Linguistics for Writers

By Colleen Donnelly

Subjects: Composition And Rhetoric Studies
Paperback : 9780791415726, 268 pages, February 1994
Hardcover : 9780791415719, 268 pages, February 1994

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Table of contents


1, Language and Linguistics

2. Processing Information

3. Alternative Grammars—Transformational Grammar

4. Alternative Grammars—Case Grammar

5. Analyzing and Improving Coherence

6. Achieving Cohesion

7. Analyzing Macrostructures

8. Pragmatics—Language in Use

9. Sociolinguistics—Language and the Community of Individuals

Answers to Applications





This book is designed so that writers, teachers, and students can begin to incorporate the insights of linguistics into their study of communication and writing. It has two main purposes. One is to demystify some of the most worthwhile and powerful linguistic theories that illuminate written discourse. Basic linguistic principles and theories are outlined. The primary purpose is to present a way in which these theories can be developed into practical techniques and methods for dealing with the writing and editing of texts. Oriented toward users—people who are seeking methods to improve their writing—the book contains numerous examples and exercises. Topics covered: the linguistic study of language; the cognitive processing of information; using non-traditional grammars; achieving cohesion and coherence; creating global coherence through macrostructures; and the pragmatic and sociolinguistic parameters of written communication.

Colleen Donnelly is Associate Professor of English at University of Colorado at Denver.


"I like the basic conception of the book—bringing linguistics to bear on composing. The summaries of linguistic knowledge are cogent; understandable for non-expert readers without being condescending. I think this book successfully does what some others have tried but failed to do well—translate linguistics in a practical way for rhetorical contexts. " — Evelyn Ashton-Jones, University of Idaho