Patterns For College Writing Process Essay Topics

Patterns for College Writing: A Rhetorical Reader and Guide3.45 · Rating details ·  177 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews

Laurie Kirszner and Stephen Mandell, best-selling authors with more than twenty-five years' experience teaching college writing, know what works in the classroom. In Patterns for College Writing, they offer a balance of classic and contemporary essays by writers like Sandra Cisneros, Deborah Tannen, E. B.White, and Henry Louis Gates Jr., providing students with exemplary mLaurie Kirszner and Stephen Mandell, best-selling authors with more than twenty-five years' experience teaching college writing, know what works in the classroom. In Patterns for College Writing, they offer a balance of classic and contemporary essays by writers like Sandra Cisneros, Deborah Tannen, E. B.White, and Henry Louis Gates Jr., providing students with exemplary models for their writing--and instructors with excellent, class-tested selections. With extensive headnotes before each reading, abundant apparatus after, and more examples of student writing than any other reader, Patterns has always been an exceptional resource for students. In the tenth edition, a new chapter on editing and proofreading in Part One, The Writing Process, gives students more help recognizing and correcting errors common in their writing, while Part Two, Readings for Writers, offers a greater number of informative and argumentative essays, preparing students better than ever for the demands of college writing....more


Published May 1st 2006 by Bedford Books (first published 1989)


Thematic Guide to the Contents

Introduction: How to Use This Book

Henry Louis Gates Jr., 

"What’s in a Name?"

Responding to an Essay 



1 Reading to Write: Becoming a Critical Reader

Understanding Critical Reading

Brent Staples, 

Cutting and Pasting: A Senior Thesis by (Insert Name)

*Moises Naim,

The YouTube Effect

Brent Staples, 

Cutting and Pasting: A Senior Thesis by (Insert Name) (with sample annotations)
2 Invention

Understanding Your Assignment

Setting Limits

Moving from Subject to Topic

Finding Something to Say

Grouping Ideas

Understanding Thesis and Support

Developing a Thesis

3 Arrangement

Recognizing a Pattern

Understanding the Parts of the Essay

Constructing a Formal Outline

4 Drafting and Revising

Writing Your First Draft

Revising Your Essay

Points for Special Attention: First Draft

Points for Special Attention: Second Draft

Laura Bobnak, 

The Price of Silence(Student Essay)

5 Editing and Proofreading

Editing for Grammar

Editing for Punctuation

Editing for Sentence Style and Word Choice

Proofreading Your Essay

Checking Your Paper’s Format

Part Two:

Readings for Writers

6 Narration

What Is Narration?

Using Narration

Planning a Narrative Essay

Developing a Thesis Statement

Including Enough Detail

Varying Sentence Structure

Maintaining Clear Narrative Order

Structuring a Narrative Essay

Revising a Narrative Essay


Editing a Narrative Essay



A Student Writer: Narration

Tiffany Forte, 

My Field of Dreams (Student Essay)

Points for Special Attention

Focus on Revision

A Student Writer:Literacy Narrative

Erica Sarno, 

Becoming a Writer (Student Essay)

Points for Special Attention

Focus on Revision


Visual Text: Marjane Satrapi, From Persepolis II(Graphic Fiction)

Junot Díaz, 

The Money

*Ocean Vuong,


Bonnie Smith-Yackel, 

My Mother Never Worked

Martin Gansberg, 

Thirty-Eight Who Saw Murder Didn’t Call the Police

George Orwell, 

Shooting an Elephant

Sherman Alexie, 

Indian Education (Fiction)

Writing Assignments for Narration

           Collaborative Activity for Narration

7 Description

What is Description?

Using Description

Checklist: Using Visuals Effectively

Planning a Descriptive Essay

Structuring a Descriptive Essay

Revising a Descriptive Essay

Revision Checklist: Description

Editing a Description Essay

Grammar in Context: Avoiding Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers

Editing Checklist: Description

A Student Writer: Objective Description

Mallory Cogan, 

My Grandfather’s Globe(Student Essay)

A Student Writer: Subjective Description

Mary Lim,

The Valley of Windmills(Student Essay)

Peer-Editing Worksheet: Description

Visual Text: Ansel Adams, Jeffrey Pine--Sentinel Dome Jackson Lake (Photograph)

Bich Minh Nguyen, 

Goodbye to My Twinkie Days

Suzanne Berne, 

Ground Zero

*Marina Keegan

, Stability in Motion

Heather Rogers, 

The Hidden Life of Garbage

E. B. White, 

Once More to the Lake

Kate Chopin, 

The Storm (Fiction)

8 Exemplification

What Is Exemplification?

Using Exemplification

Planning an Exemplification Essay

Structuring an Exemplification Essay

Revising an Exemplification Essay

Revision Checklist: Exemplification

Editing an Exemplification Essay

Grammar in Context: Using Commas in a Series

Editing Checklist: Exemplification

A Student Writer: Exemplification

Kristy Bredin, 

Job Application Letter (Student Essay)

A Student Writer: Exemplification

Grace Ku, 

Midnight (Student Essay)

Peer-Editing Worksheet: Exemplification

Visual Texts: Four Tattoos: Charles Thatcher, ","; Carrie Williams, "Positive Outlook"; Anthony Bradshaw, "Bar Code"; Guido Koppes, "Owl"

*Zeynep Tufekci, Why the Post Office Makes America Great

Judith Ortiz Cofer, 

The Myth of the Latin Woman: I Just Met a Girl Named Maria

Maia Szalavitz, 

Ten Ways We Get the Odds Wrong

Brent Staples, 

Just Walk On By: A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space

Deborah L. Rhode, 

Why Looks Are the Last Bastion of Discrimination

Jamaica Kincaid, 

Girl (Fiction)

9 Process

What Is Process?

Using Process

Planning a Process Essay

Structuring a Process Essay

Revising a Process Essay

Revision Checklist: Process

Editing a Process Essay

Grammar in Context: Avoiding Unnecessary Shifts

Editing Checklist: Process

A Student Writer: Instructions

Eric McGlade, 

The Search (Student Essay)

A Student Writer: Process Explanation

Melany Hunt, 

Medium Ash Brown(Student Essay)

Peer Editing Worksheet: Process

Visual Text:Piranha Plastics, What Happens to Plastic that is Recycled by Us? (Infographic)

Naomi Rosenberg, How to Tell a Mother Her Child Is Dead

Stanley Fish, 

Getting Coffee Is Hard to Do

*Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht, 

How to Build a Monster from Spare Parts

Arthur Miller, 

Get It Right: Privatize Executions

Jessica Mitford, 

The Embalming of Mr. Jones

Shirley Jackson, 

The Lottery (Fiction)

10 Cause and Effect

What Is Cause and Effect?

Using Cause and Effect

Planning a Cause-and-Effect Essay

Structuring a Cause-and-Effect Essay

Revising a Cause-and-Effect Essay

Revision Checklist: Cause and Effect

Editing a Cause-and-Effect Essay

Grammar in Context: Avoiding "The reason is because"; Using Affect and Effect Correctly

Editing Checklist: Cause and Effect

A Student Writer: Cause and Effect

Evelyn Pellicane, 

The Irish Famine, 1845–1849 (Student Essay)

Peer-Editing Worksheet: Cause and Effect

Visual Text:Jeffrey Coolidge, Rube Goldberg Machine (Photo)

*Josh Barro,

Why Stealing Cars Went Out of Fashion

Maggie Koerth-Baker, 

Why Rational People Buy into Conspiracy Theories

* Simon Cottee, What Motivates Terrorist Groups?

Linda M. Hasselstrom, 

A Peaceful Woman Explains Why She Carries a Gun

*Karen Miller Pensiero,

Photos That Change History

Janice Mirikitani, 

Suicide Note (Poetry)

11 Comparison and Contrast

What Is Comparison and Contrast?

Using Comparison and Contrast

Planning a Comparison-and-Contrast Essay

Structuring a Comparison-and-Contrast Essay

Revising a Comparison-and-Contrast Essay

Revision Checklist: Comparison and Contrast

Editing a Comparison-and-Contrast Essay

Grammar in Context: Using Parallelism

Editing Checklist: Comparison and Contrast

A Student Writer: Subject-by-Subject Comparison

Mark Cotharn, 

Brains versus Brawn(Student Essay)

A Student Writer: Point-by-Point Comparison

Maria Tecson, 

A Comparison of Two Web Sites on Attention Deficit Disorder (Student Essay)

Peer-Editing Worksheet: Comparison and Contrast

Visual Texts: Auguste Rodin, The Kiss, and Robert Indiana,LOVE (Sculptures)

Bruce Catton, 

Grant and Lee: A Study in Contrasts

Juan Williams, 

Songs of the Summer of 1963 . . . and Today

Amy Chua, 

Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior

Ellen Laird, 

I’m Your Teacher, Not Your Internet-Service Provider

Deborah Tannen, 

Sex, Lies, and Conversation

*Isabel Wilkerson, Emmett Till and Tamir Rice, Sons of the Great Migration

*William Shakespeare,

Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day (Poetry)

12 Classification and Division

What Is Classification and Division?

Using Classification and Division

Planning a Classification-and-Division Essay

Checklist: Establishing Categories

Structuring a Classification-and-Division Essay

Revising a Classification-and-Division Essay

Revision Checklist: Classification and Division

Editing a Classification-and-Division Essay

Grammar in Context: Using a Colon to Introduce Your Categories

Editing Checklist: Classification and Division

Same Student Writer: Classification and Division

Josie Martinez, 

What I Learned (and Didn’t Learn) in College (Student Essay)

Peer-Editing Worksheet: Classification and Division

*Visual Text:Coffee Types (Chart)

*Olga Khazan, The Three Types of Happiness

Carolyn Foster Segal, 

The Dog Ate My Flash Drive, and Other Tales of Woe

Amy Tan, 

Mother Tongue

Stephanie Ericsson, 

The Ways We Lie

*Henry Reed,

Naming of Parts  (Poetry)

13 Definition

What Is Definition?

Using Definition

Planning a Definition Essay

Structuring a Definition Essay

Revising a Definition Essay

Revision Checklist: Definition

Editing a Definition Essay

Grammar in Contexst: Avoiding is when and is where

Editing Checklist: Definition

A Student Writer: Definition

Ajoy Mahtab, 

The Untouchable (Student Essay)

Peer-Editing Worksheet: Definition

Visual Text:U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Census 2010 Form (Questionnaire)

Judy Brady

, I Want a Wife

José Antonio Burciaga, 


*Amy Wilentz,

A Zombie Is a Slave Forever

*Richard Posner, On Plagiarism

*Emily Dickinson,

"Hope" Is the Thing with Feathers (Poetry)

14 Argumentation

What Is Argumentation?

Understanding Argumentation and Persuasion

Planning an Argumentative Essay

Checklist: Guidelines for Using Rogerian Argument

Using Deductive and Inductive Arguments

Structuring an Argumentative Essay

Revising an Argumentative Essay

Revision Checklist: Argumentation

Editing an Argumentative Essay

Grammar in Context: Using Coordinating and Subordinating Conjunctions

Editing Checklist: Argumentation

A Student Writer: Argumentation

Marta Ramos

, An Argument against Study Drugs (Student Essay)

Peer-Editing Worksheet: Argumentation

Visual Text:, You Don’t Want Them Responding to Your Text (Ad)

Thomas Jefferson, 

The Declaration of Independence

*Rachel Carson,

The Obligation to Endure

Martin Luther King Jr., 

Letter from Birmingham Jail

*DEBATE: Should Public Colleges Be Free?

*Aaron Bady,

Public Universities Should be Free

*Matt Bruenig

, The Case Against Free College

DEBATE: Does It Pay to Study the Humanities?

*Leon Wieseltier,Perhaps Culture Is Now the Counterculture: A Defense of the Humanities

*Vinod Khosla, Is Majoring in Liberal Arts a Mistake for Students?

*CASEBOOK: Do College Students Need Trigger Warnings?

Geoffrey R. Stone

,Free Expression in Peril
Sophie Downes
, Trigger Warnings, Safe Spaces, and Free Speech, Too


Jennifer Medina, Warning: The Literary Canon Could Make Students Squirm

*Soraya Chemally, What’s Really Important about "Trigger Warnings"

*CASEBOOK: Do Guns Have a Place on College Campuses?

*Andrew Wilson, 

Why I Wouldn’t Go to the University of Texas Law School

Students for Gun-Free Schools, 

Why Our Campuses Are Safer without Concealed Handguns

Students for Concealed Carry, 

Why Our Campuses are NOT Safer without Concealed Handguns

Timothy Wheeler, 

There's a Reason They Choose Schools

15 Combining the Patterns

Structuring an Essay by Combining the Patterns

Combining the Patterns: Revising and Editing

Grammar in Context: Agreement with Indefinite Pronouns

A Student Writer: Combining the Patterns

Michael Huu Truong, 

The Park (Student Essay)

Peer-Editing Worksheet: Combining the Patterns

Lars Eighner, 

On Dumpster Diving

David Kirby,

Inked Well

* Donald Kagan, On Patriotism

Jonathan Swift, 

A Modest Proposal


Working with Sources

16 Finding and Evaluating Sources

Finding Information in the Library

Finding Information on the Internet

Evaluating Sources

17 Integrating Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism




Integrating Source Material into Your Writing


Avoiding Plagiarism

18 Documenting Sources: MLA

Parenthetical References in the Text

The Works-Cited List

Philip Lau, 

The Limitations of Wikipedia (Student Essay in MLA Style)

Appendix: Documenting Sources: APA

Using Parenthetical References

Examples of APA Citations

Philip Lau

, The Limitations of Wikipedia (Student Essay in APA Style)




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