Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum, 14th edition

  • Laurence Behrens
  • Leonard J. Rosen


Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum guides you through essential writing skills such as summary, critique, synthesis, analysis and research. Exercises bridge the gap between reading and writing. An anthology provides cross-disciplinary readings on topics from the humanities, sciences and social sciences.

Table of contents

An Introduction to Thinking and Writing in College

Defining Academic Thinking and Writing

Cultivating Intellectual Curiosity

Exploring Similarities and Differences

Arguing with Logic and Evidence

Challenging Arguments

Communicating Critical Thinking Through Writing


1. Summary, Paraphrase, and Quotation

Previewing to Understand the Author’s Purpose

Exercise 1.1 Previewing a Paragraph

  • External Enhancements of Memory May Soon Go High-Tech–Jyutika Mehta

Forming a Preliminary Understanding of Topic and Purpose

Rereading for Content and Structure

  • How Brains Remember

Exercise 1.2 Marking Up a Passage

  • Critical Reading for Summary

Summarizing and Paraphrasing Parts of Sources

  • When to Summarize and Paraphrase

Summarizing Parts of Sources

Can a Summary Be Objective?

Paraphrasing Parts of Sources

Summarizing Entire Works

  • Guidelines for Writing Summaries

Read, Reread, and Highlight

Divide into Stages of Thought and Write a Brief Summary of Each Stage of Thought

Write a Thesis: A Brief Summary of the Entire Passage

Write Your Summary

Write a One- or Two-Sentence Summary

Write a Middle-Length Summary

Write an Expanded Summary

  • Where Do We Find Written Summaries?

Summarizing Challenging Sources

  • Reading and Summarizing Challenging Sources

Demonstration Summary of Paul Bloom’s “The Baby in the Well”

  • The Baby in the Well: The Case Against Empathy–Paul Bloom

Write a Brief Summary of Each Stage of Thought

Write a Thesis: A Brief Summary of the Entire Passage

Write a Draft by Combining Thesis, Section Summaries, and Selected Details

Summarizing Graphs, Charts, and Tables

Bar Graphs

Exercise 1.3 Summarizing Graphs

Line Graphs

Exercise 1.4 Summarizing Line Graphs

Pie Charts

Exercise 1.5 Summarizing Pie Charts

Other Charts: Bubble Maps, Pictograms, and Interactive Charts


Exercise 1.6 Summarizing Tables

Choosing Quotations

  • When to Quote

Quote Memorable Language

Quote Clear, Concise Language

Quote Authoritative Language

Altering Quotations

Use Ellipses to Indicate Omissions

Use Brackets to add or Substitute Words

Avoiding Classic Mistakes in Quoting

Avoid Quoting Too Much

  • Quote Only What You Need

Avoid Freestanding Quotations

Understand When to Use First and Last Names

Don’t Introduce Well-Known Names

Exercise 1.7 Incorporating Quotations

Using Signal Phrases

  • Signal Verbs to Introduce Quotations, Summaries, and Paraphrases
  • Signal Verbs and Tense

Six Strategies for Using Signal Phrases (or Sentences)

1. Identifying Phrase at the Beginning

2. Identifying Phrase in the Middle

3. Identifying Phrase at the End

4. Reference to a Source Preceded by That

5. Identifying Sentence at the Beginning–With a Colon

6. Block Quotation

  • Incorporating Quotations into Your Sentences

Exercise 1.8 Summarizing, Paraphrasing, and Quoting a Brief Passage

  • How to Use Sources to Build Paragraphs

Avoiding Plagiarism

  • Rules for Avoiding Plagiarism


2. Critical Reading and Critique

Critical Reading

Question 1: To What Extent Does the Author Succeed in His or Her Purpose?

Writing to Inform

Evaluating Informative Writing

Accuracy of Information

  • Web Sites and the Trust Factor: Know What Sort of Site You’re On

Significance of Information

Fair Interpretation of Information

Writing to Persuade

Exercise 2.1 Informative and Persuasive Thesis Statements

Evaluating Persuasive Writing

  • Consumer Watchdog
  • Americans Shouldn’t Demand a “Right to Be Forgotten: Online—Washington Post
  • The Right to Bury the (Online) Past—Liza Tucker

Exercise 2.2 Critical Reading Practice

Persuasive Strategies

Clearly Defined Terms

Fair Use of Information

Logical Argumentation: Avoiding Logical Fallacies

Emotionally Loaded Terms

Ad Hominem Argument

Faulty Cause and Effect

Either/or Reasoning

  • Tone

Hasty Generalization

False Analogy

Begging the Question

Non Sequitur


Exercise 2.3 Understanding Logical Fallacies

Writing to Entertain

Question 2: To What Extent Do You Agree with the Author?

Identify Points of Agreement and Disagreement

Exercise 2.4 Exploring Your Viewpoints—in Three Paragraphs

Explore Reasons for Agreement and Disagreement: Evaluate Assumptions

Inferring and Implying Assumptions

Determining the Validity of Assumptions


How to Write Critiques

  • Guidelines for Writing Critiques

Demonstration: Critique

  • Model Critique: Critique of “The Right to Bury the (Online) Past” by Liza Tucker—Ethel Weiss

Exercise 2.5 Informal Critique of the Model Critique

  • Critical Reading for Critique


3. Thesis, Introduction, and Conclusion

Writing a Thesis

The Components of a Thesis

Making an Assertion

Starting with a Working Thesis

Using the Thesis to Plan a Structure

  • How Ambitious Should Your Thesis Be?

Exercise 3.1 Drafting Thesis Statements



Historical Review

Review of a Controversy

From the General to the Specific

Anecdote and Illustration: From the Specific to the General


Statement of Thesis

Exercise 3.2 Drafting Introductions


Summary (Plus)

Statement of the Subject’s Significance

Call for Further Research






Exercise 3.3 Drafting Conclusions


4. Explanatory Synthesis

What Is a Synthesis?

Using Summary and Critique as a Basis for Synthesis

Using Inference as a Basis for Synthesis: Moving Beyond Summary and Critique

Identifying Your Purpose

Example: Same Sources, Different Uses

  • Where Do We Find Written Syntheses?

Using Your Sources

Types of Syntheses: Explanatory and Argument

  • Seau Suffered from Brain Disease—Mary Pilon and Ken Belson
  • Concussion Problem Not Unique to U-M—The State News Editorial Board

How to Write Syntheses

  • Guidelines for Writing Syntheses

Writing an Explanatory Synthesis

Demonstration: Explanatory Synthesis—The “Idea” of Money

Exercise 4.1 Exploring the Topic

  • A Brief History of Money: Or, How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace the Abstraction—James Surowiecki
  • Apple, Banks in Talks on Mobile Person-to- Person Payment Service—Robin Sidel and Daisuke Wakabayashi

Consider Your Purpose

Exercise 4.2 Critical Reading for Synthesis

Formulate a Thesis

Decide How You Will Use Your Source Material

Develop an Organizational Plan

  • Organize a Synthesis by Idea, Not by Source

Write Your Synthesis

  • Explanatory Synthesis: First Draft

Revise Your Synthesis

Exercise 4.3 Revising the Explanatory Synthesis

  • Model Explanatory Synthesis: The “Idea” of Money—Sheldon Kearney
  • Critical Reading for Synthesis


5. Argument Synthesis

What Is an Argument Synthesis?

The Elements of Argument: Claim, Support, and Assumption

Exercise 5.1 Practicing Claim, Support, and Assumption

The Three Appeals of Argument: Logos, Ethos, Pathos


Deductive Reasoning

Inductive Reasoning

Maintaining a Critical Perspective

Exercise 5.2 Using Deductive and Inductive Logic


Exercise 5.3 Using Ethos


Exercise 5.4 Using Pathos

The Limits of Argument

Fruitful Topics for Argument

How to Write Argument Syntheses

Demonstration: Developing an Argument Synthesis—Responding to Bullies

  • Bullying Statistics—Pacer.org
  • The 2013 National School Climate Survey: The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender
  • Youth in Our Nation’s Schools—Joseph G. Kosciw, Emily A. Greytak, Neal A. Palmer, and Madelyn J.
  • Boesen
  • Olweus Bullying Prevention Program
  • White House Report/Bullying—And the Power of Peers—Philip Rodkin

Exercise 5.5 Critical Reading for Synthesis

Consider Your Purpose

Making a Claim: Formulate a Thesis

Decide How You Will Use Your Source Material

Develop an Organizational Plan

Draft and Revise Your Synthesis

  • Model Argument Synthesis: Responding to Bullies—Peter Simmons

The Strategy of the Argument Synthesis

Developing and Organizing the Support for Your Arguments

Summarize, Paraphrase, and Quote Supporting Evidence

Provide Various Types of Evidence and Motivational Appeals

Use Climactic Order

Use Logical or Conventional Order

Present and Respond to Counterarguments

Use Concession

  • Developing and Organizing Support for Your Arguments

Avoid Common Fallacies in Developing and Using Support

The Comparison-and- Contrast Synthesis

Organizing Comparison-and- Contrast Syntheses

Organizing by Source or Subject

Organizing by Criteria

Exercise 5.6 Comparing and Contrasting

A Case for Comparison and Contrast: World War I and World War II

Comparison and Contrast Organized by Criteria

  • Model Exam Response

The Strategy of the Exam Response

Summary of Synthesis Chapters


6. Analysis

What Is an Analysis?

  • Where Do We Find Written Analyses?
  • from The Invisible Addiction: Cell-Phone Activities and Addiction among Male and Female College Students—James A. Roberts, Luc Honore Petnji Yaya, and Chris Manolis
  • What’s in a Phone?—Jon Agar

Selecting and Using an Analytical Tool

Selecting the Analytical Tool

Using the Analytical Tool

Exercise 6.1 Using a Principle or Definition as a Tool for Analysis

Planning and Writing the Analysis Paper

Devising a Thesis

Developing the Paragraph-by- Paragraph Logic of Your Paper

Writing the Analysis Paper

  • Guidelines for Writing Analyses

Reviewing Your Analysis: Does It Pass Key Tests?

Have You Written a Summary Rather than an Analysis?

Is Your Analysis Systematic?

Have You Answered the “So What?” Question?

Have You Attributed Sources?

  • Critical Reading for Analysis

When Your Perspective Guides the Analysis

Exercise 6.2 Planning an Analysis

Demonstration: Analysis

  • Model Analysis: The Case of the Missing Kidney: An Analysis of Rumor—Linda Shanker
  • Works Cited


7. Locating, Mining, and Citing Sources

Source-Based Papers

  • Where Do We Find Written Research?
  • Writing the Research Paper

Developing a Topic into a Research Question

Brainstorming a Topic

  • Narrowing Your Topic

The Research Question

Exercise 7.1 Constructing Research Questions

Getting Started with Research

Consult Knowledgeable People

Familiarize Yourself with Your Library’s Resources

Locating Preliminary Sources


  • Wikipedia: Let the Buyer Beware

Exercise 7.2 Exploring Encyclopedias

Biographical Sources

Statistical Sources

Overviews and Bibliographies

Conducting Focused Research

Types of Sources


Book Reviews

Newspapers, Magazines, and Journals



Journals (Scholarly Material)

Exercise 7.3 Exploring Academic Journals

  • For Best Results, Plan Your Searches

Finding Material for Focused Research


General Databases

Subject-Specific Databases

Discovery Services

The Open Web

Google Scholar


  • Focused Research: Constructing Effective Search Queries

Advanced Searching with Boolean Logic and Truncation

Exercise 7.4 Exploring Online Sources

Interviews and Surveys

  • Guidelines for Conducting Interviews
  • Guidelines for Conducting Surveys and Designing Questionnaires

Evaluating Sources

  • Guidelines for Evaluating Sources

Evaluating Web Sources

Exercise 7.5 Practice Evaluating Web Sources

Mining Sources

  • Critical Reading for Research

The Working Bibliography

Note Taking

Bibliographic Management Tools

Getting the Most From Your Reading

Arranging Your Notes: The Outline

Research and Plagiarism

Time Management and Plagiarism

Note Taking and Plagiarism

Digital Life and Plagiarism

Determining Common Knowledge

A Guideline for Determining Common Knowledge

Plagiarism, the Internet, and Fair Use

Internet Paper Mills

Fair Use and Digital Media

Citing Sources

Types of Citations

APA Documentation Basics

APA In-Text Citations in Brief

APA References List in Brief

MLA Documentation Basics

MLA Citations in Brief

MLA Works Cited List in Brief






8. “Over the Rainbow” and the Art of the Musical Cover

The Art of “Over the Rainbow”—the editors

19 Covers of “Over the Rainbow”

Who Put the Rainbow in The Wizard of Oz?—Harold Meyerson and Ernie Harburg

Video Link: Why “Over the Rainbow” Takes Us to a Magical, Musical Place—PBS NewsHour Interview with Composer Rob Kapilow

Why Cover a Song?

The Sincerest Form of Flattery—George Plasketes

A Treatise on Covers—Tom Bligh

How to Talk—and Write—About Popular Music (with Video Link)—Greg Blair

Comparing and Contrasting Three Covers of “Stormy Weather”—Greg Blair

36 Covers of “Stormy Weather”

22 Covers of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”: Listening Suggestions

The Greatest Covers of All Time—Andy Greene

The Assignment: Comparative Analysis




9. Obedience to Authority

Read; Prepare to Write

Group Assignment: Make a Topic List

The Readings and Videos

Why I Am Not an Anarchist—Christopher Wellman and John Simmons

Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem: Erich Fromm

The Power of Situations—Lee Ross and Richard E. Nisbett

The Milgram Experiment—Saul McLeod

Video Link: Opinions and Social Pressure—Solomon Asch

Video Link: The Stanford Prison Experiment—Philip G. Zimbardo

The Follower Problem—David Brooks

The Assignments

Summary & Paraphrase


Explanatory Synthesis

Suggestions for Developing the Assignment


Suggestions for Developing the Assignment

Argument Synthesis

Suggestions for Developing the Assignment




10. The Roar of the Tiger Mom

Read; Prepare to Write

Group Assignment #1: Make a Topic List

Group Assignment #2: Create a Topic Web

The Readings

Adapted from Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother—Amy Chua

Amy Chua Is a Wimp—David Brooks

Whatever Happened to the Original Tiger Mum’s Children?—Tanith Carey

Tiger Mom vs. Tiger Mailroom—Patrick Goldstein  

America’s Top Parent—Elizabeth Kolbert

Your Perfectionist Parenting Style May Be Detrimental to Your Child—Ariana Eunjung Cha

The Assignments



Explanatory Synthesis



A Note on Incorporating Quotations and Paraphrases




Literature and Film


11. First Impressions: The Art and Craft of Storytelling

The Art and Craft of Starting Your Story

The Hook—K.M. Weiland

Chapter Ones: The Novels

  • Pride and Prejudice (1813) by Jane Austen
  • Jane Eyre (1847) by Charlotte Brontë
  • Great Expectations (1860) by Charles Dickens
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886) by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) by L(yman) Frank Baum
  • My Ántonia (1918) by Willa Cather

Scene Ones: The Films

How to Start Your Script with a Killer Opening Scene—Tim Long

  • Pride and Prejudice (1995) directed by Simon Langton; Pride and Prejudice (2005) directed by Joe Wright
  • Jane Eyre (1943) directed by Robert Stevenson
  • Great Expectations (1946) directed by David Lean
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931) directed by Rouben Mamoulian; (1941) directed by Victor Fleming
  • The Wizard of Oz (1939), directed by Victor Fleming
  • My Ántonia (1995) directed by Joseph Sargent

Other Scene Ones: from other, notable films

  • Dracula (1931) directed by Tod Browning, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) directed by Francis Ford Coppola
  • Citizen Kane (1941) directed by Orson Welles
  • Brief Encounter (1945) directed by David Lean
  • The Red Badge of Courage (1951) directed by John Huston
  • Shane (1953) directed by George Stevens
  • Rear Window (1954) directed by Alfred Hitchcock
  • The Godfather, Part One (1972) directed by Francis Ford Coppola
  • Do the Right Thing (1989) directed by Spike Lee
  • Dead Again (1991) directed by Kenneth Branagh
  • Sleepless in Seattle (1993) directed by Nora Ephron
  • The Devil in a Blue Dress (1995) directed by Carl Franklin
  • Emma (1996) directed by Douglas McGrath, and Clueless (1995) directed by Amy Heckerling
  • Chicago (2002) directed by Rob Marshall
  • The Hurt Locker (2008) directed by Kathryn Bigelow
  • Inception (2010) directed by Christopher Nolan
  • Gravity (2013) directed by Alfonso Cuarón
  • 12 Years a Slave (2013) directed by Steve McQueen
  • Moonlight (2016) directed by Barry Jenkins

Synthesis Activities


Computer Science


12. Artificial Intelligence

The Legacy of Prometheus—George Luger

The End of Homo Sapiens—Yuval Harari

Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us—Bill Joy

An Open Letter on Artificial Intelligence—Future of Life Institute

Research Priorities for Robust and Beneficial Artificial Intelligence—Stuart Russel, Daniel Dewey, and Max Tegmark

An Open Letter on AI: Why Now?—Seán Ó hÉigeartaigh

Don’t Fear Artificial Intelligence—Dominic Basulto

Robots Will Take Your Job; Will They Guarantee Your Income?—Scott Santens

A Review of Humans are Underrated by Geoff Colvin—Tyler Cowen

Automation and Anxiety—The Economist

Motion for a European Parliament Resolution to the Commission on Civil Law Rules on Robotics—Committee on Legal Affairs, European Parliament

Testing the Turing Test

The Turing Test—George Luger

Intelligent Machines That Compose Sonnets—National Public Radio

Intelligent Machines That Compose Music

Intelligent Machines That Draw and Paint

Intelligent Machines That Chat with You

Sympathy for the Robot: Visions of AI in Westworld—Christopher Orr

Synthesis Activities

Research Activities




13. Have You Heard This? The Latest on Rumor

9/11: Rumor in a Broken World—Gary Fine and Bill Ellis

Memorable Examples of Rumor—Robert Bartholomew and Peter Hassall


Fighting that Old Devil Rumor—Sandra Salmans

The Runaway Grandmother—Jan Harold Brunvand

How Technology Disrupted the Truth—Katherine Viner

Anatomy of a Rumor: It Flies on Fear—Daniel Goleman

A Psychology of Rumor—Robert H. Knapp

A Sociology of Rumor—Dan E. Miller

Pizzagate: An Anthropology of Rumor—Hugh Gusterson

Video Link: How and Why Rumors Work—And How to Stop Them—Nicholas DiFonzo

How to Fight a Rumor—Jesse Singal

The Rumor—John Updike

Synthesis Activities

Research Activities




14. Fairy Tales: A Closer Look at Cinderella

A Girl, a Shoe, a Prince: The Endlessly Evolving “Cinderella”—Linda Holmes

What Great Books Do for Children—Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

An Introduction to Fairy Tales—Maria Tatar

Three Variants of “Cinderella”

“Cinderella”—Charles Perrault

Ashputtle—Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm

A Chinese “Cinderella”—Tuan Ch’êng-shih

When the Clock Strikes – Tanith Lee

Four (Brief) Analyses of “Cinderella”

A Netherworld of Smut—Bruno Bettelheim

Wealth, Beauty, and Revenge—Rob Baum

The Coding of Black and White—Dorothy Hurley

Sexist Values and a Puritan Ethos—Jack Zipes

Cinderella’s Stepsisters—Toni Morrison

Cinderella: Not So Morally Superior—Elisabeth Panttaja

What’s Wrong with Cinderella?—Peggy Orenstein

Synthesis Activities

Research Activities




15. Advertising

Why Good Advertising Works (Even When You Think It Doesn’t)—Nigel Hollis

Selling Happiness: Three Pitches from Mad Men

An Introduction to Advertising in America—Daniel Pope

The Greatest Print Campaigns of All Time: Volkswagen Think Small—Joshua Johnson

Advertising’s Fifteen Basic Appeals—Jib Fowles / Shirley Biagi

A Portfolio of Print Ads: Six Archives

Advertising Archives

Duke University Media Collections

Lürzer’s Int’l Archive: Advertising Worldwide

Ad Council: Public Service Ads


Vintage Ad Browser

A Primer on Analyzing Television Commercials—Arthur Asa Berger

A Portfolio of 50+ Television Commercials

Synthesis Activities

Research Activities



Published by Pearson (February 26th 2018) - Copyright © 2019