Writing for Success

(23 reviews)


Scott McLean, Arizona Western College

Pub Date: 2015

ISBN 13: 978-1-4533107-1-7

Publisher: U of M Libraries Publishing

Conditions of Use



  All reviews are licensed under a CC BY-ND license.

Learn more about reviews.


Reviewed by Kari Steinbach, Instructor, University of Northwestern - St. Paul

The text covers some helpful elements of a first college writing course, such as an overview of several genres of writing assignments, some grammar … read more



Reviewed by Tanya Grosz, Assistant Professor of English & Director of Undergraduate Pathways, University of Northwestern - St. Paul

I was surprised at just how comprehensive this book was. It covers everything from study strategies to prewriting to editing and punctuation … read more



Reviewed by Jonathan Carlson, Instructor, Composition, University of Northwestern - St. Paul

The first chapter covers many "first year" or "freshmen" tips, best practices ideas and how-to info. Probably good material … read more



Reviewed by Sara Crickenberger, Instructor, Virginia Tech

The pdf of the textbook does not provide a table of contents or an index/glossary. It opens with a Preface then jumps right into Chapter 1. These … read more



Reviewed by Kelsea Jones, Adjunct Instructor, Treasure Valley Community College

McLean's text is surprisingly comprehensive, covering topics from reading and study strategies, to grammar, to writing paragraphs and essays, to … read more



Reviewed by Shawn Osborne, Instructor, Portland Community College

The text clearly covers all areas and ideas of the subject at this level and is well organized. A nice addition is that each chapter opens with … read more



Reviewed by Fran Bozarth, Adjunct Professor, Portland Community College

This book really covers it all so long as there is no need to address reading fiction - in fact, it has way more than I would be able to use in a … read more



Reviewed by Kimberly Gutierrez, Assistant Professor of English, Bismarck State College

One of the classes I teach is a freshman composition writing lab that focuses on sentence level errors and sentence clarity. This is a super … read more



Reviewed by Brandy Hoffmann, English Instructor, Central Lakes College

Writing for Success offers a variety of sections that could be extracted as resources/readings for a first year writing course. In other words, … read more



Reviewed by Michelle Cristiani, Instructor, Portland Community College

What I look for in a writing text at this level is flow from simple to complex: word placement and part of speech up through essays. This text … read more



Reviewed by Mary Sylwester, Instructor, Portland Community College

This textbook is amazingly comprehensive--probably more than any teacher actually wants. It covers strategies for success in college, reading, … read more



Reviewed by Laura Sanders, Instructor, Portland Community College

This text covers a range of topics students might need while building reading, critical thinking, research, and writing skills in developmental to … read more



Reviewed by Amy Forester, Instructor, Clackamas Community College and Portland Community College

The text is very comprehensive. There are sections that are useful for many different writing levels, from students in need of grammar and … read more



Reviewed by Michelle Robbins, Instructor, Portland Community College

Writing for Success includes all the topics I cover in a developmental writing class, plus a large chunk on research papers. It covers grammar and … read more



Reviewed by Katie McCurdie, Instructor, Portland State University

The comprehensiveness of this text is very impressive. At 600 pages, it covers so many aspects of college writing, from grammar to essay writing to … read more



Reviewed by Kirk Perry, Adjunct Instructor, Portland Community College - Cascade

This textbook aspires to be a combined grammar book and reader. It covers all the appropriate areas, but the coverage is a bit thin when it comes to examples.… read more



Reviewed by Annie Knepler, University Studies Writing Coordinator, Portland State University

Writing for Success is quite thorough. It covers everything from sentence structure to the writing process. It has additional sections on creating … read more



Reviewed by William Wells, Instructor, Metropolitan State University

This book covers all the topics I would normally cover in a first year composition course and more. I would like to see an effective, preferably … read more



Reviewed by Paul Carney, English Instructor, Minnesota State Community and Technical College

The text covers all the essentials of college composition, from the writing process and mechanics to rhetorical modes and the research paper. The … read more



Reviewed by Jennifer von Ammon, Full-time faculty, Lane Community College

The text is primarily focused on grammar review and would be an appropriate text for a development writing course. Although there are several … read more



Reviewed by Laura Funke, Instructor, Inver Hills Community College

The text is almost too comprehensive—trying to cover writing, reading, and study skills strategies. Within writing, it covers grammar, mechanics, … read more



Reviewed by Olga Filatova, Visiting Assistant Professor, Miami University

I was surprised by how much useful content the book has. It covers everything I would need to teach in a first year college composition writing … read more



Reviewed by Anna Erwert, Adjunct faculty, Portland Community College

The book is extremely comprehensive. If a college works on a 10-week quarter, it's unlikely a student would use the whole book. However, I personally … read more


Table of Contents

Publisher Information
About the Author

Chapter 1: Introduction to Writing
1.1 Reading and Writing in College
1.2 Developing Study Skills
1.3 Becoming a Successful College Writer
1.4 Introduction to Writing: End-of-Chapter Exercises

Chapter 2: Writing Basics: What Makes a Good Sentence?
2.1 Sentence Writing
2.2 Subject-Verb Agreement
2.3 Verb Tense
2.4 Capitalization
2.5 Pronouns
2.6 Adjectives and Adverbs
2.7 Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers
2.8 Writing Basics: End-of-Chapter Exercises

Chapter 3: Punctuation
3.1 Commas
3.2 Semicolons
3.3 Colons
3.5 Apostrophes
3.6 Parentheses
3.7 Dashes
3.8 Hyphens
3.9 Punctuation: End-of-Chapter Exercises

Chapter 4: Working with Words: Which Word Is Right?
4.1 Commonly Confused Words
4.2 Spelling
4.3 Word Choice
4.4 Prefixes and Suffixes
4.5 Synonyms and Antonyms
4.6 Using Context Clues
4.7 Working with Words: End-of-Chapter Exercises

Chapter 5: Help for English Language Learners
5.1 Word Order
5.2 Negative Statements
5.3 Count and Noncount Nouns and Articles
5.4 Pronouns
5.5 Verb Tenses
5.6 Modal Auxiliaries
5.7 Prepositions
5.8 Slang and Idioms
5.9 Help for English Language Learners: End-of-Chapter Exercise

About the Book

Scott McLean’s Writing for Success is a text that provides instruction in steps, builds writing, reading, and critical thinking, and combines comprehensive grammar review with an introduction to paragraph writing and composition.

Beginning with the sentence and its essential elements, this book addresses each concept with clear, concise and effective examples that are immediately reinforced with exercises and opportunities to demonstrate, and reinforce, learning.

Each chapter allows your students to demonstrate mastery of the principles of quality writing. With its incremental approach, it can address a range of writing levels and abilities, helping each student in your course prepare for their next writing or university course. Constant reinforcement is provided through examples and exercises, and the text involves students in the learning process through reading, problem-solving, practicing, listening, and experiencing the writing process.

Each chapter also has integrated examples that unify the discussion and form a common, easy-to-understand basis for discussion and exploration. This will put your students at ease, and allow for greater absorption of the material.

Tips for effective writing are included in every chapter, as well. Thought-provoking scenarios provide challenges and opportunities for collaboration and interaction. These exercises are especially helpful if you incorporate group work in your course. Clear exercises teach sentence and paragraph writing skills that lead to common English composition and research essays.

Scott McLean’s Writing for Success provides a range of discussion, examples, and exercises, from writing development to mastery of the academic essay, that serve both student and instructor. Check out the features below for more detail, then peruse the book online or order a desk copy.


Exercises are integrated in each segment. Each concept is immediately reinforced as soon as it is introduced to keep students on track.

Exercises are designed to facilitate interaction and collaboration. This allows for peer-peer engagement, development of interpersonal skills, and promotion of critical thinking skills.

Exercises that involve self-editing and collaborative writing are featured. This feature develops and promotes student interest in the areas and content.

There are clear internal summaries and effective displays of information. This contributes to ease of access to information and increases the ability of your students to locate desired content.

Rule explanations are simplified with clear, relevant, and theme-based examples. This feature provides context that will facilitate learning and increase knowledge retention.

There is an obvious structure to the chapter and segment level. This allows for easy adaptation to your existing and changing course needs or assessment outcomes.

About the Contributors


Scott McLean is the Shadle-EdgeCombe Endowed Faculty Chair at Arizona Western College. He serves as the Professor of Communication, including Journalism and English, for a combined campus partnership with the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University-Yuma.

Scott is the author of “The Basics of Speech Communication” and “The Basics of Interpersonal Communication,” both currently published by Allyn & Bacon. He is also the author of “Business Communication for Success” with Flat World Knowledge, has published in peer-reviewed journals, classic car magazines, and newspapers.

From his experience working with students at the community college and undergraduate level, including English 95 (development), 100 (college prep), 101 (composition and argumentation), 102 (literature and analysis), and 350 (business communication), he has learned the importance of clear, concise learning resources with scaffolding, frequent opportunities for engagement and demonstration of skill mastery, and the importance of the first English course on overall academic success for many students. He has taught at AWC/San Luis on the US/Mexican Border, for Central Oregon Community College’s Branch Campus on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, and for Universidad San Sebastian in Concepcion, Chile.

Scott studied at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, at Washington State University’s Edward R. Murrow School of Communication, and at Northern Arizona University-Flagstaff’s Department of English in the area of Professional Writing. He and his family divide their time between Yuma, Arizona and Puerto Montt, Chile.