Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Writer's Reference” as Want to Read:
A Writer's Reference
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Writer's Reference

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,171 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Integrated MLA 2003 update
Spiral-bound, 5th Edition, 466 pages
Published May 12th 2003 by Bedford Books (first published 1989)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Writer's Reference, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Edith It's a useful reference guide to the English language. It has sections covering: Composition/Style: Composing and revising, academic writing, sentence…moreIt's a useful reference guide to the English language. It has sections covering: Composition/Style: Composing and revising, academic writing, sentence style, word choice; Correctness: ESL challenges, punctuation, mechanics, researching, MLA papers, APA and CMS papers, basic grammar. An index is included. The edition I have (Sixth) is in binder form, with tabs separating the sections.

It's an excellent writing guide for students and writers. I use it often. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,171 ratings  ·  46 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of A Writer's Reference
Gabrielle
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, reference
Without Hacker, I wouldn't have made it through college!
Marcy Winograd
Sep 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is the English teacher's bible. Thank you, Diana!
Doug
Apr 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who Writes
Shelves: textbooks
This is hands down the best reference I've ever used! It covers everything a writer needs in an easy to find, tabbed system. The copy I have is a Used Rental from the campus bookstore, but I'm hoping I can afford to keep it once the semester is ended. If I can't afford it right away, I am definitely buying a new one as soon as I have the money! This text is a Must-Have!
Pam
Jun 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another text book for english composition class. I think I would like to own this one. Good information provided. One day I just might be able to write well without thinking?
Marie
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I initially bought this back in 2011 thinking I was going to need it for some college courses. Turns out I didn't.

But, as a "writer", I found it to be quite the indispensable tool and still use it as of today. I keep it on my bookshelf right by me. It's great for bloggers, writers, and students.

The "tabs" provide easy access for the sections you might need: composing/reviewing; academic writing; sentence style; word choice; word choice; grammatical sentences; ESL challenges; punctuation; mecha
...more
Taryl Elizabeth
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book and other versions has always saved my academic life. I have used it during my undergraduate and graduate courses and I love it. It is the most helpful! The explanations are easy to read and understand. I still refer to it off and on when I need clarification on some things. This book is my bible.
Lisa Rector
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book at least once a year to refresh my grammar. And I reference it more than that. It’s easy to follow and understand. I probably should get an updated edition. I think this one is left over from my college years. I highly recommend this if you are an author.
Mark Mathes
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a classic reference book. Easy to use. Quick to find the answer. Fast to solve the problem. Spiral-bound, subject tabs, color-coded. Still useful for students, authors, professionals and teachers.
Edith
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: writers, students
Comprehensive grammar and punctuation guide to the English language.
Geoffrey
Jun 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wished I had acquired this book sooner than now. This is a very handy reference book to use when writing papers and doing college work. My one peeve is that the author more often uses examples that favor a certain political or philosophical bias. I also wonder why the author placed the more advanced grammatical subjects before the basics. Still, this is will be my "go to" book while I write my academic papers.

NOTE: While this is a reference book, I read it from cover to cover first. How else w
...more
Jess
Jul 05, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
*Total times read: 2 times.
*ating: Currently 3 stars, possibly 3.5.*
Again, another book required for my first college class (English Composition 1). I think this book can be SUPER helpful, but some things I feel could be defined better, or even explained. I don’t always agree with their examples they provide, such as where commas are to be placed. I think I will just rate this 3 stars for now, and maybe in the future I will make it higher.

2016-Summer-Reading-Review

Updated November 12th, 2016.
Re
...more
Jeffrey
Jun 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These reference books are all pretty much the same. I've seen dozens (publishers always send professors text books in hopes they'll adopt them for their classes) and they're all pretty much the same. Major points of difference are completness and ease of use. This is a good one for that. Besides, Hacker is a classic.
Jeffrey
Jun 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Like I said, they're all pretty much the same. But, once again, if you don't know most of this stuff . . . do. Especailly if you're a writer. But even readers can increase their comprehension, vocabulary / diction, etc. Good standard stuff to have lying around the house. Get it.
Fredrick Danysh
Jul 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing
This is a guide of writing and the proper usage of the English language. It is a useful tool for students and anyone else who writes. As a retired teacher, I feel that that the section on proper references is mandatory.
Randy Tramp
Feb 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a great tool for writers. I found it very useful. I went through the entire book and ear marked some places for use at a later date. This is a reference book I'll use a lot. The book is in sections which make it very useful.
John Wick
Apr 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing, reference
A very excellent reference book for anyone who wants to know how to write using formal styles correctly. APA, Chicago, MLA, CMS, etc. This is my little writers bible for school.
jacky
Nov 26, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a second handbook that I was required to get a different year of college. I use this when I need a source different from Little, Brown.
James
Feb 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wordsmithing
There's a reason this is required for students coming into University.
Letitia
Mar 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: textbooks
Fabulous. Clear, concise, easiest way to do MLA I've ever found.
Kay Sterner
Jul 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
I've had this book since college, even took it with me when I studied abroad for two years, and I still find a constant use for it.
Charmless
Aug 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who reads and writes in English.
Recommended to Charmless by: A professor from college
This has been my grammar bible since college. (Well, the one I had in college, in the early to mid '90s, was a much older edition.) Hacker's product is a very user-friendly reference book.
Jim
Nov 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2non-fiction, 1paper
Not as good as Strunk & White's book, but a good reference, anyway. More up to date on some stuff that I rarely use, like business headers & such. ...more
Jessica
Dec 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teaching
Hacker writes a strong writer's reference here. This was my preferred text while teaching.
Wednesday
Not terrible as reference guides go, more helpful information on writing and organization than most. I remember the old New Style manual we used to use that was crap. This blows that book away.
Heather
Great information on writing and research standards. I gave it a '3' solely because I feel it would be better as an ebook, PDF or online resource to allow for quick & easy searching. ...more
Sara
Jul 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very comprehensive look at grammar, mechanics, usage, and style. The corresponding textbook website exercises were very helpful to drive home the material.
Cory Brewster-greenstein
Another necessary evil
Fatima
Sep 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is helpful to whoever has something to write about from academic essays to personal essays.
Jonathan
This book is an English major's best friend. On every paper that I have done I have had to consult this book at some point or another. It is a permanent fixture on my bookshelf.
Kristina
Nov 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Still my favorite writing manual. Love the latest update.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Fluid Mechanics
  • The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory
  • A Grammar Book for You and I-- OOPS, Me!: All the Grammar You Need to Succeed in Life
  • The Complete Shade Gardener
  • The Icon: Image Of The Invisible
  • MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers
  • Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades: The Complete Guide to Natural Gardening
  • The Synonym Finder
  • The Elements of Style
  • You Grow Girl
  • 50 Beautiful, Deer-Resistant Plants: A Gardener's Guide to the Best Annuals, Bulbs, Ferns, Grasses, Herbs, Perennials, and Shrubs
  • Dropping Ashes on the Buddha: The Teachings of Zen Master Seung Sahn
  • We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga
  • Edible Landscaping
  • Designing with Plants
  • Race to the Sun
  • Stitch 'N Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook: Instructions, Patterns, and Advice for a New Generation of Knitters
  • Glory Happening: Finding the Divine in Everyday Places
See similar books…

Related Articles

In these strange days of quarantine and isolation, books can be a mode of transport. We may have to stay home and stay still, but through t...
50 likes · 26 comments