The Mad Scientist’s Guide to Composition
A Somewhat Cheeky but Exceedingly Useful Introduction to Academic Writing
  • Publication Date: October 31, 2019
  • ISBN: 9781554814459 / 1554814456
  • 200 pages; 6" x 9"
Exam Copy

Availability: Worldwide

The Mad Scientist’s Guide to Composition

A Somewhat Cheeky but Exceedingly Useful Introduction to Academic Writing

  • Publication Date: October 31, 2019
  • ISBN: 9781554814459 / 1554814456
  • 200 pages; 6" x 9"

Unlike some college composition guides the size of phonebooks and about as interesting, The Mad Scientist’s Guide to Composition seeks to be fun, funny, and a little cheeky. Considering the composition classroom as a “mad scientist’s laboratory,” this guide introduces different kinds of writing as “experiments.” “Writing an essay” is a task that can strike fear into a student’s heart, but performing an experiment—that licenses creativity and doesn’t presume that one knows the outcome from the start. This loose theme lends coherence to the approach to composition, while encouraging students to have fun with writing.

The Mad Scientist’s Guide covers the kinds of writing most often required on college campuses, while also addressing important steps and activities frequently overlooked in composition guides, such as revision and peer reviewing. Actual examples of student writing are included throughout, as are helpful reminders and tips to help students polish their skills. First and foremost, the Mad Scientist’s Guide seeks to make writing fun.

Introduction

Chapter 1: Nuts and Bolts (Mechanics)

Chapter 2: Graverobbing (Finding, Evaluating, and Incorporating Sources)

Chapter 3: Readying the Lab (Brainstorming, Formulating an Argument, Outlining)

Chapter 4: Conducting Experiments (Writing to Inform, Writing to Persuade, and Writing to Evaluate)

Chapter 5: The Monster Lives! … or Does It? (Revision, Peer Reviewing, Retroactive Outlining)

Chapter 6: Placating Ghosts (Systems of Citing Sources to Avoid Angering the Dead … and the Living)

Chapter 7: The Great Beyond

Addendum 1: A Successful Experiment!

Addendum 2: A Successful Experiment!

Addendum 3: Common Mad Scientist Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

Addendum 4: Finishing Touches

Permissions Acknowledgments

Index

Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock is professor of English at Central Michigan University and an associate editor for The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts. He is the author or editor 22 books on questionable topics ranging from The Rocky Horror Picture Show to Edgar Allan Poe. These include The Monster Theory Reader (University of Minnesota Press), The Cambridge Companion to the American Gothic (Cambridge UP), The Age of Lovecraft (with Carl Sederholm, Minnesota), Goth Music: From Sound to Subculture (with Isabella van Elferen, Routledge), The Ashgate Encyclopedia of Literary and Cinematic Monsters (Ashgate), The Vampire Film: Undead Cinema (Wallflower), and The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Wallflower). Visit him at JeffreyAndrewWeinstock.com.