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The Simple Math of Writing Well: Writing for the 21st Century

(5 reviews)

Jennie A. Harrop, George Fox University

Pub Date: 2018

ISBN 13: 9780999829202

Publisher: George Fox University Library

Language: English

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Reviewed by Linda McHenry, Instructor of first-year composition , Fort Hays State University on 11/4/18

Most chapters give general information. The ways writing is broken into formulas would assist those writers who struggle with understanding how to compose sentences and frame their ideas. read more


Reviewed by Polly Peterson, Assistant Professor of English, George Fox University on 6/19/18

An excellent choice as the principle book in a writing course or as a supplemental writing text in a discipline-specific class, this book is a brief and complete writing manual with an approachable voice, clear rules, ample examples, and... read more


Reviewed by Jennifer Derrick, Instructor, Lake Superior College on 5/21/18

This book contains an index, and covers a lot of information. The material covered is similar to what's presented in other textbooks for college writing classes: grammar, basic building blocks of writing, rhetorical awareness, different styles of... read more


Reviewed by Leah Richards, Assistant Professor, LaGuardia Community College, City University of New York on 5/21/18

This text is a comprehensive guide to the writing process, and is well-organized, beginning with sentences and building up to paragraphs and then essays. The "math" idea in the title is indeed "simple": 1+1=2, and even the most complex sentences... read more


Reviewed by Mike Mutschelknaus, English Instructor, Rochester Community and Technical College on 5/21/18

This textbook covers all of the topics that need to be taught in a high-level developmental writing class. After a thorough review of sentence and paragraph mechanics, Dr. Harrop moves into essay structure, the writing process, research, and even... read more


Table of Contents

Introduction: Myths And Rule Changes 1

Part I. The Sentence Equation

  • 1. Main Verbs
  • 2. Main Subjects
  • 3. Terminal Punctuation Marks
  • 4. Mid-Sentence Punctuation Marks
  • 5. Eight Parts Of Speech
  • 6. Consistency

Part II. The Paragraph Equation

  • 7. Topic Sentences
  • 8. Evidence
  • 9. Summary Sentences

Part III. The Essay Equation

  • 10. Thesis Statements
  • 11. Introductions
  • 12. Body Paragraphs
  • 13. Conclusions

Part IV. The Process Of Writing Well

  • 14. Purpose
  • 15. Audience
  • 16. Voice
  • 17. Context
  • 18. Claims And Appeals
  • 19. Clarity And Cohesion
  • 20. Revision And Creativity

Part V. Research

  • 21. Finding Credible Evidence
  • 22. Including Outside Evidence

Part VI. Academic Formatting

  • 23. Apa
  • 24. Mla
  • 25. Turabian

Part VII. Beyond Academia

  • 26. Emails
  • 27. Letters
  • 28. Reports And Proposals

About The Author

About the Book

Writing guides abound, but The Simple Math of Writing Well is one of a kind. Readers will find its practical approach affirming, encouraging, and informative, and its focus on the basics of linguistic structure releases 21st-century writers to embrace the variety of mediums that define our internet-connected world. As Harrop reminds us in the opening chapters of her book, we write more today than ever before in history: texts, emails, letters, blogs, reports, social media posts, proposals, etc. The Simple Math of Writing Well is the first guide that directly addresses the importance of writing well in the Google age.

About the Contributors


Dr. Jennie A. Harrop is a professor in George Fox University’s Department of Professional Studies, where she teaches writing, literature, and Christian apologetics, and serves as department chair. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Denver, an MFA in creative writing from Colorado State University, and a BA in journalism from Pacific Lutheran University, and she is completing a Doctor of Ministry in Semiotics and Future Studies at Portland Seminary. In addition to her teaching and administrative duties at George Fox, Harrop serves as director of the university’s Portland Writing Center. She lives in Oregon with her husband and five children.