A study of the workings of sentences and the basic features of essays.

This is a writing text. It does not attempt to be a complete reference book on grammar or usage, so a person looking into it for such purposes might find it incomplete at times. In this book I present material that is applicable to the common writing situations in a basic writing course, and I have covered what I imagine to be the main issues in such a course. I have tried to write the explanations in common language, with a minimum of necessary terminology. Judging from my students' responses over several years of using the book in class, I would say that the explanations are comprehensible without being too simplified or fluffy. In general, I have tried to direct all topics toward application- that is, toward actual writing for an assumed audience or readership. Any tests or quizzes may serve as encouragements for students to learn principles that they can then apply in their own writing. Because this is a writing text, it is written in continuous essay form, with discussion and explanations, and not in the handbook style of numerous headings and short commands of do's and don't's. My idea is that a book about writing should consist of writing. Similarly, the sentence exercises call for writing-often performing operations upon existing sentences or composing new ones.

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