Process of Composition, The, Reid Academic Writing

Joy M. Reid  
Total pages
December 1999

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Process of Composition, The, Reid Academic Writing
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Advanced Level

Written by Joy Reid, the foremost authority on teaching composition to ESL students, this series takes students from beginning-level instruction on basic sentence structure through the development and production of advanced academic papers.
Writing examples, opportunities to learn about and produce academic prose, and sequenced assignments that increase in complexity help students build their ability to fulfil academic assignments as high as the university and graduate school levels.
Examples of good (and poor) student compositions, written by native and non-native speakers of English, enrich all three books.
The Reid hallmark of collaboration, in the form of pair and group work, is an important feature of the books.
This new edition focuses on the techniques and formats essential to academic writing. It prepares students for college-level work by taking them from the pre-writing process through a finished paper.
The text teaches students how to construct solid, academic pros, and how to critique, edit, and revise work. Other books in the series: Basic Writing, (beginning level), and The Process of Paragraph Writing, (intermediate level).


  • Instruction in the use of the World Wide Web for research, including search engines, URLs, keywords, and the citation of online sources.
  • Instruction in locating resources in modern academic libraries.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

The Fundamentals of Writing: Audience and Purpose


The Audience

            Fulfilling Audience Expectations

Some Differences Between Written and Spoken English

            “Voice” in Written English

Writing Conventions: The Paragraph Form

Purposes for Writing

General and Specific

            Focus Choosing “A Piece of the Pie”

            Using memorable Detail

Telling and Showing

The Topic Sentence and Controlling Ideas

Writing the Topic Sentence

Writing a Point paragraph Outline

The Function of Second Sentences

            Second Sentences for More Focused Paragraph Topics

The Paragraph and Academic Examinations

Writing Strategies

The Paragraph and the Essay



Chapter 2

Making Decisions in the Writing Process: Developing and Supporting Ideas


Strategies for Collecting Information


            Brainstorming (and Revising)



Supporting Techniques


            Physical Description


            Personal Experience

Methods of Development


            Extended Definition


Decision-Making for Writers

Expanding a Paragraph into an Essay



Chapter 3

Planning the Essay: Explaining an Academic Topic



Overall Organization of the Academic Essay

The Explaining Essay

Selecting a Topic

Pre-Writing for the Essay

Audience Analysis

The Optional Background Paragraph

Titles for Academic Essays

The Thesis Statement

            Thesis Statements of Opinion and/or Intent

Diagram of the Academic Essay

Diagram of the Academic Essay

Paragraph Relationships

The Essay Map

Writing Conventions for the Academic Essay

            The Introduction

            The Body of the Essay

            Using Citations in Academic Essays

            The Conclusion

Writing a Memo



Chapter 4

Introduction to Academic Research: The Investigating Report


Using Sources for Research

            Surveys and Interviews

Organization of the Research Report

Using the World Wide Web (WWW)

            Introduction to the Web

            Developing Keywords

            Searching the Web with URLs

            Citing WWW Material

Using Nontext Materials in Academic Writing

            Selecting Nontext Materials

            Citing Nontext Materials

Interviewing an Authority

            Preparing for the Interview

            Conducting the Interview

            Using Interview Information

Coherence and Cohesion in Academic Essays

            Using Transitions

            Using Paragraph Hooks


            Revision Plans

The Oral Report

            Preparing for an Oral Presentation



Chapter 5

Academic Written Responses: Summary and Analysis


Summary Writing

            Writing Conventions for a Summary

            Characteristics of a Successful Summary

            Evaluation of the Summary


            Writing a Short Analytic Report

Writing Analyses of Written Material

Revising and Editing Essay Drafts

Writing Academic Summary-Analyses Assignments

            Differences Between Summary-Analysis Essays and Other Academic Essays

Written Summaries and Analyses of Academic Research

            Writing the Summary-Analysis of a Research Report

            Writing an Annotated Bibliography

            Writing the Literature Review

            Ration of Summary to Analysis in Academic Assignments

Discipline-Specific Citation Formats



Chapter 6

Persuading an Audience: The Arguing Essay


Persuasion in Academic Writing


Audience Analysis

Oral Arguments

Written Arguments

Selecting an Argumentative Topic

Planning the Arguing Essay

            The Thesis Statement in Argumentation

            “Voice” in the Arguing Essay

Organizing the Arguing Essay

            The Title for the Arguing Essay

            The Optional Background Paragraph

            Refuting the Counter-Argument(s)

            Using Rogerian Argument

Overall Organizational Structures for the Arguing Essay

            Plan A

            Plan B

            Plan C

            Writing an Essay Map

What Kinds of Evidence, and How Much?

            Paraphrasing or Quoting Sources

Logical Fallacies

Credibility of Authors and Student Writers

Student Samples: Arguing Essays



Chapter 7

Evaluating in Academic Writing: The Problem-Solution Essay



            Evaluation Processes

            Evaluating in Academic Writing

The Problem-Solution Essay

Preparing to Write the Problem-Solution Essay

            Audience Analysis

            Demonstrating That the Problem Exists

            Using Heading

Using Sources in Academic Research

            Using Interview Information in Research

            Designing and Administering a Survey for Research Information

            Reporting Survey Results

Evaluating Sources

Writing Conventions for the problem-Solution Essay

Feasibility Analysis of Alternative Solution

            Writing Feasibility Analysis Paragraphs

Implementation of the Recommended Solution

            Persuading the Audience

Sending the Problem-Solution Essay



Chapter 8

Using and Evaluating Library Sources: The Academic Research Paper


Preparing to Write

            Developing a Time Line for the Research paper

            Student Suggestions for Research


Identifying Necessary Library Sources

            Strategies for Taking Notes from Library Research Materials

            Strategies for Drafting the Academic Research Paper

Writing Conventions for the Academic Research Paper


Preparing to Use the Library

            Going to the Library

            The Library of Congress System

            Understanding Periodicals

            Library Etiquette

Using the Online Catalog

Online Search Strategies for Library Research

            Searching the Online Catalog

            Using Printed Indexes to Identify Magazine/Journal Articles

            Identifying Magazine/Journal Databases Online

Locating Library Sources

            Locating Books in the Stacks

            Locating Periodicals (Magazines, Journals)

Identifying and Locating Sources on the Web

            Disadvantages of WWW Resources

Evaluating Library Sources

            Evaluating WWW Sources

Student Samples: Research papers



Chapter 9

Grammatical Explanations and Exercises


Verb problems

            Passive Voice

            Active Voice Verbs

            Report Verbs

Parallel Structure

Sentence Structure and Sentence Combining

            Clauses and Phrases

            Sentence Structure Rules

            Joining Independent Clauses

Sentence Combining and Punctuation

            Using Colons

            Using Quotation Marks


            Precision in Diction

Confusing Words


Phrasal Verbs


Resources for Effective Editing Skills



Appendix A      Citation


What to Cite and Why

General Rules for APA Format

            APA for In-Text Citations

            APA for End-of-Text Citations

Citation of Internet (World Wide Web) Sources

            Problems with WWW Resources

Discipline-Specific Citation Styles

Using Citations


Appendix B      Surveys


Perceptual Learning Style Preference Survey

            Learning Style Preferences Self-Scoring Sheet

            Explanation of Learning Style Preferences

Student-Generated Inventory for Secondary Level and Young Adult Learners

Type A/Type B Personality Inventory

            Interpreting Your Results


Appendix C      The Résumé and the Application Letter


The Résumé

            Using Action Verbs

            Starting the Objective

            Résumé Appearance

            Information to Include

            Online Résumés

The Application Letter

Back Cover

This series takes students from beginning-level instruction on basic sentence structure through the development and production of advanced academic papers.
Examples of student compositions, written by native and non-native speakers of English, as well as pair and group work enrich all three books. The Process of Composition:

  • Prepares students for college-level work by taking them from the pre-writing process through a finished paper.
  • Instruction in the use of the Internet for research.
  • Instruction in locating resources in modern academic libraries.


Joy Reid is a professor of English at the University of Wyoming, where she teaches writing, linguistics, and ESL methods and coordinates the ESL support program. In addition to her ESL textbook series, she has published teacher-resources on learning styles, the change process, and discourse analysis.