English at Hand

English at Hand

Product details

  • Author: Christopher G. Hayes
  • SKU/ISBN: 0-944210-25-2
  • Year: 1996
  • Page count: 72
  • Reading level: 7-12
  • Weight: 0.5 lb
  • Availability: In stock
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English at Hand is a concise, easy-to-use reference tool for first-year college writers and researchers as well as for more advanced students needing quick answers to writing questions. A brief handbook of grammar and writing skills covering everything from parts of speech to MLA and APA documentation, English at Hand is suitable for composition classes at a variety of levels.

Educators, you may request a free desk copy here.

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Key Features

1) It is compact. This 72-page booklet can be easily carried in a notebook or three-ring binder, in a folder of essay drafts, or in a backpack.

2) It is accessible. The booklet lies open flat during use. Its clear organization and headings, enhanced by use of a second color, and its thorough index, including a detailed table of contents on the inside back cover, help students quickly find answers to their questions.

3) It is thorough.  English at Hand reviews the basics of traditional English grammar and the conventions of academic and professional punctuation, mechanics, spelling, and usage. In addition, it offers the following: explanations of the most common sentence errors and how to correct them; advice on constructing clear, effective sentences; valuable ESL pointers for nonnative speakers; advice for writing effective paragraphs, essays, and research papers; and MLA and APA guidelines for documentation, including on-line sources. Throughout, the explanations are always brief, clear, and fully illustrated.

4) It is versatile. The book can be used as a handbook of basic English skills for students in beginning writing courses or as a comprehensive review for more advanced students. It also functions as a reference book for anyone needing quick answers to writing questions. Since each rule in the book has its own number and letter (shown in detail in the index on the inside back cover), instructors can use it as a correction guide, writing in the margin of the student's paper the "code" for each rule the student has broken or needs to review. The student can then use the index to look up and study the appropriate piece of writing information.

5) It is inexpensive. Selling to bookstores for a low net price of only six dollars, English at Hand is a modestly priced resource that all students can afford.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1:  Parts of Speech
Words as more than one part of speech

Chapter 2:  Sentence Basics
Subjects and their modifiers
Verbs and their modifiers, complements, and objects

Chapter 3: Phrases 

Chapter 4: Clauses 

Chapter 5: Sentence Types
Based on purpose
Based on structure

Chapter 6: Verbs
Mood and voice
Irregular verbs
Subject-verb agreement

Chapter 7: Pronouns
Clear reference

Chapter 8: Adjectives and Adverbs
In comparisons
Good and wellbad and badly
Avoiding double negatives

Effective Sentences

Chapter 9: Fragments
Without a subject
Without a subject and a verb
For emphasis and dialogue

Chapter 10: Fused Sentences and Comma Splices
Fused sentences
Comma splices
Correction methods

Chapter 11: Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers
Misplaced modifiers
Dangling modifiers

Chapter 12: Parallelism 

Chapter 13: Sentence Variety and Style
Coordination and subordination
Sentence types and elements

Chapter 14: Word Choice 
Showy language
Sexist language


    Chapter 15: End Marks
    The period
    The question mark
    The exclamation point

    Chapter 16: The Comma
    Independent clauses with a coordinating conjunction
    Introductory material
    Items in a series
    Coordinate adjectives
    Parenthetical expressions and absolute phrases
    Nonessential clauses and phrases
    Direct address, yes and no, mild interjections, expressions of contrast, and tag questions
    Direct quotations
    Dates, addresses, letters, and titles
    Preventing misreading

    Chapter 17: The Semicolon 
    Independent clauses with no coordinating conjunction
    Independent clauses with a transitional word or phrase
    Items in a series when the items contain commas

    Chapter 18: The Colon
    To direct attention
    Conventional uses

    Chapter 19: The Apostrophe
    Certain plurals

    Chapter 20: Quotation Marks
    Direct quotations
    Titles of short works
    Words used in a special sense
    With other punctuation

    Chapter 21: Other Punctuation Marks 
    The hyphen
    The dash
    The ellipsis
    The slash


    Chapter 22: Manuscript Format 
    Materials and general methods
    Text layout
    Proofreading and correcting

    Chapter 23: Capital Letters
    First word in a sentence or direct quotation
    First word of an independent clause that follows a colon
    The word I
    Opening and closing of a letter
    Proper nouns and adjectives

    Chapter 24: Italics (Underlining) 
    Titles; names; foreign words; words, letters, and numbers referred to as such
    For emphasis

    Chapter 25: Numbers 
    Words versus numeral
    A number beginning a sentence
    Conventional uses of numerals
    Commas to indicate thousands

    Chapter 26: Abbreviations
    Appropriate uses in formal writing
    Inappropriate uses in formal writing

    Chapter 27: Spelling Improvement 
    The dictionary
    Electronic spelling checker
    Personal spelling list
    Commonly confused words
    Spelling rules
    Commonly misspelled words


    Chapter 28: Glossary of Usage

    ESL Pointers 

    Chapter 29: Articles with Count and Noncount Nouns
    A or an with nonspecific count nouns
    The with specific nouns
    Omitting articles
    The with proper nouns

    Chapter 30: Subjects and Verbs 
    Avoiding repeated subjects
    Pronoun subjects and linking verbs
    There and here at beginning of clauses
    Not using the progressive tense of certain verbs
    Transitive verbs for passive voice
    Gerunds and infinitives after verbs

    Chapter 31: Adjectives 
    Adjective order
    Present and past participles

    Chapter 32: Prepositions Used for Time and Place

    Effective Writing

    Chapter 33: Writing a Paragraph
    Two elements of effective writing
    Steps to effective writing

    Chapter 34: Writing an Essay 
    A sample essay
    The parts of an essay

    Chapter 35: Writing a Research Paper 
    Finding a topic to research
    Taking notes
    Drafting, revising, and proofreading


    Chapter 36: An Overview of Documentation 
    Citations within the text
    List of sources
    Styles of documentation

    Chapter 37: MLA Style 
    Citations within the text
    List of works cited
    Endnotes or footnotes

    Chapter 38: APA Style 
    Citations within the text
    List of references