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5 Essential College Writing Books for Students

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Want to know Essential College Writing Books for students? Then you need to read this blog which will provide you with all information.

Like me, you may have spent an hour scouring the college bookstore for the cheapest secondhand textbooks in order to save a few dollars. Then you might go online for even more low-cost textbooks. Even if you find “gently used books,” those dollars rapidly add up. As a result, choosing which college writing books to purchase in addition to your required readings can be challenging. When I was compiling my list of must-read books, I attempted to keep it as concise as possible.

I also focused on selecting outstanding college writing books that would be valuable to you for more than just one class, one semester, or even one year of your university programme. The following list of five titles includes books I used as a student and as an instructor. They are still useful to my tutoring students today, which is why they are piled high on my bookshelves and desk so that I can get to them quickly.

Please bear in mind that this blog post contains affiliate links in each of the book cover photos.

Let’s have a look at these five fantastic writing books now!

Every Student Should Read These Books on College Writing

#1 A classic style manual is William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White’s The Elements of Style.

The Elements of Style are a great resource for learning how to write in a clear, succinct, and effective manner. The emphasis is on the usage of the language and the creation of a literary style rather than on grammar. Topics covered include punctuation and parts of speech, as well as composition, form, and style of writing ideas.

The backstory of the book is fascinating. William Strunk Jr., a professor of English at Cornell University, wrote the initial edition. Elwyn Brooks White (commonly known as E.B. White) had read and studied the book before class, and Strunk Jr. used it in those classes. After a few years, Macmillian Publishing contacted the author, E.B White, and asked him to update and modify the book before it could be published. At the time, E.B. White was working on the fifth chapter, “An Approach to Style.” As an editor, he also worked on other sections of the book.

Other authors beyond E.B. White have authored editions of The Elements of Style, but I favour the Strunk Jr. and White editions since they are more concise. The fact that it is Amazon’s best-selling grammar reference book implies that the majority of people also prefer this edition.

The Elements of Style, in comparison to other writing and grammar manuals, features a number of biases and rules that are unique to it. Keep in mind that the rules for using commas in a series vary depending on the type of English you write (American English, British English, and so on) and the writing style suited for your genre or industry. The debate about comma rules has been raging for decades. The viewpoint of Strunk Jr. is expressed here.

With the exception of the last thing before the conjunction, the author, William Strunk Jr., argues that a comma should be used after every item in a series (and, nor, or,).

• The ice cream, for example, came in four different flavours: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and coffee. This is a rule that many authors adhere to.

The Oxford Comma is a punctuation mark used by several writers, including myself. An Oxford Comma is a writing style that uses a comma after each item in a list.

• The ice cream, for example, was offered in four flavours: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and coffee.

One example is the debate over the comma, but there are other writing style issues on which writers disagree. Even if you disagree with one or more of the authors’ points of view or advice, you should still read the book and absorb the information. After all, E.B. White is the author of Charlotte’s Web, a renowned children’s classic.

The second book in the series is Patricia T. O’Conner’s Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English.

I was introduced to the novel Woe is I while coaching an academic writing course at Skidmore College. I’d been looking for a fun and easy-to-understand grammar book, and this one meets the bill nicely. O’Connor discusses grammar from the standpoint of someone who works with professional writing, as she did as an editor for the New York Times Book Review.

This book will assist you in overcoming your grammar fears. It’s useful as a reference because it covers themes like punctuation, parts of speech, and writing style characteristics like clichés. You’ll also find a printable list of contractions as well as a list of contractions you should never use in writing, including Could’ve, How’d, That’d, and so on.

Note: If you’re buying a grammar book of any kind, make sure you get the most recent edition. Grammar is a living, breathing creature that changes and evolves all the time. Make sure you obtain the fourth edition of Woe is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English if you buy it (published in 2019).

It’s vital to understand that this book only applies to American English; other forms of English (such as Australian, British, and Canadian English) have slightly different standards.

Third, your subject area’s style and reference guide

Yes, services like the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL), for example, cover many components of the APA, Chicago, and MLA styles, among other things. There are other citation software programmes, like as Chegg’s citation machine, that allow you to enter source material and have the programme generate the right citation and reference format for you.

Those resources and tools, on the other hand, will not offer you all of the information you need about the reference style employed in your industry.

On the internet, you’ll find that information about writing style (such as specific hyphenation rules, whether to use italics and how to translate a title from one language to another) is hard to come by.

If you have a copy of your field’s reference and style manual, you can quickly respond to those questions and provide a clear explanation of the rules in concern.

You’ll learn about writing style and formatting, among other things, in a reference book. In English 101 classes, the MLA reference format is the most often utilised. In the subjects of English, languages, literature, history, and other disciplines, the MLA reference style is employed.

The American Psychological Association (APA) Reference Style, is extensively utilised throughout a wide range of fields, including business, technology, and science.

They Say, I Say The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, by Gerald Graff and Kathy Birkenstein, is a must-read.

This book was a required reading assignment for all students at Northeastern University when I taught College Writing and Writing for Graduate School to international students. They Say, I Say is a guide to the different words and constructs that can be employed in academic writing. Gerald Graff and Kathy Birkenstein show how to use a formal tone when participating in scholarly writing debates.

In a number of circumstances and styles, you’ll learn how to cite, summarise, debate with another researcher, and connect ideas. It will help you create words and phrases in nearly every element of your writing project, which is especially helpful for individuals who are new to academic language and writing.

There are verb lists for various summarising and quoting strategies that can help you decide how to introduce another person’s point of view to your audience. For the following, they have verbs:

• Bringing a legal action

· Formally expressing one’s consent

• Interrogation of Disagreeing Parties

5. Making Board of Directors Recommendations (Graff and Birkenstein 40-41).

Some individuals are concerned about the book because it has templates for a wide range of talents. This book has the potential to lead to “template writing,” even the writer in me admits. These templates, on the other hand, proved useful for my students who were unsure of which phrases to use in Academic English. On the other hand, the templates discourage creative writing. It’s an excellent choice for those who want to brush up on their academic terminology.

If you’re familiar with academic language, you can skim through the chapters and ignore the templates entirely.

The sixth book on the list is Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within.

It’s a book about academic writing, not a novel. To be true, Natalie Goldberg’s works are mostly on the writing process and activities that assist readers in becoming “writers.” It’s not about following rules, citing sources, or using academic lingo; it’s about being yourself.

As a result, why did I include it on my college writing book list?

Goldberg’s book is regarded as a classic writing book from a time when typewriters were used instead of computers. Nonetheless, Writing Down The Bones is a small writing class taught by a fantastic (and cool) instructor, as it was then and as it is now. As a result of this training, your writing will become more specific, clear, and visually appealing. Writing habits and practise, writing topics, and how to include more depth in your writing are all covered in the chapters.

The technique of freewriting was one of the most essential lessons I learned from this book. When you write whatever comes to mind for a set amount of time without editing, changing, or correcting what you’ve written, this is referred to as freewriting. Every single one of my students takes part in this because those who freewrite 3-5 times a week improve as writers (and academic writers) much faster than those who don’t or won’t.

When it comes to college writing books, how do you choose which ones to buy?

I am well aware of the high cost of textbooks. Your textbooks could set you back as much as $200 per semester. So, do you think you’ll be able to skip these writing books? The truth is that sloppy or poor writing will cost you money. It has a detrimental impact on your grade point average. To develop your writing skills, invest in yourself by taking classes, reading books, accessing resources, and employing writing tools.

As you continue your study, each of these college writing books can help you become a better writer. If you can’t afford all five books, however, start with the first three: Woe is I: The Elements of Style The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English, as well as your major’s reference style manual, are both good sources.

Add Writing the Bones to the List: After that, Freeing the Writer Within is a must-have, especially if you struggle with academic jargon. What They Say and What I Say: Academic Writing Moves That Matter Consult books instead of relying entirely on websites for answers to your writing questions! The most reliable references you can get are those from your own organisation.

Which college writing books do you intend to read this year? Please let us know which ones are your favourites by leaving a comment!

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