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 writing about texts 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 top of each page, above the grey line, I can find this sort of information:
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. Guidelines for active reading __________________________
9. Samples of annotated readings (readings with student notes on them) _____________
10. Advice about using specific evidence in argument papers _______________________
11. Discussion of using “emotional appeals” in writing __________________
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 page ________.
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 another writer’s argument.
22. Bonus: I found more model papers online. The Web address for my book’s companion site is ___________________________________________. I clicked on
_______________________ from the home page to get to additional sample student papers.