The Handbook

A Note to the Student

This handbook serves as an instruction manual, a guide to the drills you will learn and practice in your writing course. 

In the handbook, you will find three chapters designed to train you in the three components of good writing: the sentence, the paragraph, and the major argument. As you complete drills in these three categories, you will practice articulating and defending your ideas clearly, elegantly, and logically. Each exercise aims to prepare you to write in the real world, where a thought well-expressed can do much good.

The Concise Handbook is neither exhaustive nor original; it attempts only to summarize the requirements for good writing, and it borrows from several excellent English manuals the common rules of English composition. Where a specific source exists, citations make this clear.

As you begin your writing course, make sure to read the relevant sections of the handbook carefully before attempting the exercises.