Writing Well

Cast a Critical Eye

Four guys went on a cross-country road trip. They were from Idaho, Iowa, New York, and Florida. Two hours into the trip, the man from Idaho rolled down his window and started tossing potatoes out of the car. The guy from Florida said, “What are you doing?”

“We have too many potatoes in Idaho,” he replied, “and this is a great way to get rid of some.”

An hour later, the Iowan rolled down his window, opened his duffle bag, and began tossing out ears of corn. The New Yorker said, “Now what are you doing?” The Iowan replied, “Well, we have far too much corn in Iowa, so I figured this would be a great chance to get rid of some of it.”

About two hours later, the Floridian rolled down his window and tossed out the man from New York.

We make evaluations on a daily basis; some are valid, while others may be a bit hasty. Nonetheless, in life and in writing, sometimes you have to be ruthless in your judgments. In this section, you'll learn to evaluate and track the material you use in your research paper to make sure you select only reliable sources.

book cover

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Well © 2000 by Laurie Rozakis, Ph.D.. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book direct from the publisher, visit the Penguin USA website or call 1-800-253-6476. You can also purchase this book at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

3 Fun Thanksgiving Games for Kids
Looking for some great Thanksgiving games to play with your kids? Print our free Pin the Feathers on the Turkey game, Pin the Hat on the Pilgrim game, and Thanksgiving Parade Bingo game for loads of laughs this Turkey Day!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top Family Movies in Theaters for the Holidays
Taking the kids to the movies is a special family treat for the holidays! Don't miss 2014's best family films in theaters from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!