Read more about Writing for Success

Writing for Success

(50 reviews)

Copyright Year: 2015

ISBN 13: 9781946135285

Publisher: University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing

Language: English

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Reviewed by Alicia Andre, Faculty, Century College on 3/8/23

Writing for Success is a good text for an intro-college writing and grammar text. There are 15 chapters, and each chapter is well-organized and includes some sample essays and grammar exercises. What I like about this text, is that you can pick... read more

Reviewed by Jiale Hu, Assistant Professor|Director of Research and Global Outreach, Virginia Commonwealth University on 8/10/22

It is a comprehensive book introducing writing skills. This book covers all the necessary writing basics, from words, sentences, and paragraphs to the whole essay. The authors also provide detailed instructions on the steps of writing. read more

Reviewed by Seo Lee, Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin - Superior on 8/21/21

comprehensive book to adopt effective writing strategies for college students read more

Reviewed by Pam Whitfield, English faculty, Rochester Community & Technical College on 12/21/20

Pretty accessible for students. Maybe a bit simple for freshman writing, but I would consider using it in a comp 101 course and supplementing with my own materials. I am most likely to use it for a “higher level” developmental writing... read more

Reviewed by Christian Aguiar, Asst Professor of English, The University of the District of Columbia on 12/21/20

This text provides extensive coverage of all of the content areas typically covered in first-year composition courses at community colleges. It includes chapters on paragraph structure, the writing process, rhetorical modes, research, MLA and APA... read more

Reviewed by Holly Armstrong, Instructor, Middlesex Community College on 6/30/20

Writing for Success thoroughly covers all aspects of writing. Beginning with the basics of vocabulary, the text progresses through word order, paragraph development, sentence variety and clarity, then moves on to beginning an essay through to... read more

Reviewed by Brenda Williams, Faculty, Lane Community College on 6/23/20

It is complete and accurate. It covers a lot of material. read more

Reviewed by Dr. Deborah Bradford, Part-time Professor, Bridgewater State University on 6/11/20

This book is very complete, but does not have an index or glossary. It does have a Table of Contents. It might be the most extensive book I have encountered for the topics that are covered. read more

Reviewed by Eileen Feldman, Instructor, Bunker Hill Community College on 6/4/20

This book presents traditional aspect of writing: grammar, sentence construction, paragraph development, essays, research. It raises the bar by adding chapters directed to novices transitioning into college, to English Language Learners, and to... read more

Reviewed by Christy Moore, Associate Professor, Marian University on 3/27/20

The text is VERY comprehensive. I believe it would be difficult to get all the way through the text in one semester. It covers the most basic writing processes early and then eases the student into a more complex understanding of what he/she needs... read more

Reviewed by Joseph Amdahl, Adjunct, Chemeketa Community College on 5/21/19

This category might indicate one of the downsides of this particular textbook -- the text covers quite a bit of ground, coming in at a mere 645 pages. Having said that, a lot of the page includes examples, exercises, and their "Key Takeaways"... read more

Reviewed by Candace Hoes, Adjunct Lecturer, LAGCC on 5/17/19

The textbook begins at the basics of writing, such as grammar, word choice, and constructing sentences, and then builds to more complex concepts such as creating a thesis in a research paper. There are adequate stepping stones along the way, with... read more

Reviewed by Bradley Hartsell, Adjunct English Instructor, Emory & Henry College on 3/13/19

With 600+ pages, this textbook really builds college writing from the ground up, starting with 'sentence writing' and 'subject-verb agreement' all the way up to writing a research paper and examples of 10 different kinds of essay. In between, the... read more

Reviewed by James Gapinski, Instructional Specialist, Chemeketa Community College on 3/8/19

WRITING FOR SUCCESS has extensive depth and breadth. It is over 600 pages in the PDF format, but it doesn’t contain much redundant or extraneous information. The book starts with some discussion of how college writing is different from other forms... read more

Reviewed by Dhipinder Walia, Lecturer, Lehman College on 5/21/18

This text covers all structural and technical concepts in Standard American English using succinct tutorials and relevant examples. Additionally, there are several sections that may guide student writers towards major writing assignments like the... read more

Reviewed by Catherine Batsche, Associate Dean, University of South Florida on 3/27/18

This text provides a comprehensive overview of writing. The text covers basic writing skills, organizational skills, and the writing process. There are even chapters on writing research papers and various types of essays. It could be used as a... read more

Reviewed by Davida Jordan, Adjunct Instructor, Portland Community College on 8/15/17

Extremely comprehensive, clocking in at over 600 pages, this book is an excellent grammar reference for writing students. It includes practical exercises that can be used to strengthen work writing or academic writing. It would appeal to a wide... read more

Reviewed by Rachel Wilson, Adult Education Instructor, Bossier Parish Community College on 6/20/17

The text covers all its bases, from success and study skills for new college students to draft, revising, writing, and presenting a research paper. Chapters 1 through 5 cover the basics of grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and word choice,... read more

Reviewed by R.A.Q. Jenkins, Assistant Professor, Southern University and A&M College on 6/20/17

One of this text's advantages is its comprehensiveness. However, I find that too much emphasis was placed on writing basics, which in fact, comprises the bulk of the text. While this portion is extensive, I found the chapter on rhetorical modes... read more

Reviewed by William Broussard, Assistant Professor, English, Southern University on 6/20/17

The book covers the writing process, several essay styles, as well as grammar and syntax exercises thoroughly without being intimidating, and is excellently paced. Particularly impressive is the amount of detail given to the sentence, paragraph,... read more

Reviewed by Emily Aucoin, Assistant Professor, River Parishes Community College on 6/20/17

The textbook effectively covers the writing process and addresses mechanical and grammatical concerns. While the chapter devoted to rhetorical modes is not terribly in depth, it does an adequate job of introducing and explaining each type of... read more

Reviewed by Genevieve Halkett, Instructor, Chemeketa Community College on 4/11/17

The book is extremely comprehensive, beginning with the concept of college writing, moving on to writing basics such as sentence structure, punctuation, and paragraph structure. it provides a good guide to essays; it includes basic structure,... read more

Reviewed by Elizabeth Sandell, Professor, Minnesota State University, Mankato on 4/11/17

Provides instruction in steps and sections; builds writing, reading, and critical thinking; and combines comprehensive grammar review with paragraph writing and composition. Provides a range of discussion ideas, examples, and exercises. Serves... read more

Reviewed by Timothy VanSlyke, Instructor, Chemeketa Community College on 2/8/17

Although there is no index or glossary, I feel that the text is very comprehensive in its coverage of developmental writing. The text clearly walks the student through the writing process and introduces the major rhetorical styles students will... read more

Reviewed by Leann Gertsma, Adjunct English Instructor, Minnesota West Community & Technical College on 2/8/17

I was surprised to find this textbook to be a very comprehensive writing handbook. It not only covers grammar and sentence structure, but also devotes a lot of time to the topics of college writing, the writing process, writing techniques, and... read more

Reviewed by Jennie Harrop, Chair, Department of Professional Studies, George Fox University on 2/8/17

Writing for Success is admirably comprehensive, but maybe a little too much so. While some professors will find the one-source stop helpful in reducing textbook costs, many students will be overwhelmed by the sheer breadth of information. Because... read more

Reviewed by Sherri Kurczewski, Instructor , Portland Community College on 12/5/16

This book has sections that I would cover in my class. It is a basic writing tool for beginner writers in college. read more

Reviewed by Anna Erwert, Adjunct faculty, Portland Community College on 8/21/16

The book is extremely comprehensive. If a college works on a 10-week quarter, it's unlikely a student would use the whole book. However, I personally like this completeness because it allows flexibility. Whole class, we could use the chapter on... read more

Reviewed by Olga Filatova, Visiting Assistant Professor, Miami University on 8/21/16

I was surprised by how much useful content the book has. It covers everything I would need to teach in a first year college composition writing class. The text gives overview of reading and writing strategies, and covers everything from grammar,... read more

Reviewed by Laura Funke, Instructor, Inver Hills Community College on 8/21/16

The text is almost too comprehensive—trying to cover writing, reading, and study skills strategies. Within writing, it covers grammar, mechanics, paragraph writing, essay writing, ELL troublespots, and even documentation. Although an instructor... read more

Reviewed by Jennifer von Ammon, Full-time faculty, Lane Community College on 8/21/16

The text is primarily focused on grammar review and would be an appropriate text for a development writing course. Although there are several chapters dedicated to mechanics, there are limited essay assignment options, so an instructor would need... read more

Reviewed by Paul Carney, English Instructor, Minnesota State Community and Technical College on 8/21/16

The text covers all the essentials of college composition, from the writing process and mechanics to rhetorical modes and the research paper. The material devoted to grammar, punctuation and usage is well organized and fairly thorough. While very... read more

Reviewed by William Wells, Instructor, Metropolitan State University on 8/21/16

This book covers all the topics I would normally cover in a first year composition course and more. I would like to see an effective, preferably interactive, Table of Contents and a glossary. read more

Reviewed by Michelle Robbins, Instructor, Portland Community College on 1/7/16

Writing for Success includes all the topics I cover in a developmental writing class, plus a large chunk on research papers. It covers grammar and constructing paragraphs and essays in a comprehensive manner. For developmental writing, I did... read more

Reviewed by Kelsea Jones, Adjunct Instructor, Treasure Valley Community College on 1/7/16

McLean's text is surprisingly comprehensive, covering topics from reading and study strategies, to grammar, to writing paragraphs and essays, to research. While some of this material would be spot-on for first year composition, I feel as though... read more

Reviewed by Shawn Osborne, Instructor, Portland Community College on 1/7/16

The text clearly covers all areas and ideas of the subject at this level and is well organized. A nice addition is that each chapter opens with Learning Objectives and closes with Key Takeaways. read more

Reviewed by Fran Bozarth, Adjunct Professor, Portland Community College on 1/7/16

This book really covers it all so long as there is no need to address reading fiction - in fact, it has way more than I would be able to use in a term! However, it appears to be appropriate for a semester course, or for two terms of... read more

Reviewed by Kimberly Gutierrez, Assistant Professor of English, Bismarck State College on 1/7/16

One of the classes I teach is a freshman composition writing lab that focuses on sentence level errors and sentence clarity. This is a super resource for that type of class. The book contains all sentence, grammar and mechanics concepts that are... read more

Reviewed by Brandy Hoffmann, English Instructor, Central Lakes College on 1/7/16

Writing for Success offers a variety of sections that could be extracted as resources/readings for a first year writing course. In other words, despite some weaknesses, this text serves the function of an OER, and parts of it could be utilized... read more

Reviewed by Michelle Cristiani, Instructor, Portland Community College on 1/7/16

What I look for in a writing text at this level is flow from simple to complex: word placement and part of speech up through essays. This text follows that format beautifully. One glaring omission is fragment and run-on work. This is such a... read more

Reviewed by Mary Sylwester, Instructor, Portland Community College on 1/7/16

This textbook is amazingly comprehensive--probably more than any teacher actually wants. It covers strategies for success in college, reading, grammar, spelling, drafting, revising, thesis statements, and various rhetorical modes. Unfortunately,... read more

Reviewed by Laura Sanders, Instructor, Portland Community College on 1/7/16

This text covers a range of topics students might need while building reading, critical thinking, research, and writing skills in developmental to upper division courses. read more

Reviewed by Amy Forester, Instructor, Clackamas Community College and Portland Community College on 1/7/16

The text is very comprehensive. There are sections that are useful for many different writing levels, from students in need of grammar and punctuation instruction to research writing. Also, each section is nicely developed with examples,... read more

Reviewed by Katie McCurdie, Instructor, Portland State University on 1/7/16

The comprehensiveness of this text is very impressive. At 600 pages, it covers so many aspects of college writing, from grammar to essay writing to creating presentations, that pieces of this text would surely be useful for a wide variety of... read more

Reviewed by Kirk Perry, Adjunct Instructor, Portland Community College - Cascade on 1/7/16

This textbook aspires to be a combined grammar book and reader. It covers all the appropriate areas, but the coverage is a bit thin when it comes to examples. read more

Reviewed by Annie Knepler, University Studies Writing Coordinator, Portland State University on 1/7/16

Writing for Success is quite thorough. It covers everything from sentence structure to the writing process. It has additional sections on creating effective presentations and concludes with sample essays. I could see how instructors could use... read more

Reviewed by Sara Crickenberger, Instructor, Virginia Tech on 6/10/15

The pdf of the textbook does not provide a table of contents or an index/glossary. It opens with a Preface then jumps right into Chapter 1. These omissions are inconvenient for planning and for both students and instructors trying to locate... read more

Reviewed by Kari Steinbach, Instructor, University of Northwestern - St. Paul on 7/15/14

The text covers some helpful elements of a first college writing course, such as an overview of several genres of writing assignments, some grammar and usage issues, use of peer review and collaboration in writing, and research strategies. Some... read more

Reviewed by Jonathan Carlson, Instructor, Composition, University of Northwestern - St. Paul on 7/15/14

The first chapter covers many "first year" or "freshmen" tips, best practices ideas and how-to info. Probably good material for the group using this book, but not essential. Table 1.2 is valuable to a student's overall understanding of writing.... read more

Reviewed by Tanya Grosz, Assistant Professor of English & Director of Undergraduate Pathways, University of Northwestern - St. Paul on 7/15/14

I was surprised at just how comprehensive this book was. It covers everything from study strategies to prewriting to editing and punctuation and research writing. Also, it includes writing strategies for ELL students which is very helpful. While I... read more

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Introduction to Writing
  • Chapter 2: Writing Basics: What Makes a Good Sentence?
  • Chapter 3: Punctuation
  • Chapter 4: Working with Words: Which Word Is Right?
  • Chapter 5: Help for English Language Learners
  • Chapter 6: Writing Paragraphs: Separating Ideas and Shaping Content
  • Chapter 7: Refining Your Writing: How Do I Improve My Writing Technique?
  • Chapter 8: The Writing Process: How Do I Begin?
  • Chapter 9: Writing Essays: From Start to Finish
  • Chapter 10: Rhetorical Modes
  • Chapter 11: Writing from Research: What Will I Learn?
  • Chapter 12: Writing a Research Paper
  • Chapter 13: APA and MLA Documentation and Formatting
  • Chapter 14: Creating Presentations: Sharing Your Ideas
  • Chapter 15: Readings: Examples of Essays

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  • About the Book

    Writing for Success is a text that provides instruction in steps, builds writing, reading, and critical thinking, and combines comprehensive grammar review with an introduction to paragraph writing and composition.

    Beginning with the sentence and its essential elements, this book addresses each concept with clear, concise and effective examples that are immediately reinforced with exercises and opportunities to demonstrate, and reinforce, learning.

    Each chapter allows your students to demonstrate mastery of the principles of quality writing. With its incremental approach, it can address a range of writing levels and abilities, helping each student in your course prepare for their next writing or university course. Constant reinforcement is provided through examples and exercises, and the text involves students in the learning process through reading, problem-solving, practicing, listening, and experiencing the writing process.

    Each chapter also has integrated examples that unify the discussion and form a common, easy-to-understand basis for discussion and exploration. This will put your students at ease, and allow for greater absorption of the material.

    Tips for effective writing are included in every chapter, as well. Thought-provoking scenarios provide challenges and opportunities for collaboration and interaction. These exercises are especially helpful if you incorporate group work in your course. Clear exercises teach sentence and paragraph writing skills that lead to common English composition and research essays.


    Exercises are integrated in each segment. Each concept is immediately reinforced as soon as it is introduced to keep students on track.

    Exercises are designed to facilitate interaction and collaboration. This allows for peer-peer engagement, development of interpersonal skills, and promotion of critical thinking skills.

    Exercises that involve self-editing and collaborative writing are featured. This feature develops and promotes student interest in the areas and content.

    There are clear internal summaries and effective displays of information. This contributes to ease of access to information and increases the ability of your students to locate desired content.

    Rule explanations are simplified with clear, relevant, and theme-based examples. This feature provides context that will facilitate learning and increase knowledge retention.

    There is an obvious structure to the chapter and segment level. This allows for easy adaptation to your existing and changing course needs or assessment outcomes.

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