The Little, Brown Handbook, 14th edition

  • H Ramsey Fowler
  • Jane E. Aaron
  • Michael Greer


For courses in English Composition.


The platinum standard of handbooksͭ – unmatched in accuracy, currency, and reliability

The Little, Brown Handbook is an essential reference tool designed to help readers find the answers they need quickly and easily. While keeping pace with rapid changes in writing and its teaching, this meticulous handbook combines comprehensive research and documentation ͭwith grammar coverage that is second to none. Incorporating detailed discussions of critical reading, media literacy, academic writing, argument, and much more, The Little, Brown Handbook is an accurate, reliable, and accessible resource for writers of varying experience levels and in a variety of fields. The 14th Edition includes over 90 new student samples, new learning objectives, updates to MLA and Chicago style, a new chapter on writing about literature, and more.


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Table of contents

I. The Process of Writing

1 Assessing the Writing Situation

1.1  How Writing Happens

1.2  The Writing Situation

1.3  Audience

1.4  Purpose

1.5  Subject

1.6  Genre and Medium

2 Discovering and Shaping Ideas

2.1  Invention

2.2  Thesis

2.3  Organization

       Sample Informative Essay

3 Drafting, Revising, and Editing

3.1  First Draft

       Sample First Draft

3.2  Revising

3.3  Peer Review

3.4  Sample Revision

       Sample Revised Draft

3.5  Editing

3.6  Final Draft

       Sample Final Draft

Writing and Revising Paragraphs

4.1  Flow

4.2  Unity

4.3  Coherence

4.4  Development

4.5  Introductions, Conclusions, and Transitions

5 Presenting Writing

5.1  Academic Writing

5.2  Visuals and Media

5.3  Writing Online

       Sample Literacy Narrative Blog Post

5.4 Oral Presentations

      Sample Presentation Slides

5.5 Portfolios


II. Reading and Writing in and out of College

6  Writing in Academic Situations

6.1  Purpose and Audience

6.2  Genre

6.3  Writing with Sources

6.4  Academic Language

6.5  Communication in Academic Settings

Critical Reading and Writing

7.1  Critical Thinking

7.2  Techniques of Critical Reading

7.3  Summarizing

7.4  Critical Response

7.5  Visual Analysis

7.6  Writing a Critical Analysis 

7.7  Sample Critical Responses

       Sample Critical Analysis of a Text

       Sample Critical Analysis of a Visual

8  Reading Arguments Critically

8.1  The Elements of Argument 

8.2  Claims

8.3  Evidence

8.4  Reliability

8.5  Assumptions

8.6  Language and Tone

8.7  Fallacies

8.8  Visual Arguments

9  Writing an Argument

9.1  Subject

9.2  Thesis, Purpose, and Audience

9.3  Reasoning

9.4  Evidence

9.5  Engaging Readers

9.6  Organizing and Revising 

9.7 Sample Argument

      Sample Proposal Argument

10 Taking Essay Exams

10.1 Preparing

10.2 Planning

10.3 Writing

        Sample Essay Exam Answer

11 Public Writing

11.1 Social Media

11.2 Letters and Memos

        Sample Business Letter 

        Sample Memo 

11.3 Job Applications

        Sample Job Application Letter

        Sample Résumés

11.4 Reports and Proposals

        Sample Report and Proposal

11.5 Community Service

        Sample Social-Media Post


III. Grammatical Sentences

12 Understanding Sentence Grammar

12.1 Sentence Basics

12.2 Sentence Patterns

12.3 Single-Word Modifiers 

12.4 Word Groups

12.5 Compound Constructions 

12.6 Inverted Order

12.7 Sentence Types

13 Case of Nouns and Pronouns

13.1  Subjective, Objective, and Possessive Cases
13.2  Compound Subjects and Objects
13.3  Common Questions about Case

14 Verbs

14.1 Verb Forms

14.2 Easily Confused Verb Forms 

14.3 Verb Endings

14.4 Helping Verbs

14.5 Verbs with Gerunds and Infinitives

14.6 Verbs with Particles

14.7 Verb Tenses

14.8 Sequence of Tenses

14.9 Subjunctive Mood

14.10 Active and Passive Voice

15 Agreement

15.1 Subject-Verb Agreement 

15.2 Unusual Word Order 

15.3 Subjects Joined by Conjunctions

15.4 Indefinite and Relative Pronouns

15.5 Collective and Plural Nouns

15.6 Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement

16 Adjectives and Adverbs

16.1 Functions of Adjectives and Adverbs

16.2 Comparative and Superlative Forms 

16.3 Double Negatives 

16.4 Nouns as Modifiers 

16.5 Determiners


IV. Clear Sentences

17 Sentence Fragments

17.1 Identifying Fragments 

17.2 Correcting Fragments 

17.3 Common Types of Fragments

17.4 Acceptable Fragments

18 Comma Splices and Fused Sentences

18.1 Identifying Comma Splices and Fused Sentences

18.2 Correcting Comma Splices and Fused Sentences

19 Pronoun Reference

19.1 Clear Reference

19.2 Close Reference

19.3 Specific Reference

19.4 Appropriate You, Who, Which, and That

20 Shifts

20.1 Types of Shifts 

20.2 Person and Number 

20.3 Tense and Mood 

20.4 Subject and Voice 

20.5 Direct and Indirect Quotations and Questions

21 Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers

21.1 Clear Placement

21.2 Limiting Modifiers

21.3 Squinting Modifiers 

21.4 Separated Subjects, Verbs, and Objects

21.5 Separated Infinitives and Verb Phrases

21.6 Position of Adverbs

21.7 Order of Adjectives

21.8 Dangling Modifiers

22 Mixed and Incomplete Sentences

22.1 Mixed Grammar

22.2 Mixed Meaning

22.3 Incomplete Compounds 

22.4 Incomplete Comparisons 

22.5 Careless Omissions


V.   Effective Sentences

23 Emphasizing Ideas 

23.1 Subjects and Verbs

23.2 Subject Beginnings and Endings

23.3 Parallel Elements

23.4 Repetition and Separation 

23.5 Conciseness

24 Using Coordination and Subordination

24.1 Coordination

24.2 Subordination

24.3 Connecting Words

25 Using Parallelism

25.1 Understanding Parallelism

25.2 Equal Elements

25.3 Coherence

26 Achieving Variety

26.1 Sentence Length and Structure

26.2 Sentence Beginnings 

26.3 Word Order


VI. Punctuation

     Chart: Commas, Semicolons, Colons, Dashes, and Parentheses

27 End Punctuation

27.1 Period

27.2 Question Mark

27.3 Exclamation Point

28 The Comma

28.1 Uses of the Comma

28.2 Main Clauses Linked by Conjunctions

28.3 Introductory Elements 

28.4 Nonessential Elements 

28.5 Series and Coordinate Adjectives

28.6 Quotations and Other Conventional Uses

28.7 Unnecessary Commas

29 The Semicolon

29.1 Main Clauses without Coordinating Conjunctions 

29.2 Main Clauses with Transitional Words

29.3 Main Clauses That Are Long or Contain Commas 

29.4 Items in a Series

29.5 Unnecessary Semicolons

30 The Apostrophe

30.1 Possession

30.2 Contractions and Abbreviations

31 Quotation Marks

31.1 Direct Quotations 

31.2 Titles of Works

31.3 Words Used in a Special Sense

31.4 With Other Punctuation

32 Other Punctuation Marks

32.1 Colon

32.2 Dash

32.3 Parentheses

32.4 Brackets

32.5 Ellipsis Mark

32.6 Slash


VII. Mechanics

33 Capitals

33.1 Conventions

33.2 First Word of Sentence 

33.3 Titles and Subtitles 

33.4 Proper Nouns and Proper Adjectives

34 Italics or Underlining

34.1 Titles of Works

34.2 Foreign Words and for Emphasis

35 Abbreviations

35.1 Abbreviations in Nontechnical Writing

35.2 Misuses of Abbreviations

36 Numbers

36.1 Numerals and Words

36.2 Dates and Addresses


VIII. Effective Words

37 Using Appropriate Language

37.1 Standard English

37.2 Texting and Electronic Shortcuts

37.3 Slang, Colloquialisms, Regionalisms, and Jargon  

37.4 Indirect or Pretentious Writing

37.5 Sexist and Biased Language

38 Using Exact Language

38.1 Dictionary, Thesaurus, and Spelling Checker 

38.2 Denotation and Connotation

38.3 Abstract and Concrete Words

38.4 Idioms

38.5 Figurative Language 

38.6 Trite Expressions

39 Writing Concisely

39.1 Achieving Conciseness 

39.2 Subjects and Verbs 

39.3 Empty Words and Phrases

39.4 Unnecessary Repetition 

39.5 Other Strategies

40 Spelling and the Hyphen

40.1 Common Spelling Problems

40.2 Spelling Rules

40.3 Spelling Skills

40.4 Hyphenating Words


IX. Research Writing

41 Planning a Research Project

41.1 The Process of Research Writing

41.2 Research Questions 

41.3 Research Strategies 

41.4 Working Bibliographies

        Sample Annotated Bibliography Entry

42 Finding Sources

42.1 Search Strategies 

42.2 Reference Works 

42.3 Books and Periodicals 

42.4 Web Search Strategies 

42.5 Social Media

42.6 Government Publications

42.7 Visuals and Media 

42.8 Primary Research

43  Working with Sources

43.1 Interacting with Sources

        Sample Annotated Source

43.2 Evaluating Sources

43.3 Synthesizing Sources

43.4 Summary, Paraphrase, and Quotation

43.5 Integrating Sources

44 Avoiding Plagiarism

44.1 Defining Plagiarism

44.2 Information You Do Not Need to Cite

44.3 Information You Must Cite 

44.4 Documenting Sources 

44.5 Copyright and Permissions

45 Writing the Paper

45.1 Developing a Thesis

45.2 Organizing Your Ideas 

45.3 Drafting a Research Paper 

45.4 Revising and Editing 

45.5 Preparing a Final Draft

46 Using MLA Documentation and Format

46.1 In-text Citations 

46.2 List of Works Cited 

46.3 MLA Paper Format

47 Two Research Papers in MLA Style

47.1 Sample Research Paper in MLA Style

        “The Dream of Sustainable Agriculture” 

47.2 Sample Literary Research Paper in MLA Style 

        “Intersecting Race and Gender in Angelia Weld Grimké’s Rachel”


X.   Writing in the Academic Disciplines

48 Reading and Writing about Literature

48.1 The Methods of Literary Analysis

48.2 Writing Assignments in Literature

48.3 The Tools and Language of Literary Analysis

48.4 Citing Sources When Writing about Literature

48.5 Writing a Literary Analysis

        Sample Literary Analysis

49 Writing in Other Humanities

49.1 Methods and Evidence 

49.2 Common Writing Assignments

49.3 Tools and Language 

49.4 Documenting Sources 

49.5 Paper Format

50 Writing in the Social Sciences

50.1 Common Genres in the Social Sciences

50.2 Research Conventions in the Social Sciences

50.3 In-text Citations in APA Style

50.4 References in APA Style

50.5 Research Paper Format in APA Style

50.6 Sample Research Paper in APA Style

        “Perceptions of Mental Illness on College Campuses”

51 Writing in the Natural and Applied Sciences

51.1 Methods and Evidence 

51.2 Common Writing Assignments

51.3 Tools and Language 

51.4 CSE Style

51.5 Paper Format

51.6 Sample Paper

        “Caterpillar Defense Mechanisms”




Published by Pearson (February 27th 2018) - Copyright © 2019