Sparks: A Reader to Energize Writing

Author(s): Donna Stevenson

Edition: 4

Copyright: 2016


Details: Print Prod w/KHPContent Code | 180 days |

Whether you teach a traditional or accelerated developmental writing course  Sparks: A Reader to Energize Writing offers a blend of reading strategies, essays, punctuation exercises, basic research documentation, and rhetorical modes—all in one text and written in a tone that speaks directly to students.  Each essay is accompanied by cultural and historical references as part of the pre-reading strategy, vocabulary and usage, discussion questions for critical thinking and discussion, style analysis and practice, group activities designed to complement writing assignments, writing ideas, and essay connections.  How to craft a thesis statement, work in groups, evaluate a peer’s writing, reduce wordiness, correct shifts in tense,  survive in college, and more provide students with numerous tools to improve writing, reading, and thinking skills.

            Sparks throws out the traditional workbook-style bulky text for a less cumbersome, more college-level looking text while retaining the necessary practice exercises, though using them as a way to approach style and sentence variety rather than as simple grammar drills.  The apparatus focuses on encouraging students to think about how writers write.  The essays range from brief –one or two pages —to lengthy—nine or ten.  All contain a complex element to encourage critical thinking, helping students move to the college level reading and analysis they need to succeed.  Topics range from nature, science, and art, to technology, social issues, and cultural analysis. From the humor of David Sedaris to the warnings of Mark Bauerlein, the essays provide a wide range of styles and tones to fit most any instructional method.

Essays by Rhetorical Mode
Essays by Subject and Theme
Style Guide
Assignment Guide
User’s Guide
Survival Kit

SECTION ONE Remembering: Personal Voices
SECTION TWO Contemplations: Essays that Explain and Explore
SECTION THREE Essays that Argue and Define
SECTION FOUR Writing Strategies
SECTION SIX Punctuation is Style: Basic Rules and Practice
SECTION SEVEN Sweating the Small Stuff: Revising and Editing



Donna Stevenson

Donna Stevenson (Barnard) lives in California and has taught college-level English for almost thirty years, including children's literature and world mythology. She is the author of Sparks: A Reader to Energize Writing, a textbook for developmental and transfer level courses, published by Kendall Hunt, and now in it's fourth revised edition.

“I’ve been using Sparks: A Reader to Energize Writing for several semesters in my courses with great success. The selections range from brief to complex, but all are compelling and generate interesting writing and discussion. The apparatus is also very useful, helping students make connections between what they read and what they already know and providing opportunity after opportunity for incorporating new ideas and styles into their writing.”
-Richard Levesque
Fullerton College, CA

“By offering author information, historical connections, vocabulary words, group ideas, and film connections, to name a few, Barnard gives the instructor a tremendous tool chest from which to select the best approach. Using Sparks as the basis for class discussions has given students’ writing a more specific focus. Now, instead of writing about what they did last summer or comparing their favorite restaurants, they are defining the role that advertising plays in our society or exploring the contributions of myths and legends.”
-Gary Lee Sligh, PhD
Lake Sumter College, FD

Sparks ‘busts’ the dogma that insists developmental writers need to master basic skills before working on voice and style in their writing. Professor Barnard asserts that developing style and working on basic skills are not mutually exclusive activities; rather, by focusing on style – through the use of stimulating essays, discussion points, writing ideas, group activities, film connections and styling exercises – she provides logical and creative ways for all writers to progress.”
-Gary and Glynis Hoffman
Authors of: Adios, Strunk and White

Related ISBN's: 9781524959975, 9781524973131

Print Package



ISBN 9781524959975

Details Print Prod w/KHPContent Code 180 days