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Introduction > Introduction - Pg. xv

Introduction xv I'll leave the decision about "love, curiosity, freckles" to you, if you'll let me have "doubt." By the time you've finished reading this book, you'll have no doubt that you can be a good writer. You'll be writing with skill, confidence, and even pleasure. What You'll Learn in This Book This book is divided into six sections that teach you the skills you need to write well. Together, they help you grasp each specific type of writing and the entire writing process. By the end of this book, you'll be sure of yourself as a writer. Part 1, "Write Now," first explains why mastering the basics of good writing is important in your job and life. You'll also learn how writing developed, starting with the alphabet. I'll prove that writing is a skill that can be acquired, not an inborn trait. Next, I introduce the four types of writing: exposition, narration, argumentation, and description. Later in this part, you'll explore the essential elements of effective writing: logic, organization, unity, coherence, purpose, audience, tone, details, style, and word choice. We'll review phrases, clauses, sentences, and paragraphs, too. Part 2, "The Writing Process," teaches the entire writing process, including planning, researching, shaping and drafting, revising and editing, and proofreading. There's also a section on dealing with "writer's block." Next, you'll explore the different ways that you can organize the information in your writing. After you learn how to write great introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions, you'll discover how to make your writing shine. Part 3, "Write for Success," covers exposition, narration, persuasion, and description in detail. You'll also learn how to write for different subject areas, including natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. Part 4, "Just Shoot Me Now: Research Papers and Term Papers," covers everything you need to know about research papers, from soup to nuts. This part opens with a chapter on generating sub- jects, narrowing them into suitable topics, and writing thesis statements. Then you'll enter "basic training" to review research methods. I'll also teach you how to evaluate and track your sources. The part concludes with a chapter on parenthetical documentation, endmatter, and frontmatter. Part 5, "More Big Deals," copes with writing under pressure, including assignments that ask you to recall, analyze, evaluate, or synthesize. Then I'll teach you how to write fine speeches, effective personal and social letters, and resumés that work. Part 6, "Picture Perfect," puts the finishing touches on your writing, starting with a crash course in grammar and usage. Then we'll review spelling rules, contractions, possessives, plurals, punctua- tion, and capitalization. Last, there's an appendix of sample term papers and one of research paper documentation. More for Your Money! In addition to all the explanation and teaching, this book contains other types of information to make it even easier for you to learn how to write well. Here's how you can recognize these features: Author! Author!