Speaking of Writing: A Brief Rhetoric
  • Publication Date: July 5, 2019
  • ISBN: 9781554814343 / 1554814340
  • 280 pages; 6½" x 9"
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Availability: Canada & the US

Speaking of Writing: A Brief Rhetoric

  • Publication Date: July 5, 2019
  • ISBN: 9781554814343 / 1554814340
  • 280 pages; 6½" x 9"

Speaking of Writing is a graphic guide to college writing. Informed by recent and enduring scholarship in Writing Studies, this brief rhetoric follows four college students from diverse backgrounds as they face the challenges of reading, writing, and critical thinking in first-year writing and across the disciplines. Each chapter engages students in relatable, often humorous scenarios that focus on key challenges: understanding rhetoric, argument, and genre; working collaboratively with peers and tutors; finding and evaluating sources; and planning, drafting and revising diverse kinds of academic writing, including literacy narratives, analyses of texts and images, op / eds, thesis-based essays, longer research papers, and multi-modal presentations.

Through its story-based approach, Speaking of Writing enacts student-centered and process-based pedagogy, showing students learning to address fundamental questions: How can I apply my own strategies for success to new assignments? How can I maintain my own voice when asked to compose in an academic style? What do college professors mean by a “thesis,” and how is this different from what my high school teachers meant? Why is this argument weak and how can I make it stronger? The narrative dramatizes a draft and revision process that includes instructor feedback, peer review, and careful research.

Can a writing textbook inform and entertain? Can a very brief rhetoric also function as a stand-alone guide to college writing? Yes and yes. Speaking of Writing is a concise yet comprehensive rhetoric with readings, presenting ample material for in-class discussion and activities, as well as longer projects.

Chapter One: What You Bring/What You Can Expect

  • Writing a Literacy Narrative

Chapter Two: Rhetoric and the Rhetorical Situation

  • Writing a Persuasive Letter

Chapter Three: From Reading to Writing about Texts

  • Writing a Paraphrase and Summary
  • Writing an Analysis of a Text

Chapter Four: From Reading to Writing about Images

  • Writing an Analysis of an Image

Chapter Five: Building an Argument: Claims and Support

  • Writing an Opinion Piece
  • Writing a Review

Chapter Six: Academic Argument: Thesis and Organization

  • Writing a Thesis and Introduction

Chapter Seven: Draft and Revision

  • Writing a Compare and Contrast Paper

Chapter Eight: Responding to Other Voices/Other Sources

  • Practicing Quotation

Chapter Nine: Writing and Research

  • Writing a Research Paper
  • Crafting a Multi-Media Portfolio

Chapter Ten: Voice and Style

Allegra Goodman is a novelist. Her books include Kaaterskill Falls, The Family Markowitz, Intuition, The Cookbook Collector, and The Chalk Artist. Her short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker and Best American Short Stories. Her essays on writing have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, and many composition readers. She has taught first year composition at Stanford, and creative writing at Boston University. Michael Prince is the founding director of the Arts and Sciences Writing Program at Boston University, where he is associate professor of English, specializing in Writing Studies and early modern literature and philosophy. His essays on rhetoric and composition appear in College English, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and The Journal of Education, and on literary theory and criticism in Modern Language Quarterly, New Literary History, and Essays in Criticism. His books include Philosophical Dialogue in the British Enlightenment (Cambridge University Press) and The Shortest Way with Defoe: Robinson Crusoe, Deism and the Novel (University of Virginia Press, 2019). He serves on the Modern Language Association Committee for K-16 Alliances. Emmeline Pidgen is an illustrator creating books, comics and commercial illustration in North West England. Emmeline has worked with a wide range of clients internationally, and was named “UK Freelancer of the Year” in 2016.

  • — Engaging, original cartoon illustrations present students in dialogue with each other and with instructors
  • — Reflection exercises provide basis for classroom discussion
  • — A lively, witty writing style provides a model of energetic composition
  • — A focus on visual as well as textual literacy treats critical reading as a necessary and often overlooked skill for college writing
  • — “Micro-readings” in each chapter provide thought-provoking models from across the disciplines and from pop culture
  • — A process-based approach shows students completing their assignments in stages, developing their work from pre-writing activities, to rough drafts, to more polished work through revision and instructor feedback
  • — “Takeaway” summaries and activities at the end of each chapter reinforce concepts and goals.
  • — Chapters move from relatively easy to more difficult tasks, serving students at all skill and ability levels
  • — Because the four students are enrolled in different writing courses, taught by teachers with different goals and expectations, Speaking of Writing mirrors the actual experiences of college writers, who must produce finished work in courses across the Humanities, Social Sciences and STEM, as well as in their first-year composition classes.