Reading and Writing About Contemporary Issues

Edition: 3rd
Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2019-01-04
Publisher(s): Pearson
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For courses in Integrated Reading & Writing and Intermediate Reading (9-12 grade level).

High-interest, thought-provoking, thematic content to spur students’ learning

Reading and Writing About Contemporary Issues gathers only the most stimulating nonfiction pieces regarding real-world problems, connects them thematically, and uses them as tools to build on students’ reading and writing through numerous examples for analysis. Students see not only how to use these skills, but why we use them. Each reading is organized into thematic units that focus on contemporary issues, and has been chosen to interest and motivate students.

The 3rd Edition uses the readings as direct teaching tools rather than examples. Readings are organized based on level of difficulty–and are drawn from a variety of sources, such as blogs and websites, books, textbooks, periodicals, popular magazines, and newspapers. This wide selection of readings and flexible organization adapts easily to a variety of integrated reading and writing courses and to a broad range of students.

Also available with MyLab Reading & Writing Skills

By combining trusted author content with digital tools and a flexible platform, MyLab™ Reading & Writing Skills personalizes the learning experience and improves results for each student. 

Note: You are purchasing a standalone product; MyLab Reading & Writing Skills does not come packaged with this content. Students, if interested in purchasing this title with MyLab Reading & Writing Skills, ask your instructor to confirm the correct package ISBN and Course ID. Instructors, contact your Pearson representative for more information.

Author Biography

Kathleen T. McWhorter is the author of more than a dozen textbooks designed to help students succeed in college. Born in a rural farm community in upstate New York, she went on to receive her EdD from SUNY Buffalo. For 34 years, she taught at Niagara County Community College in Sanborn, NY, where she is a professor emerita of humanities. Through her textbooks, Dr. McWhorter has helped an estimated 500,000 students improve their reading, writing, and critical-thinking skills.


For more information on Kathleen’s Reading and Writing Series, visit the McWhorter Way series page. She also encourages interaction and discourse in the education community on her LinkedIn page.

Table of Contents


1.   The Reading Process   

2.   The Writing Process   

3.   Vocabulary for Readers and Writers   

4.   Main Ideas and Topic Sentences   

5.   Supporting Details, Transitions, and Implied Main Ideas   

6.   Revising and Proofreading Paragraphs   

7.   Reading and Writing Organizational Patterns   

8.   Writing Essays and Documented Papers   

9.   Critical Thinking: Reading and Writing   

10.   Analyzing Issues and Arguments   


11.   Defining Ourselves: Our Multiple Identities   

12.   Our Environment: Problems and Solutions   

13.   Relationships: Our Friends, Families, and Communities   

14 .  Medical Ethics: Where Do We Draw the Line?   

15.   Personal Safety and Security   

16.   Conformity and Nonconformity: Following and Breaking the Rules   

17.   Personal Freedoms and Limitations: Lifestyle Choices 


Source 1: Technology Textbook, “Emerging Technology: Artificial Intelligence” Alan Evans, Kendall Martin, and Mary Anne Poatsy 

Source 2: Online Newspaper, “A Machine Might Just Read Your Mind and Predict if You’re Suicidal” Tanya Basu 

Source 3: Online Newspaper, “Face-reading AI Will Be Able to Detect Your Politics and IQ, Professor Says” Sam Levin 

Source 4: Online Newspaper, “Seamless Fake Video, Personalized Spam and Driverless Chaos: How AI Could Create a Playground for Terrorists and Scammers” Haydn Belfield 

Source 5: Online Newspaper, “Can Robots Make Moral Decisions?  Should They?” Joelle Renstrom 

Source 6: Online Newspaper, “Here Are Some of the Ways Experts Think AI Might Screw with Us in the Next Five Years” James Vincent 

Synthesis and Integration Questions and Activities 

Exploring the Issue Through Writing 


Skill Refresher #1: Sentence Fragments

Skill Refresher #2: Run-On Sentences

Skill Refresher #3: Subject-Verb Agreement

Skill Refresher #4: Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement

Skill Refresher #5: Pronoun Reference

Skill Refresher #6: Dangling Modifiers

Skill Refresher #7: Misplaced Modifiers

Skill Refresher #8 Parallelism

Skill Refresher #9: Comma Usage

Skill Refresher #10: Colons and Semicolons

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