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Rules for Writers: A Brief Handbook: Updated With 1998 Mla Guidelines Paperback – Dec 1998


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Paperback, Dec 1998
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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: St Martins Pr; 3rd Sprl edition (Dec. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312204876
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312204877
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 14 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 May 1999
Format: Paperback
Retains most of the necessary regulations, but permits the split infinitive: p. 113: "We decided actually to enforce the law" IS perfectly natural; those who disagree should revise to "We decided that we should actually enforce the law." Also, indefinite singulars, like "everyone" should never be equated with "their"! "Everyone" always must equal "he or she." I shall require the text again for my Quality Composition course, but with a lengthy note-sheet of qualifications.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 47 reviews
44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Comprehensive, better than the Bedford Handbook 2 Jun. 2006
By Tony Thomas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Spiral-bound
The college where I teach English composition used Rules for Writers as the Handbook for three or four years. It now uses the Bedford Handbook. I found Rules for Writers to be very full and useful for every aspect of teaching, not only grammar and punctuation, but for composition and research writing as well. It tends to have fairly exhaustive explanations of most points of grammar. It has an especially good section on ESOL problems. All in all, it is a practical useful book that I keep on my writing desk for my own use, even though it is no longer used in our classes.

I was usually able to teach my courses without using any other text other than this book and the required reader. Before we had Rules and currently with the Bedford Handbook (also by Daina Hacker), I had to rely on handouts taken from the internet to emphasize areas like MLA documentation and developing cohesion in paragraphs and essays or to provide remedial materials for students with problems. With Rules for Writers, and also with the Little, Brown Handbook, another good handbook, I found better supplementary materials right in the book than anything I found on the Net.

The biggest problem with Rules for Writers is its spiral bound soft cover format. This book does not hold up. Pages fall out, the cover falls off, and the book gets banged up. I would have to replace it every semester, if only not to be embarassed by the wrecked appearance my copy would have when it was time to display the textbook on the first day of class!

Now as a professor who gets free textbooks, that is not a big problem. However, for students who are simply robbed blind paying for text books and may be required to use a handbook like this in a series of classes--and should always keep a handbook like this for reference in and out of school--having a book that falls apart and constantly needs replacing can be financial murder.

Still, I prefer this book to the Bedford Handbook. The Bedford Handbook is handbook in name only and does not have as many features or as deep coverage as books like Rules for Writers or the Little, Brown Handbook. It is a kind of dumbing down of the information here. Visually the Bedford Handbook is better as a visual object and has nice illustrations, charts and pictures. It is also well integrated with Diana Hacker's maze of web sites. However, if any professor is trying to decide between the Bedford and Rules for Writers, get Rules for Writers.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Some things get even better with time 11 Feb. 2006
By Lisa Taylor Huff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Spiral-bound
When I was a freshman in college (circa 1979), the official reference book for my honors English Comp class was "Rules for Writers, 2nd ed." And I still have that book on my bookshelf. When I discovered the book was still in publication and in its 5th edition (spiral-bound and fully updated to include the technology issues writers face), I had to have it.

No matter how much you THINK you know about the rules of writing, grammar and punctuation, there's always something else you can learn. This book can benefit you whether you are a professional writer, a student, a business person, or someone for whom English is your second language and you want to improve your writing skills. Well-organized and indexed, with easy-to-understand examples, this little book seems to have it all.

Add it to your reference library! Some things really are almost timeless.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The best writing reference I've found for the SAT Writing Section 20 Jun. 2006
By Patricia D. Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
I'm an SAT tutor, and I haven't been thrilled with many of the grammar/usage/writing SAT books on the market. They usually do a decent job on a few topics but not all topics. I'm getting this book for every one of my students (and my own son) because it will not only help them with the SAT writing section but it serves as the best ongoing reference for their use in school. I haven't tried the CD-ROM yet (sold separately) but it has over 1000 practice exercises.
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A good book for students 3 Feb. 2001
By Joel Peck - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Spiral-bound
I found this book a useful tool for people who need a helping hand in their writing. It's not for the person looking for a quick referance. There are many helpful exercise to help you better understand you writing problems.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A good writing tool. 5 April 2008
By Dan B - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
This is a top shelf book in my writers tool box. It is clear, concise, and informative. It has many good examples, and its flow chart approach to identifying and correcting typical grammar errors is easy to use. As a new writer, I find this book very helpful.
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