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EmpoWord: A Student-Centered Anthology & Handbook for College Writers

(10 reviews)

Shane Abrams, Portland State University

Pub Date: 2018

Publisher: Portland State University Library

Language: English

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Reviewed by Elizabeth (Liz) MCLEMORE, English faculty, Minnesota State (Minneapolis College) on 6/24/19

This book is a very good textbook for a one or two-semester, freshman-level college writing course (however, it does not include a grammar/punctuation handbook). As other reviewers have noted, it is an extensive text (teaching... read more


Reviewed by Rebecca Owen, Part-Time Faculty, Chemeketa Community College on 5/20/19

This book has a really thorough glossary of terms (relevant definitions are spread through each chapter). There are also quite a number of effective models of student work that demonstrate the text's concepts in action. Lots of activities and... read more


Reviewed by Patricia France, English Skills Professor, College of Marin on 4/25/19

What I appreciate about this textbook is the number of writing styles addressed and with examples. I think it offers a great resource for students to see the different was to write and how it can be applied in everyday experiences. There is a... read more


Reviewed by Amanda Jacob, Instructor of English, NTCC on 4/23/19

Overall, this text provided comprehensive material for students taking an English Composition II in the Louisiana Community College System. The information on analysis and argumentation is well put together, and the student sample essays are... read more


Reviewed by Joyce Cottonham, Associate Professor/ English, Southern University Shreveport on 4/4/19

The textbook entitled: EmpoWord: A Student-Centered Anthology & Handbook for College Writers by Shane Abrams, Portland State University covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides a per chapter vocabulary, additional... read more


Reviewed by Betina Entzminger, Professor, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania on 3/13/19

I would have liked the book to include more of a handbook section that would give students guidance on citation of sources and also on common stylistic and grammatical problems. The rhetoric sections were comprehensive, and I also liked the... read more


Reviewed by Jonathan Lashley, Adjunct Faculty, Boise State University on 1/11/19

This textbook has all of the features of a standard reference book (e.g., tables of contents, graphics, diagrams, sample writing, appendices, a glossary, etc.), but it prioritizes showing over explaining writing concepts. Its commitment to... read more


Reviewed by Mark Litwicki, English Faculty, Morton College on 12/18/18

The text covers a lot of ground, with different essay types and the attendant skills development sections and numerous example essays. The section on revision I think is quite well executed. The scope of the material makes it a little hard to... read more


Reviewed by Maria Kingsbury, Associate Professor, Southwest Minnesota State University on 12/4/18

In addition to including helpful sub-sections in each chapter summarizing important concepts and skills, this book contains a glossary, appendices, plenty of thoughtful additional supplementary readings, and a thorough explanation of the author's... read more


Reviewed by Pauline Scott, Professor, Fort Hays State University on 11/27/18

The text is perhaps too broad in its coverage to be entirely effective. read more


Table of Contents

Part One: Description, Narration, and Reflection

  • Chapter One: Describing a Scene or Experience
  • Chapter Two: Telling a Story
  • Chapter Three: Reflecting on an Experience
  • Assignment: Descriptive Personal Narrative

Part Two: Text Wrestling

  • Chapter Four: Interpretation, Analysis, and Close Reading
  • Chapter Five: Summary and Reader-Response
  • Chapter Six: Analysis and Synthesis
  • Assignment: Text wrestling Analysis

Part Three: Research and Argumentation

  • Chapter Seven: Argumentation
  • Chapter Eight: Research Concepts
  • Chapter Nine: Interacting with Sources
  • Assignment: Persuasive Research Essay

About the Book

EmpoWord is a reader and rhetoric that champions the possibilities of student writing. The textbook uses actual student writing to exemplify effective writing strategies, celebrating dedicated college writing students to encourage and instruct their successors: the students in your class. Through both creative and traditional activities, readers are encouraged to explore a variety of rhetorical situations to become more critical agents of reading, writing, speaking, and listening in all facets of their lives. Straightforward and readable instruction sections introduce key vocabulary, concepts, and strategies. Three culminating assignments (Descriptive Personal Narrative; Text-Wrestling Analysis; Persuasive Research Essay) give students a chance to show their learning while also practicing rhetorical awareness techniques for future writing situations.

About the Contributors


Shane Abrams, Portland State University