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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $47.00
  • August 2016
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-61736-8
  • 704 pages
  • Territory Rights: USA and Dependencies, Philippines and Canada.

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    1. Writing

    The Norton Field Guide to Writing with 2016 MLA Update

    Fourth Edition


    See all options and formats starting at

    Richard Bullock (Author, Wright State University), Maureen Daly Goggin (Author, Arizona State University), Francine Weinberg (Author)



    Flexible, easy to use, just enough detail—and the number-one best selling rhetoric.

    The Norton Field Guide to Writing’s flexibility and ease of use have made it the leading rhetoric text on the market—and a perfect choice for committees representing varying teaching styles. With just enough detail — and color-coded links that send students to more detail if they need it — this is the rhetoric that tells students what they need to know but resists the temptation to tell them everything there is to know. The Fourth Edition includes new chapters on summarizing and responding, on developing academic habits of mind, and on writing literary analysis.

    The Norton Field Guide to Writing is also available with a handbook, an anthology, or both. To make the book more helpful for multilingual writers, the versions with the handbook include new chapters on idioms, prepositions, and Englishes; to accommodate instructors and programs teaching literary analysis, the versions with the anthology include two student essays that analyze literature and five short stories and poems for analysis. All versions are available as low-cost ebooks and in mobile-compatible formats for smart phones and tablets.


    Uniquely flexible format

    Short chapters addressing every topic a writing instructor might cover allow teachers to assign chapters in whatever order they wish, making The Norton Field Guide a great choice for committees struggling to accommodate diverse teaching approaches. 

    Easy to use, with just enough detail

    Menus, directories, documentation templates and maps, and a glossary/index make it easy for students to find the information they need quickly and efficiently. The Norton Field Guide is brief, providing just enough detail on each topic, along with color-coded links that send students to pages with more detail if they need it.  

    A new section on academic literacies

    Part 1 (Academic Literacies) includes chapters on writing in academic contexts, reading in academic contexts, summarizing and responding, and developing academic habits of mind. These chapters have been written with stretch courses, ALP courses, integrated reading-writing courses, dual enrollment courses, and the needs of many incoming college students in mind. 

    3 new chapters

    Chapter 6 (Developing Academic Habits of Mind) encourages mental habits that lead to academic success: curiosity, engagement, persistence, flexibility, creativity, and more.
    Chapter 9 (Summarizing and Responding: Where Reading Meets Writing) teaches the summary/response sequence both as a strategy that's useful in many academic contexts and as a kind of writing that many composition teachers assign.
    Chapter 17 (Literary Analysis) provides guidelines for writing a literary analysis, along with a sample student analysis. This chapter was in the first two editions and has now been reinstated in response to popular demand.

    5 new readings

    Of the 23 readings in the Fourth Edition, 5 are new, including a report on "The Reason College Costs More Than You Think" and a profile of an F-16 pilot who was prepared to sacrifice her life to bring down one of the hijacked airliners on September 11, 2001.  

      * New to this edition

      How to Use This Book

      Part 1 Academic Literacies

      1. Writing in Academic Contexts
      2. Reading in Academic Contexts
      *3. Summarizing and Responding: Where Reading Meets Writing
      *4. Developing Academic Habits of Mind

      Part 2 Rhetorical Situations
      5. Purpose
      6. Audience
      7. Genre
      8. Stance

      9. Media/Design


      Part 3 Genres
      10. Writing a Literacy Narrative
          Emily Vallowe, Write or Wrong Identity (student writing)
          Marjorie Agosín, Always Living in Spanish
          Shannon Nichols, “Proficiency” (student writing)
      11. Analyzing Texts
          Hannah Berry, The Fashion Industry: Free to Be an Individual (student writing)
          *Danielle Allen, Our Declaration
          Sam Anderson, Just One More Game . . . Angry Birds, Farmville, and Other Hyperaddictive Stupid Games
      12. Reporting Information
          Michaela Cullington, Does Texting Affect Writing? (student writing)
          James Fallows, Throwing Like a Girl
          *Jon Marcus, The Reason College Costs More than You Think
      13. Arguing a Position
          Joanna MacKay, Organ Sales (student writing)
          *Nicholas Kristof, Our Blind Spot about Guns
          Andrew Leonard, Black Friday: Consumerism Minus Civilization
      14. Abstracts
      15. Annotated Bibliographies
          Michael Benton, Mark Dolan, Rebecca Zisch, Teen Film$
          Jessica Ann Olson, Global Warming (student writing)
      16. Evaluations
          Ali Heinekamp, Juno: Not Just Another Teen Movie (student writing)
      *17. Literary Analyses
          *Stephanie Huff, Metaphor and Society in Shelley’s “Sonnet” (student writing)
      18. Memoirs
          Rick Bragg, All Over but the Shoutin’
      19. Profiles
          *Steve Hendrix, F-16 Pilot Was Ready to Give Up Her Life on 9-11
      20. Proposals
          Michael Granof, Course Requirement: Extortion
          Jennifer Church, Biodiversity Loss and Its Effect on Medicine (student writing)
      21. Reflections
          Jonathan Safran Foer, My Life as a Dog
      22. Résumés and Job Letters
      23. Mixing Genres
          Anna Quindlen, Write for Your Life
      24. Choosing Genres

      Part 4 Processes
      25. Writing as Inquiry
      26. Collaborating
      27. Generating Ideas and Text
      28. Drafting
      29. Assessing Your Own Writing
      30. Getting Response and Revising
      31. Editing and Proofreading
      32. Compiling a Portfolio

      Part 5 Strategies
      33. Beginning and Ending
      34. Guiding Your Reader
      35. Analyzing Causes and Effects
      36. Arguing
      37. Classifying and Dividing
      38. Comparing and Contrasting
      39. Defining
      40. Describing
      41. Dialogue
      42. Explaining Processes
      43. Narrating
      44. Taking Essay Exams

      Part 6 Doing Research
      45. Developing a Research Plan
      46. Finding Sources
      47. Evaluating Sources
      48. Synthesizing Ideas
      49. Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing
      50. Acknowledging Sources, Avoiding Plagiarism
      51. Documenting Sources
      52. MLA Style
      53. APA Style

      Part 7 Media / Design
      54. Choosing Media
      55. Designing Text
      56. Using Visuals, Incorporating Sound
      57. Writing Online
      58. Giving Presentations

      Glossary / Index
      MLA and APA Directories