Pub. Date:
Bedford/St. Martin's
Rules for Writers / Edition 9

Rules for Writers / Edition 9

by Diana Hacker, Nancy Sommers
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Beginning college writers come from a wide range of backgrounds and communities. And for many, academic reading and writing skills are ones they must learn and practice. Enter Rules for Writers. It’s an easy-to-use, comprehensive composition tool with the quality you expect from authors you trust. It empowers students by teaching them how to meet new expectations and by giving them the practice that builds confidence.

With trusted advice for writing well, reading critically, and working with sources, Rules for Writers now has even more help for underprepared and inexperienced writers—sentence guides that foster an academic voice, tips for spotting fake news and misleading sources, more on paraphrasing, and fifteen new “how-to” pages that offer practical help for writing challenges. It’s an affordable solution with significant value, especially when paired with LaunchPad Solo for Hacker Handbooks, an innovative practice solution available at no additional cost when package with a new text.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781319057428
Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
Publication date: 10/01/2018
Edition description: Ninth Edition
Pages: 656
Sales rank: 17,029
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Diana Hacker personally class-tested her handbooks with nearly four thousand students over thirty-five years at Prince George’s Community College in Maryland, where she was a member of the English faculty. Hacker handbooks, built on innovation and on a keen understanding of the challenges facing student writers, are the most widely adopted in America. Hacker handbooks, all published by Bedford/St. Martin’s, include The Bedford Handbook, Ninth Edition (2014); A Writer’s Reference, Eighth Edition (2015); Rules for Writers, Eighth Edition (2016); and A Pocket Style Manual, Seventh Edition (2015).
Nancy Sommers, who has taught composition and directed composition programs for thirty years, now teaches writing and mentors new writing teachers at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.  She led Harvard’s Expository Writing Program for twenty years, directing the first-year writing program and establishing Harvard’s WAC program. A two-time Braddock Award winner, Sommers is well known for her research and publications on student writing. Her articles "Revision Strategies of Student and Experienced Writers" and "Responding to Student Writing" are two of the most widely read and anthologized articles in the field of composition.  Her recent work involves a longitudinal study of college writing to understand the role writing plays in undergraduate education. Sommers is the lead author on Hacker handbooks, all published by Bedford/St. Martin’s, and is coauthor of Fields of Reading, Tenth Edition (2013).


Table of Contents

* = new to this edition or substantially revised

*Scavenger Hunt: Learning to Use Rules for Writers

The Writing Process

1 Exploring, planning, and drafting

a Assess the writing situation.

b Explore your subject.

c Draft and revise a working thesis statement.

*How to solve five common problems with thesis statements,

d Draft a plan.

e Draft an introduction.

f Draft the body.

g Draft a conclusion.

2 Revising, editing, and reflecting

a See revising as a social process.

b Use peer review: Revise with comments.

c Use peer review: Give constructive comments.

*How to write helpful peer review comments

d Highlights of one students peer review process


e Approach global revision in cycles.

f Revise and edit sentences.

*How to improve your writing with an editing log

g Proofread the final manuscript.

h Format the final manuscript.

i Sample student revision


j Prepare a portfolio; reflect on your writing.

3 Building effective paragraphs

a Focus on a main point.

b Develop the main point.

c Choose a suitable pattern of organization.

d Make paragraphs coherent.

e If necessary, adjust paragraph length.

Academic Reading and Writing

4 Reading and writing critically

a Read actively.

Sample annotated article

*How to read like a writer

b Outline a text to identify main ideas.

c Summarize to deepen your understanding.

d Analyze to demonstrate your critical reading.

*How to draft an analytical thesis statement,

e Sample student writing: Analysis of an article

Sample analysis paper

Writing guide: HOW TO WRITE AN Analytical essay

5 Reading and writing about multimodal texts

a Read actively.

Sample annotated advertisement

b Summarize to deepen your understanding.

*How to write a summary of a multimodal text,

c Analyze to demonstrate your critical reading.

d Sample student writing: Analysis of an advertisement

Sample analysis of an advertisement

6 Reading arguments

a Distinguish between reasonable and fallacious argumentative tactics.

b Distinguish between legitimate and unfair emotional appeals.

c Judge how fairly a writer handles opposing views.

7 Writing arguments

a When writing arguments, identify your purpose and context.

b View your audience as a panel of jurors.

c In your introduction, establish credibility and state your position.

*How to draft a thesis statement for an argument

d Back up your thesis with persuasive lines of argument.

e Support your claims with specific evidence.

f Anticipate objections; counter opposing arguments.

g Build common ground.

h Sample student writing: Argument

Sample argument paper



8 Prefer active verbs.

a Active versus passive verbs

b Active versus be verbs

c Subject that names the actor

9 Balance parallel ideas.

a Parallel ideas in a series

b Parallel ideas presented as pairs

c Repetition of function words

10 Add needed words.

a In compound structures

b that

c In comparisons

d a, an, and the

11 Untangle mixed constructions.

a Mixed grammar

b Illogical connections

c is when, is where, and reason . . . is because

12 Repair misplaced and dangling modifiers.

a Limiting modifiers

b Misplaced phrases and clauses

c Awkwardly placed modifiers

d Split infinitives

e Dangling modifiers

13 Eliminate distracting shifts.

a Point of view (person, number)

b Verb tense

c Verb mood, voice

d Indirect to direct questions or quotations

14 Emphasize key ideas.

a Coordination and subordination

b Choppy sentences

c Ineffective or excessive coordination

d Ineffective subordination

e Excessive subordination

f Other techniques

15 Provide some variety.

a Sentence openings

b Sentence structures

c Inverted order

16 Tighten wordy sentences.

a Redundancies

b Unnecessary repetition

c Empty or inflated phrases

d Simplifying the structure

e Reducing clauses to phrases, phrases to single words

17 Choose appropriate language.

a Jargon

b Pretentious language, euphemisms, doublespeak

c Slang, regional expressions, nonstandard English

d Levels of formality

e Sexist language

f Offensive language

18 Find the exact words.

a Connotations

b Specific, concrete nouns

c Misused words

d Standard idioms

e Clichs

f Figures of speech


19 Repair sentence fragments.

a Subordinate clauses

b Phrases

c Other fragmented word groups

d Acceptable fragments

20 Revise run-on sentences.

a Revision with coordinating conjunction

b Revision with semicolon, colon, or dash

c Revision by separating sentences

d Revision by restructuring

21 Make subjects and verbs agree.

a Standard subject-verb combinations

b Words between subject and verb

c Subjects joined with and

d Subjects joined with or, nor, either . . . or, or neither . . . nor

e Indefinite pronouns

f Collective nouns

g Subject following verb

h Subject, not subject complement

i who, which, and that

j Words with plural form, singular meaning

k Titles of works, company names, words mentioned as words, gerund phrases

22 Make pronouns and antecedents agree.

*a Singular with singular, plural with plural (indefinite pronouns, generic nouns)

b Collective nouns

c Antecedents joined with and

d Antecedents joined with or, nor, either . . . or, or neither . . . nor

23 Make pronoun references clear.

a Ambiguous or remote reference

b Broad reference of this, that, which, and it

c Implied antecedents

d Indefinite use of they, it, and you

e who for persons, which or that for things

24 Distinguish between pronouns such as I and me.

a Subjective case for subjects and subject complements

b Objective case for objects

c Appositives

d Pronoun following than or as

e Subjects and objects of infinitives

f Pronoun modifying a gerund

25 Distinguish between who and whom.

a In subordinate clauses

b In questions

c As subjects or objects of infinitives

26 Choose adjectives and adverbs with care.

a Adjectives to modify nouns

b Adverbs to modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs

c good and well, bad and badly

d Comparatives and superlatives

e Double negatives

27 Choose appropriate verb forms, tenses, and moods in Standard English.

a Irregular verbs

b lie and lay

c -s (or -es) endings

d -ed endings

e Omitted verbs

f Verb tense

g Subjunctive mood

Multilingual Writers and ESL Topics

28 Verbs

a Appropriate form and tense

b Passive voice

c Base form after a modal

d Negative verb forms

e Verbs in conditional sentences

f Verbs followed by gerunds or infinitives

29 Articles

a Articles and other noun markers

b When to use the

c When to use a or an

d When not to use a or an

e No articles with general nouns

f Articles with proper nouns

30 Sentence structure

a Linking verb between a subject and its complement

b A subject in every sentence

c Repeated nouns or pronouns with the same grammatical function

d Repeated subjects, objects, and adverbs in adjective clauses

e Mixed constructions with although or because

f Placement of adverbs

g Present participles and past participles as adjectives

h Order of cumulative adjectives

31 Prepositions and idiomatic expressions

a Prepositions showing time and place

b Noun (including -ing form) after a preposition

c Common adjective + preposition combinations

d Common verb + preposition combinations


32 The comma

a Independent clauses joined with and, but, etc.

b Introductory elements

c Items in a series

d Coordinate adjectives

e Nonrestrictive and restrictive elements

f Transitional expressions and other word groups

g Direct address, yes and no, interrogative tags, interjections

h he said etc.

i Dates, addresses, titles, numbers

33 Unnecessary commas

a Between two words, phrases, or subordinate clauses

b Between a verb and its subject or object

c Before the first or after the last item in a series

d Between cumulative adjectives, an adjective and a noun, or an adverb and an adjective

e Before and after restrictive or parenthetical elements

f Before essential concluding adverbial elements

g After a phrase beginning an inverted sentence

h Other misuses

34 The semicolon

a Between independent clauses not joined with a coordinating conjunction

b Between independent clauses linked with a transitional expression

c In a series containing internal punctuation

d Misuses

35 The colon

a Before a list, an appositive, or a quotation

b Conventional uses

c Misuses

36 The apostrophe

a Possessive nouns

b Possessive indefinite pronouns

c Contractions

d Not for plural numbers, letters, abbreviations, words as words

e Misuses

37 Quotation marks

a Direct quotations

b Quotation within a quotation

c Titles of short works

d Words as words

e With other punctuation marks

f Misuses

38 End punctuation

a The period

b The question mark

c The exclamation point

39 Other punctuation marks

a The dash

b Parentheses

c Brackets

d The ellipsis mark

e The slash


40 Abbreviations

a Titles with proper names

b Familiar abbreviations

c Conventional abbreviations

d Units of measurement

e Latin abbreviations

f Plural of abbreviations

g Misuses

41 Numbers

a Spelling out

b Using numerals

42 Italics

a Titles of works

b Names of ships, spacecraft, and aircraft

c Foreign words

d Words as words, letters as letters, numbers as numbers

43 Spelling

a Spelling rules

b Words that sound alike

c Commonly misspelled words

44 The hyphen

a Compound words

b Hyphenated adjectives

c Fractions and compound numbers

d With certain prefixes and suffixes

e To avoid ambiguity or to separate awkward double or triple letters

f Word division

45 Capitalization

a Proper vs. common nouns

b Titles with proper names

c Titles and subtitles of works

d First word of a sentence

e First word of a quoted sentence

f First word after a colon

Grammar Basics

46 Parts of speech

a Nouns

b Pronouns

c Verbs

d Adjectives

e Adverbs

f Prepositions

g Conjunctions

h Interjections

47 Sentence patterns

a Subjects

b Verbs, objects, and complements

48 Subordinate word groups

a Prepositional phrases

b Verbal phrases

c Appositive phrases

d Absolute phrases

e Subordinate clauses

49 Sentence types

a Sentence structures

b Sentence purposes


50 Thinking like a researcher; gathering sources

a Manage the project.

b Pose questions worth exploring.

*How to enter a research conversation

c Map out a search strategy.

d Search efficiently; master a few shortcuts to finding good sources.

*How to go beyond a Google search

e Conduct field research, if appropriate.

f Write a research proposal.

51 Managing information; taking notes responsibly

a Maintain a working bibliography.

b Keep track of source materials.

c Take notes carefully to avoid unintentional plagiarism.

*How to take notes responsibly

*How to avoid plagiarizing from the web

52 Evaluating sources

a Think about how sources might contribute to your writing.

b Select sources worth your time and attention.

c Read with an open mind and a critical eye.

*How to detect fake news and misleading sources

d Construct an annotated bibliography.

Writing guide: Annotated bibliography

Writing Papers in MLA Style

53 Supporting a thesis

a Form a working thesis.

b Organize your ideas.

c Draft an introduction for your thesis.

d Use sources to inform and support your argument.

54 Citing sources; avoiding plagiarism

a Understand how the MLA system works.

b Understand what plagiarism is.

c Use quotation marks around borrowed language.

d Put summaries and paraphrases in your own words.

*How to be a responsible research writer

55 Integrating sources

a Summarize and paraphrase effectively.

*How to paraphrase effectively

b Use quotations effectively.

*c Use signal phrases to integrate sources.

d Synthesize sources.

56 Documenting sources in MLA style

*a MLA in-text citations

*b MLA list of works cited

c MLA information notes

57 MLA manuscript format; sample research paper

a MLA manuscript format

b Sample MLA research paper

Writing Papers in APA Style

58 Supporting a thesis

a Form a working thesis.

b Organize your ideas.

c Use sources to inform and support your argument.

59 Citing sources; avoiding plagiarism

a Understand how the APA system works.

b Understand what plagiarism is.

c Use quotation marks around borrowed language.

d Put summaries and paraphrases in your own words.

60 Integrating sources

a Summarize and paraphrase effectively.

b Use quotations effectively.

c Use signal phrases to integrate sources.

d Synthesize sources.

61 Documenting sources in APA style

*a APA in-text citations

*b APA list of works cited

62 APA manuscript format; sample paper

a APA manuscript format

b Sample APA research paper


*Models of professional writing

Glossary of usage

Answers to exercises

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Rules for Writers 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First of all, I like how this book is made. With the spiral loop, the book stays opened using one hand, two hands, or no hand. No more fuss with the book when I have already had a lot of research paper to deal with. I origially purchased this book as it's required for my English class. However, I don't believe that the book can only be used in the class at school. I think this book can be my teacher to teach me how to write and answer questions raised as problems occur again and again. The book includes all strategy needed in writing in one place. If you don't know where to start with your writing assignment, this book is absolutely for you. It guides you how to generate ideas, conduct research, make an initial draft, and make revisions with little grammar error. The language used in the book is easy to read and understand. It doesn't consume my time. I didn't have to translate English to English like when I read some other books. There is also a section for people whose English is a second language, or ESL section, that tells about common errors that usually see in writing and how to correct them. For me, this is a keeper. I keep it on my bookshelves, so I can use it as a reference whenever I write. I'm also planning to buy an exercise book available on this website to use together with this book. Great Book!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book as a textbook requirement for one of my classes, but it's proved to be useful beyond that one class. It's a great reference and guide for writers of all levels!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's Great!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've got the 2nd edition, and have used it like a bible for years. My kids have questions, this has answers!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book back a few years ago. I have the firth Edition of this book. I have been using it to get through college. It really does help a lot.
Momof6pa More than 1 year ago
The company said the book shipped on August 7th but it is now sept 7th and we never got the book. Very bad customer service.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've never was able to open the book. No matter how many times I talked to a rep.
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