Writing Courses - ACT Prep

Course Title Author Publisher Comments
BE 111 Steps in Composition Troyka and Nudelman Prentice Hall, 8th Ed.

Very comprehensive text. Students enjoy using it.

I still like the approach to grammar, but I use the rest of the book less each time.

Very comprehensive – I like the approach to sentence completeness. In addition, the readings are very thought-provoking.

The students enjoy the variety of stories, vocabulary and grammar exercises; excellent writing topics

Checkpoints Page and Taggail Pearson/Longman 5th Ed. Clear, direct, easy to use and not too long
English Brush-Up Langan and Goldstein McGraw Hill, 4th Ed. Advantages: clean, clear format; covers essential writing skills in concise form; easily understandable, but on appropriate level of difficulty; not too long; comparatively affordable price
Disadvantages: may be too concise and plain for some instructors; does not contain readings or supplementary material
Evergreen: A Guide to Writing with Readings Fawcett Houghton Mifflin, 7th Ed.

Excellent for meeting the needs of our
BE 111 students

Wonderful exercises and examples; challenging vocabulary and readings; weak grammar section that needs to be supplemented; excellent teacher website, test bank and student website

Excellent – good examples and sample paragraphs

English Writing Skills Langan McGraw Hill Expensive; lots of good material; sentence writing exercises in the back. Overall, if students keep the book, it can be a valuable resource.
Sentence Skills: Form A Langan McGraw Hill, 8th Ed Has good website available, thorough text; a bit dry (and too expensive) but minimal terminology and sticks to basics; clearly and concisely explained; numerous exercises with answers in back for students
At a Glance: Sentences Brandon Houghton Mifflin Extremely concise (almost too concise) explanation of sentences with exercises à a few errors and no answers supplied to students, but extremely inexpensive and easy to bring to class.
The Least You Should Know About English Brandon Houghton Mifflin Haven’t used it in a while, but it has clear, concise explanations of grammar/sentences with numerous exercises supplied.
BE 112 College Writing Skills with Readings Langan McGraw Hill, 6th Ed.

Excellent.  Helps prepare students for ACT
Excellent for grammar; supplement with articles and stories

The section on the “Bases for Writing Essays” has become a bit wordy (and ‘stuffy’) in later editions; however, still an excellent primer for BE 112 students; does quite well in preparing them for EN 101 and EN 102 and later college and life writing

This text really helps students improve their grammar, mechanics, formatting. It is highly recommended.

Getting Your ACT Together Rochford Kendall/Hunt

Excellent.  Helps prepare students for ACT

I use this about three weeks before the ACT for specific preparation.  Excellent source for grammar.

This is the most practical way to help students learn the ACT format so that they can pass the test

Useful for preparing for the ACT test

Steps in Composition Troyka and Nudelman Prentice Hall, 8th Ed.

Love the book, but it’s become far too expense and too heavy.

Has most of the fundamentals appropriate to the level – readings and vocabulary

Sample essays are good, as is discussion of run-ons and fragments

Evergreen: A Guide to Writing with Readings Fawcett Houghton Mifflin, 7th Ed.  
The Writer’s Way Rawlins Houghton Mifflin, 6th Ed.  
Exploring Writing Langan McGraw Hill A better, more compact version of this text is College Writing Skills with Readings (7th Ed).
Steps for Writers Eggers Pearson/Longman

Excellent grammar exercises

Good explanations; exercises keyed to three levels of difficulty: usually quite good, but I wish there were more; good mix of student and professionally written sample essays; affordable

BE 201 Grassroots with Readings Fawcett Houghton Mifflin, 8th Ed.

Good for 201

Excellently organized., but difficult vocabulary; excellent exercises; CDs available

This textbook works well with the 201 students

The Prentice Hall Grammar Workbook   Prentice Hall Advantages: clear, clean format; high level vocabulary; interesting sentence content; comparatively affordable price. Disadvantages: does not cover all important topics, especially verbs.
Fundamentals of English Grammar (with answer key) Azar Pearson Education, 3rd Ed. Very good!
Great Paragraphs Folse et al Houghton Mifflin, 2nd Ed. Love the book! Easy to understand
Writing Skills: Success in 20 Minutes a Day Olson LearningExpress Good secondary, enrichment  text
Fundamentals of Academic Writing Fawcett Houghton Mifflin Very inadequate I terms of illustrations and practice exercises.  It is geared for a low level class
Basic Grammar in Use Murphy Cambridge, 2nd Ed. This is a no-frills grammar text. There isn’t a lot of complicated grammar explanation. The author provides examples and exercises. The students find the book accessible.
BE 203 Writing in Context Kirszner
Bedford/St. Martins The move from paragraph to essay is very smooth
Grassroots with Readings Fawcett Houghton Mifflin, 8th Ed.

Keep coming back to this text because of all the illustrations, readings and exercises; supplement with handouts

Very good practical exercises; good readings

Introduction to Academic Writing Oshima and Hogue Pearson Longman, 3rd Ed.  
Think about Editing Asher Thomson Heinle  
In Our Own Words Mlynarczyk and Haber Cambridge  
BE 205 Composing with Confidence Meyers Pearson Longman, 7th Ed.  
Great Essays Folse et al. Houghton Mifflin, 2nd Ed. Good for clarity of essay parts; good sample essays (easy, yet topical); effective student questions on parts of essay
Getting Your ACT Together Rochford Kendall/Hunt, 2nd Ed.

Use mostly for 1) prompts and 2) brainstorming lists for reasons based. on specific prompts

Fabulous! Fantastic!

Very helpful.

An Inductive Approach to English Grammar and Composition Rochford Kendall/Hunt

Good book!

Needs more explanations for the grammar

Evergreen: A Guide to Writing with Readings Fawcett Houghton Mifflin, 7th Ed. A good book

Houghton Mifflin, 8th Ed.


Grammar Troublespots: A Guide for Student Writers


Cambridge, 3rd Ed.

Destinations 2 Herzfeld-Pipkin Thomson Heinle  
Writing Talk: Paragraphs and Short Essays with Readings Winkler
Pearson/Prentice Hall I like the editing/common errors section of this textbook, but I’m not so happy with the content portion. I only use about a third of the book. I’m thinking of not assigning it again.

New Exit Testing Materials