The Bedford Reader 12th Edition
“A writer” says Saul Bellow, “is a reader moved to emulate.” In a nutshell the aim of The Bedford Reader is to move students to be writers, through reading and emulating the good writing of others.
This twelfth edition pursues that aim both rhetorically and thematically. We present the rhetorical methods realistically, as we ourselves use them — as natural forms that assist invention and fruition and as flexible forms that mix easily for any purpose a writer may have. Further, we forge scores of thematic connections among selections, both to spark students’ interest in reading and to show how different writers tackle similar subjects with unique results. Filling in this outline is a wealth of features, new and enduring.
NEW FEATURES ENGAGING NEW READINGS BY REMARKABLE WRITERS
As always, we have been engrossed in freshening the book’s selections. In searching for works academic yet lively, we discovered exceptional rhetorical models that will, we trust, also compel students’ interest. The twenty-five new selections in the printed book include pieces by established favorites such as Sherman Alexie, Michael Chabon, and Meghan Daum as well as contemporary voices such as Junot Díaz, June Melby, and Dan Ariely. Five new contributions by exemplary college writers are part of the mix, ensuring that there is now at least one student model in every chapter. exciting multimedia dimension Glance through the table of contents, and you’ll notice that The Bedford Reader is more vibrant than ever. As before, each rhetorical chapter opens with a striking image — an ad, a photograph, a drawing (two of them new) — with accompanying text and questions to invite students’ critical reading. For this edition we have dramatically extended this visual component with the e-Pages, an innovative Web platform that makes it easy to integrate relevant multimedia into the composition course.
For the first time, every chapter in Part Two of The Bedford Reader includes at least one integrated media work: multimodal oral histories, audio essay, interactive graphic, video, and so forth. These twelve new selections promise to engage students with the rhetorical methods, showing how they work in materials we run across every day. For each one we provide introductory headnotes, a comprehension quiz, questions for analysis, and suggestions for writing to encourage close examination and to demonstrate that careful consumption of new media has become just as important as critical reading of words on a page.
Listed in the table of contents of the print book for ease of reference, the multimedia selections are housed at bedfordstmartins.com/thebedfordreader; students can access them for free with the purchase of a new book, or they can buy an access code online. student-friendly guides to academic reading and writing At the request of instructors who use the book, The Bedford Reader now does even more to guide students through drafting, revising, and editing their work for an academic audience, helping them move from initial idea to polished work.
• A better reference. The chapters on reading and writing in Part One and the introductions to the rhetorical methods in Part Two are simpler and clearer, with many explanations and suggestions distilled into bulleted lists and boxed guidelines so that students can easily follow and use the book’s advice on their own.
• A sharper discussion of critical reading. Chapter 1 on reading now features a student’s annotations on Nancy Mairs’s “Disability” along with a more concise sample analysis of the essay. A new checklist for critical reading and two new boxed sets of questions help guide students as they analyze written and visual texts, and a new photograph, Man Fishing by a Power Plant, anchors a revised discussion of reading images critically.
• New coverage of key writing topics. Chapter 2 on writing expands the emphasis on the thesis, with tips on finding a focus and examples of weak and revised thesis statements. In addition, we now offer concrete suggestions for drafting the introduction, body, and conclusion of an essay, and we have annotated the examples of revised and edited drafts to highlight and explain the student writer’s changes.
• More help with writing from sources. Chapter 3 on academic writing offers a stronger focus on the crucial skill of synthesizing ideas, from one text or many. A new section on avoiding plagiarism offers concrete advice for using the work of other writers ethically, followed by an expanded discussion of summary, paraphrase, and quotation, with clear examples of acceptable and unacceptable borrowing. Updated material on research emphasizes the benefits of using a library’s Web site, includes boxed guidelines for evaluating sources, and offers several new models for documenting sources in MLA style. Both response writing and researched writing continue to be illustrated by an annotated student essay — written by the same student on related subjects — and eight additional examples of documented writing are spread throughout the book.
• A new appendix on APA documentation. The appendix offers a brief overview of the citation style, forty-seven models, and sample pages that demonstrate how researched writing looks in APA style.
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