The Simple Math of Writing Well: Writing for the 21st Century

The Simple Math of Writing Well – Writing guides abound, but The Simple Math of Writing Well is one of a kind. Readers will find its practical approach affirming, encouraging, and informative, and its focus on the basics of linguistic structure releases 21st-century writers to embrace the variety of mediums that define our internet-connected world. As Harrop reminds us in the opening chapters of her book, we write more today than ever before in history: texts, emails, letters, blogs, reports, social media posts, proposals, etc. The Simple Math of Writing Well is the first guide that directly addresses the importance of writing well in the Google age.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Myths And Rule Changes 1

Part I. The Sentence Equation

  • 1. Main Verbs
  • 2. Main Subjects
  • 3. Terminal Punctuation Marks
  • 4. Mid-Sentence Punctuation Marks
  • 5. Eight Parts Of Speech
  • 6. Consistency

Part II. The Paragraph Equation

  • 7. Topic Sentences
  • 8. Evidence
  • 9. Summary Sentences

Part III. The Essay Equation

  • 10. Thesis Statements
  • 11. Introductions
  • 12. Body Paragraphs
  • 13. Conclusions

Part IV. The Process Of Writing Well

  • 14. Purpose
  • 15. Audience
  • 16. Voice
  • 17. Context
  • 18. Claims And Appeals
  • 19. Clarity And Cohesion
  • 20. Revision And Creativity

Part V. Research

  • 21. Finding Credible Evidence
  • 22. Including Outside Evidence

Part VI. Academic Formatting

  • 23. Apa
  • 24. Mla
  • 25. Turabian

Part VII. Beyond Academia

  • 26. Emails
  • 27. Letters
  • 28. Reports And Proposals

About The Author

About the Contributors


Dr. Jennie A. Harrop is a professor in George Fox University’s Department of Professional Studies, where she teaches writing, literature, and Christian apologetics, and serves as department chair. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Denver, an MFA in creative writing from Colorado State University, and a BA in journalism from Pacific Lutheran University, and she is completing a Doctor of Ministry in Semiotics and Future Studies at Portland Seminary. In addition to her teaching and administrative duties at George Fox, Harrop serves as director of the university’s Portland Writing Center. She lives in Oregon with her husband and five children.

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