  This usually is a course required of you by placement in the course, to help prepare you for the regular college composition course. In other words, you likely are starting college but are not yet ready for college composition--or you may still be in high school.  Either way, this section can help.  It offers a collection of important basic/beginning/high school-level chapters. They are writing methods that everyone who writes well must learn from reading textbooks like this and/or from many writing experiences.    

If you are starting college and you've been placed in a "basic" or "developmental" writing course, please know that it likely just means you haven't had as much writing practice as other college students.  Also you should know that you are in good company: typically, about 20-40% of students--depending on the school--start their writing in college in a basic/developmental writing class.  Research suggests that once you've successfully completed this course, you will, on average, complete your next college writing class with a slightly higher grade than students who did not first take a basic/developmental class.  In other words, typically, you'll finish slightly ahead of others in writing knowledge and skills. 

What if you're still in high school?  If you haven't yet had a composition course or another course with lessons specifically in writing, this section of this textbook can help you quite a bit.  These "Basics" show you most of the what you'll need for introductory college writing. The rest that you need is, primarily, lots of practice.

So, relax, write as much as you can, and have fun.  Good luck with your new writing experiences and writing knowledge!  


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A. Start


B. Organize


C. Revise/Edit

Activity Page


Updated 1 Aug. 2013

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Previous editions: Writing for School & Work, 1984-1998;, 1998-2012
6th Edition: 8-1-12, rev. 8-1-13.  Text, design, and photos copyright 2002-12 by R. Jewell or as noted
Permission is hereby granted for nonprofit educational copying and use without a written request.
Images courtesy of Barry's Clip Art, Clip Art Warehouse, The Clip Art Universe, Clipart Collection, MS Clip Art Gallery and Design Gallery Live, School Discovery, and Web Clip Art
Click here to contact the author: Richard Jewell.  Questions and suggestions are welcome.



















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