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Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

Print Price: $94.99

448 pp.
6 figures, 22 tables, 17 photos, 8" x 10"


Copyright Year:

Imprint: OUP Canada

The Empowered Writer

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

Kathleen Moran and Eric Henderson

The indispensable writing, reading, and research guide for students in Canada

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 fourth edition fosters student success in the classroom and beyond.

Readership : The Empowered Writer is intended for university and 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.


  • "This is the perfect textbook to help teach first-year composition because it clearly covers all aspects of writing from individual sentences, paragraphs, and whole essays, including the research essay. Each chapter is just the right length for college students, and the book is clearly organized and accessible."
    --Linda Harwood, Selkirk College

  • "The text offers plainspoken advice on how to read and write critically, and how to more effectively shape arguments. The book has the potential to take students from the conceptual to the practical, with a great deal of step-by-step advice for assessing an author's work and responding to it, as well as for identifying a topic of interest and developing focus."
    --Laura Schechter, University of Alberta

  • "The Empowered Writer provides students with essay exemplars, hands-on and scaffolded writing activities, and relevant content. This textbook could be used in a variety of writing courses aimed at students from many different programs."
    --Amy Hodgson-Bright, Lethbridge College

1. Basic Skills Development

Sample Professional Essay: "Bear Cub: Rogue Wildlife Is Par for the Course on Canada's Northernmost Green" by Eva Holland
NEW Sample Professional Essay: "4 Types of Procrastination and How to Beat Them" by Brian Dordevic
2. The Writing Situation
NEW Sample Professional Essay: "Listen to Your Gut: Rewards and Challenges of Intuitive Eating" by Lisa Petty
3. Paragraph Essentials
Sample Professional Essay: "Everything You Need to Know about Imposter Syndrome" by Sydney Loney
4. Paragraph and Essay Development
Sample Professional Essay: "Why Do We Still Put Young People in Solitary Confinement?" by Cathy Gulli
Sample Student Essay: Response to "Why Do We Still Put Young People in Solitary Confinement?" by Julianny Vahlis
NEW Sample Professional Essay: "If Corporations Have Legal Rights, Why Not Rivers?" by David Suzuki and Rachel Plotkin
5. Summarizing Other Writers' Work
Sample Professional Essay: "The $15 Minimum Wage Movement Rises Up" by Janet Nicol
Sample Professional Essay: "Almost a Million Canadian Kids in Poverty Is an Acute Emergency" by Elizabeth Lee Ford-Jones
6. The Expository Essay

NEW Sample Student Essay: "How to Improve Memory" by Leman Koca
Sample Student Essay: "Tail of Opposites: Meow, Meow, or Woof, Woof?" by Barclay Katt
NEW Sample Professional Essay: "One Giant Paw Print Stirs an Age-Old Debate: How Big Can a Wolf Be" by Michael Fraiman
7. Introductions, Thesis Statements, and Conclusions
Sample Professional Essay: "Alouette Anniversary" by Hillary Windsor
8. Claims, Evidence, and the Analytical Model
Sample Professional Essay: "Harnessing the Power of Nature to Fight Climate Change" by Brian Banks
9. The Argumentative Essay
NEW Sample Professional Essay: "Not Immune: What a Teenager Who Got Vaccinated against His Parent's Will Can Teach Us About Anti-vaxxers" by Suraj Patel
Sample Student Essay: "Discrimination against Aboriginals in Canada: Bill C-45" by Jane Freiburger
10. Conducting Research
11. Using Your Research

Sample Student Essay: "The Cost of Buying Happiness: Why Less Is More" by Sandy Crashley
Sample Student Essay: "Computer Ergonomics" by Mike Butler
12. APA and MLA Documentation Styles
Sample Student Essay: "Polar Bears: Bright Outlook or Grim Future" by Adam Cook
NEW Sample Professional Essay: "The Historical Influences on Québec's Traditional Desserts" by Melissa Donnelly
13. Sentence Essentials
14. Punctuation

15. Agreement, Pronoun, and Sentence Structure Errors
16. Achieving Clarity and Depth in Your Writing

A: Verb Tenses
B: A Checklist for EAL Writers
C: Peer Edit Forms
D: Partial Exercise Answer Key: Chapters 13-15

Instructor's Manual:
Jeremy Jackson, Medicine Hat College
For each chapter:
· Chapter overview
· Learning objectives
· Key concepts
· Suggested group work and take-home assignments
· Suggested in-class writing assignments
· Web links and resources
Test Bank:
Linda Harwood, Selkirk College
For each chapter:
· 20-25 multiple choice questions
· 18-25 fill-in-the-blank questions
· 5-8 short-answer questions with sample answers and page references
- 5-7 essay questions
Linda Harwood, Selkirk College
For each chapter:
· 17-36 slides
· Summaries of content covering all areas of the text
Student Study Guide:
Dorothea Morrison, Lethbridge College
Interactive quizzes; for each chapter:
· 15 multiple-choice questions
· Practice questions for mid-terms and final exams
Matching Activities; for each chapter:
· 10 questions that reflect key terms and concepts
· Practice questions for mid-terms and final exams
Grammar Quizzes:
· 30-50 multiple choice questions
· These questions cover all areas of grammar from punctuation to sentence structure to verb tenses.

Kathleen M. Moran is a professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Conestoga College. She has taught and created a wide range of courses including technical writing, composition, business communication, and student success. 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 Communication (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, 4e (2018), and Becoming an Active Reader, 3e (2020). 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.

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
Essay Do's and Don'ts - Lucia Engkent and Garry Engkent
Becoming an Active Reader - Eric Henderson
Making Sense - Margot Northey

Special Features

  • Written by Canadians, for students in Canada - this is an ideal introduction to academic writing for students in this country that offers relevant examples and curriculum coverage.
  • An accessible and straightforward writing style engages readers from diverse backgrounds and a variety of programs.
  • 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
  • 2021 MLA Documentation Guidelines update provides students with the most current instructions and examples for citing their sources and avoiding plagiarism.
  • 7 new sample essays on relevant topics such as vaccines, procrastination, physical and mental health, environmental issues, and education.
  • - 5 new Sample Professional Essays (of 11) have been chosen for type, currency, and relevance to student life, with the goal of helping students improve their writing and critical thinking skills.
  • - 2 new Sample Student Essays (of 7) demonstrate how students have approached different essay forms and topics.
  • New EAL notes contain information explaining unique aspects of the English language for students whose first language is not English.
  • New colour-coded citations help students quickly identify how citations are constructed.
  • Gender-inclusive language used throughout.
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.