Skip to main content

Humanities, Social Science and Language

Digital Products

Course managementreporting, and student learning tools backed by great support.

McGraw Hill GO
Greenlight learning with the new eBook+

Personalize learning and assessment

ALEKS® Placement, Preparation, and Learning
Achieve accurate math placement

Ignite mastery of MS Office and IT skills

McGraw Hill eBook & ReadAnywhere App
Get learning that fits anytime, anywhere

Sharpen: Study App
A reliable study app for students

Virtual Labs
Flexible, realistic science simulations


Inclusive Access
Reduce costs and increase success

LMS Integration
Log in and sync up

Math Placement
Achieve accurate math placement

Content Collections powered by Create®
Curate and deliver your ideal content

Custom Courseware Solutions
Teach your course your way

Professional Services
Collaborate to optimize outcomes

Remote Proctoring
Validate online exams even offsite

Institutional Solutions
Increase engagement, lower costs, and improve access for your students


General Help & Support Info
Customer Service & Tech Support contact information

Online Technical Support Center
FAQs, articles, chat, email or phone support

Support At Every Step
Instructor tools, training and resources for ALEKS, Connect & SIMnet

Instructor Sample Requests
Get step by step instructions for requesting an evaluation, exam, or desk copy

Platform System Check
System status in real time

Exploring Writing: Paragraphs and Essays
Exploring Writing: Paragraphs and Essays

Exploring Writing: Paragraphs and Essays, 4th Edition

ISBN10: 007353479X | ISBN13: 9780073534794
By John Langan and Zoe Albright
© 2020

Format Options:

* The estimated amount of time this product will be on the market is based on a number of factors, including faculty input to instructional design and the prior revision cycle and updates to academic research-which typically results in a revision cycle ranging from every two to four years for this product. Pricing subject to change at any time.

Instructor Information

Quick Actions (Only for Validated Instructor Accounts):

Now in its 4th edition, Exploring Writing emphasizes writing skills and process.  By referring to a set of four skills for effective writing, Exploring Writing encourages new writers to see writing as a skill that can be learned and a process that must be explored.  Langan identifies the four skills, or bases, for effective writing. Unity: Present a clearly-stated point or topic sentence, and make sure that all other information in the paragraph or essay reinforces that point.  Support: Support the points with specific evidence, and plenty of it.  Coherence: Organize and connect supporting evidence so that paragraphs and essays transition smoothly from one bit of supporting information to the next.  Sentence skills: Revise and edit so that sentences are error-free for clearer and more effective communication.  The four bases are essential to effective writing, whether it be a narrative paragraph, a cover letter for a job application, or an essay assignment.  Updated with 11 new readings (including works by Carol Dweck and Ta-Nehisi Coates), new content on literary analysis, and updated student examples, Exploring Writing engages students in the writing process and facilitates their development as academic and professional writers.  This title is also available as a low-cost rental option.  


PART 1 Writing: Skills and Process 2
1. An Introduction to Writing 4
2. The Writing Process 25

PART 2 Basic Principles of Effective Writing 58
3. The First and Second Steps in Writing 60
4. The Third and Fourth Steps in Writing 90
5. Four Bases for Revising Writing 126

PART 3 Paragraph Development 162
6. Exemplification 164
7. Narration 175
8. Description 184
9. Process 195
10. Cause and/or Effect 206
11. Comparison and/or Contrast 216
12. Definition 230
13. Division-Classification 240
14. Argument 251

PART 4 Essay Development 270
15. Introduction to Essay Development 272
16. Writing the Essay 285
17. Introductions, Conclusions, and Titles 315
18. Patterns of Essay Development 329

PART 5 Research-Based Writing 368
19. Information Literacy 370
20. Working with Sources 385
21. Writing a Research Paper 417

PART 6 Handbook of Sentence Skills 434
     SECTION I Grammar 436
22. Subjects and Verbs 437
23. Sentence Sense 442
24. Fragments 445
25. Run-Ons 457
26. Regular and Irregular Verbs 468
27. Subject–Verb Agreement 476
28. More about Verbs 481
29. Pronoun Agreement and Reference 485
30. Pronoun Types 490
31. Adjectives and Adverbs 496
32. Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers 501

     SECTION II Mechanics 511
33. Capital Letters 512
34. Numbers and Abbreviations 519

     SECTION III Punctuation 524
35. Apostrophe 525
36. Quotation Marks 531
37. Comma 538
38. Other Punctuation Marks 546

     SECTION IV Word Use 552
39. Commonly Confused Words 553
40. Effective Word Choice 563

     SECTION V Tests 570
41. Editing Tests 571

PART 7 Readings for Writers 588

Index 717

About the Author

John Langan

John Langan has taught reading and writing at Atlantic Cape Community College for more than 25 years. The author of a popular series of college textbooks on both writing and reading, John enjoys the challenge of developing instructive materials that are clear and lively. Before teaching, he earned advanced degrees in writing at Rutgers University and in reading at Rowan University. He also spent a year writing fiction that “is now at the back of a drawer waiting to be discovered and acclaimed posthumously.” While in school, he supported himself by working as a truck driver, a machinist, a battery assembler, a hospital attendant, and an apple packer. In addition to his wife and Philly sports teams, his passions include reading and conveying to nonreaders the pleasure and power of books. Through Townsend Press, his educational publishing company, he has developed the nonprofit “Townsend Library”—a collection of more than 100 new and classic stories that appeal to readers of any age.

Zoe Albright

Zoé L. Albright has been involved in diverse aspects of education for 22 years. For the last 18 years, she has been a faculty member at Metropolitan Community College–Longview, teaching developmental writing, composition, and literature. She has created and implemented traditional and online curricula for high school and college English and composition courses and for a variety of literature courses. She continues to research new educational theory and practices. Zoé has most recently served as co-author of English Skills with Readings, ninth edition, and contributing author to other Langan texts. She received her M.A. from Goldsmiths, University of London; B.S. and B.A. from the University of Idaho; and A.A. from Cottey College. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Kansas. Zoé currently resides outside Kansas City, Missouri, with her husband and teenage son.

affordability icon


Reduce course material costs for your students while still providing full access to everything they need to be successful. It isn't too good to be true - it's Inclusive Access.

Need support?   We're here to help - Get real-world support and resources every step of the way.