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Paperback 536 pp.
12 figures; 26 tables; 4 photos, 8" x 10"



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Imprint: OUP Canada

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The Empowered Writer

An Essential Guide to Writing, Reading, and Research, Third Edition

Kathleen M. Moran and Eric Henderson

The Empowered Writer is an indispensable guide to effective writing, reading, research, and grammar. Using accessible instruction and an abundance of exercises and examples, this text empowers students to hone their skills, make informed choices, and think critically about how - and why - they write. Featuring numerous new readings and improved content organization, this third edition fosters student success in the classroom and beyond.

Readership : Intended for college courses primarily in introductory English composition and communication, and can be used in courses in academic writing, introduction to essay writing, English studies, and literary studies.


  • "Although many books deal with argumentative structure, this book does so very well. I appreciate in particular the exercises on developing argument. I also valued the oral presentations section, not common in most books."
    "Overall, I was very pleased with the chapters on research and using your research. They provide a different insight into a complicated problem. I also felt that the grammar section was well presented and the areas well chosen based on common student writer needs."
    --Viktoria Jovanovic-Krstic, University of Toronto and Humber College

  • "The textbook is visually appealing and many students have mentioned that in a positive manner. The use of the margins to reflect the authors' comments is very useful and engaging."
    --Navneet Kumar, Medicine Hat College

  • From previous edition:
    "[This text] is perfect for the first-year student. . . . The author addresses the reader in a direct and amiable way that is not condescending or overly prescriptive when making suggestions to improve a student's writing."
    --Gary McNeely, Brandon University

- Sample Professional and Sample Student Essays are integrated throughout chapters, but are listed here at the end of chapters for a clearer breakdown of chapter content
- Chapters conclude with chapter review questions
1. Basic Skills Development
An Integrated Approach
- Writing and Thinking
- Exercise 1.1
- Writing and Reading
Reading Strategies
Critical Thinking
- What Is Critical Thinking?
- Applying Critical Thinking
- Reading and Critical Thinking
- Responding Critically and Analytically through Questions
Word Meanings
Improving Vocabulary
Sample Professional Essay: "Bear Cub: Rogue Wildlife Is Par for the Course on Canada's Northernmost Green" by Eva Holland NEW
Sample Professional Essay: "Almost Famous Canadian Olympians" by Jonathon Gatehouse
2. The Writing Situation
Writing Purpose
"A" Is for Audience
- Reader-Based Writing
- Audience Factors
- Writing for the Workplace
Stages in Essay Writing
- Pre-Writing
- Research
- Organization
- Composing: First Draft
- Revising: Final Draft
The Critical Response
Sample Professional Essay: "If These Walls Could Talk: The Physical Traces of Residential Schools" by Aubrey Jean Hanson and D. Lyn Daniels NEW
Sample Professional Essay: "Why Do We Still Put Young People in Solitary Confinement?" by Cathy Gulli NEW
Sample Student Essay: Response to "Why Do We Still Put Young People in Solitary Confinement?" by Julianny Vahlis NEW
3. Paragraph Essentials
Introducing the Paragraph
- Topic Sentence
- Paragraph Wrap as Conclusion
- Connecting Paragraphs by Using Transitions
- Paragraph Unity
- Paragraph Coherence
Sample Professional Essay: "Everything You Need to Know about Imposter Syndrome" by Sydney Loney NEW
4. Paragraph and Essay Development
Developing Your Essay
Development Patterns
- Definition: What Is It?
- Chronology: When Did It Occur?
- Description: What Does It Look Like?
- Narration: How Can It Be Told?
- Process: How Does It Work?
- Personal: Why Should It Affect Me?/How Does It Affect Me?
- Classification/Division: What Kinds Are There?
- Cause-Effect: What Is the Cause? What Is the Result?
- Question-Answer: What Is the Answer?
- Example/Illustration: How Can It Be Shown?
- Problem-Solution: How Can It Be (Re)Solved?
- Cost-Benefit: What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages?
- Analogy: How Is It Like Something Else?
- Comparison and Contrast: How Is It Like and/or Unlike Something Else?
Sample Professional Essay: "Picture This: A Photovoice Study of International Students' Food Experience in Canada" by Stephanie Amos and Daphne Lordly NEW
5. Summarizing Other Writers' Work
What Is a Summary?
- How to Write a Summary
- The Extended Summary
Other Ways to Summarize
- Paraphrase
- Abstract
- Annotated Bibliography
Summarizing at the Workplace
Sample Professional Essay: "The $15 Minimum Wage Movement Rises Up" by Janet Nicol NEW
Sample Professional Essay: "Almost a Million Canadian Kids in Poverty Is an Acute Emergency" by Elizabeth Lee Ford-Jones NEW
6. The Expository Essay
Expository versus Argumentative Essays
Types of Essays
How to Write Various Expository Essays
- The Process Essay
- The Definition Essay
- The Comparison and Contrast Essay
- The In-Class (or Examination) Essay
Sample Student Essay: "How to Win a Student Government Election" by Aimee Calma NEW
Sample Student Essay: "What Is Leadership?" by Andrew Fodor
Sample Student Essay: "Tail of Opposites: Meow, Meow, or Woof, Woof?" by Barclay Katt
Sample Professional Essay: "Help Protect Our Bogs: Why It's Important to Save Our Wetlands" by Bev Yaworski NEW
7. Introductions, Thesis Statements, and Conclusions
The Expository Essay Template
The Essay's Introduction
Functions of the Introduction: Reader's Interest
- Other Functions
- Features of the Introduction
The Essay's Conclusion
- Functions of the Conclusion
- Two Kinds of Conclusion
Sample Professional Essay: "Alouette Anniversary" by Hillary Windsor
8. Claims, Evidence, and the Analytical Model
Kinds of Claims: Fact, Value, and Policy
- Claim of Fact
- Claim of Value
- Claim of Policy
- Organization of Evidence
- Kinds of Evidence
- The Analytical Model
Sample Professional Essay: "Punishing Cheaters Promotes the Evolution of Cooperation" by Eric Michael Johnson
9. The Argumentative Essay
Emotional versus Logical Arguments
- Argument, Opinion, and Facts
- Faulty Reasoning
Creating Your Argument with Claims and Support
- Arguable Claims
- Specific, Interesting, and Manageable Claims
- A Closer Look at Reason
Rebutting the Opposing View
- Topic-Based Rebuttal
- Audience-Based Rebuttal
- Purpose-Based Rebuttal
Organizing an Outline for Argument
Oral Presentations
- Creating a Presentation
- Delivering a Presentation
- Important Points to Consider When Making an Oral Presentation
Sample Professional Essay: "Welcome to Canada? Immigration Incentives May Not Be Enough for International Students to Stay" by Sophia Lowe NEW
Sample Student Essay: "Discrimination against Aboriginals in Canada: Bill C-45" by Jane Freiburger
10. Conducting Research
Developing Research Skills
- Research: Finding and Exploring
- Synthesis I: Integration
- Organization: Arranging
- Synthesis II: Composing
Researching Your Topic
- Who Are These Experts - and Where Can You Find Them?
- Exploring Your Topic
- Note-Taking
- Organizing Research Notes
- Cross-Referencing
- Some Useful Research Strategies
- Using Contradictory Evidence
Sources of Research Material
- Primary and Secondary Sources
- Start with Secondary Sources
- Internet Searches
- Notes on Library Research
- Alternative Sources
11. Using Your Research
Outlines for Research Essays
Student Outline for "The Cost of Buying Happiness: Why Less Is More"
Integrating Secondary Sources
- Summary, Paraphrase, Direct Quotation, Mixed Quotation Format
- Signal Phrases, Ellipses, and Brackets
Documentation: In-Text Citations
Sample Student Essay: "The Cost of Buying Happiness: Why Less Is More" by Sandy Crashley NEW
Sample Student Essay: "Computer Ergonomics" by Mike Butler NEW
12. APA and MLA Documentation Styles
Choosing Your Citation Style
- APA In-Text Citations
- APA In-Text Citations by Format
- APA References
- MLA In-Text Citations
- MLA In-Text Citations by Format
- MLA Works Cited
- MLA Notes
Sample Student Essay: "Polar Bears: Bright Outlook or Grim Future" by Adam Cook NEW
Sample Professional Essay: "What Lies Deep in the Unconscious: A Psychoanalytical Scrutiny of Harry Potter in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter Series" by Kaustav Chanda
13. Sentence Essentials
Grammatical Groundwork
Parts of Speech
- Nouns
- Pronouns
- Verbs
- Modifiers: Adjectives and Adverbs
- Joiners: Prepositions and Conjunctions
- Sentence Patterns
Sentence Errors
- Sentence Fragments
- Run-On Sentence
- Comma Splice
14. Punctuation
Do Commas Matter?
- Rule Category 1: Items in a Series
- Rule Category 2: Independent Clauses
- Rule Category 3: Parenthetical Information
- Rule Category 4: Conventional and "Comma Sense" Uses
- When Commas Are Not Required
Other Forms of Punctuation
- Semicolons
- Colons
- Dashes and Parentheses
- Apostrophes for Possession in Nouns
- Contractions
15. Agreement, Pronoun, and Sentence Structure Errors
- Subject-Verb Agreement
- Rules for Subject-Verb Agreement
Pronouns at Work
- Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement
- Problematic Pronouns: Inclusive Language
Other Problems with Pronouns
- Pronoun Reference
- Pronoun Case
- Pronoun Consistency
Sentence Construction Errors
- Misplaced Modifiers
- Dangling Modifiers
- The Parallelism Principle
- Passive Constructions: The Lazy Subject
16. Achieving Clarity and Depth in Your Writing
Effective Style: Clarity
- Cutting for Conciseness
- Doubling Up: The Noah's Ark Syndrome
- Phony Phrases
- The Small but Not-So-Beautiful
- Unintensives
- Writing Directly
- Numbing Nouns
- Working toward Precision: Wise Word Choices
Common Words That Confuse
Providing Depth: Variety and Emphasis
- Sentence Variety
- Creating Emphasis
Proofreading: Perfection Is Possible
- Proofreading Methods
- Guidelines for Proofreading
- Common Errors
Essay Presentation
A: Verb Tenses
B: A Checklist for EAL Writers
C: Peer Edit Forms
D: Partial Exercise Answer Key: Chapters 13-15
E: Essay Templates

Instructor's Manual:
For each chapter:
- Chapter overview
- Learning objectives
- Key concepts
- Suggested group work and take-home assignments
- Web links and resources
Test Generator:
For each chapter:
- 25 multiple-choice questions
- 25 fill-in-the-blank questions
- 7 short-answer questions
- 6 essay questions
Student Study Guide
Interactive quizzes; for each chapter:
- 15 multiple-choice questions
- 10 short-answer questions
- Practice mid-term and final exam
E-Book (ISBN 9780199023622)

Kathleen M. Moran is a professor in the School of Liberal Studies and Communications at Conestoga College. She has taught and created a wide range of courses including technical writing, composition, and business communication. Kathleen has also taught composition at Humber College and Brock University. She has authored ancillary material for Oxford, Pearson, and Nelson and is the Canadian adapter on Searles, Workplace Communications (2012) with Pearson Canada.

Eric Henderson is an active author with Oxford University Press Canada, where his other books include Writing by Choice, 3e (2015), The Active Reader, 3e (2015), and Becoming an Active Reader, 2e (2016). He has also published articles in leading journals such as Canadian Literature, English Studies in Canada, and Contemporary Literary Criticism. He teaches in the Department of English at the University of Victoria where his teaching interests include composition, rhetoric, and style.

Student's Oxford Canadian Dictionary - Edited by Katherine Barber
Essay Do's and Don'ts - Lucia Engkent and Garry Engkent
The Canadian Writer's Handbook - The late William E. Messenger, Jan de Bruyn, The late Judy Brown and Ramona Montagnes
The Concise Canadian Writer's Handbook - The late William E. Messenger, Jan de Bruyn, The late Judy Brown and Ramona Montagnes
Practical Grammar - Maxine Ruvinsky

Special Features

  • Written by Canadians, for Canadians, providing relevant coverage for students in this country.
  • Classroom-tested approach to the writing process extends beyond formulaic instruction, helping students become confident writers.
  • An abundance of exercises, for both individual and group use, provide ample opportunity for students to practice and refine their skills.
  • Focus on critical thinking encourages students to examine their purpose for writing in order to create a logical structure for their work and carry out research more effectively.
  • Accessible professional essays by working writers cover topics of particular interest to students such as minimum wage, the immigrant student experience, and environmental protection.
  • Emphasizes research as an essential aspect of the writing process, giving students the tools to research effectively and to seamlessly integrate their findings into their writing.
  • Sample student essays illustrate important rhetorical techniques and show students that they are capable of writing at a professional level.
  • Coverage of rhetorical strategies shows students how rhetorical techniques - such as parallelism and passive and active voice - relate to one another and how to apply them to their own writing.
  • Academic integrity guidelines offer easy-to-understand instructions on how to avoid plagiarism, emphasizing the importance of the issue.
  • Coverage of practical communication skills, including writing for the workplace, oral presentations, and improving vocabulary, prepares students to communicate effectively in a range of real-world situations.
  • Built-in grammar handbook covers the basics of usage and style.
New to this Edition
  • 15 new sample essays on such relevant topics as the experiences of immigrant students, poverty, environmental protection, and the legacy of residential schools.
  • 10 new Sample Professional Essays (of 13) have been chosen for type, currency, and relevance to student life to help students improve their writing and critical thinking skills.
  • 5 new Sample Student Essays (of 9) demonstrate how students have approached different essay forms and topics.
  • Signpost margin notes contain cross-references to help students easily navigate the text and find related content in other parts of the book.
  • Updated MLA (2016 update) and APA styles provide students with the latest in documentation styles.
  • Reorganized and streamlined content better reflects the needs of instructors and students alike.
  • Coverage of expository writing is now more clearly organized into the new Expository Essay chapter. (Ch. 6)
  • Summary writing now appears in Pt. 1 to mirror how instructors teach composition in Canada.
  • Coverage of sentence essentials (Ch. 13) has been reorganized and condensed, making it more accessible for students.
Student-Friendly Pedagogy
  • Marginal notes provide useful writing tips, summaries of content, and a running glossary.
  • Up-to-date documentation guidelines for both MLA and APA citation styles make this a valuable resource for students in a wide variety of disciplines.
  • A checklist for EAL writers clarifies idiomatic words and phrases that native English speakers often take for granted.
  • Peer editing forms provide students with a template of what to look for when evaluating the work of their classmates.
  • A partial answer key allows students to check their progress; some exercises are left unsolved so they may be assigned as coursework.
  • End-of-text glossary provides key terms and definitions from the text.
  • Post-reading questions encourage students to assess the techniques used in each reading and apply them to their own writing.