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Writers’ Choices: Grammar for Effective Writing
Authors: Michael Kischner and Edith Wollin
Paperback: 350 pages
Price: $71.47 suggested retail
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About the Book
Intended for college and advanced high school students as well as for teachers wishing to strengthen their understanding of English grammar, Writers’ Choices: Grammar for Effective Writing covers English syntax from parts of speech, verb forms, and basic sentence patterns to dependent clauses, verbal phrases, absolute constructions, and parallelism and coordination. It aims to teach students that syntactic choices have rhetorical effects and to show students how an understanding of syntax can expand their range of choice when writing.
Every chapter combines syntax with rhetorical grammar. The book uses diagramming to help make sentence analysis visible and sentence combining to show how sentences are put together. Along with many diagramming and sentence combining exercises, all of them with varied and culturally diverse content, there are exercises for working with sentences in larger contexts and regular opportunities for students to compose their own sentences. There is no filling in of blanks, no dwelling on errors. The book is based on a belief that it is a lot more useful to write scores of correct sentences than it is to fix incorrect ones. It doesn’t say, “Don’t do this – it makes your writing wrong.” It says, “Try this – it makes your writing strong!”
About the Authors
Michael Kischner and Edith Wollin are both retired from North Seattle Community College, where they taught a wide range of composition, ESL, and literature courses. Among their most popular courses was Advanced English Grammar, which Edith created with the goal of having a grammar course that actually did improve student writing. Together, Edith and Michael wrote a textbook for that course, the original of the present book. A condensed version intended for composition courses, Writers’ Choices: Grammar to Improve Style, was published by Harcourt College Publishers, later Cengage, and is now available as a CoursePack from XanEdu. Michael and Edith have conducted several teacher-training workshops at national meetings of the NCTE’s Assembly for the Teaching of English Grammar. Michael, who was named 1998 Washington State College Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation, graduated from Kenyon College and The Johns Hopkins University and has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Washington. Edith, who became NSCC’s Dean of Arts, Humanities, and Adult Basic Education, graduated in English from Pacific Lutheran University and has advanced degrees in English from the University of Kansas and the University of Washington.