Longman Handbook for Writers and Readers, The

Chris M. Anson / Robert A. Schwegler  
Total pages
November 2013
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Longman Handbook for Writers and Readers, The
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The Longman Handbook for Writers and Readers, Sixth Edition, emphasizes writing for different audiences, explores the connection between reading and writing, and presents superior writing across the curriculum coverage while also providing all the handbook basics.

A comprehensive reference to writing, research, documentation, and grammar, The Longman Handbook explores the differing audiences, purposes, and conventions of various communities of writers and readers, and offers students concrete strategies for adapting their writing to meet varying rhetorical situations. While emphasizing the academic community, The Longman Handbook also explores the genres of writing that students can expect to find in public and workplace communities.

Revised and expanded discussions of writing in the disciplines, different communities’ rhetorical situations, visual argument, researching online, and online writing continue to ensure that students have the practical guidance they need to write effectively in today’s changing environment.


  • Emphasizes the social nature of writing and the importance of community expectations. Key discussions of planning, organizing, persuading, and style are all framed in terms of community needs and variations. Writing for academia is emphasized, but workplace and civic examples are offered in each major section. Tables summarize key differences in structure and style in terms of the community framework.
  • Distinct chapters on writing across the curriculum offer advice on analyzing assignments and meeting the criteria of different disciplines and genres. More than fifteen student samples are provided.
  • Substantial coverage of critical thinking, critical reading, and argument places reading at the center of the writing process, helping student writers develop awareness of readers' expectations and build a chain of reasoning with effective supporting evidence.
  • Grammar and correctness are presented through a consistent process, “Recognize and Revise,” that models for students the internal dialogue they should develop as they read their own writing to more easily recognize errors.
  • Thorough coverage of writing and technology includes in-depth treatment of online writing, Internet research, electronic databases, documentation conventions for non-print sources, document design, and more.
  • “Strategy” boxes throughout the text offer concrete, practical writing strategies and useful writing tips that readers and writers can employ immediately in their work.
  • “ESL Advice” boxes appear throughout the book to help ESL students better understand rhetorical principles that may differ from their native language and culture.
  • The Pearson eText within MyCompLab increases flexibility for students who prefer studying online.

New to this Edition

A chapter, “Assessing Writing,” helps students assess their own writing and understand how others read and evaluate it. The chapter also offers guidance on making informed comments on peers’ papers and assembling portfolios (Ch. 8).

Increased coverage of writing for different audiences across the curriculum as well as in the workplace and public arena includes expanded instruction and a greater number of sample papers:

  • Eight full-length student samples in a range of academic genres model for students many of assignments they will be asked to write in college, including the essay exam response, literature review, lab report, portfolio reflection letter, rhetorical analysis of an advertisement, PowerPoint presentation, cover letter, and a scientific explanation for a general audience.
  • Four Communities Boxes that explore Types of Academic Writing and Disciplinary Writing in the Humanities, the Social Sciences, and the Sciences introduce students to the kinds of writing they will read and write in the General Education curriculum and in potential majors while also showing how writing differs from one academic discipline to the next (Chs. 17, 18, and 19).
  • Four Communities Boxes that highlight differences among academic, public, and workplace writing help students understand that audience expectations, writing styles, and research conventions shift in different communication environments. New boxes include Citing Research in the Three Communities, Documentation Needs in the Three Communities, Documentation Choices in the Three Communities, and Style and the Three Communities (Chs. 27, 29, 47).

Two chapters present the most common citation errors and most distracting grammar errors, offeringstudents brief, easy-to-reference content distilled from over thirty chapters on research and grammar.

  • A chapter “10 Serious Grammar Errors” help students identify and correct the grammar and usage errors most likely to confuse and distract their readers (Ch. 34).
  • A chapter “10 Serious Documentation Errors” will help students recognize and avoid making the most common mistakes when citing and documenting sources in researched papers (Ch. 29).

Research coverage has been expanded and revised to includea new section on appropriate uses of Wikipedia (Ch. 22), a new section on note taking (Ch. 22), new guidelines for traditional and multimodal research presentations (Ch. 28), a more linear and comprehensive discussion of Avoiding Plagiarism and Integrating Sources (Ch. 27), and new citation models for emerging media—including graphic novels, podcasts, presentations from online conferences, and more. Students have instruction and examples that allow them to work effectively with the newest technologies and mediums.

Updated documentation coverage follows style and citation guidelines laid out in theseventh edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers and the sixth edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (Chs. 30 and 31), ensuring students have up-to-date instruction and examples for their reference. Sample papers have been updated throughout.

A chapter, “Multimodal Composing,” teaches students how to read, compose, and evaluate texts that combine textual, visual, and audio content—helping them develop critical 21st century composing skills (Ch. 14).

Expanded chapter, “Visual Arguments,” includes new instruction on reading visuals rhetorically as well as new samples, helping students think critically about visual texts they encounter in an out of college an

Table of Contents


1  Writers, Readers, and Communities

Academic, public, and work communities

1 Communities in action

2 Choices and limits

Identifying electronic communities

2  Discovering and Planning 

Getting started

1 Try informal writing

2 Use listing

3 Ask strategic questions

Keeping a writing/reading journal

1 How to keep a reading and writing journal

2 Thinking, writing, and discovering

Structuring ideas and information

1 Draw a cluster

2 Create a tree diagram

3 Build a time sequence

4 Create a problem-solution grid

5 Outline

Planning: Paper in progress

3  Purpose, Thesis, and Audience

Recognizing your purpose

1 Identify the focus

2 Define the purpose

Using purpose to guide your writing

1 Rough out a purpose structure

Defining a thesis or main idea

1 Turn topics into theses

2 Complicate or extend your rough thesis

3 Expand your thesis with specifics

4 Modify your thesis

Different kinds of thesis statements

Recognizing your audience

Specific readers and communities of readers

Adapting to readers and communities of readers

4  Drafting

From planning to drafting

1 Draft in manageable parts

2 Develop a general structure

3 Assess your purpose and redraft

Drafting strategies

1 Write about your writing

2 Draft quickly

3 Semidraft

4 Talk it out or take a break

Collaborative drafting

1 Do parallel drafting

2 Do team drafting

3 Do intensive drafting

5   Revising, Editing, and Proofreading

Major revisions

1 Redraft unworkable material

2 Reorganize poorly arranged paragraphs or sections

3 Add new material

4 Delete unnecessary or redundant material

Minor revisions

1 Revise for sense

2 Revise for style

3 Revise for economy

Collaborative revising

1 Respond helpfully

2 Make the most of response

3 Workplace collaboration

Revising: Paper in progress

Editing your own writing

1 Final editing for economy and style

2 Editing for grammatical problems

Collaborative editing

Editing on the computer

1 What computer editors can do

2 What computer editor can’t do


6 Paragraphs

Focused paragraphs

Creating paragraph focus

1 Topic sentence at the beginning

2 Topic sentence plus a limiting or clarifying sentence

3 Topic sentence at the end

4 Topic sentence implied rather than stated

Paragraph coherence

Creating paragraph coherence

1 Repeating words and phrases

2 Supplying transitions

3 Using parallel structure

Developed paragraphs

1 Developing paragraphs with details

2 Creating paragraph structures

Introductory and concluding paragraphs

1 Creating introductory paragraphs

2 Creating concluding paragraphs

7  Sentences

Clear sentences

1 Use significant subjects

2 Avoid unnecessary nominalizations

3 Use I, we, and you as subjects

4 Be careful with strings of nouns

5 Use clear and specific verbs

6 Keep subjects and verbs clearly related

Direct sentences

Emphatic sentences

1 Use sentence beginnings and endings

2 Create emphatic sentence patterns

3 Use the passive voice with care

Revising for variety

1 Vary sentence length

2 Vary sentence types

3 Vary sentence structure and patterns

4 Create surprise

8 Assessing Writing

Assessing your own writing

1 Saying what you want to say

2 Sharing what you want to share

3 Being honest about things th