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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $53.00
  • February 2015
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-93736-7
  • 912 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide including Canada, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

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    1. Writing

    Back to the Lake

    A Reader and Guide

    Third Edition


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    Thomas Cooley (Editor, Ohio State University)


    A new take on the traditional rhetorical modes, showing how they are used in the kinds of writing college students are most often assigned—arguments, analyses, reports, narratives, and more.

    Back to the Lake 3e includes new chapters on writing paragraphs and using rhetorical modes in academic writing—which shows how the patterns taught in this book are used in the kinds of writing college students are expected to do. New readings are on timely topics that will engage students. Templates and marginal notes that explicitly link the readings and the writing instruction help students apply the lessons in this book to their own writing.


    An engaging collection of 80 readings, almost half of them new to this edition

    From classics that instructors like to teach to contemporary pieces on topics that will appeal to students (zombies, comic-book superheroes, a commencement speech by George Saunders), these readings demonstrate that the patterns taught in this book are ones that all good writers depend on. Each chapter includes an annotated student piece and one literary work.  

    A new chapter on writing paragraphs

    Paragraphs are the building blocks of essays. Back to the Lake provides a whole chapter focusing on how the modes can be used to organize and develop coherent paragraphs.  

    A new chapter showing how the modes are used in the kinds of writing college students are most often assigned—or sometimes just expected to do

    The traditional modes are used in all academic fields—an economics student may use cause and effect to investigate the sources of a recession, a literature student may use description in analyzing a poem, a biology student may use process analysis to explain photosynthesis in a lab report. This chapter and academic examples throughout the book serve as a bridge between the patterns taught in this book and the academic writing students need to do. An index of readings arranged by common academic genres makes examples easy to locate. 

    Designed to support courses that integrate reading and writing

    Notes in the margins explicitly link the readings to the writing instruction, leading students from the text to specific examples in the readings—and the reverse. These notes make Back to the Lake the best modes reader for teachers taking an integrated reading-writing approach. 

    Templates help students get started writing

    Highlighted in a box for quick reference, templates provide language to help students make the fundamental moves to describe, compare, define, and so on. 

    A fresh new color-coded design that makes the book especially easy to use

    New color-coded pages (blue for writing pedagogy; red for online resources; tan for the table of contents, glossary/index, and other reference materials) help students and instructors quickly find what they need. New color-coded documentation templates even make MLA style easy to understand—and more information in checklists and boxes, color images, and author photos will appeal to today’s visual learners. 


    Online quizzes test for common editing errors and reading comprehension. New references in the book direct students and instructors to the online resources, which require no registration codes. 

      * = new to this edition
      ► = student writing

      Chapter 1: Good Writers Are Good Readers
      Anna Quindlen, How Reading Changed My Life

      Chapter 2: The Writing Process
      ►Zoe Shewer, Ready, Willing, and Able [annotated]

      Chapter 3: Writing Paragraphs

      Chapter 4: Putting in Your Oar: Learning the Basic Moves of Academic Writing
      ►Carolyn Stonehill, Modern Dating, Prehistoric Style

      *Chapter 5: Using Comparison, Description, and the Other Methods in Academic Writing

      Chapter 6: Narration
      ►Jeff Gremmels, The Clinic [annotated]
      *Kurt Streeter, Have a Caltastic Day!
      *Marjane Satrapi, Kim Wilde
      Annie Dillard, An American Childhood
      *Drew Hansen, Mahalia Jackson, and King’s Improvisation
      Anne Bernays, Warrior Day
      Richard Russo, Dog

      Chapter 7: Description
      ►Melissa Hicks, The High Price of Butter [annotated]
      Judith Ortiz Cofer, More Room
      *Paul Crenshaw, Storm Country
      *Michael J. Mooney, The Most Amazing Bowling Story Ever
      E.B. White, Once More to the Lake
      *Jean Rhys, I Used to Live Here Once

      Chapter 8: Example
      *►Stephanie Cawley, The Veil in Persepolis [annotated]
      *Verena Dobnik, This Little Piggy Didn’t Go to Market
      The Onion, All Seven Deadly Sins Committed at Church Bake Sale
      *Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Texas Talk Is Losing Its Twang
      Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History
      *Alan Lightman, 14 May 1905 (from Einstein’s Dreams)

      Chapter 9: Process
      *►Caitlin Ghegan, In Defense of Quidditch [annotated]
      Joshua Piven, David Borgenicht, and Jennifer Worick, How to Pull an All-Nighter
      ►Alex Horton, On Getting By: Advice for College-Bound Vets
      *Dave Barry, How to Jump-start a Car When the Battery Is Dead
      *George Saunders, Congratulations, by the Way
      *Charles Duhigg, How to Create New Habits
      Billy Collins, Fishing on the Susquehanna in July

      Chapter 10: Comparison and Contrast
      ►Jamie Gullen, The Danish Way of Life [annotated]
      *Patricia Park, Where Are You From?
      *Douglas Wolk, Superhero Smackdown
      David Sedaris, Remembering My Childhood on the Continent of Africa
      Bruce Catton, Grant and Lee
      William Shakespeare, Sonnet 130

      Chapter 11: Classification
      ►Michelle Watson, Shades of Character [annotated]
      Stephanie Ericksson, The Ways We Lie
      Amy Tan, Mother Tongue
      *Mindy Kaling, Types of Women in Romantic Comedies Who Are Not Real
      *Paul Krugman, E Pluribus Unum
      Deborah Tannen, But What Do You Mean?
      Anne Sexton, Her Kind

      Chapter 12: Definition
      ►Gail Babilonia, The Celebrity Chef [annotated]
      Mary Roach, How to Know If You’re Dead
      *Amy Wilenz, A Zombie Is a Slave Forever
      Jack Horner, The Extraordinary Characteristics of Dyslexia
      *Mike Rose, Blue-Collar Brilliance
      Bobbie Ann Mason, Being Country
      Flannery O’Connor, A Good Man Is Hard to Find

      Chapter 13: Cause and Effect
      ►Paula T. Kelso, Behind the Curtain [annotated]
      Henry L. Roediger III, Why Are Textbooks So Expensive?
      *Mary Hannibal, Why the Beaver Should Thank the Wolf
      *Jon Mooallem, Squirrel Power!
      *Matthew Yglesias, Money Isn’t Everything
      *Ursula K. Le Guin, The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

      Chapter 14: Argument
      ►Matthew Douglas, The Evil Empire? [annotated]
      Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence
      *Michelle Obama, Remarks at Topeka School District Senior Recognition Day
      Sojourner Truth, Ain’t I a Woman?
      Michael Lewis, Buy That Little Girl an Ice Cream Cone
      *Juana Mora, Acculturation Is Bad for Our Health: Eat More Nopalitos
      *Rodolfo F. Acuña, We Owe History

      *Debating the Value of a College Education
      *Catherine Rampell, College Graduates Fare Well in Jobs Market, Even Through Recession
      *Peter Gerstenzang, My Education, Repossessed
      *The Economist, Higher Education: Not What It Used to Be

      Debating Intellectual Property
      *Roy Peter Clark, Imagination or Theft in Imagine?
      *Marc Hogan, Judas Priest: Bob Dylan Slams Plagiarism Accusers
      Ellen Goodman, Who Owns Dr. King’s Words?
      Lawrence Lessig, Free Culture

      Debating the Effects of Digital Culture
      *Annie Murphy Paul, You’ll Never Learn!
      *Clive Thompson, The Art of Finding
      *Brooke Gladstone and Josh Neufeld, The Influencing Machines
      *Ethan Kuperberg, Deactivated

      Appendix: Using Sources
      ►Dylan Borchers, Against the Odds [annotated]