Writing for College

A No-B.S. Guide


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About the Book

This book guides first-year students through the dos and don’ts of composition, from such basic questions as “Can I use ‘I’ in a college essay?” to more advanced points about structure and style. Emphasizing the importance of writing in all majors, the author encourages students to find their own voice and to express themselves without jargon or “academese.” Tips are provided on concision, use of supporting claims, marshaling arguments, researching topics, documenting sources, and revision.

Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Robert Alden Rubin has taught college writing at The George Washington University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Meredith College. He is the author of six books of nonfiction, and presently works as a freelance editor. He lives near Raleigh, North Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

Robert Alden Rubin

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 192
Bibliographic Info: 19 photos, appendices, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7366-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3249-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Introduction: Be Interesting, or “B.S.”? 1

I: Style and the Academy
1. Who’s Listening? 4
2. Blinded by Science 10
3. Subject and Object 17
4. Data 22
5. Specific Versus General 26
6. Active Voice, Active Mind 33
7. Rhythm and Emphasis 37

II: Argument and Persuasion
8. A Jury of Your Peers 44
9. Who Says? And So What? 51
10. Claim, Warrant and Support 57
11. Writing the Analytical Paragraph 61
12. Classical Argumentation 64
13. “B.S.” and How to Detect It 67

III: Research and Preparation
14. Writing for Yourself 74
15. The eScholar and the Library 82
16. Quotation and Documentation 88
17. The Critical Lens 96

IV: Writing the College Essay
18. The Open House 100
19. Introduction and Threshold 105
20. Agent and Thesis 112
21. Plan 119
22. Conclusion and Takeaway 138
23. A Short Chapter on Titles 145
24. Revision: The Second Look 150

Appendix 1. Logical Fallacies 155
Appendix 2. Style Guides 161
Appendix 3. Writing in the Sciences 170
Index 179