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The Norton Sampler

Short Essays for Composition

 

    INTRODUCTION

    1. Annie Dillard, From The Death of a Moth
    2. Annie Dillard, How I Wrote the Moth Essay—and Why

    CHAPTER 1: On Reading and Writing

    CHAPTER 2: DESCRIPTION

    1. A BRIEF GUIDE TO WRITING A DESCRIPTION
    2. EVERYDAY DESCRIPTION: A CALVIN AND HOBBES CARTOON
    3. Cherokee Paul McDonald, A View from the Bridge
    4. Alice Steinbach, The Miss Dennis School of Writing
    5. *Dan Barry, Chronicle of an American Execution
    6. *Garrison Keillor, A Sunday at the State Fair
    7. Ann Hodgman, No Wonder They Call Me a Bitch

    CHAPTER 3: NARRATION

    1. A BRIEF GUIDE TO WRITING A NARRATIVE
    2. EVERYDAY NARRATION: A MAGAZINE COVER
    3. Thomas Beller, The Ashen Guy: Lower Broadway, September 11, 2001
    4. *Heidi Julavits, Turning Japanese
    5. Richard Rodriguez, None of This Is Fair
    6. *Yiyun Li, Orange Crush
    7. *Zoe Shewer, Ready, Willing, and Able
    8. Mary Mebane, The Back of the Bus

    CHAPTER 4: EXAMPLE

    1. A BRIEF GUIDE TO WRITING AN EXEMPLIFICATION ESSAY
    2. EVERYDAY EXEMPLIFICATION: A LIGHTED BILLBOARD
    3. The Onion, All Seven Deadly Sins Committed at Church Bake Sale
    4. *Laurence Gonzales, My Grandmother’s Ashtray: Why Smart People Do Stupid Things
    5. Janet Wu, Homeward Bound
    6. *Lawrence Downes, Losing Private Dwyer
    7. Richard Lederer, English Is a Crazy Language

    CHAPTER 5: CLASSIFICATION

    1. A BRIEF GUIDE TO WRITING A CLASSIFICATION ESSAY
    2. EVERYDAY CLASSIFICATION: UNITED STATES OF OBESITY MAP
    3. Amy Tan, Mother Tongue
    4. *Nora Ephron, The Six Stages of E-mail
    5. Eric A. Watts, The Color of Success
    6. Isaac Asimov, What Do You Call a Platypus?
    7. *David Brooks, Harmony and the Dream

    CHAPTER 6: PROCESS ANALYSIS

    1. A BRIEF GUIDE TO WRITING PROCESS ANALYSIS
    2. EVERYDAY PROCESS ANALYSIS: ROZ CHAST RECIPES
    3. *Will Shortz, How to Solve Sudoku
    4. Jon Katz, How Boys Become Men
    5. *Allegra Goodman, So You Want to Be a Writer? Here’s How.
    6. Alexander Petrunkevitch, The Spider and the Wasp
    7. Philip Weiss, How to Get Out of a Locked Trunk

    CHAPTER 7: COMPARISON AND CONTRAST

    1. A BRIEF GUIDE TO WRITING COMPARISON
    2. EVERYDAY COMPARISON: A COFFEE MUG
    3. *Jeff Jacoby: Watching Oprah from Behind the Veil
    4. Bruce Catton, Grant and Lee: A Study in Contrasts
    5. *Michael Powell, Two Churches, Black and White
    6. Gary Soto, Like Mexicans
    7. Deborah Tannen, Gender in the Classroom
    8. David Sedaris, Remembering My Childhood on the Continent of Africa

    CHAPTER 8: DEFINITION

    1. A BRIEF GUIDE TO WRITING A DEFINITION ESSAY
    2. EVERYDAY DEFINITION: A SIGN ON A BALCONY
    3. Dave Barry, Guys Vs. Men
    4. *Tanya Barrientos, Se Habla Español
    5. *Sally Satel, Addiction Doesn’t Discriminate
    6. *Sean B. Carroll, The Evo Devo Revolution
    7. Geeta Kothari, If You Are What You Eat, Then What Am I?

    CHAPTER 9: CAUSE AND EFFECT

    1. A BRIEF GUIDE TO WRITING A CAUSE AND EFFECT ESSAY
    2. EVERYDAY CAUSE AND EFFECT ANALYSIS: A POSTER
    3. *Richard Bernstein, The Growing Cowardice of Online Anonymity
    4. Henry Louis Gates Jr., A Giant Step
    5. *Malindi Corbel, The Deadly Allure of Smoke
    6. Marissa Nuñez, Climbing the Golden Arches
    7. *Marjorie Agosín, Always Living in Spanish

    CHAPTER 10: ARGUMENT

    1. A BRIEF GUIDE TO WRITING AN ARGUMENT
    2. EVERYDAY ARGUMENT: A SIGN ON AN OLD HOUSE
    3. Barack Obama, Inaugural Address
    4. Johnson C. Montgomery, The Island of Plenty
    5. What’s Wrong With Performance-Enhancing Drugs in Sports?
      1. William Moller, Those Who Live in Glass Houses
      2. Brian Alexander, Tour de Farce
      3. Michael Shermer, The Doping Dilemma
      4. Andy Borowitz, Angry Cleveland Indian Fans Demand Team Take Steroids
    6. How Do We Speak American?
      1. Myriam Marquez, Why and When We Speak Spanish in Public
      2. Chang-Rae Lee, Mute in an English-Only World
      3. Greg Lewis, An Open Letter to Diversity’s Victims
      4. Dennis Baron, Don’t Make English Official—Ban It Instead

    CHAPTER 11: CLASSIC ESSAYS AND SPEECHES

    1. Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence
    2. Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal
    3. *Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address
    4. Virginia Woolf, The Death of the Moth
    5. E. B. White,Once More to the Lake
    6. *Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream

    Appendix: Using Sources in Your Writing

    Glossary

    Index