Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Writing Life:, 1st Edition

  • John Van Rys
  • Randall VanderMey
  • Verne Meyer
  • Patrick Sebranek
  • ISBN-10: 0176531599
  • ISBN-13: 9780176531591
  • 0 Pages | Paperback
  • COPYRIGHT: 2015 Published
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About the Product

Based on the successful text, The College Writer, Writing Life: A Canadian Student’s Guide to Thinking, Writing, and Researching is built upon the belief that good writing is an important skill, not just for academic success, but beyond into life as well. Bringing together a rhetoric that introduces the writing process, a selection of readings, guide to doing quality research in the internet age and a handbook, these four sections offer students a comprehensive guide to writing. This edition incorporates Canadian essays, by students and professionals, critical thinking and an overall emphasis on reading as a foundation to improving one’s writing skills. Between two covers Writing Life offers students a comprehensive guide to writing for postsecondary and beyond.


  • Rhetoric section introduces students to the writing process

  • Sample essays by Canadian authors or authors with strong Canadian connections

  • A guide to help students do quality research in the Internet age

  • A handbook offers practical guidance in grammar, punctuation, usage and mechanics

  • Critical thinking embedded throughout

  • Emphasizes reading as a foundational skill that helps improve writing

  • Presents modes as tools in a writer’s toolbox

  • A variety of student writing samples, including essays, from various Canadian postsecondary institutions

  • Thematic table of contents available

  • Accessible and concise instructions at the beginning of each chapter break down the content into manageable chunks

About the Author

John Van Rys

Dr. John Van Rys has taught composition, business writing, creative writing, and literature to college students for more than 30 years. He began his teaching career at Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa, before moving to Redeemer University in Hamilton, Ontario, in 2005. He earned his M.A. and B.A. from the University of Western Ontario and his Ph.D. from Dalhousie University. Today, Dr. Van Rys pursues scholarly work in Canadian literature, while also writing fiction and poetry. For more than 20 years, he has worked on writing-across-the-curriculum theory and practice, on connections between workplace and academic writing. He has also pursued strategies for strengthening varied literacies in students, from reading and research to visual literacy. Dr. Van Rys has applied his expertise, co-authoring various writing handbooks for students, from middle school to college. He has also co-authored an award-winning business-writing handbook for workplace professionals, WRITE FOR BUSINESS, with UpWrite Press.

Randall VanderMey

Randall VanderMey is a professor in the department of English at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. He also has taught composition, literature, and technical writing at Iowa State University, Dordt College, and the University of Iowa. Dr. VanderMey earned his M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. He is a contributing editor and creative consultant for Write Source. Dr. VanderMey has received numerous fellowships, grants, and awards for his teaching and poetry. He has published two books of poems, GROWING SOUL: A SONG CYCLE, GOD TALK and CHARM SCHOOL: FIVE WOMEN OF THE ODYSSEY as well as a commissioned biography, MERIZON: THE GREAT JOURNEY.

Verne Meyer

Dr. Verne Meyer is an educator and businessperson. For nine years, he taught English in high schools in Michigan and Wisconsin. In addition, for fifteen years, he taught dramatic literature, theater history, and composition at Dordt University in Iowa. In 1977, partnering with Mr. Sebranek, Dr. Meyer co-founded Write Source Educational Publishing House, now a subsidiary of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Supplemental. Dr. Meyer earned his B.A. from Calvin College, his M.A. from Marquette University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. In addition to this text, he has co-authored a number of texts for college students, including THE COLLEGE WRITER'S HANDBOOK, COMP, THE BUSINESS WRITER, and WRITE FOR WORK. To meet the needs of students in grades 8 through 12, he has co-authored WRITERS INC, SCHOOL TO WORK, WRITE FOR COLLEGE, and a number of Write Source textbooks. Dr. Meyer's publications for businesspeople include WRITE FOR BUSINESS and EFFECTIVE EMAIL MADE EZ. Dr. Meyer is currently a contributing editor for Write Source and UpWrite Press. He is also a featured speaker in the School Improvement Network's instructional videos, Writing Across the Curriculum.

Patrick Sebranek

Patrick Sebranek (M.A. University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse) taught English, speech, and multimedia classes for 16 years at Union Grove High School in Wisconsin. During that time, he served as the English department chair and worked on several district-wide projects, including a writing-across-the-curriculum program and a K-12 writing sequence. He has studied the works of James Moffett, Ken Macrorie, Linda Reif, Nancie Atwell, and many other contemporary educators dealing with writing and learning. Mr. Sebranek is an author and editorial director for the Write Source Educational Publishing House and works closely with teachers and educators on all new and revised handbooks and sourcebooks.

Table of Contents

Part One: Rhetoric: A Student’s Guide to Writing
Chapter 1: Critical Thinking Through Reading: Viewing: and Writing
Chapter 2: Beginning the Writing Process
Chapter 3: Planning
Chapter 4: Drafting
Chapter 5: Revising
Chapter 6: Editing: Proofreading: and Submitting
Chapter 7: One Writer’s Process

Part Two: Reader: Strategies and Models
Chapter 8: Forms of Academic Writing

Personal Writing
Chapter 9: Narration: Description: and Reflection

Analytical Writing
Chapter 10: Definition
Chapter 11: Classification
Chapter 12: Process
Chapter 13: Comparison and Contrast
Chapter 14: Cause and Effect
Chapter 15: Reading Literature: A Case Study in Analysis

Persuasive Writing
Chapter 16: Strategies for Argumentation and Persuasion
Chapter 17: Taking a Position
Chapter 18: Persuading Readers to Act
Chapter 19: Proposing a Solution
Chapter 20: Presentations

Online Bonus Chapters
Writing in the Sciences
Taking Essay Tests
Writing for the Workplace
Writing for the Web

Part Three: Research Writing
The Research and Writing Process
Chapter 21: Getting Started: From Planning Research to Evaluating Sources
Chapter 22: Conducting Research: Primary: Library: Web
Chapter 23: Building Credibility: Avoiding Plagiarism
Chapter 24: Drafting a Paper with Documented Research

Documentation Styles
Chapter 25: MLA Style
Chapter 26: APA Style

Part Four: Handbook
Chapter 27: Understanding Grammar
Chapter 28: Constructing Sentences
Chapter 29: Avoiding Sentence Errors
Chapter 30: Marking Punctuation
Chapter 31: Checking Mechanics
Chapter 32: Using the Right Word
Chapter 33: Multilingual/ELL Issues


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

Nelson A la Carte Printed Access Card (12 Months) to accompany Writing Life, First Edition  (ISBN-10: 0176676708 | ISBN-13: 9780176676704)
Nelson A la Carte Instant Access Code (12 Months) to accompany Writing Life, First Edition  (ISBN-10: 0176676724 | ISBN-13: 9780176676728)

Student Supplements

Nelson A la Carte Printed Access Card (12 Months) to accompany Writing Life, First Edition  (ISBN-10: 0176676708 | ISBN-13: 9780176676704)
Nelson A la Carte Instant Access Code (12 Months) to accompany Writing Life, First Edition  (ISBN-10: 0176676724 | ISBN-13: 9780176676728)