Answer Key for Exercises in The Wadsworth Handbook, Concise, Third Edition Chapter 1 Understanding Purpose and Audience Exercise 1 (pg. 13-14)



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Answer Key for Exercises in The Wadsworth Handbook, Concise, Third Edition

Chapter 1 Understanding Purpose and Audience

Exercise 1.1 (pg. 13-14)

Answers will vary. A persuasive essay might add identification of various problems caused by bad credit, examples to demonstrate the problems encountered by students, and clear thesis.

Exercise 1.2 (pg. 16)

Answers will vary.

Chapter 2 Planning an Essay

Exercise 2.1 (pg. 20)

Answers will vary. Although students should be encouraged to think of topics for themselves, some that can be suggested include recycling and composting in the dining hall; carbon emissions and university transportation; “green” construction for new buildings on campus; lowering energy use and costs in dorms; printing university documents on recycled paper.
Exercise 2.2 (pg. 26)
Answers will vary.
Exercise 2.3 (pg. 26)
Answers will vary.
Exercise 2.4 (pg. 27)
Answers will vary.
Exercise 2.5 (pg. 27)
Answers will vary.
Exercise 2.6 (pg. 27)
Answers will vary.
Chapter 3 Using a Thesis to Shape Your Material
Exercise 3.1 (pg. 30)

1. An announcement, not a thesis.

2. A subject, not a thesis. Gives no indication of essay’s focus or directions, let alone writer’s position.

3. A subject, not a thesis. Why should it be avoided? What cost? What kind of development? What constitutes overdevelopment?

4. No position indicated. What aspects will be considered? What pattern of development might be used? What standards of judgment will be used?

5. A good start, however “but it has a number of disadvantages” is not specific enough.

6. A subject, not a thesis. What position? Do all environmentalists share a single position?

7. States a fact.

8. A good start; but needs clearer focus. Thesis is too general.

9. States a fact.

10. States a personal opinion. Question of taste. Hard to develop objectively or concretely.
Exercise 3.2 (pg. 31)
Answers will vary.
Exercise 3.3 (pg. 33)
Answers will vary.
Exercise 3.4 (pg. 33)
Answers will vary.
Chapter 4 Drafting and Revising
Exercise 4.1 (pg. 37)
Answers will vary.
Exercise 4.2 (pg. 39)
Answers will vary.

Exercise 4.3 (pg. 47)

Answers will vary.
Exercise 4.4 (pg. 49)

Answers will vary.
Exercise 4.5 (pg. 49)
Answers will vary.
Exercise 4.6 (pg. 52)
Answers will vary.
Exercise 4.7 (pg. 52)

Answers will vary.
Exercise 4.8 (pg. 59)
Answers will vary.
Exercise 4.9 (pg. 60)
Answers will vary.
Chapter 5 Writing Paragraphs
Exercise 5.1 (pg. 62)

Unifying idea: Problems in food labeling. Possible topic sentence: Food labels have recently begun to give consumers a great deal of nutritional information, but too often this information is difficult to decipher.(Make this the first sentence in the paragraph.)


Exercise 5.2 (pg. 67)
A. Answers will vary; individual perceptions of coherence will lead students to different conclusions. Certainly, they should notice the obvious links, such as parallel elements in the first sentence, the repetition of the words “pigeons” and “El,” and the repetition of the pronoun “they.”

B. Answers may vary. Here is one revision. The theory of continental drift was first put forward by Alfred Wegener in 1912. He believed that the continents fit together like a giant jigsaw puzzle. Because the opposing Atlantic coasts, especially those of South America and Africa, seem to have been attached, he also believed that at one time, probably 225 million years ago, there was one supercontinent which broke into parts that eventually drifted into their present positions. The theory, which stirred controversy during the 1920s, eventually was ridiculed by the scientific community. However, the theory of continental drift was revived in 1954 and is now accepted as a reasonable geological explanation of the continental system.
Exercise 5.3 (pg. 69)
Answers will vary.
Exercise 5.4 (pg. 74)
1. Give specific examples; exemplification. The paragraph could be developed further by exemplification—that is, by giving examples of words that came into the English language from computer terminology, from popular music, from politics, and from films or TV. If enough examples are given, the paragraph can be expanded into an essay.

2. Give details, reminders, warnings; process. This process would be easier to replicate if certain steps in the process were described more exactly. For example, the garlic, onions, mushrooms, and peppers should be chopped; the ingredients should be cooked in olive oil; and so forth. The writer should also specify the amount of each ingredient required for the recipe.

3. Give details or examples; comparison and contrast. Paragraph could be more fully developed by adding specific details to support the generalizations. For example, high school calculus is easier than college calculus. Anecdotes could demonstrate how one teacher expects more than another; easy and difficult assignments could be described; and so on. Depending on the details that are added, this paragraph might be expanded in to an essay.
Chapter 6 Thinking Critically
Exercise 6.1 (pg. 80)



  1. F

  2. O

  3. F

  4. O

  5. O

  6. O

  7. O

  8. F

  9. F

  10. O



Exercise 6.2 (pg. 81)
Answers will vary. The first example is based on hearsay, what the writer’s friend Gayle heard about “a guy her roommate knows.” The violent incidents reported in this paragraph do not prove the violence of an entire nation; the mugging in London is irrelevant. The one statistic the writer presents is not very convincing: Only two of the twenty-five people in class have been victims of violence. And the paragraph contains no expert testimony. (The writer’s English teacher is not an expert on the subject at hand.)
Exercise 6.3 (pg. 82)
Belief /opinion: Many people may agree with the writer’s opinion, but the essay is largely one of unsupported opinion springing from the factual observation that the murderers Andrea Yates and JoAnn McGuckin were home-schooling parents. The writer admits that the cases are unrepresentative and denies any wish to smear home schoolers but, in fact, suggests at the end that the “twisted” thinking of McGuckin accrued from the antigovernment bias of home schoolers, implying that home schooling leads to twisted thinking. Writer reveals little about her background and beliefs other than that she disapproves of home schooling, sees little purpose in it other than isolation from the world.

Tone/slanted language: Essay uses occasional sarcasm: “anti-public-education brigade”; “for the unstable, for narcissists and for child-abusers”; and “twisted sense of grievance.”

Expert testimony: Author quotes Michael Farris, chairman of HSLDA and cites HSLDA’s Web site, but the quote serves to give only a modicum of antigovernment attitude and the quote from the Web site is only a headline used to suggest without evidence that the article itself “trashes” the motivations of professional educators. The article may in fact do so, but no real evidence is given.

Evidence: Examples are not representative. The author uses four home schoolers at a presidential primary event for students as evidence that home schoolers are unhappy. And she goes into great detail about the McGuckins as if their behavior were common to all home schoolers. The examples are pertinent but not representative or balanced. A small amount of balance is offered in the information that home schoolers do well on standardized tests. Author makes some unsubstantiated assertions: That home schooling is “a social phenomenon isolates children from the outside world.” That most home-schooling parents “are themselves upper income and well educated.” That home-schooling parents “have loads of interaction.”
Exercise 6.4 (pg. 88)
Rewritten statements will vary. Here are the logical fallacies.

1. Bandwagon fallacy

2. Argument to the person; sweeping generalization

3. Argument to the person

4. Non sequitur

5. Begging the question

6. Argument to ignorance

7. Hasty generalization

8. Bandwagon fallacy

9. Post hoc fallacy; sweeping generalization

10. Red herring; equivocation
Chapter 7 Writing Argumentative Essays
Chapter 8 Writing Essays about Literature
Chapter 9 Reading to Write

Exercise 9.1 (pg. 117)
Answers will vary.
Chapter 10 Writing Essay Exams
Chapter 11 Writing for the Workplace
Exercise 11.1 (pg. 128)

Answers will vary.
Exercise 11.2 (pg. 132)
Answers will vary.
Chapter 12 Designing Effective Documents
Exercise 12.1 (pg. 139)
Page is dominated by black and white while making the point that “nothing is ever black or white.” White background is filled with words in light gray. Most of these words are commonly seen very much as black and white: Hamas, the name of a Middle East group often accused of “terrorism”; Capital Punishment, certainly not an ambiguous punishment but often debated as black or white; and many others. The advertisement is for an NPR news radio station, which ostensibly gives all sides to all stories without painting in black and white.
Exercise 12.2 (pg. 143)
Answers will vary. Students should note that visual presentation enables the reader to make a quick estimate of costs, to grasp quickly what the cost levels are, for instance, to see that labor is the biggest cost. Text is more efficient for giving exact numbers.
Exercise 12.3 (pg. 144)
Answers will vary.

Chapter 13 Writing in a Digital Environment
Exercise 13.1 (pg. 146)
Answers will vary.
Exercise 13.2 (pg. 151)
Answers will vary.
Chapter 14 Building Sentences
Exercise 14.1 (pg. 157)
1. Isaac Asimov first saw science fiction stories (do) in the newsstand of his parent’s

Brooklyn candy store.



2. He practiced writing (do) by telling his schoolmates (io) stories (do).

3. Asimov published his first story (do) in Astounding Science Fiction.

4. The magazine’s editor, John W. Campbell, encouraged Asimov (do) to continue writing.

5. The young writer researched scientific principles (do) to make his stories better.

6. Asimov’s “Foundation” series of novels is a “future history” (sc).

7. The World Science Fiction Convention gave the series (io) a Hugo award (do).

8. Sometimes Asimov used “Paul French” (do) as a pseudonym.

9. Biochemistry and Human Metabolism was Asimov’s first nonfiction book (sc).

10. Asimov coined the term (do) robotics.
Exercise 14.2 (pg. 159)


  1. IC

  2. DC

  3. P

  4. IC

  5. IC

  6. DC

  7. IC

  8. P

  9. IC

  10. P


Exercise 14.3 (pg. 161)
1. The average American consumes 128 pounds of sugar each year; therefore, most Americans eat much more sugar than any other food additive, including salt.

2. Many of us are determined to reduce our sugar intake; consequently, we have consciously eliminated sweets from our diets.

3. Unfortunately, sugar is found not only in sweets but also in many processed foods.

4. Processed foods like puddings and cake contain sugar, and foods like ketchup and spaghetti sauce do too.

5. We are trying to cut down on sugar, yet we find limiting sugar intake extremely difficult.

6. Processors may not only use sugar in foods for taste, but they may also use it to help prevent foods from spoiling and to improve the texture and appearance of food.

7. Sugar comes in many different forms, so it is easy to overlook it on a package label.

8. Sugar may be called sucrose or fructose, and it may also be called corn syrup, corn sugar, brown sugar, honey, or molasses.

9. No sugar is more nourishing than the others; therefore, it really doesn’t matter which is consumed.

10. Sugars contain empty calories; thus, whenever possible, they should be avoided.
Exercise 14.4 (pg. 163)
1. Many high school graduates who are out of work need new skills for new careers.

2. Although talented high school students are usually encouraged to go to college, some high school graduates are now starting to see that a college education may not guarantee them a job.

3. Because a college education can cost a student more than $100,000, vocational education is becoming increasingly important.

4. Because vocational students complete their work in less than four years, they can enter the job market more quickly.

5. Nurses’ aides, paralegals, travel agents, and computer technicians, who do not need college degrees, have little trouble finding work.

6. Some four-year colleges are experiencing growth, though public community colleges and private trade schools are growing much more rapidly.

7. The best vocational schools, which are responsive to the needs of local businesses, train students for jobs that actually exist.

8. For instance, a school in Detroit might offer advanced auto design, whereas one in New York City might focus on fashion design.

9. Other schools, which offer courses in horticulture, respiratory therapy, and computer programming, are able to place their graduates easily.

10. Laid-off workers, housewives returning to work, recent high school graduates, and even college graduates, who all hope to find rewarding careers, are reexamining vocational education.
Chapter 15 Writing Varied Sentences
Exercise 15.1 (pg. 166)

Answers will vary. Here is one revision.

The first modern miniature golf course, built in New York in 1925, was an indoor course with eighteen holes. As the game caught on, entrepreneurs Drake Delanoy and John Ledbetter built one hundred fifty more indoor and outdoor courses; Garnet Carter, who made miniature golf a worldwide fad with his elaborate miniature courses, later joined with Delanoy and Ledbetter to build more courses. They abbreviated playing distances and highlighted the game’s hazards at the expense of skill, making miniature golf much more popular. By 1930 there were 25,000 miniature golf courses in the United States, with courses growing more elaborate and hazards becoming more bizarre. The craze spread to London and Hong Kong as the expansion of miniature golf grew out of control. Then, interest in the game declined, and by 1931 most miniature golf courses were out of business. The game was revived in the early 1950s, and today there are between eight and ten thousand miniature golf courses. The architecture of miniature golf remains an enduring form of American folk art.


Exercise 15.2 (pg. 167)
Answers will vary. Here is one revision.
In surveying two thousand Colorado schoolchildren, Dr. Alice I. Baumgartner and her colleagues at the Institute for Equality in Education found some startling results. They asked, “If you woke up tomorrow morning and discovered that you were a (girl) (boy), how would your life be different?” The answers were sad and shocking. Although the researchers assumed they would find that boys and girls would see advantages in being either male or female, the survey found instead that both sexes had a fundamental contempt for females. Many elementary school boys titled their answers “The Disaster” or “Doomsday” and described the terrible life they would lead as girls. The girls, however, seemed to think they would be better off as boys and would be able to do more and have easier lives.
Exercise 15.3 (pg. 168)
Answers will vary. Here are some possibilities.
1. When he was a very young child, Momaday was taken to Devil’s Tower, the geological formation in Wyoming that is called Tsoai (Bear Tree) in Kiowa, and given the name Tsoai-talee (Bear Tree Boy). (adverb clause)

2. In the Kiowa myth of the origin of Tsoai, a boy playfully chases his seven sisters up a tree, which rises into the air as the boy is transformed into a bear. (prepositional phrase)

3. Becoming increasingly ferocious, the bear-boy claws the bark of the tree, which becomes a great rock with a flat top and deeply scored sides. (participial phrase)

4. Eventually, after climbing higher and higher to escape their brother’s wrath, the sisters become the seven stars of the Big Dipper. (adverb)

5. A constant in Momaday’s works, this story from which he received one of his names appears in The Way to Rainy Mountain, House Made of Dawn, and The Ancient Child .(appositive)
Chapter 16 Writing Emphatic Sentences
Exercise 16.1 (pg. 170)
Listening to diatribes by angry callers or ranting about today’s news, the talk radio host spreads ideas over the air waves. (climactic order) Every day at the same time, the political talk show host discusses national events and policies, the failures of the opposing view, and the foibles of the individuals who espouse those views. (beginning) Listening for hours a day, some callers become recognizable contributors to many different talk radio programs. (beginning) Other listeners are less devoted, tuning in only when they are in the car and never calling to voice their opinions. (beginning) Political radio hosts usually structure their programs around a specific agenda, espousing the party line and ridiculing the opponent’s position. (climactic order) With a style of presentation aimed at both entertainment and information, the host’s ideas become caricatures of party positions. (end) Sometimes, in order to keep the information lively and interesting, a host may either state the issues too simply or deliberately mislead the audience. (climactic order) A host can excuse these errors by insisting that the show is harmless: it’s for entertainment, not information. (beginning) Many are concerned about how the political process is affected by this misinformation. (beginning and end)
Exercise 16.2 (pg. 171)
1. Because criminals are better armed than ever before, police want to upgrade their firepower.

2. A few years ago, felons used small-caliber, six-shot revolvers—so-called Saturday night specials.

3. Now these weapons have been replaced by semiautomatic pistols capable of firing fifteen to twenty rounds, along with paramilitary weapons like the AK-47.

4. In order to gain equal footing with their adversaries, police are adopting new fast-firing shotguns and 9mm automatic pistols.

5. Automatic pistols, the weapon of choice among law enforcement officers, have numerous advantages over the traditional .38-caliber police revolver, including faster reloading and a hair trigger.
Exercise 16.3 (pg. 172)
1. A. However different in their educational opportunities, [both Jefferson and Lincoln as young men became known to their contemporaries as “hard students”]. (periodic)

B. Both Lincoln and Jefferson as young men became known to their contemporaries as “hard students,” however different their educational opportunities.

2. A. [The road came into being slowly], league by league, river crossing by river crossing. (cumulative)

B. League by league, river by river, the road came into being slowly.

3. A. Without willing it, [I had gone from being ignorant of being ignorant to being aware of being aware]. (periodic)

B. I had gone from being ignorant of being ignorant to being aware of being aware, without willing it.
Exercise 16.4 (pg. 174)
Answers will vary. Here is one revision.
Many readers distrust newspapers and magazines; they also distrust what they hear on radio and television. Of these, newspapers have been the most responsive to audience criticism. Some newspapers even have ombudsmen, who listen to reader complaints and act on these grievances. Many people complain that newspapers are inaccurate, that they disregard people’s privacy, and that reporters are arrogant and unfair. Reporters, they say, tend to glorify criminals and to place too much emphasis on bizarre and offbeat stories. Readers also complain about poor writing and editing. Polls show that there is more hostility toward the press, as well as other media, now than in years past.
Exercise 16.5 (pg. 175)
Answers will vary. Here is one revision.
Jack Dempsey, the heavyweight champion between 1919 and 1926, had an interesting but uneven career. Many considered him one of the greatest boxers of all time. Dempsey began fighting as “Kid Blackie,” but his career didn’t take off until 1919, when Jack “Doc” Kearns became his manager. Dempsey won the championship when he defeated Jess Willard in Toledo, Ohio, in 1919. Dempsey immediately became a popular sports figure; President Franklin D. Roosevelt was one of his biggest fans. Jack Dempsey made influential friends; gave boxing lessons to the actor Rudolph Valentino; made friends with Douglas Fairbanks Sr., Damon Runyon, and J. Paul Getty; and made Hollywood serials. But he lost the title to Gene Tunney and failed to regain it the following year. In subsequent years, after his boxing career declined, Dempsey opened a restaurant and attended many major sporting events. This exposure kept him in the public eye until he lost his restaurant. Jack Dempsey died in 1983.
Chapter 17 Writing Concise Sentences
Exercise 17.1 (pg. 177)
Answers will vary. Here is one revision.
The shopping mall is no longer as important to American culture. In the 1980s, shopping malls became gathering places where teenagers met, walkers came to get in a few miles, and shoppers looking for selection not value went to shop. Several factors have undermined the mall’s popularity. First, today’s shopper is interested in value and is more likely to shop in discount stores or bulk-buying warehouse stores than in the small, expensive specialty shops in large shopping malls. Add to this a resurgence of community values, and malls become less attractive than shopping at local stores as well. Many malls have empty storefronts and some have closed down. Others have expanded their roles from shopping centers into community centers to draw consumers back. They have added playgrounds for children and more amusements and restaurants for adults. They have also appealed to value shopping by giving gift certificates and discounts to shoppers who spend money in their stores. In the early 1990s, it seemed the shopping mall as a cultural icon was doomed. Now, it looks as if they may meet the new challenges and continue to survive as more than just places to shop.

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