Write It .5: A Process Approach to College Essays, with Readings

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The goal of Write It .5 is to introduce international and generation 1.5 students to the idea of academic argument and the academic essay form that they will encounter in many of their classes in American colleges and universities. The opening sections of the book help familiarize these students with conventions of language, basic course organizations, and writing in the college classroom. The following sections guide the students through the writing process itself by providing thought-provoking questions and activities designed to help them gain skills and strategies that enable them to approach a writing assignment. Each of the later sections then helps them develop their skills in critical reading and textual analysis. Ultimately they are lead through the processes of gathering evidence, drafting, and editing. The practice of each stage of the writing process in isolation allows them to focus on writing one stage at a time.

Write It .5 is a workbook that provides practice that aids understanding of

  • college course organization and etiquette 
  • vocabulary and dictionary usage 
  • idioms 
  • the steps in the writing process 
  • critical reading 
  • analysis of a reading 
  • summarizing 
  • construction of a thesis 
  • formation of an argument 
  • marshalling evidence 
  • drafting 
  • editing 
  • proofreading 

 

A Note on Writing 
Acknowledgments 

Part 1 BECOMING MORE FAMILIAR WITH ACADEMIC CULTURE 
Reading a Syllabus 
Sample Syllabus 
English Idioms 
Academic Integrity: Guidelines for Avoiding Plagiarism 
Using a Dictionary 
Using the Writing Process 
Reading, Writing, and Speaking in an Academic Setting 
“Some Thoughts on the Lost Art of Reading Aloud” by Verlyn Klinkenborg 

Part 2 WRITING BASICS 
Steps for a Thoughtful Reading of an Essay 
“Sibling Rivalry” by Kelsey O’Neill 
Strategies to Help You Analyze a Reading Selection and Develop Your Ideas for Writing a Response 
Summary and Paraphrase 
Analysis 
A Suggested Structure for an Essay That Responds to Another Writer’s Essay 
“Television: The Great Unifier” by Allan Von Niks 
Writing an Introduction to an Argument Essay 
Guidelines for Writing a Directed Summary 
Advice on Writing a Thesis Statement 
Developing Body Paragraphs for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
A Basic Outline Form for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
Drafting Your Essay 
A Rubric for Evaluating Student Essays 

Part 3 WRITING ASSIGNMENTS 

Assignment 1 
“How I Discovered Words: A Homemade Education” by Malcolm X 
Writing Topic 
Vocabulary and Dictionary Practice 
Doing a Careful Reading of “How I Discovered Words: A Homemade Education” 
Questions to Review Your Understanding of “How I Discovered Words: A Homemade Education” 
Responding to the Writing Topic 
Strategies to Help You Analyze a Reading Selection and Develop Your Ideas for Writing a Response 
Shaping Your Ideas into a Rough Draft 
Drafting Your Directed Summary 
Developing Your Thesis Statement 
Developing Body Paragraphs for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
A Basic Outline Form for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
Drafting Your Essay 
Supplemental Reading 
“Going Home” by Pak Muhammad Sukma 
from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass 

Assignment 2 
“Where Have All the Animals Gone?” by Charles Siebert 
Writing Topic 
Vocabulary and Dictionary Practice 
Doing a Careful Reading of “Where Have All the Animals Gone?” 
Questions to Review Your Understanding of “Where Have All the Animals Gone?” 
Responding to the Writing Topic 
Strategies to Help You Analyze a Reading Selection and Develop Your Ideas for Writing a Response 
Shaping Your Ideas into a Rough Draft 
Drafting Your Directed Summary 
Developing Your Thesis Statement 
Developing Body Paragraphs for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
A Basic Outline Form for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
Drafting Your Essay 
Supplemental Reading 
“Why We Love Zoos” by Diane Ackerman 
“Modern Zoos Are Not Worth the Moral Cost” by Emma Marris 

Assignment 3 
“Staying Put” by Scott Russell Sanders 
Writing Topic 
Vocabulary and Dictionary Practice 
Doing a Careful Reading of “Staying Put” 
Questions to Review Your Understanding of “Staying Put” 
Responding to the Writing Topic 
Strategies to Help You Analyze a Reading Selection and Develop Your Ideas for Writing a Response 
Shaping Your Ideas into a Rough Draft 
Drafting Your Directed Summary 
Developing Your Thesis Statement 
Developing Body Paragraphs for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
A Basic Outline Form for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
Drafting Your Essay 
Supplemental Reading 
“Why Staying Put Matters and Why It’s So Hard” by Gracy Olmstead 
“Stay Put?” by Sarah Skwire 
“The States That College Graduates Are Most Likely to Leave” by Quoctrung Bui 

Assignment 4 
“Learning Responsibility on City Sidewalks” by Jane Jacobs 
Writing Topic 
Vocabulary and Dictionary Practice 
Doing a Careful Reading of “Learning Responsibility on City Sidewalks” 
Questions to Review Your Understanding of “Learning Responsibility on City Sidewalks” 
Responding to the Writing Topic 
Strategies to Help You Analyze a Reading Selection and Develop Your Ideas for Writing a Response 
Shaping Your Ideas into a Rough Draft 
Drafting Your Directed Summary Developing Your Thesis Statement 
Developing Body Paragraphs for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
A Basic Outline Form for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
Drafting Your Essay 
Supplemental Reading 
“It Takes a Whole Village to Raise a Child. Igbo and Yoruba (Nigeria) Proverb” by Rev. Joseph G. Healey 
“Why We Need to Talk to Strangers” by Claire McCarthy, MD 
“Actually, It Doesn’t Take a Village” by Diane Swanbrow 
“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” by Peter Lovenheim 

Assignment 5 
“The Iks” by Lewis Thomas 
Writing Topic 
Vocabulary and Dictionary Practice 
Doing a Careful Reading of “The Iks” 
Questions to Review Your Understanding of “The Iks” 
Responding to the Writing Topic 
Strategies to Help You Analyze a Reading Selection and Develop Your Ideas for Writing a Response 
Shaping Your Ideas into a Rough Draft 
Drafting Your Directed Summary 
Developing Your Thesis Statement 
Developing Body Paragraphs for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
A Basic Outline Form for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
Drafting Your Essay 
Student Essay 1 
Student Essay 2 
Supplemental Reading 
“A World Not Neatly Divided” by Amartya Sen 
The Cosmic Connection (an excerpt) by Carl Sagan 
“I Believe in Empathy” by Azar Nafisi 
“It Takes a Tribe” by David Berreby 

Assignment 6 
“Ants and Cooperation” by Edward O. Wilson 
Writing Topic 
Vocabulary and Dictionary Practice 
Doing a Careful Reading of “Ants and Cooperation” 
Questions to Review Your Understanding of “Ants and Cooperation” 
Responding to the Writing Topic 
Strategies to Help You Analyze a Reading Selection and Develop Your Ideas for Writing a Response 
Shaping Your Ideas into a Rough Draft 
Drafting Your Directed Summary 
Developing Your Thesis Statement 
Developing Body Paragraphs for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
A Basic Outline Form for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
Drafting Your Essay 
Supplemental Reading 
“If Humans Evolved to Cooperate, Why Is Cooperation So Hard?” by Jill Suttie 
“The Argument with My Uncle” by Ran Abramitzky 

Assignment 7 
“Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan 
Writing Topic 
Vocabulary and Dictionary Practice 
Doing a Careful Reading of “Mother Tongue” 
Questions to Review Your Understanding of “Mother Tongue” 
Responding to the Writing Topic 
Strategies to Help You Analyze a Reading Selection and Develop Your Ideas for Writing a Response 
Shaping Your Ideas into a Rough Draft 
Drafting Your Directed Summary 
Developing Your Thesis Statement 
Developing Body Paragraphs for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
A Basic Outline Form for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
Drafting Your Essay 
Supplemental Reading 
“The Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez” by Richard Rodriguez 
“Why and When We Speak Spanish in Public” by Myriam Marquez 
Student Essay 1 
Student Essay 2 

Assignment 8 
“What’s in a Name?” by Richard Crasta 
Writing Topic 
Vocabulary and Dictionary Practice 
Doing a Careful Reading of “What’s in a Name?” 
Questions to Review Your Understanding of “What’s in a Name?” 
Responding to the Writing Topic 
Strategies to Help You Analyze a Reading Selection and Develop Your Ideas for Writing a Response 
Shaping Your Ideas into a Rough Draft 
Drafting Your Directed Summary 
Developing Your Thesis Statement 
Developing Body Paragraphs for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
A Basic Outline Form for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
Drafting Your Essay 
Supplemental Reading 
“‘Blaxicans’ and Other Reinvented Americans” by Richard Rodriguez 
“Two Ways to Belong in America” by Bharati Mukherjee 
Student Essay 1 
Student Essay 2 
Student Essay 3 

Assignment 9 
“No Name Woman” by Maxine Hong Kingston 
Writing Topic 
Vocabulary and Dictionary Practice 
Doing a Careful Reading of “No Name Woman” 
Some Questions to Deepen Your Understanding of “No Name Woman” 
Responding to the Writing Topic 
Strategies to Help You Analyze a Reading Selection and Develop Your Ideas for Writing a Response 
Shaping Your Ideas into a Rough Draft 
Drafting Your Directed Summary 
Developing Your Thesis Statement 
Developing Body Paragraphs for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
A Basic Outline Form for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
Drafting Your Essay 

Glossary 
Index

Linda Strahan
Kathleen M Moore

The goal of Write It .5 is to introduce international and generation 1.5 students to the idea of academic argument and the academic essay form that they will encounter in many of their classes in American colleges and universities. The opening sections of the book help familiarize these students with conventions of language, basic course organizations, and writing in the college classroom. The following sections guide the students through the writing process itself by providing thought-provoking questions and activities designed to help them gain skills and strategies that enable them to approach a writing assignment. Each of the later sections then helps them develop their skills in critical reading and textual analysis. Ultimately they are lead through the processes of gathering evidence, drafting, and editing. The practice of each stage of the writing process in isolation allows them to focus on writing one stage at a time.

Write It .5 is a workbook that provides practice that aids understanding of

  • college course organization and etiquette 
  • vocabulary and dictionary usage 
  • idioms 
  • the steps in the writing process 
  • critical reading 
  • analysis of a reading 
  • summarizing 
  • construction of a thesis 
  • formation of an argument 
  • marshalling evidence 
  • drafting 
  • editing 
  • proofreading 

 

A Note on Writing 
Acknowledgments 

Part 1 BECOMING MORE FAMILIAR WITH ACADEMIC CULTURE 
Reading a Syllabus 
Sample Syllabus 
English Idioms 
Academic Integrity: Guidelines for Avoiding Plagiarism 
Using a Dictionary 
Using the Writing Process 
Reading, Writing, and Speaking in an Academic Setting 
“Some Thoughts on the Lost Art of Reading Aloud” by Verlyn Klinkenborg 

Part 2 WRITING BASICS 
Steps for a Thoughtful Reading of an Essay 
“Sibling Rivalry” by Kelsey O’Neill 
Strategies to Help You Analyze a Reading Selection and Develop Your Ideas for Writing a Response 
Summary and Paraphrase 
Analysis 
A Suggested Structure for an Essay That Responds to Another Writer’s Essay 
“Television: The Great Unifier” by Allan Von Niks 
Writing an Introduction to an Argument Essay 
Guidelines for Writing a Directed Summary 
Advice on Writing a Thesis Statement 
Developing Body Paragraphs for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
A Basic Outline Form for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
Drafting Your Essay 
A Rubric for Evaluating Student Essays 

Part 3 WRITING ASSIGNMENTS 

Assignment 1 
“How I Discovered Words: A Homemade Education” by Malcolm X 
Writing Topic 
Vocabulary and Dictionary Practice 
Doing a Careful Reading of “How I Discovered Words: A Homemade Education” 
Questions to Review Your Understanding of “How I Discovered Words: A Homemade Education” 
Responding to the Writing Topic 
Strategies to Help You Analyze a Reading Selection and Develop Your Ideas for Writing a Response 
Shaping Your Ideas into a Rough Draft 
Drafting Your Directed Summary 
Developing Your Thesis Statement 
Developing Body Paragraphs for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
A Basic Outline Form for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
Drafting Your Essay 
Supplemental Reading 
“Going Home” by Pak Muhammad Sukma 
from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass 

Assignment 2 
“Where Have All the Animals Gone?” by Charles Siebert 
Writing Topic 
Vocabulary and Dictionary Practice 
Doing a Careful Reading of “Where Have All the Animals Gone?” 
Questions to Review Your Understanding of “Where Have All the Animals Gone?” 
Responding to the Writing Topic 
Strategies to Help You Analyze a Reading Selection and Develop Your Ideas for Writing a Response 
Shaping Your Ideas into a Rough Draft 
Drafting Your Directed Summary 
Developing Your Thesis Statement 
Developing Body Paragraphs for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
A Basic Outline Form for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
Drafting Your Essay 
Supplemental Reading 
“Why We Love Zoos” by Diane Ackerman 
“Modern Zoos Are Not Worth the Moral Cost” by Emma Marris 

Assignment 3 
“Staying Put” by Scott Russell Sanders 
Writing Topic 
Vocabulary and Dictionary Practice 
Doing a Careful Reading of “Staying Put” 
Questions to Review Your Understanding of “Staying Put” 
Responding to the Writing Topic 
Strategies to Help You Analyze a Reading Selection and Develop Your Ideas for Writing a Response 
Shaping Your Ideas into a Rough Draft 
Drafting Your Directed Summary 
Developing Your Thesis Statement 
Developing Body Paragraphs for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
A Basic Outline Form for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
Drafting Your Essay 
Supplemental Reading 
“Why Staying Put Matters and Why It’s So Hard” by Gracy Olmstead 
“Stay Put?” by Sarah Skwire 
“The States That College Graduates Are Most Likely to Leave” by Quoctrung Bui 

Assignment 4 
“Learning Responsibility on City Sidewalks” by Jane Jacobs 
Writing Topic 
Vocabulary and Dictionary Practice 
Doing a Careful Reading of “Learning Responsibility on City Sidewalks” 
Questions to Review Your Understanding of “Learning Responsibility on City Sidewalks” 
Responding to the Writing Topic 
Strategies to Help You Analyze a Reading Selection and Develop Your Ideas for Writing a Response 
Shaping Your Ideas into a Rough Draft 
Drafting Your Directed Summary Developing Your Thesis Statement 
Developing Body Paragraphs for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
A Basic Outline Form for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
Drafting Your Essay 
Supplemental Reading 
“It Takes a Whole Village to Raise a Child. Igbo and Yoruba (Nigeria) Proverb” by Rev. Joseph G. Healey 
“Why We Need to Talk to Strangers” by Claire McCarthy, MD 
“Actually, It Doesn’t Take a Village” by Diane Swanbrow 
“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” by Peter Lovenheim 

Assignment 5 
“The Iks” by Lewis Thomas 
Writing Topic 
Vocabulary and Dictionary Practice 
Doing a Careful Reading of “The Iks” 
Questions to Review Your Understanding of “The Iks” 
Responding to the Writing Topic 
Strategies to Help You Analyze a Reading Selection and Develop Your Ideas for Writing a Response 
Shaping Your Ideas into a Rough Draft 
Drafting Your Directed Summary 
Developing Your Thesis Statement 
Developing Body Paragraphs for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
A Basic Outline Form for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
Drafting Your Essay 
Student Essay 1 
Student Essay 2 
Supplemental Reading 
“A World Not Neatly Divided” by Amartya Sen 
The Cosmic Connection (an excerpt) by Carl Sagan 
“I Believe in Empathy” by Azar Nafisi 
“It Takes a Tribe” by David Berreby 

Assignment 6 
“Ants and Cooperation” by Edward O. Wilson 
Writing Topic 
Vocabulary and Dictionary Practice 
Doing a Careful Reading of “Ants and Cooperation” 
Questions to Review Your Understanding of “Ants and Cooperation” 
Responding to the Writing Topic 
Strategies to Help You Analyze a Reading Selection and Develop Your Ideas for Writing a Response 
Shaping Your Ideas into a Rough Draft 
Drafting Your Directed Summary 
Developing Your Thesis Statement 
Developing Body Paragraphs for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
A Basic Outline Form for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
Drafting Your Essay 
Supplemental Reading 
“If Humans Evolved to Cooperate, Why Is Cooperation So Hard?” by Jill Suttie 
“The Argument with My Uncle” by Ran Abramitzky 

Assignment 7 
“Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan 
Writing Topic 
Vocabulary and Dictionary Practice 
Doing a Careful Reading of “Mother Tongue” 
Questions to Review Your Understanding of “Mother Tongue” 
Responding to the Writing Topic 
Strategies to Help You Analyze a Reading Selection and Develop Your Ideas for Writing a Response 
Shaping Your Ideas into a Rough Draft 
Drafting Your Directed Summary 
Developing Your Thesis Statement 
Developing Body Paragraphs for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
A Basic Outline Form for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
Drafting Your Essay 
Supplemental Reading 
“The Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez” by Richard Rodriguez 
“Why and When We Speak Spanish in Public” by Myriam Marquez 
Student Essay 1 
Student Essay 2 

Assignment 8 
“What’s in a Name?” by Richard Crasta 
Writing Topic 
Vocabulary and Dictionary Practice 
Doing a Careful Reading of “What’s in a Name?” 
Questions to Review Your Understanding of “What’s in a Name?” 
Responding to the Writing Topic 
Strategies to Help You Analyze a Reading Selection and Develop Your Ideas for Writing a Response 
Shaping Your Ideas into a Rough Draft 
Drafting Your Directed Summary 
Developing Your Thesis Statement 
Developing Body Paragraphs for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
A Basic Outline Form for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
Drafting Your Essay 
Supplemental Reading 
“‘Blaxicans’ and Other Reinvented Americans” by Richard Rodriguez 
“Two Ways to Belong in America” by Bharati Mukherjee 
Student Essay 1 
Student Essay 2 
Student Essay 3 

Assignment 9 
“No Name Woman” by Maxine Hong Kingston 
Writing Topic 
Vocabulary and Dictionary Practice 
Doing a Careful Reading of “No Name Woman” 
Some Questions to Deepen Your Understanding of “No Name Woman” 
Responding to the Writing Topic 
Strategies to Help You Analyze a Reading Selection and Develop Your Ideas for Writing a Response 
Shaping Your Ideas into a Rough Draft 
Drafting Your Directed Summary 
Developing Your Thesis Statement 
Developing Body Paragraphs for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
A Basic Outline Form for an Essay That Presents a Thesis 
Drafting Your Essay 

Glossary 
Index

Linda Strahan
Kathleen M Moore