An activity that helps students explore their handbook and learn to find the writing advice they need.
Work in pairs to explore the handbook for your composition course. Explore key ways into the book. Find the advice you’ll need as you write this semester.
1. ____I found the book’s main index. It starts on page ____.
2. ____I found the brief menu. Looking at the brief menu, I see that there’s a chapter on
reading and writing critically that starts on page _____. I know that I’ll need section _____ to document sources in MLA style. Sections _____ and _____ will help me with commas.
3. If my teacher uses number-letter codes to respond to my draft, I’ll know that 23b
means I should try to _____________________________________________ in my paper.
4. At the back of the book, I see a list of revision symbols and a guide to grammatical terms. If my teacher writes “dm” in the margin of my draft, this section in the handbook can help: __________ If I don’t know what a “compound subject” is, I can look here: _________.
ADVICE & MODELS List section numbers or page numbers for the following:
5. Advice about writing introductions and conclusions __________________________
6. Checklist for thinking through my writing situation __________________________
7. Advice about thesis statements; samples of good thesis statements _________________
8. A Writing Guide for an analytical paper __________________________
9. Samples of annotated readings (readings with student notes on them) _____________
10. Advice about using specific evidence in argument papers _______________________
11. Help for forming an interpretation in a literature class __________________
12. Examples of good research questions ________________________
13. Help with understanding and avoiding plagiarism ____________________
14. How to document an article from a database in MLA style ________________
15. Writing an outline is one way to plan an essay. There’s a sample outline on pages ________.
16. Section _______ covers how to find and fix run-on sentences.
17. Section _______ covers how to find and fix problems with apostrophes.
18. Page _____ includes a chart of information needed for a working bibliography.
19. Page ______ includes a checklist for revising my essay.
20. My instructor wants me to use sources that are scholarly. Page ______ includes a checklist for determining if a source is a scholarly source.
21. Section ______ covers how to evaluate appeals (ethos, logos, pathos) in another writer’s argument.
22. Bonus: I can find the integrated media material that comes with my book at this URL: _____________________________________________________________.