Pocket Keys for Writers,
7th Edition

Susan K. Miller-Cochran, Ann Raimes

ISBN-13: 9780357656716
Copyright 2025 | Not Yet Published (2024-08-01)
400 pages | List Price: USD $42.95

Big writing help comes in a small package with Miller-Cochran/Raimes' POCKET KEYS FOR WRITERS, 7th Edition. Based on years of experience in the college writing classroom, this book offers everything you need to improve your writing. From navigating the research process to understanding the mechanics of writing and using punctuation to finding and documenting print and electronic source materials, the text assembles concise and practical information in one clear, easy-to-use handbook that you'll find yourself turning to again and again.


1. The Writing Process in Context.
Your purpose. Your audience. Your voice. Your use of media. Revising and editing.
2. A Framework for Critical Thinking.
3. Reading and Writing Arguments.
A debatable claim (thesis). Reasons and evidence. Areas of common ground. Visuals.
Model paper 1: A student's argument essay (MLA).
4. Presentation Matters.
How to present your work. Text (color, lists, headings). Photos and images. Data (tables, graphs, charts). Oral and multimedia presentations, PowerPoint, e-portfolios. Multimodal composition.
5. How to Search for Information.
Primary and secondary sources. Starting the search. Starting points. Keyword searching. Visual sources. Google. Digital tools. Online alerts.
6. How to Evaluate Sources.
Reading critically. Evaluating sources. Recognizing a scholarly article.
7. Citing Your Sources.
Why, how, and what to cite. Avoiding plagiarism. Keeping track of sources. Bibliographic software, databases.
8. How to Use and Integrate Source Material.
Organization with ideas, not sources. Summarizing and paraphrasing. Quoting. Integrating source citations. Showing the boundaries of a source citation.
9. MLA Style.
Index of MLA Style. Basic features. Citing sources. Setting up an MLA list of works cited. Citing sources in an MLA list of works cited. Source Shots. Print books. Print articles. Periodicals in online databases and on Web. Other Web sources. Visual, performance, multimedia, miscellaneous sources.
Model paper 2: A student's research paper, MLA style.
10. APA Style.
Index of APA Style. Basic features. Citing sources. List of references. Print books and parts of books. Print articles (Source Shot 4). Online sources (Source Shot 5). Visual, multimedia, miscellaneous sources.
Model paper 3: A student's research paper, APA style.
11. Chicago Style.
Index of Chicago Style. Basic features. Citing sources. Endnotes and footnotes. Print books. Print articles. Online sources. Audiovisual, multimedia, miscellaneous sources. A student's Chicago bibliography.
Model paper 4: Samples from a student's Chicago research paper.
12. Cut.
Wordiness. Formulaic phrases. References to your intentions.
13. Check for Action ("Who's Doing What?").
"Who's doing what?" Sentences beginning with there or it. Unnecessary passive voice.
14. Connect.
Consistent subjects. Transitional words. Variety in connecting ideas.
15. Commit.
Confident stance. Consistent tone.
16. Choose Your Words Carefully.
Vivid and specific words. Slang, regionalisms, and jargon. Biased and exclusionary language.
17. Revising for Style.
18. FAQs about Sentences.
19. Fixing a Sentence Fragment.
What a sentence needs. Turning fragments into sentences. Beginning with and, but, or. Intentional fragments.
20. Fixing a Run-on or Comma Splice.
Identifying. Correcting.
21. Untangling Sentence Snarls.
Mixed constructions, faulty comparisons, convoluted syntax. Misplaced modifiers. Dangling modifiers. Shifts. Logical sequence after the subject. Parallel structures. Is when and the reason is because. Necessary and unnecessary words.
22. Using Verbs Correctly.
Verbs in Standard Academic English. Auxiliary verbs. Verbs commonly confused. Verb tenses. -ed forms (past tense, past participle). Conditional sentences, wishes, requests, demands, recommendations. Active and passive voices.
23. Making Subjects and Verbs Agree.
Basic principles. Words between subject and verb. Subject following the verb. Eight tricky subjects. Collective nouns (family, etc.). Compound subjects (and, or, nor). Indefinite pronouns (anyone, etc.). Expressing quantity (much, etc.). Relative clauses (who, which, that).
24. Using Pronouns.
Which to use (I/me, he/him, etc.). Specific antecedent. Agreeing with antecedents. Using you. Relative pronouns (who, whom, which, that).
25. Adjectives and Adverbs.
Forms. When to use. Hyphenated (compound) adjectives. Double negatives. Comparatives and superlatives.
26. Punctuation Shows Intent.
27. Commas.
28. Apostrophes.
29. Quotation Marks.
30. Other Punctuation Marks.
31. Italics and Underlining.
32. Capitals, Abbreviations, and Numbers.
33. Hyphens.
34. Standard Academic English.
Cultures and Englishes. Spoken varieties and Standard Academic English.
35. Nouns and Articles (A, An, The).
Types of nouns. Basic rules. The for specific reference. Four questions to ask about articles.
36. Infinitive, -ing, and -ed Forms.
Verb + infinitive. Verb + -ing. Preposition + -ing. Verb + infinitive or -ing. -ing or -ed adjectives.
37. Sentence Structure and Word Order.
Basic rules. Direct and indirect objects. Direct and indirect questions. Although and because clauses.
38. Glossary of Usage.
Editing Marks.

  • Susan K. Miller-Cochran

    Susan K. Miller-Cochran, now director of the Writing Program at The University of Arizona, helped shape the First-Year Writing Program at North Carolina State University while serving as director from 2007-2015. Prior to that, she was a faculty member at Mesa Community College in Arizona. Dr. Miller-Cochran serves as president of the Council of Writing Program Administrators (2015-2017). Her work focuses on the intersections of technology, second-language writing, and writing program administration. Widely published and a popular presenter, Dr. Miller-Cochran is also a co-author with Rochelle L. Rodrigo on the CENGAGE GUIDE TO RESEARCH (Cengage Learning). She received both her Master of Teaching English as a Second Language (MTESL) and her Ph.D. in English, with a concentration in Rhetoric/Composition and Linguistics, from Arizona State University.

  • Ann Raimes

    Ann Raimes, a respected authority on writing, research, grammar, and ESL, created the KEYS FOR WRITERS family of handbooks (Cengage Learning) to be the most accessible, user-friendly handbooks available.

  • Instructors can rely on easy-to-follow discussions of how artificial intelligence impacts considerations of academic integrity and plagiarism. In addition, the text provides examples of how to use artificial intelligence in an ethical way to generate and build upon ideas for writing.

  • Enhanced discussions are provided, evaluating credibility and accuracy of information found online, including consideration of the way the information is updated and who has access to updating that information.

  • The book includes updated discussions of academic integrity, plagiarism and citation of new types of sources, including enhanced discussions of the cultural differences in academic integrity guidelines, especially appropriate for international students and multilingual writers.

  • The text is updated to cover the latest MLA 9E and APA 7E documentation guidelines and examples.

  • The text features an intuitive, color-coded organization with quick-reference Key Points boxes, abundant examples and models, friendly writing style and uncluttered design, making information easy for students to find.

  • Popular Source Shots for Citation appear in Part 4 and show students where they are likely to find elements needed to cite common research sources in MLA, APA, CSE and Chicago styles. Clearly labeled citation models illustrate at a glance what types of information students need to include and how to format, arrange and punctuate the information when documenting sources.

  • Thorough, streamlined and clear coverage of grammar in Part 6, Common Sentence Problems, gives students one central place to turn to with grammar questions. While other handbooks often confuse students by dividing grammar coverage over several parts, the reader-friendly text summarizes answers to students' frequently asked grammar questions in Part 6.

  • The entire Part 5, Five C’s for Clear Style, is devoted to the important area of style, covering sentence- and word-related style issues with a straightforward and easy-to-remember approach that teaches students to Cut, Check for Action, Connect, Commit and Choose Words Carefully.

  • The text provides superior coverage for multilingual writers with its distinctive "difference, not deficit" emphasis as well as Part 8, Writing across Languages and Cultures.

  • Delete.

Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.