Best-Selling College Textbook Celebrates 70th Anniversary

Cengage Learning Publishes 18th Edition of The Hodges Harbrace Handbook

Stamford, CT, March 6, 2012 – More than 15,000,000 students have learned the difference between “they’re” and “their” thanks to a little handbook that changed the teaching and learning of writing in a big way. Cengage Learning, a leading global provider of innovative teaching, learning and research solutions, is celebrating the 70th anniversary of The Hodges Harbrace Handbook, the most relied upon grammar and style reference book in the discipline. Created in 1941 by John C. Hodges, the handbook, now in its 18th edition, is one of the most widely used college textbooks of all time.

The Hodges Harbrace Handbook guides student writers in developing their understanding of the rhetorical situation and has truly transformed the way students learn grammar, style, punctuation and mechanics,” said Jack Calhoun, Senior Vice President, Learning & Research Solutions, Cengage Learning. “Harbrace’s ease of use and accessibility for students and professors alike has allowed the handbook to far exceed the life of an average college text.”

As a professor at The University of Tennessee in the 1930s, John C. Hodges obtained federal funding to support his study of the frequency of errors in college students’ essays. He collected 20,000 student penned papers, counted and analyzed the errors in those papers, and created the taxonomy he used to organize the original Harbrace Handbook of English. Harbrace has remained one of the most definitive college composition textbooks, embraced by English Composition instructors at both two- and four-year colleges and universities and career colleges.

Since the inception of the handbook in 1941, the text and format have evolved to meet the changing needs of twenty-first-century students and instructors. The past three editions have been co-authored by Cheryl Glenn, Liberal Arts Research Professor of English at The Pennsylvania State University, and Loretta Gray, Professor of English at Central Washington University.   

“Hodges created a clear taxonomy, with a simple numbering system for writing concepts and standardized usage,” said Cheryl Glenn, co-author of the eighteenth edition of The Hodges Harbrace Handbook. “As students’ needs have changed, both in the way they learn and receive information, so has the handbook, all while remaining true to the original template.”

In addition, Harbrace has gone digital. Now available as an eBook, the handbook offers a series of digital resources from Cengage Learning including CourseMate, Aplia, and Web Tutor.  Instructors can also utilize Enhanced InSite™ to easily create, assign, and grade writing assignments in conjunction with The Hodges Harbrace Handbook.

For more information or to request a review copy of The Hodges Harbrace Handbook please visit or

About Cengage Learning
Cengage Learning is a leading provider of innovative teaching, learning and research solutions for the academic, professional and library markets worldwide. The company’s products and services are designed to foster academic excellence and professional development, increase student engagement, improve learning outcomes and deliver authoritative information to people whenever and wherever they need it. Through the company’s unique position within both the library and academic markets, Cengage Learning provides integrated learning solutions that bridge from the library to the classroom.  Cengage Learning’s brands include Brooks/Cole, Course Technology, Delmar, Gale, Heinle, South-Western and Wadsworth, among others. For more information on Cengage Learning please visit