A Writer’s Reference, Eighth Edition By Tara Roeder

Issue 5

What’s new in this edition?

What are the author’s credentials?  New content includes advice.  A step-by-step path.  Easy to spot cross-references.  Game-like online quizzing.

Glossary of usage

I will accept all the packages except that one.

Assess the writing situation

Why am I communicating?  Do you have length specifications?

Subject-verb agreement

You may encounter tricky situations.  (see the end of this chart.)  If you aren’t sure of the standard forms, Strip away.  Strip away.

The Comma

The comma was invented.  While we were eating a rattlesnake approached our campsite.  There is no danger of misreading.

Consider adding an occasional question

Even when she enters the hospital on the brink of death, the anorexic will refuse help from anyone.

Outline to identify main ideas

You may have to puzzle it out.  The raw coffee is surprisingly fruitlike and fresh.  Conclusion: Together farmers and consumers hold the future.

Think like a researcher

One student invented a calendar.  Revise your initial assumptions. Once you have an aerial view of the topic, do nutritional food labels inform consumers or confuse them?  What causes depression?

ESL Challenges

Appropriate.  Mixed constructions.   You may find this section helpful if you speak a language other than English.  Dreaming in Cuban.  The ambassador hired her for the European tour.  Gianna is not  a member of the club.  Inna should not have gone dancing last night.

Understand what plagiarism is

Failing to enclose borrowed language in quotation marks. Unacceptable borrowing.


Source Text: Diana Hacker and Nancy Sommers, A Writer’s Reference, Eighth Edition (Bedford St. Martin’s, 2013)

Tara Roeder‘s work has appeared or is forthcoming in about two dozen venues including The Bombay Gin, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, and E-Ratio.  Her chapbook, (all the things you’re not), is available from dancing girl press.  She received her Ph.D. from the CUNY Graduate Center, and is currently an Associate Professor of Writing Studies in New York City.