Essay Do's and Don'ts: A Practical Guide to Essay Writing (2nd edition)

ISBN : 9780199020294

Lucia Engkent; Garry Engkent
288 ページ
154 x 229 mm
  • Concise, practical, essential advice. Essay Do's and Don'ts is a useful quick-reference guide to essay writing. Focused on the challenges students face in their writing, the text provides succinct explanations of common problem areas in writing, paired with a wealth of examples and straightforward solutions.
  • Annotated essays and sample material. Full-length annotated "do" and "don't" essay models provide students with solid examples of effective and ineffective essay writing. Examples of ideal and problematic writing are included throughout to demonstrate the ways students can easily improve their writing.
  • Mini-reader. Essay Do's and Don'ts contains a collection of six unabridged readings (non-fiction and fiction), each followed by a set of discussion and writing topics to help students hone their critical reading and writing skills.
  • Up-to-date MLA and APA style. The documentation chapter has been updated and expanded to include the latest in MLA and APA documentation styles and sample student research essays demonstrating both styles. Note: MLA style has been updated to the new 2016 version.

Essay Do's and Don'ts is a concise, practical guide on the fundamentals of essay writing for students enrolled in introductory literature or English courses at the college or university level. In an easy, accessible tone, the authors present the essentials of structuring an essay, formulating and supporting ideas, and writing in clear, grammatical sentences. The book focuses on common problems first-year students encounter when writing essays. The text includes sample essays which illustrate the "do's" and "don'ts" of good essay writing, as well as readings, examples, and exercises to help students improve their vocabulary, grammar, punctuation, and general writing skills.
The second edition offers more practice exercises and writing and research tips throughout. The chapter on MLA and APA documentation styles has been updated and expanded, and now includes sample student research essays to illustrate both styles. The readings appendix features six readings (three new) along with post-reading questions and topics.



1. The Basics 
Write clearly and concisely
Answer the question and follow instructions
Follow the writing process
Have something to say
Make your point and support it
Recognize the difference between spoken and written English
Use appropriate style
Think critically
Practise writing
Know your strengths and weaknesses
Edit and correct your work
Use resources wisely
Communicate with your instructor
Becoming a better writer

2. Essay Structure 
Choose your topic wisely
Brainstorm to gather your ideas
Organize your ideas into body paragraphs
Write an outline
Write an effective thesis statement
Write a title
Introduce your topic
Develop ideas in body paragraphs
Write a satisfying conclusion
Edit your draft
Study sample essays
Practise essay writing
Essay checklist

3. Types of Essays 
Main types of essays
Distinguish between personal and impersonal essays
Classify and define
Describe process
Explain cause and effects
Answering essay questions on tests
Approaching essay assignments

4. Writing about Readings 
Distinguish between fiction and non-fiction
Analyze non-fiction
Analyze fiction
Understand literary terms
Writing about what you read

5. Research and Documentation 
Prepare for research work
Find suitable sources of information
Take notes as you research
Follow the basic principles of documentation
Quote effectively
Use MLA citation style
Use in-text citation (MLA)
Prepare a Works Cited page (MLA)
Sample research essay (MLA)
Use APA citation style
Use in-text citation (APA)
Prepare a References page (APA)
Sample research essay (APA)
Research guidelines

6. Vocabulary 
Recognize parts of speech
Understand usage - the way words are used
Use synonyms and antonyms
Consider connotation
Recognize jargon, register, dialect, slang, and idioms
Improve your spelling
Build your vocabulary
Use precise vocabulary for clarity and conciseness
Vocabulary checklist

7. Grammar and Sentence Structure 
Recognize subjects and predicates
Use verb tenses correctly
Use the passive voice effectively
Make sure pronouns have clear, correct antecedents
Use singular and plural forms correctly
Form possessives correctly
Don't confuse s endings
Understand the use of prepositions
Join words, phrases, and clauses with coordinating conjunctions
Make adverb clauses with subordinating conjunctions
Use adjective clauses to add information
Use noun clauses as subjects or objects
Reduce clauses to phrases for conciseness
Avoid misplaced modifiers
Use clauses and phrases effectively
Ensure sentences are complete
Correct your mistakes
Grammar checklist

8. Punctuation and Format 
Mark the end of each sentence
Capitalize proper nouns and the first word of a sentence
Separate sections of a sentence with commas
Distinguish between semicolons and colons
Use apostrophes for possession and contractions
Use space correctly
Show quotations
Distinguish hyphens from dashes
Use italics for words used in special ways
Format your essay
Punctuation and format checklist

Appendix A: Selected Readings
"Beware the Risks of Smartphones and Tablets in Schools" by Sachin Maharaj
"Why Are We So Scared of Eye Contact?" by Katrina Onstad
"We All Should Worry about Cellphone Searches" by William Kowalski
"What if Dostoyevsky Had Been an Online Gambler?" by John Sainsbury
"The Moose and the Sparrow" by Hugh Garner
"The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe
Appendix B: Sample Annotated Essays
Appendix C: Answer Key


Lucia Engkent has taught English composition and English for Academic Purposes for more than thirty years in several post-secondary institutions, including Seneca College, the University of Waterloo, York University, and the University of Alberta. Throughout her teaching career, she has written instructional materials such as institutional assessment tests and online material. Her six published textbooks include Skill Set (now in its third edition from OUP Canada), Fiction/Non-Fiction: A Reader and Rhetoric, (NEL), andTake Part: Speaking Canadian English (Pearson).
Garry Engkent has taught English composition and literature for more than thirty years in several post-secondary institutions, including Ryerson University, Seneca College, the University of Toronto, and the University of Alberta. Garry is the co-author of Groundwork: Writing Skills to Build On (Pearson) and Fiction/Non-Fiction: A Reader and Rhetoric (NEL).