Thomas Cooley (Editor)

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The Norton Sampler

Short Essays for Composition


Great readings by good writers


Fifty eight selections, half new to the book, and half composed in the last ten years, are beautifully written and on engaging topics—Obama’s inaugural speech, Garrison Keillor’s description of a day at the Iowa State Fair, Sean Carroll on Evo Devo, Dave Barry’s hilarious essay on the difference between guys and men, Marjorie Agosín on her life as a bilingual speaker and writer—and more.


Practical writing instruction


With an introductory chapter on reading and writing, brief writing guides and templates for getting started in each modes chapter, and a complete appendix on doing research, The Norton Sampler provides enough instruction that students will not need an additional rhetoric.


Everyday examples


Examples, including visuals, show how the rhetorical techniques taught in the book play an important role across media—on magazine covers and coffee mugs, billboards and websites—and demonstrate that these are methods students will use beyond the classroom.


More help for multilingual students


The Seventh Edition has templates that show basic, sentence-level moves students need to start writing in each rhetorical mode and glosses for cultural references students may not know.


Argument clusters


Readings are grouped on two current issues, the use of performance-enhancing drugs and the relationships between about language and identity. Each cluster includes four readings.


A research appendix


With guidance on doing research and documenting sources using the 2009 MLA guidelines, along with a complete sample paper.


Beautifully written


This short-essays reader practices what it teaches about good writing.