Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

The Least You Should Know About English: Writing Skills, Form C, 11th Edition

  • Paige Wilson
  • Teresa Ferster Glazier
  • ISBN-10: 1111830924
  • ISBN-13: 9781111830922
  • 336 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2011, 2008, 2005
  • COPYRIGHT: 2014 Published
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About the Product

For over thirty years, students have mastered the basics of writing with Wilson and Glazier's THE LEAST YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ENGLISH: WRITING SKILLS. Uncomplicated, well established, and student tested, the 11th edition continues to cover the essentials of spelling, word choice, sentence structure, punctuation, paragraph and essay writing--as well as more advanced skills such as argumentation and quotation--in a brief, easy-to-follow way. Each concept includes concise explanations accompanied by plentiful exercises (with corresponding answers in the back of the book for immediate feedback) so that students quickly grasp and reinforce what they learn. Popular "Continuous Discourse" exercises include tidbits from history, literature, science, and current events that engage students in the concepts being explored. When the course ends, this self-teaching text becomes an excellent reference tool for students to use in their future courses and careers. FORMS A, B, AND C include identical "least you should know" explanations supported by different exercises, samples, and writing assignments---making each form unique. The three forms offer instructors unparalleled variety within each edition and provide students with options for additional practice beyond the classroom. Available with InfoTrac® Student Collections


  • Parts 1 through 3 teach students the essentials of word use, sentence structure, and punctuation and put these skills into practice with over 170 exercises.

  • Exercise answers provided in the back of the book give students the ability to learn as they go and immediately apply what they learn to their writing.

  • Part 4 on "Writing" includes sample paragraphs and essays by both student and professional writers. Numerous exercises within Part 4 encourage students to practice the skills and stages involved in the writing process.

  • Sections in Part 4 on "Choosing and Using Quotations," "Writing an Argument," and "Writing Summaries" help students prepare for increasingly analytical writing assignments.

  • The Test Booklet (available only to instructors and written specifically for the eleventh edition) corresponds directly to the book's content and includes both single-sentence and paragraph-length tests/exercises within each section.


"The text seems to cover every essential element of English (and lives up to its title) while doing so in a brief, engaging way."
— Jacen Alexander, Bakersfield College

About the Author

Paige Wilson

PAIGE WILSON, Associate Professor of English, is now primary author of Teresa Ferster Glazier's THE LEAST YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ENGLISH classic textbook series (currently in its 13th edition) and a new co-author of Pamela Altman's SENTENCE-COMBINING WORKBOOK (5th edition). Wilson has enthusiastically taught grammar, writing, and literature at Pasadena City College since 1986 and also works as a Writing Consultant/Grammar Expert for international and local companies.

Table of Contents

What Is the Least You Should Know? How to Learn the Least You Should Know. The Importance of a Good Dictionary. Your Own List of Misspelled Words. Words That Can Be Broken into Parts. Guidelines for Doubling a Final Letter. Words Often Confused (Set 1). Words Often Confused (Set 2). The Eight Parts of Speech. Adjectives and Adverbs. Contractions. Possessives.
Finding Subjects and Verbs. Locating Prepositional Phrases. Understanding Dependent Clauses. Correcting Fragments. Correcting Run-on Sentences. Identifying Verb Phrases. Using Standard English Verbs. Using Regular and Irregular Verbs. Maintaining Subject-Verb Agreement. Avoiding Shifts in Time. Recognizing Verbal Phrases. Correcting Misplaced or Dangling Modifiers. Following Sentence Patterns. Avoiding Clichés, Awkward Phrasing, and Wordiness. Correcting for Parallel Structure. Using Pronouns. Avoiding Shifts in Person.
Period, Question Mark, Exclamation Point, Semicolon, Colon, Dash. Comma Rules 1, 2, and 3. Comma Rules 4, 5, and 6. Quotation Marks and Underlining/Italics. Capital Letters.
What Is the Least You Should Know about Writing? Writing as Structure. First-Person and Third-Person Approaches. Basic Structures. I. The Paragraph: Defining a Paragraph. Types of Paragraphs. Sample Paragraphs in an Essay. Sample of a Single-Paragraph Assignment.
II. The Essay: The Five-Paragraph Essay and Beyond. Defining an Essay. A Sample Essay. Writing Skills. III. Writing in Your Own Voice: Narration. A Sample Essay. Description.
IV. Finding a Topic: Look to Your Interests. Focused Free Writing (or Brainstorming). Clustering. Talking with Other Students. V. Organizing Ideas: Thesis Statements. Organizing an Essay. Topic Sentences. Organizing Body Paragraphs (or Single Paragraphs). Transitional Expressions. VI. Supporting with Details: Types of Support. A Sample Final Draft. VII. Choosing and Using Quotations: Choosing Quotations. Using Quotations. Signal Phrases and Punctuation. A Sample Paragraph Using Quotations. Guidelines for Including Quotations. VIII. Writing an Argument: Taking a Stand and Proving Your Point. A Sample Argument. Three Requirements of a Strong Written Argument. Reading Longer, More Challenging Works. IX. Writing Summaries: A Sample Reading. A Sample Summary. Summary Checklist. X. Revising, Proofreading, and Presenting Your Work: A Sample Rough Draft. Revision Checklist. Exchanging Papers (Peer Evaluations), Proofreading Aloud. Presenting Your Work. Paper Formats. Titles.

New to this edition

  • The eleventh edition continues the "Least You Should Know" tradition, with improved explanations, examples, and exercises throughout the text:
  • Part 1 has been reorganized to present "Spelling" before "Word Choice" and to discuss dictionary use throughout. Part 1 also includes helpful new ways to distinguish between "Words Often Confused."
  • Part 2 on "Sentence Structure" presents a streamlined "Using Pronouns" section and a revised "Avoiding Shifts in Person" section to clarify the use of first-person, second-person, and third-person pronouns.
  • Part 3's coverage of "Punctuation" is enhanced throughout, with references to the new "Choosing and Using Quotations" section in Part 4 below.
  • Part 4 on "Writing" offers a comprehensive new section on "Choosing and Using Quotations," complete with an explanation of signal phrases and their punctuation, as well as the use of brackets and ellipses when altering or shortening quoted material. Finally, Part 4 now includes a discussion of first-person and third-person approaches to writing.


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

Instructor Supplements

Test Booklet, Form A  (ISBN-10: 049590452X | ISBN-13: 9780495904526)

Enhance course evaluation with the Test Booklet. The booklet contains 60 additional exercises, pretests, posttests, and a complete answer key.