An Annotated Bibliography to Warm Your Heart by Abby Travis

Posted on January 17th, 2010 by

Abby Travis Professor Know-it-All

NDL 101: Learn it All

15 January 2010

Let’s not kid ourselves. This month is frigid in so many wicked ways. Wind that can rip your flesh off its bones. Blizzards pouring down upon you like the sand from an hourglass where everything—including yourself—is suddenly lost amongst swirling desolation and pure white. Temperature extremes and loneliness as half the campus disapparates to warmer, more interesting places than here on the hill where things like papers and writing assignments never cease to haunt our bedrooms. If you too long to spice things up (Writing Center-style), keep reading folks. This month, it’s:

An Annotated Bibliography to Warm Your Heart* T

he Chicago Manual of Style: The Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers. 14th ed. Chicago: U of Chicago of Press, 1993. Print. This beautiful, red tome is pure glory to behold. Complex and dense, this manual is a labyrinth of language and is the writer’s delight. From manuscript preparation, copyediting galore to punctuation, the use of illustrations, captions, and legends, using mathematics in type, and design, typography, and papermaking—as long as you search with enough care, you will not leave this text disappointed.

Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th ed. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2009. Print. Doing a research paper, MLA format, and the Everyday Writer just isn’t enough? Here she is. The ultimate source. From basic citations to the most complicated situation you could imagine, chances are really good that this little bugger has you covered. It may seem a bit complex to navigate, but try searching for what you’re looking for in the index under several categories. It’s there.

Gordon, Karen Elizabeth. The DELUX Transitive Vampire: The Ultimate Handbook of Grammar for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed. New York: Pantheon Books, 1993. Print. Feeling witty? A bit sardonic? Cynical, perhaps? Though not for the faint of heart, this grammar handbook will tickle even the stiffest of all grammarians. Gordon’s delightful deluxe edition features sketches and illustrations of the characters and creatures that serve as the victims of her merciless grammar examples. These nymphs, leprechauns, lamias, werewolves, and skeletons will make even the most daunting gerund, posing as the object of some terrible preposition, seem like the most friendly of all Neanderthals.

Hall, Donald E. Literary and Cultural Theory: From Basic Principles to Advance Applications. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001. Print. Geared toward the author of literary and cultural studies, this golden text provides simple, brief, easy to follow descriptions of popular forms of literary and cultural analysis. From New Criticism and Formalist analysis to the Semiotics, Structuralists, Post-Structuralists, and New Historicism and Pluralistic Cultural Analysis and of course not excluding our friends Marxist, Feminist, Psychoanalytic, Gay/Lesbian/Queer, and Post-Colonial Analyses. Somewhere among these, you’ll soon be writing a manifesto of your preferred approach to analysis!

Lunsford, Andea, Paul Kei Matsuda, and Christine M. Tardy. The Everyday Writer. 4th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009. Print. This is the most basic and commonly referenced writer’s guide in the Writing Center. Dear friends, this book is a wonder. Most only use it as a “how-to” for citations of MLA, APA, Chicago, or CSE, but look a little more closely and you’ll be blown away. Worried about the transition from high school to college-level writing? Check out the first section for tips on how to become a more self-reflective writer. Don’t know where to start? Can’t remember what a thesis is? How should you organize that position paper? Check out the section on the writing process. What if you have to argue a point, but you don’t even understand what that bloody article was about? Or you just plain hated it? Our dear friend Andrea can help you with all sorts of analysis! She’ll also help you out with all those nit-picky grammar and punctuation rules. Her glorious comrades Paul Kei Matsuda and Christine M. Tardy even pitch in to help clarify American writing standards for multilingual writers. Are you writing in the sciences but can’t find what you need? Try the final section for tips on writing across the disciplines!

Strunk, William Jr. and E.B. White. The Elements of Style. 4th ed. New York: Longman, 2000. Print. This flashy little reference tool will guide you in all your pursuits of developing one of the most difficult aspects of writing: your style. There are, after all, some common rules you may not know of that, given the time, our good friend Strunk Jr. would gladly enlighten—and with a sense of humor to boot. Wondering when it actually is appropriate to use “nor,” if “in regards to” is really correct, or what an appositive is? Your answer lies within. Our dear E.B. White, beloved author of Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little offers his timeless revisions and comments as well.

*All citations MLA format



  1. Treesha says:

    What a great review on books that will make learning not only “fathomable” but also adding some fun to the mixture!

  2. Becky Fremo says:

    Abby! I just saw this for the first time! I love it! Thanks!