Prentice Hall
Robert M. Sherfield / Patricia G. Moody
August 2010
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Cornerstones for College Success
7 April 2013 87.40


For courses in First-Year Orientation, Student Success, Study Skills, Extended Orientation, Freshman Year Experience.


The sixth edition helps students focus on practical strategies for CHANGE.  Those who can master change with a positive attitude take calculated risks and maintain an open mind will succeed.  Filled with inspiring stories and powerful activities, this motivating book teaches success through discovery, goal-setting and determination.  Cornerstone utilizes SQ3R and Bloom's Taxonomy throughout, employing the reading and critical thinking strategies necessary for student achievement.  Thoroughly updated, it includes a new chapter on Interpersonal  Communication, and now extensively covers Information Literacy.  Also provides updated and expanded information on money and debt management and a stronger focus on self-engagement.  The chapter on Critical Thinking is brand new, empowering students to advance in the classroom and beyond.


TECHNOLOGY OFFERING: MyStudentSuccessLab is available with this book upon request. It is an online solution designed to help students 'Start strong, Finish stronger' by building skills for ongoing personal and professional development. Go to for a Point and Click DEMO of the Time Management module.  


Change implementation model-5 Step Plan promotes discussions and ties concepts to student learning and the academic self.

·    Allows students to make connections and transfer knowledge and skills to other courses, giving them a tool they can use to plan and bring about positive change in their personal and academic lives.


Reading and critical thinking strategies-are used throughout the text.

·    Incorporates SQ3R and Bloom's Taxonomy as learning tools, not just as a section of one chapter.


Chapter-ending critical thinking exercise.

·    Gives students the opportunity to analyze and apply chapter content to their own lives.


Section on academic integrity-Focuses on academic honesty.

·    Helps students understand the importance of one's personal integrity and character, and the consequences of personal behavior.


 Interactive design-encourages students to remain active learners.

·    Uses worksheets, assessments, and questions all in an open, action-oriented format.


Scan & Questionfeature-appears in this edition, at the beginning of every chapter.  Incorporates SQ3R (Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review).  This reading and study method is one of the most successful and widely used learning tools ever introduced.

·    This feature will assist readers in using SQ3R to get the most out of every chapter.  Allows students to make the most of their reading time in mastering the chapter's material.


Knowledge in BLOOMfeature-appears in this edition.  This feature incorporates Bloom's Taxonomy at the end of every chapter and throughout each chapter via margin activities further supporting cognitive learning.

·    Encourages readers to reflect and respond to questions from the best level of Bloom's Taxonomy (knowledge, understanding, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation).  Allows students to recognize and utilize the level appropriate for each specific activity.


WHY Read This Chapter (Author Perspective) and WHY Read This Chapter... from My Perspective (Student Perspective)--begins each chapter motivating students.  Offers advice from the authors and former students as to why the chapter is important to the students' success, knowledge, college survival, and overall well-being.

·    Gives reasons for readers to learn chapter material by relating it directly to their personal and academic lives.


From Ordinary to Extraordinary: Real Stories of Personal Triumph-have been included in this edition to motivate and inspire students.  Focuses on 15 individuals who faced huge obstacles and adversity in their life and went on to learn from their mistakes, reach their goals, and achieve their dreams.

·    Inspires readers and reinforces the hope and promise that comes with education, goal-setting and determination.


Did You Know?feature-appears in each chapter to motivate students.  Brings together 15 small biographies of well-known personalities and the adversity they faced.

·    Features people such as Abraham Lincoln, Tim McGraw, Jay Leno, Maya Angelou, Les Brown, Warren Buffett,  Martin Luther King, Jr., and Florence Ballard.

New to this Edition


  • Bold, Innovative Design—Cornerstone’s Sixth Edition will have a bold, new, innovative cover and interior design that reflects today’s college students.

  • Success Stickers—A key new design enhancement that students will LOVE! Includes a sheet of Success Stickers for students to tag important information throughout the text to re-read, study for a test, mark a great quote or anything they find informative and interesting.

  • TEN Essential Cornerstones—Focus on the ten most important aspects of one’s personal and professional life. These Ten Essential Cornerstones show up throughout the text to help students apply them to everyday situations at school and work.

  • How to Approach Change In Your Life—A six step process that allows students to implement practical and concrete change into their lives.

  • Self-Discipline and Procrastination-new information on self-discipline as related to time management and a new section on simplifying your life, saying no, and a new focus on beating procrastination.

  • Money and Debt Management—Totally updated and revised information to reflect today's "new" economy.  Includes a new economic readiness assessment that asks students to estimate next semester's costs.  New information on loans and how much it costs to repay them.  New section called "The Big IF's" offers tips for if you have to buy a car; if you have to purchase furniture; if you have to cust your food expenses; if you have to watch how much you spend on family; and if you need to cut your fuel costs.

  • The Writing Ladder—Totally revised chapter on writing and speaking and includes a new, easy to use, Writing Ladder to help students with the college writing process.

  • Information Literacy—Totally new material on Information Literacy. Uses The Essential FIVE: Major Steps in the Information Literacy Process (Sherfield/Moody original) and how to apply these steps to research projects in every class. (Ex. Chapter 5)

  • Ethical Behavior —A new section on and diagram of the Six Ethical Questions ask students to review their thoughts and actions on ethical behavior tied to Academic Integrity to ensure successful transitions.

  • Motivation and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Basic Needs—Show students how motivation is tied to our basic, internal, innate needs and how to use these needs to build internal motivation. (Ex. pp. 33-34)

  • Policy Guide for Your College—A new activity titled Self-Orientation helps students discover and effectively use the internal policies of their own institution, avoiding problems that may arise from not knowing.  (Ex. p. 55)

  • Self-Responsibility Assessment—A new assessment that asks students to evaluate their own personal responsibility and examine self-defeating behaviors. (Ex. p 36)

  • Interpersonal Communication—A completely new chapter on interpersonal communication, self-disclosure, getting along with others, and communicating in the digital age.


  • Emotional Intelligence–new and updated coverage of emotional intelligence and the brain's Amygdala and how it affects our ability to succeed.
  • Critical Thinking - chapter is brand new, empowering students to advance in the classroom and beyond. 
  • Learning Styles - chapter boasts a new "How to Learn" feature.  
  • Resumes and Cover Letters–the final chapter 'PLAN' includes totally new information on how to write a winning resume, cover letter, and thank you note.  New information on interviewing with confidence.
  • Problem Solving Model–Totally new and updated information on how to identify problems including a new model based in Bloom's Taxonomy on the Steps to Problem Solving.
  • Self-Discipline and Procrastination–new information on self-discipline as related to time management and new sections on Simplifying Your Life, Saying No, and Beating Procrastination.
  • Money and Debt Management–totally updated and revised information to reflect today's "new" economy. Includes a new ECONOMIC READINESS ASSESSMENT that asks students to estimate next semester's costs.  New information on loans and how much it costs to repay them. New section called "The Big IF's"  offers tips for IF you have to buy a car;  IF you have to purchase furniture;  IF you have to cut your food expenses;  IF you have to watch how much you spend on family;  and IF you need to cut your fuel costs.
  • The Writing Ladder–Totally revised chapter on Writing and Speaking includes a new, easy to use Writing Ladder to help students with the college writing process.
  • Depression and Anxiety–new and updated information on how to deal with and beat depression and anxiety.
  • Stop Smoking–Totally new section on the effects of smoking and a day-to-day plan on how to stop smoking.


MyStudentSuccessLab ( is an online solution designed to help students ‘Start strong, Finish stronger’ by building skills for ongoing personal and professional development. This Learning Outcome based technology promotes student engagement through:

· The Learning Path Diagnostic offers for the course, 83 Full Course Pre- and Post-Diagnostic (Bloom’s Taxonomy Levels I-VI) questions, and for each topic, 20 Pre- and Post-Test (Bloom’s Taxonomy Levels I-VI) questions.

· The Overview provides learning objectives to build vocabulary and repetition.

· Video interviews on key issues ‘by students, for students’.

· The Practice exercises improve class preparation and learning. 

· Graded Activities build critical thinking skills and develop problem-solving abilities (includes Essays and Journaling).

· Instructors benefit from an Implementation Guide to easily assign and assess progress. 

· Students have access to relevant FinishStronger247 YouTube videos, the Pearson student Facebook page chock full of tips, MySearchLab use for doing effective research, and more.

YouTube videos, the Pearson student Facebook page chock full of tips, MySearchLab use for doing effective research, and more.


PearsonChoices - CourseSmart and Custom Publishing.  Having choices for how to deliver course content is important.

·  CourseSmart Textbooks Online is an exciting new choice for students looking to save money. As an alternative to purchasing the print textbook, students can subscribe to the same content online and save up to 50% off the suggested list price of the print text. With a CourseSmart e-textbook, students can search the text, make notes online, print out reading assignments that incorporate lecture notes, and bookmark important passages for later review. For more information, or to subscribe, visit  

· Pearson Custom Publishing allows professors to create their own professionally produced customized textbooks and media products to best complement their course. We offer high-quality content, professional design, quick production, and reliable on-time delivery. The result is a valuable textbook that students will use, cover to cover, tailored to meet exactly the needs of the professor, students, and course.  Visit


Extensive Instructor Teaching Resources/Supplements Package offers a full array of teaching materials to feel confident and prepared for class, including instructor's manual, test bank, PowerPoint, video library, and more!

· UPDATED INSTRUCTOR's MANUAL–Totally revised and updated IM that includes a new grid on how each activity and test item measures the objectives in each chapter.

· POWER POINTS–New and updated, full color PowerPoints to accompany each chapter.

· TECHNOLOGY and TWITTER TIME -- Each chapter of the text and IM will have ideas on how to use Twitter (and other social media) to best advantage. One such activity will ask students to summarize the entire chapter in ONE 140 character Tweet.  


Training for Faculty

·  In-service Training tailored to your Objectives–For adoptions of 1,000 annual copies or more!  Feel confident going into the first day of class prepared to engage your students with the materials.  Please contact our Events Coordinator,, email author Dr. Robert Sherfield at with a question, or visit his website at

Table of Contents

BEGIN: The Goal of Cornerstone and Our Commitment to You


Features In each chapter:


Why Read This Chapter

Why Read This Chapter…From My Perspective

Scan & Question





CHAPTER 1        CHANGE: Adjusting to the Culture of College, Nurturing Change, and Setting Goals

                            The Times…They Are A-Changin'

                            The M&M Theory

                            College and You

                            The Culture of College

                            Creating Success Through Positive Change

                            Eliminating Roadblocks to Your Success

                            Building a New You

CHAPTER 2        ENGAGE: Developing Your Personal and Academic Passion to Persist in College

                            The Power and Passion of Motivation

                            Achieving Your Potential and Increasing Your Motivation

                            Persisting in College

CHAPTER 3        PERSIST: Using the Tools of Self-Management to Stay in College

                            To Be Successful, You Have to Last

                            Knowing the Rules Up Front

                            The College Professor

                            I Can't Believe You Gave Me an F

                            Classroom Challenges

                            The Golden Rule-or Just a Crock

                            Self-Management, Ethics, and Your Future

                            Making Mature Decisions


                            The Dangers of using Someone Else's Work as Your Own

                            Success Centers and Student Services on Campus

                            Let Me Give You a Piece of Advice

                            Moving On

                            How to Calculate Your Grade Point Average

                            On the Go and Going Online

                            Persisting in College

CHAPTER 4        COMMUNICATE: Improving Your Personal Communication, Cultivating Relationships, and Managing Conflict

                            The Communication Process

                            The Story of One Wild Boy

                            Nonverbal Behavior in Interpersonal Communication

                            OMG U R OTT

                            Self-Disclosure and Interpersonal Communication

                            The Ties That Bind

                            Learning to Live and Communicate with Others

                            Conflict in Relationships Is Inevitable

                            The Faces of Conflict

                            Standards for Dealing with Difficult People and Managing Conflict

CHAPTER 5        THINK: Expanding Your Aptitude for Critical Thinking, Emotional Intelligence, and Information Literacy Skills

                            Thinking About Thinking

                            The Importance of Critical Thinking

                            An Eight-Point Plan for Critical Thinking

                            Sharpening Your Emotional Intelligence Skills




CHAPTER 6        PRIORITIZE: Planning Your Time and Reducing Stress

                            Time-You Have All There Is

                            Time Management and Self-Discipline

                            I'll Do It When I Have a Little Free Time

                            Planning, Doodling, or Begging

                            Absolutely No…Well, Maybe

                            Beginning Your Day with Peace

                            The Dreaded “P” Word

                            Getting the Most Out of This Moment

                            Evaluating How You Spend Your Time

                            Focusing On and Eliminating Distractions and Interruptions

                            Planning and Preparing

                            Stress? I Don't Have Enough Time for Stress!

                            I Don't Think I Feel So Well

CHAPTER 7        LEARN: Using Your Dominant Intelligence, Preferred Learning Style, and Unique Personality Type to Become an Active Learner

                            We Hope You Learned Your Lesson!

                            Give Your Brain a Workout

                            The Learning Process

                            Understanding Your Strengths

                            Understanding Multiple Intelligences

                            Understanding Multiple Inteligences to Enhance Studying and Learning

                            Understanding Learning Styles Theory

                            Wanted: A Visual Learner with Tactile Skills

                            Understanding Personality Types

CHAPTER 8        READ: Building Your Reading and Comprehension Skills

                            Is Reading Fundamental or Just Pure Torture?

                            Discovering Your Reading Style

                            I Feel the Need…The Need for Speed

                            Speed and Comprehension

                            You Don't Have to Be a Logodaedalian to Enjoy Words

                            It's Not Just a Doorstop

                            Learning to Read Faster and Smarter

                            Finding the Topic and Main Ideas in Paragraphs and Sections

                            SQ3R to the Rescue

                            It's Not Over Until It's Over

CHAPTER 9        RECORD: Cultivating Your Listening Skills and Developing a Note Taking System that Works for You

                            The Importance of Listening

                            Listening Defined

                            The Four Listening Systems

                            Listening Can Be So Hard

                            Listening for Key Words, Phrases, and Hints

                            Listening in Difficult Situations

                            Taking Effective Notes

                            Tips for Effective Note Taking

                            You'll Be Seeing Stars

                            Three Common Note-Taking Systems\

                            It's as Simple as A, B, C-1, 2, 3

                            It's a Split Decision

                            Going Around in Circles

                            TMI! TMI! (Too Much Information)

CHAPTER 10      UNDERSTAND: Empowering Your Memory, Studying Effectively, and Taking Tests with Confidence

                            I Forgot to Remember!

                            This Isn't Your Daddy's VCR

                            The Capability of Your Memory

                            Using Mnemonic Devices

                            Hakuna Matata

                            Studying in a Crunch

                            Thinking About Testing

                            Quizzing Your Instructor and Knowing Your Response Type

                            Test-Taking Strategies and Hints for Success




CHAPTER 11      PROSPER: Managing Your Money and Your Debts Wisely

                            The Overwhelming Burden of Crushing Debt

                            Practicing Discipline at the Right Time

                            Pennies from Heaven

                            Student Loans

                            Know the Score

                            B is for Budgeting

                            Living on Borrowed Money

                            The Pitfalls of Payday Loans, Car Title Loans, and Rent-to-Own Contracts

                            Small Costs Add Up!

                            Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

                            Battling the Big 'If's'

CHAPTER 12      INFORM: Improving Your Research, Writing and Speaking Skills

                            The Enormous and Vast Power of Words

                            How to Write a College-Level Research Paper

                            Public Speaking

                            Preparing a Powerful PowerPoint Presentation

                            I'd Rather Die Than Make This Speech

                            Walking Tall

CHAPTER 13      RELATE: Celebrating People, Cultures, and Diversity

                            Learning to Think Globally While Making Local Applications

                            Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better!

                            Living and Learning in the Brave New World

                            Seeing the World with Clear Eyes

CHAPTER 14      LIVE: Developing Your Plan for Wellness and Personal Responsibility

                            A Holisitic Approach to Wellness

                            The Mind's Effect on Wellness

                            Silent Problems of the Mind

                            The Soul's Effect on Wellness

                            The Body's Effect on Wellness

                            What You Do Today May Impact You for Years to Come

                            Smoking Cessation and How to Do It

                            STDs and Birth Control

CHAPTER 15      PLAN: Focusing on Your Professional Career and Living Well

                            Planning for the Future

                            What Am I Going to Do for the Rest of My Life?

                            10 Baby Steps That Will Become Giant Steps Tomorrow

                            Developing Your Career Self-Study Plan

                            Help Me: I'm Undeclared

                            Workin' 9 to 5-or Trying To

                            Writing a Powerful and Concise Cover Letter

                            Understand the Do's and Don'ts of Memorable Resumes

                            General Tips

                            The Big Day Is Here

                            Win, Lose, or Draw, Always Say 'Thank You' in Writing



Back Cover

“Practical Strategies for Change”

The sixth edition of Cornerstone: Creating Success Through Positive Change guides students in adapting practical strategies for change to their own lives  Those who can master change with a positive attitude, take calculated risks and maintain an open mind will succeed.  Filled with inspiring stories and powerful activities, this motivating book teaches success through discovery, goal-setting and determination.  Cornerstone incorporates  SQ3R and Bloom's Taxonomy throughout, employing focused  reading and critical thinking strategies necessary for student achievement. 


Tools for Change include:

·    How to Approach Change In Your Life - Implements change through seven practical steps. (Chapter 1)

·    Self-Responsibility Assessments - Evaluates students' personal responsibility levels and examines self-defeating behaviors. (Chapters 2 and 3)

·    Success Stickers - Provides students with a way to tag important information as they study, such as preparing for a test, marking a great quote, or identifying something they find personally relevant. (Back of text)

·    TEN Essential Cornerstones - Focuses on the ten most important aspects of one's personal and professional life. (Throughout all chapters)

·    Chapter highlights

    • Information Literacy - Applies research to a 5 major step process. (Chapter 5)
    • Interpersonal Communication  Includes self-disclosure, understanding and getting along with others, and communicating via technology in the digital age. (Chapter 4)
    • Money Management - Starts students on a sound fiscal policy program to manage their finances and prosper at all times.   (Chapter 11)

·    Thinking for Change - Teaches process for critical thinking via seven steps that develop students' problem solving abilities.  (Chapter 5 and throughout the text)


For more information about the book including its' stellar supplements package, go to  


Start strong. Finish stronger.



 Robert M. Sherfield, Ph.D. has been teaching public speaking, theatre, and student success and working with first-year orientation programs for over 25 years. Currently, he is a professor at the College of Southern Nevada, teaching student success, technical writing, public speaking, and drama.

    An award-winning educator, Robb was named Educator of the Year at the College of Southern Nevada. He twice received the Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award from the University of South Carolina Union, and has received numerous other awards and nominations for outstanding classroom instruction and advisement.

    Robb's extensive work with student success programs includes experience with the design and implementation of these programs-including one program that was presented at the International Conference on the First-Year Experience in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  He has conducted faculty development keynotes and workshops at over 350 institutions of higher education across America.  He has spoken in 46 states and several foreign countries.

    In addition to his co-authorship of Cornerstone: Opening Doors to Career Success 2nd edition (Prentice Hall, 2010), he has authored or co-authored Solving the Professional Development Puzzle: 101 Solutions for Career and Life Planning  (Prentice Hall, 2009), Cornerstone: Discovering Your Potential, Learning Actively, and Living Well (Prentice Hall, 2008), Roadways to Success (Prentice Hall, 2001), the trade book 365 Things I Learned in College (Allyn & Bacon, 1996), Capstone: Succeeding Beyond College (Prentice Hall, 2001), Case Studies for the First Year: An Odyssey into Critical Thinking and Problem Solving (Prentice Hall, 2004), The Everything®Self-Esteem Book (Adams Media, 2004), , and Cornerstone: Building on Your Best for Career Success (Prentice Hall, 2006).

    Robb's interest in student success began with his own first year in college. Low SAT scores and a dismal high school ranking denied him entrance into college. With the help of a success program, Robb was granted entrance into college, and went on to earn five college degrees, including a doctorate.  He has always been interested in the social, academic, and cultural development of students, and sees this book as his way to help students enter the world of work and establishing lasting, rewarding careers.  Visit


    Patricia G. Moody, Ph.D. is Dean Emerita of the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management at the University of South Carolina, where she served on the faculty for over 30 years. An award-winning educator, Pat was honored as Distinguished Educator of the Year at her college and as Collegiate Teacher of the Year by the National Business Education Association.  She was also a top-five finalist for the Amoco Teaching Award at the University of South Carolina.  She received the prestigious John Robert Gregg Award, the highest honor in her field of over 100,000 educators.

    Pat has co-authored many texts and simulations including:  Solving the Professional Development Puzzle: 101 Solutions for Career and Life Planning , Cornerstone: Discovering Your Potential, Learning Actively, and Living Well365 Things I Learned in College, Capstone: Succeeding Beyond College, Case Studies for the First Year: An Odyssey into Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, and Cornerstone: Opening Doors to Career Success .

    A nationally known motivational speaker, consultant, and author, Pat has spoken in most states, has been invited to speak in several foreign countries, and frequently keynotes national and regional conventions. She has presented her signature, motivational keynote address, “Fly Like an Eagle” to tens thousands of people, from Olympic athletes to corporate executives to high school students. 

    As the Dean of her college, Dr. Moody led international trips to build relationships and establish joint research projects in hospitality.  Under her direction, faculty members in her college began a landmark study of Chinese Tourists.  Pat now travels the country delivering workshops, keynotes, and presentations on topics such as Managing Change, Working in the New Global Community, The Future of the Future, Student Motivation, and Emotional Intelligence.  She also serves as a personal coach for business executives.


Reader Review(s)

"Students will think the text is talking to them personally.  It truly is all about them."

--Melanie Deffendal, DelgadoCommunity College


"This is an excellent text that addresses the changing needs of students.  Bloom's Taxonomy will challenge students to think about why they decided to attend college and what they want to accomplish.  Moreover, the Taxonomy can be applied to other classes.  Success is linked to positive change." 

--Arthur Webb, OklahomaState University

Companion Website