Exploring Writing


The author ,John Langan, has taught reading and writing at Atlantic Cape Community College near Atlantic City, New Jersey, for more than twenty-five years. The author of a popular series of college textbooks on both writing and reading, John enjoys the challenge of developing materials that teach skills an especially clear and lively way. Before teaching, he earned advanced degrees in writing at Rutgers University and in reading at Rowan University. He also spent a year writing fiction that, he says, “is now at the back of a drawer waiting to be discovered and acclaimed posthumously.” While in school, he supported himself by working as a truck driver, a machinist, a battery assembler, a hospital attendant, and apple packer. he has developed the nonprofit “Townsend Library”—a collection of more than fifty new and classic stories that appeal to readers of any age.


Learning to write effective paragraphs and essays, master essential sentence skills, and read critically are turning points for writers; these skills will prepare them to tackle many types of writing in college and beyond. Along the way, however, there are many other important skills to explore and develop—using specific and concrete language to make a point and stick to it, selecting good supporting details to back up that point and create a convincing argument, organizing a paragraph in a way that best fits its purpose, and writing clear, error-free sentences to maximize the effectiveness of the writing.



In Exploring Writing: Sentences and Paragraphs, the author encourages new writers to see writing as a skill that can be learned and a process that must be explored. He refers to a set of four skills for effective writing as the four bases:
• Unity: Discover a clearly stated point, or topic sentence, and make sure all the other information in the paragraph or essay is in support of that point.
• Support: Support the points with specific evidence, and plenty of it.
• Coherence: Organize and connect supporting evidence so that paragraphs and essays transition smoothly from one bit of supporting information to the next.
• Sentence skills: Revise and edit so that sentences are error free for clearer and more effective communication.
The four bases are essential to effective writing, whether it be a narrative paragraph, a cover letter for a job application, or an essay assignment.


Exploring Writing’s diagnostics help students set individual learning plans and goals for their writing skills. Similarly, each part of the print text opens with a list of goals and an intriguing full-page visual accompanied by a related writing prompt to get writers writing and thinking immediately. Finally, we wish the best for all of you.


Since no two instructors teach in exactly the same way and no two students have identical needs, the author has designed this book to be extremely flexible, the lessons adapt to the needs of each individual student, while in print each of the book’s four parts is color-coded along the outside margins so that instructors can turn quickly and easily to the skills they want to present.









The author ,John Langan, has taught reading and writing at Atlantic Cape Community College near Atlantic City, New Jersey, for more than twenty-five years. The author of a popular series of college textbooks on both writing and reading, John enjoys the challenge of developing materials that teach skills an especially clear and lively way. Before teaching, he earned advanced degrees in writing at Rutgers University and in reading at Rowan University. He also spent a year writing fiction that, he says, “is now at the back of a drawer waiting to be discovered and acclaimed posthumously.” While in school, he supported himself by working as a truck driver, a machinist, a battery assembler, a hospital attendant, and apple packer. he has developed the nonprofit “Townsend Library”—a collection of more than fifty new and classic stories that appeal to readers of any age.


Learning to write effective paragraphs and essays, master essential sentence skills, and read critically are turning points for writers; these skills will prepare them to tackle many types of writing in college and beyond. Along the way, however, there are many other important skills to explore and develop—using specific and concrete language to make a point and stick to it, selecting good supporting details to back up that point and create a convincing argument, organizing a paragraph in a way that best fits its purpose, and writing clear, error-free sentences to maximize the effectiveness of the writing.



In Exploring Writing: Sentences and Paragraphs, the author encourages new writers to see writing as a skill that can be learned and a process that must be explored. He refers to a set of four skills for effective writing as the four bases:
• Unity: Discover a clearly stated point, or topic sentence, and make sure all the other information in the paragraph or essay is in support of that point.
• Support: Support the points with specific evidence, and plenty of it.
• Coherence: Organize and connect supporting evidence so that paragraphs and essays transition smoothly from one bit of supporting information to the next.
• Sentence skills: Revise and edit so that sentences are error free for clearer and more effective communication.
The four bases are essential to effective writing, whether it be a narrative paragraph, a cover letter for a job application, or an essay assignment.


Exploring Writing’s diagnostics help students set individual learning plans and goals for their writing skills. Similarly, each part of the print text opens with a list of goals and an intriguing full-page visual accompanied by a related writing prompt to get writers writing and thinking immediately. Finally, we wish the best for all of you.


Since no two instructors teach in exactly the same way and no two students have identical needs, the author has designed this book to be extremely flexible, the lessons adapt to the needs of each individual student, while in print each of the book’s four parts is color-coded along the outside margins so that instructors can turn quickly and easily to the skills they want to present.




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