Writing In College: From Competence to Excellence

(24 reviews)

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Amy Guptill, SUNY Brockport

Pub Date: 2016

ISBN 13: 978-1-9423412-1-5

Publisher: Open SUNY

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Reviewed by Stephen Maley, Lecturer, University of Washington, on 8/22/2016.

The text does not cover all of the topics included in most writing manuals or guides to college writing. Rather, it aims to cover those writing … read more

 

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Reviewed by Anthony Edgington, Associate Professor, University of Toledo, on 8/22/2016.

Overall, the text is good but could be improved on comprehension. The text is divided into chapters that model the writing process, making it easy … read more

 

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Reviewed by Amy Friedman, Asst. Professor, Temple University, on 8/22/2016.

The book has a good, broad approach to many aspects of composing first-year college essays. The examples used throughout clearly indicate the … read more

 

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Reviewed by Kate Michaelson, Visiting Instructor of Composition, University of Toledo, on 8/22/2016.

Though I've only rated the book as a "3" in this category, I do think it's a valuable addition to a writing class. While I would not select this book … read more

 

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Reviewed by Mary Van Ness, Senior Lecturer, University of Toledo, Department of English Language & Literature, on 8/22/2016.

The book is concise and does not pretend to answer any and all issues related to academic writing. It does give practical advice to its target … read more

 

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Reviewed by Sheri Benton, Lecturer, University of Toledo, on 8/22/2016.

The text effectively explains the differences between high school and college writing expectations, and provides relevant examples for sentence … read more

 

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Reviewed by Jenny Friedman-Gaskins, Part-time Faculty, Umpqua Community College, on 8/22/2016.

I am very pleased with the comprehensive nature of the text. It covers all the finer details that are sometimes dropped in the rush of a course … read more

 

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Reviewed by Phyllis Nissila, Instructor, Lane Community College, Eugene, Oregon, on 8/22/2016.

I reviewed the text with our institution's developmental writing class in mind, Writing 97 which is an introduction to college essay writing. I … read more

 

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Reviewed by Steven Kelly, English Instructor, Kansas State University, on 8/22/2016.

At less than 100 pages, Writing in College (WIC) is an admittedly brief text. While it doesn’t cover every college writing scenario (an impossible … read more

 

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Reviewed by Carol Russell, Instructor (16 years), Kansas State University, on 8/22/2016.

This text covers many areas that beginning writers face. It covers the basics from understanding the assignment and what the professor wants, to … read more

 

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Reviewed by Lyda Woods, Adjunct Professor, Rogue Community College, on 8/22/2016.

Guptill's text is indeed a "warm invitation" to join the academic community in which research writing is a key method of communication. What is … read more

 

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Reviewed by Cybele Higgins, ESL Faculty, Lane Community College, on 8/22/2016.

Writing in College: From Competence to Excellence addresses all the areas and concepts behind orienting students who are new to writing expectations … read more

 

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Reviewed by Jennifer Love, Instructor of Writing, Lane Community College, on 8/22/2016.

Amy Guptill's textbook offers a comprehensive discussion of writing in an academic (primarily four-year/university) setting, with an emphasis on the … read more

 

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Reviewed by Christopher Rose, Full-Time Instructor, Portland Community College, on 8/22/2016.

The text, was for the most part, comprehensive, and covers all of the major areas that ideally should be reviewed in a composition course. While … read more

 

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Reviewed by Michael Sutcliffe, Writing Instructor, Portland Community College, on 8/22/2016.

This text is appropriately designed for its audience and purpose. In a brief “About” section, the author explains this text is best-suited “for … read more

 

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Reviewed by Eleanor Latham, Professor of Humanities/Developmental Literacy Coordinator, Central Oregon Community College, on 8/22/2016.

This depends largely on audience: for a student coming from a high school that teaches the "5 paragraph theme," who placed out of college … read more

 

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Reviewed by Tim Krause, Adjunct ESOL Instructor, Portland Community College, on 8/22/2016.

The strength of this book is that it is not intended to be an all-encompassing reference overloaded with details concerning every potential writing … read more

 

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Reviewed by Jarrod Dunham, Instructor - English Composition, Portland Community College, on 8/22/2016.

This book provides a comprehensive, demystifying guide to academic writing - its purposes, conventions, and many of the most common errors that even … read more

 

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Reviewed by Keryn Neary, Adjunct Professor, Concordia University - Portland, on 12/6/2016.

This book covers a wide range of topics addressed in the writing classroom in a way which is through and clear. The division of chapters to reflect … read more

 

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Reviewed by Rachel Morgan, Instructor , University of Northern Iowa , on 2/9/2017.

Writing in College: From Competence to Excellence is an excellent supplemental text to a freshman writing course. In nine chapters, the book covers … read more

 

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Reviewed by Mary Boyes, Assistant Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University Honors College, on 2/9/2017.

This text does not seem to be designed as a rhetoric manual or handbook, rather it is a general introduction to any kind of college/academic writing. … read more

 

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Reviewed by Kimberly Fahle, Coordinator of Writing Services, Virginia Wesleyan College, on 2/9/2017.

This text covers a lot of important topics related to college writing. The background on higher education generally was an interesting and helpful … read more

 

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Reviewed by Jenfier Kurtz, Associate Professor, Virginia Western Community College, on 2/9/2017.

This text offers a nice overview of the basics that writers need to consider when developing college level essays. The chapter on analyzing an … read more

 

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Reviewed by Ellen Polansky, Adjunct Instructor, First Year Writing, Rhode Island College, on 4/12/2017.

This text might be well suited to first year writing seminars (typically writing intensive courses taught by faculty from the disciplines). For a … read more

 

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Really? Writing? Again?

Chapter 2

What Does the Professor Want? Understanding the Assignment

Chapter 3

Constructing the Thesis and Argument—From the Ground Up

Chapter 4

Secondary Sources in Their Natural Habitats

Chapter 5

Listening to Sources, Talking to Sources

Chapter 6

Back to Basics: The Perfect Paragraph

Chapter 7

Intros and Outros

Chapter 8

Clarity and Concision

Chapter 9

Getting the Mechanics Right

About the Book

Writing in College is designed for students who have largely mastered high-school level conventions of formal academic writing and are now moving beyond the five-paragraph essay to more advanced engagement with text. It is well suited to composition courses or first-year seminars and valuable as a supplemental or recommended text in other writing-intensive classes. It provides a friendly, down-to-earth introduction to professors’ goals and expectations, demystifying the norms of the academy and how they shape college writing assignments. Each of the nine chapters can be read separately, and each includes suggested exercises to bring the main messages to life.

Students will find in Writing in College a warm invitation to join the academic community as novice scholars and to approach writing as a meaningful medium of thought and communication. With concise discussions, clear multidisciplinary examples, and empathy for the challenges of student life, Guptill conveys a welcoming tone. In addition, each chapter includes Student Voices: peer-to-peer wisdom from real SUNY Brockport students about their strategies for and experiences with college writing.

While there are many affordable writing guides available, most focus only on sentence-level issues or, conversely, a broad introduction to making the transition. Writing In College, in contrast, provides both a coherent frame for approaching writing assignments and indispensable advice for effective organization and expression.

About the Contributors

Author(s)

Amy Guptill is an Associate Professor of Sociology at The College at Brockport, SUNY where she has a joint appointment with the Delta College Program, an alternative interdisciplinary General Education option. Her research focuses on spatial and structural shifts in agriculture and food systems with recent work on innovative agricultural marketing. She teaches courses in the sociology of food, development and globalization, community and social change, social statistics and college writing. In addition to Writing In College: From Competence to Excellence, she is the coauthor of a recent college textbook entitled Food & Society: Principles and Paradoxes (Malden, MA: Polity, 2012).