A TEXT AND ANTHOLOGY Laurie G. Kirszner Stephen R. Mandell Prepared by Courtney Novosat Jeffrey Ousborne Cara Snider Bedford/St. Martin’s Boston o New York Copyright © 2011 by Bedford/St. Martin’s All rights reserved. Instructors who have adopted Practical Argument as a textbook for a course are authorized to duplicate portions of this manual for their students. Manufactured in the United States of America. 5 4 3 2 1 0 f e d c b a For information, write: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 75 Arlington Street, Boston, MA 02116 (617-399-4000) ISBN-10: 0-312-61310-5 ISBN-13: 978-0-312-61310-5 Preface
As the title suggests, Practical Argument strives to make the methodologies and nuances of argumentation practical by helping students to realize that arguments are, indeed, everywhere.
Accordingly, the introductory chapter focuses on reframing students’ understanding of arguments as fights or quarrels; in addition, by focusing on common examples that students encounter in everyday life, the introductory chapter allays the trepidation many feel when confronted with formal argument.
More than most texts, Practical Argument focuses on demystifying argumentation by offering common and practical explanations and examples in each chapter.
And, recognizing the demands of teaching, here in this manual, we distill the key ideas of each section and essay, suggest additional teaching ideas or resources, help to negotiate some of the common problems students encounter with the material, and provide responses for each exercise. In short, we’ve striven to make Practical Argument not only practical for students but practical for instructors. The manual for Practical Argument mirrors the pattern of the text. For example, as the text’s introduction is divided into seven sections, so is the manual’s coverage of it.
As we have done for the introduction, for each chapter of the text the instructor’s manual offers a comprehensive guide to ensure that you will find assistance and support for each page of the text. iii Contents Preface iii Model Syllabi xiv Full-Semester Syllabus xiv Quarter-System Syllabus xviii PART 1 UNDERSTANDING ARGUMENT 1 INTRODUCTION UNDERSTANDING ARGUMENT 3 Encountering Arguments 3 Defining Argument 3 Logos, Pathos, and Ethos 4 CHAPTER 1 THE STRUCTURE OF ARGUMENT 5 The Pillars of Argument 5 Nia Tuckson, Why Foreign Language Study Should Be Required [STUDENT ESSAY] 6 Exercise 1. 6 Arnold Schwarzenneger, An Immigrant Writes 6 READING AND WRITING ABOUT THE ISSUE Do the Benefits of Bottled Water Outweigh the Costs? 7 New York Times, In Praise of Tap Water 8 Zak Moore, Defying the Nalgene 9 Tom Standage, Bad to the Last Drop 10 PolandSpring. com, Poland Spring Water [ADVERTISEMENT] 12 PureWater2GO. com, Pure Water 2GO [ADVERTISEMENT] 12 Exercise 1. 2 12 Exercise 1. 4 13 Exercise 1. 3 12 Exercise 1. 5 13 PART 2 READING AND RESPONDING TO ARGUMENTS 15 CHAPTER 2 THINKING AND READING CRITICALLY 17 Reading Critically; Becoming an Active Reader 17 Exercise 2. 18 Gerard Jones, Violent Media Is Good for Kids 18 Highlighting 19 Exercise 2. 2 19 Exercise 2. 3 19 Annotating 19 Exercise 2. 4 19 Exercise 2. 5 20 Exercise 2. 6 20 Newspaper Opinion Pieces 20 Exercise 2. 7 20 Writing a Critical Response 21 Katherine Choi, Response to “When Life Imitates Video” [STUDENT RESPONSE] 22 Exercise 2. 8 22 Exercise 2. 9 23 v vi Contents CHAPTER 3 DECODING VISUAL ARGUMENTS 24 Thinking Critically about Visual Arguments 24 Using Active Reading Strategies with Visual Arguments 24 United States Department of Justice, Crime Victims per 1,000 Citizens [CHART] 25 Exercise 3. 25 Highlighting and Annotating Visuals 26 Exercise 3. 2 27 Exercise
3. 3 27 Exercise 3. 4 27 Responding Critically to Visual Arguments 27 Exercise 3. 5 28 Exercise 3. 6 28 CHAPTER 4 WRITING A RHETORICAL ANALYSIS 29 What Is a Rhetorical Analysis? 29 Considering the Rhetorical Situation 29 Considering the Means of Persuasion: Logos, Pathos, Ethos 30 Considering the Writer’s Rhetorical Strategies 30 Assessing the Argument 30 Sample Rhetorical Analysis 31 Dana Thomas, Terror’s Purse Strings 31 Deniz Bilgutay, A Powerful Call to Action [STUDENT ESSAY] 31 Exercise 4. 31 Exercise 4. 2 32 CHAPTER 5 UNDERSTANDING LOGIC AND RECOGNIZING FALLACIES 33 What Is Deductive Reasoning? 33 Constructing Sound Syllogisms 34 Recognizing Enthymemes 34 Bumper-Sticker Thinking 34 Exercise 5. 1 34 Exercise 5. 3 35 Exercise 5. 2 35 Exercise 5. 4 36 Writing Deductive Arguments 37 Crystal Sanchez, Higher Education for All [STUDENT ESSAY] 37 What Is Inductive Reasoning? 38 Making Inferences 38 Constructing Strong Inductive Arguments 38 Exercise 5. 5 39 Exercise 5. 6 39 Exercise 5. 40 Pooja Vaidya, Football Fanatics [STUDENT PARAGRAPH] 40 Writing Inductive Arguments 41 William Saletan, Please Do Not Feed the Humans 41 Recognizing Logical Fallacies 42 Exercise 5. 8 42 Exercise 5. 9 43 Patrick Buchanan, Immigration Time-Out 43 Exercise 5. 10 44 READING AND WRITING ABOUT THE ISSUE Do Merit-Based Scholarships Make Sense?
45 Peter Schmidt, At the Elite Colleges — Dim White Kids 45 Zoe Mendelson, Paying for College 46 Brent Staples, A Broader Definition of Merit: The Trouble with College Entry Exams 47 Associated Press, Hamilton College to End Merit Scholarships in Favor of Need-Based Aid 48 Contents ii Lewis & Clark College, Merit-Based Scholarships for Incoming Students 49 Exercise 5. 11 49 Exercise 5. 13 50 Exercise 5. 15 51 Exercise 5. 12 50 Exercise 5. 14 50 Exercise 5. 16 51 CHAPTER 6 ROGERIAN ARGUMENT, TOULMIN LOGIC, AND ORAL ARGUMENTS 52 Understanding Rogerian Argument 52 Structuring Rogerian Arguments 53 Exercise 6. 1 53 Writing Rogerian Arguments 53 Christopher Chu, Do the Olympic Games Need Permanent Host Sites? [STUDENT ESSAY] 53 Understanding Toulmin Logic 54 Correcting Toulmin Arguments 54 Exercise 6. 2 55 Writing Toulmin Arguments 55 Franco Ghilardi, Our Right to Burn or Burning Our Rights? STUDENT ESSAY] 55 Understanding Oral Arguments 56 Planning an Oral Argument 57 Exercise 6. 3 57 Delivering Oral Arguments 57 Writing an Oral Argument 58 Chantee Steele, An Argument in Support of the “Gap Year” [STUDENT ESSAY] 58 READING AND WRITING ABOUT THE ISSUE Is Distance Learning as Good as Classroom Learning?
59 Sandra C. Ceraulo, Online Education Rivals “Chalk and Talk” Variety 59 Suzanne Kelly, The Sensuous Classroom: Focusing on the Embodiment of Learning 60 Marilyn Karras, Calling a University “Virtual” Creates an Oxymoron 61 eLearners. om, Frequently Asked Questions about eLearning [WEB PAGE] 62 Naugatuck Valley Community College, Distance Learning 64 Two Views of Distance Learning 65 PART 3 WRITING AN ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY 67 CHAPTER 7 PLANNING, DRAFTING, AND REVISING AN ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY 69 Choosing a Topic 69 Exercise 7. 1 69 Thinking about Your Topic 70 Exercise 7. 2 70 Exercise 7. 3 70 Taking a Stand 70 Exercise 7. 4 70 Understanding Your Audience 71 Exercise 7. 5 71 Gathering Evidence 71 Kinds of Evidence 71 Exercise 7. 6 71 Criteria for Evaluating Evidence in Your Sources 71 Detecting Bias in Your Sources 72 Exercise 7. 72 Exercise 7. 8 72 viii Contents Refuting Opposing Arguments 72 Exercise 7. 9 72 Daniel Halperin, Putting a Plague in Perspective 72 Revising Your Thesis Statement 74 Exercise 7. 10 74 Understanding Essay Structure 74 Using Induction and Deduction 74 Constructing a Formal Outline 74 Exercise 7. 11 75 Preparing to Write 75 Establishing Your Credibility; Maintaining Your Credibility; Being Fair 75 Writing Your Draft 75 Exercise 7. 12 75 Revising Your Argumentative Essay 76 Getting Feedback 76 Exercise 7. 13 76 Adding Visuals; Editing and
Proofreading; Choosing a Title 76 Shawn Holton, Going “Green” [STUDENT ESSAY] 76 Exercise 7. 14 77 PART 4 USING SOURCES TO SUPPORT YOUR ARGUMENT 79 CHAPTER 8 EVALUATING SOURCES 81 Evaluating Print Sources 81 Exercise 8. 1 82 Exercise 8. 2 82 Evaluating Web Sites 83 Exercise 8. 3 83 Exercise 8. 4 84 Exercise 8. 5 85 CHAPTER 9 SUMMARIZING, PARAPHRASING, QUOTING, AND SYNTHESIZING SOURCES 86 Summarizing Sources 86 Exercise 9. 1 87 Paraphrasing Sources 87 Exercise 9. 2 87 Exercise 9. 3 88 Quoting Sources 88 Exercise 9. 4 88 Exercise 9. 89 Alison George, Things You Wouldn’t Tell Your Mother 89 Working Source Material into Your Argument 89 Exercise 9. 6 89 Synthesizing Sources 90 CHAPTER 10 DOCUMENTING SOURCES: MLA 91 Using Parenthetical References 92 Preparing the Works-Cited List 92 Periodicals 92 Books 92 Internet Sources 93 Legal Case: Government Document 93 Erin Blaine, Should Data Posted on Social-Networking Sites Be “Fair Game” for Employers? [SAMPLE MLA PAPER] 93 CHAPTER 11 AVOIDING PLAGIARISM 94 Understanding Plagiarism 94 Contents ix Exercise 11. 1 95 Exercise 11. 95 Austin American-Statesman, Cheaters Never Win 96 Revising to Eliminate Plagiarism 96 Exercise 11. 3 96 READING AND WRITING ABOUT THE ISSUE Where Do We Draw the Line with Plagiarism? 97 Jack Shafer, Sidebar: Comparing the Copy 97 Lawrence M. Hinman, How to Fight College Cheating 98 Deborah R. Gerhardt, The Rules of Attribution 100 Richard A. Posner, The Truth about Plagiarism 101 Doris Kearns Goodwin, How I Caused That Story 102 Carolyn Foster Segal, Copy This 103 Exercise 11. 4 104 Exercise 11. 6 105 Exercise 11. 5 105 Exercise 11. 105 WRITING ASSIGNMENTS: Avoiding Plagiarism 105 PART 5 PATTERNS AND PURPOSES 107 CHAPTER 12 ARGUMENT BY DEFINITION 109 What Is Argument by Definition? 109 Developing Definitions 110 Structuring an Argument by Definition 110 Adam Kennedy, Why I Am a Nontraditional Student [STUDENT ESSAY] 110 GRAMMAR IN CONTEXT: Avoiding Is Where and Is When 110 Exercise 12. 1 110 Gayle Rosenwald Smith, The Wife-Beater 111 Exercise 12. 2 111 Exercise 12. 4 113 Exercise 12. 3 112 Exercise 12. 5 114 READING AND WRITING ABOUT THE ISSUE Is Wikipedia a Legitimate Research Source? 114 John Seigenthaler, A False Biography 114
Randall Stross, Anonymous Source Is Not the Same as Open Source 115 Encyclopedia of Earth, About the EoE 116 Neil Waters, Wikiphobia: The Latest in Open Source 117 Stanford Daily, Wikipedia with Caution 117 Wikipedia, Revision History of “Global Warming” 118 Wikipedia , Global Warming (Differences between Two Revisions) 118 Exercise 12. 6 119 Exercise 12. 8 119 Exercise 12. 7 119 Exercise 12. 9 119 WRITING ASSIGNMENTS: Argument by Definition 120 CHAPTER 13 CAUSAL ARGUMENT 121 What Is Causal Argument? 121 Exercise 13. 1 121 Understanding Cause-and-Effect Relationships 122 Main and Contributory Causes 122 Exercise 13. 123 Immediate and Remote Causes 123 Exercise 13. 3 123 Causal Chains 123 Exercise 13. 4 123 x Contents Post Hoc Reasoning 124 Exercise 13. 5 124 Nora Ephron, The Chicken Soup Chronicles 124 Structuring a Causal Argument 125 Kristina Mialki, Texting: A Boon, Not a Threat, to Language 125 GRAMMAR IN CONTEXT: Avoiding “The Reason Is Because” 126 Exercise 13. 6 126 Marjorie O. Rendell, U. S. Needs an Educated Citizenry 126 READING AND WRITING ABOUT THE ISSUE Will Lowering the Drinking Age Solve the Problem of Binge Drinking among College Students? 27 Amethyst Initiative, Statement 128 Radley Balko, Amethyst Initiative’s Debate on Drinking a Welcome Alternative to Fanaticism 129 Joanne Glasser, Alcohol and Those under Twenty-One Don’t Mix 130 Andrew Herman, Raise the Drinking Age to Twenty-Five 131 Bradley R. Gitz, Save Us from Youth 132 Robert Voas, There’s No Benefit to Lowering the Drinking Age 133 Exercise 13. 7 134 Exercise 13. 9 135 Exercise 13. 8 135 Exercise 13. 10 135 WRITING ASSIGNMENTS: Causal Argument 135 CHAPTER 14 EVALUATION ARGUMENTS 137 What Is an Evaluation Argument? 137 Exercise 14. 1 137 Exercise 14. 138 Making Evaluations 138 Criteria for Evaluation 138 Exercise 14. 3 138 Exercise 14. 4 139 Structuring an Evaluation Argument 139 Loren Martinez, Not Just a “Girl” [STUDENT ESSAY] 139 GRAMMAR IN CONTEXT: Comparatives and Superlatives 139 Exercise 14. 5 139 Kalamazoo Gazette, Do We Have the World’s Best Medical Care? 139 READING AND WRITING ABOUT THE ISSUE Do the Harry Potter Books Deserve Their Popularity? 140 Michiko Kakutani, An Epic Showdown as Harry Potter Is Initiated into Adulthood 140 Carlie Webber, We’re All Still Wild about Harry 142 A. S. Byatt, Harry Potter and the Childish Adult 142 Charles Taylor, A. S.
Byatt and the Goblet of Bile 143 Christine Schoefer, Harry Potter’s Girl Trouble 144 Exercise 14. 6 145 Exercise 14. 8 145 Exercise 14. 7 145 Exercise 14. 9 145 WRITING ASSIGNMENTS: Evaluation Arguments 146 CHAPTER 15 PROPOSAL ARGUMENTS 147 Stating the Problem 147 Proposing a Solution 148 Establishing Feasibility 148 Discussing Benefits 148 Addressing Possible Objections 148 Contents xi Exercise 15. 1 148 Exercise 15. 3 150 Exercise 15. 5 151 Exercise 15. 2 149 Exercise 15. 4 150 Structuring a Proposal Argument 151 Melissa Burrell, Colleges Need Honor Codes [STUDENT ESSAY] 151 GRAMMAR IN CONTEXT: Will versus Would 151 Exercise 15. 6 151 T.
Boone Pickens, My Plan to Escape the Grip of Foreign Oil 152 READING AND WRITING ABOUT THE ISSUE Should All College Instructors Be Required to Make Their Lectures Available as Podcasts? 153 Murray Jensen, Lecture Is Dead: Take 3 153 Robert Schneider, The Attack of the Pod People 154 Jeff Curto, Globalizing Education One Podcast at a Time 155 Pitt News, iPod Addiction Goes Academic 157 Fabienne Serriere, Teaching via iPod 158 Apple. com, iTunes U [ADVERTISEMENT] 159 Exercise 15. 7 159 Exercise 15. 9 160 Exercise 15. 8 160 Exercise 15. 10 160 WRITING ASSIGNMENTS: Proposal Arguments 160 CHAPTER 16 ARGUMENT BY ANALOGY 161 What Is Analogy? 61 What Is Argument by Analogy? 162 Avoiding Weak Analogies 162 Exercise 16. 1 162 Favorable and Unfavorable Analogies 162 Exercise 16. 2 163 Structuring an Argument by Analogy 163 Anthony Luu, Does Separate Housing for Minority Students Make Sense? 164 GRAMMAR IN CONTEXT: Using Like and As 164 Exercise 16. 3 164 Nat Hentoff, Civil Rights and Anti-Abortion Protests 164 READING AND WRITING ABOUT THE ISSUE Should Credit Card Companies Be Permitted to Target College Students? 165 Erica L. Williams and Tim Westrich, The Young and the Indebted 166 Contra Costa Times, Non-Issue Needs No Law 167 FindCollegeCards. om, Start Your Credit Today! 168 Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Majoring in Credit-Card Debt 169 Exercise 16. 4 170 Exercise 16. 6 171 Exercise 16. 8 171 Exercise 16. 5 170 Exercise 16. 7 171 WRITING ASSIGNMENTS: Argument by Analogy 171 CHAPTER 17 ETHICAL ARGUMENTS 173 What Is an Ethical Argument? 173 Stating an Ethical Principle 174 Ethics versus Law 174 Understanding Ethical Dilemmas 174 Exercise 17. 1 175 Exercise 17. 3 175 Exercise 17. 5 176 Exercise 17. 2 175 Exercise 17. 4 176 Structuring an Ethical Argument 176 Chris Munoz, The Promise to Educate 176 xii Contents
GRAMMAR IN CONTEXT: Subordination and Coordination 176 Exercise 17. 177 National Anti-Vivisection Society, Animals in Scientific Research 177 READING AND WRITING ABOUT THE ISSUE How Far Should Colleges Go to Keep Campuses Safe? 177 M. Perry Chapman, Openness vs. Security on Campus 178 Brett A. Sokolow, How Not to Respond to Virginia Tech — II 178 Jesus M. Villahermosa Jr. , Guns Don’t Belong in the Hands of Administrators, Professors, or Students 179 Timothy Wheeler, There’s a Reason They Choose Schools 180 Isothermal Community College, Warning Signs: How You Can Help Prevent Campus Violence 181 Amy Dion, Gone but Not Forgotten 182 Exercise 17. 182 Exercise 17. 9 183 Exercise 17. 8 183 Exercise 17. 10 183 WRITING ASSIGNMENTS: Ethical Arguments 183 PART 6 DEBATES, CASEBOOKS, AND CLASSIC ARGUMENTS 185 CHAPTER 18 DEBATE: SHOULD WE EAT MEAT? 187 Jonathan Safran Foer, Let Them Eat Dog 187 Laura Fraser, Why I Stopped Being a Vegetarian 188 CHAPTER 19 DEBATE: DO WE STILL NEED NEWSPAPERS? 191 Chris Hedges, Requiem for Real News 191 Gary S. Becker, Yes, Newspapers Are Doomed 192 CHAPTER 20 DEBATE: WHAT SHOULD BE DONE ABOUT OUR NATION’S HOMELESS? 94 John Derbyshire, Throw the Bums Out: But Do So with Compassion — Coolidge-Style Compassion 194 America, The Meanest Cities 195 CHAPTER 21 DEBATE: SHOULD THE U. S. GOVERNMENT DROP ITS SANCTIONS AGAINST CUBA? 197 Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Opposition to Rep. Rangel’s Amendment to Lift Embargo on Cuban Regime 197 Jacob Weisberg, Thanks for the Sanctions 198 CHAPTER 22 DEBATE: SHOULD UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS BE ENTITLED TO DRIVER’S LICENSES? 201 National Immigration Law Center, Fact Sheet: Why Denying Driver’s Licenses to Undocumented Immigrants Harms Public Safety and Makes Our Communities Less Secure 201 Michael W.
Cutler, States Should Not Issue Driver’s Licenses to Illegal Immigrants 202 CHAPTER 23 DEBATE: SHOULD THE UNITED STATES PERMIT DRILLING FOR OIL IN ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE AREAS? 205 Pete Du Pont, Drill, Baby, Drill 205 Lamar Alexander, To Drill or . . . 206 Ed Markey, . . . Not to Drill 207 National Resources Defense Council, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Why Trash an American Treasure for a Tiny Percentage of Our Oil Needs? 208 CHAPTER 24 CASEBOOK: SHOULD FELONS PERMANENTLY FORFEIT THEIR RIGHT TO VOTE? 210 Contents xiii Bill McCollum, Felons Don’t Merit Automatic Rights 210 Edward Feser, Should Felons Vote? 11 Rebecca Perl, The Last Disenfranchised Class 212 New York Times, Felons and the Right to Vote 213 CHAPTER 25 CASEBOOK: SHOULD OPENLY GAY MEN AND WOMEN BE PERMITTED TO SERVE IN THE MILITARY? 216 John M. Shalikashvili, Second Thoughts on Gays in the Military 216 Vance Coleman, Statement to the Subcommittee on Military Personnel, House Armed Services Committee, U. S. House of Representatives 217 Stephen Benjamin, Don’t Ask, Don’t Translate 218 Daniel L. Davis, Homosexuals in the Military: Combat Readiness or Social Engineering? 219 Brian Jones, Statement to the Subcommittee on Military Personnel, House Armed Services Committee, U.
S. House of Representatives 220 David Benkof, Allow Gays to Serve in Non-Combat Roles 221 CHAPTER 26 CASEBOOK: SHOULD EVERY AMERICAN GO TO COLLEGE? 224 Robert T. Perry, On “Real Education” 224 Margaret A. Miller, The Privileges of the Parents 225 Charles Murray, What’s Wrong with Vocational School? 226 Pharinet, Is College for Everyone? 228 CHAPTER 27 CASEBOOK: DO WE STILL NEED UNIONS? 230 Paula Green and Malcolm Dodds, Union Label 230 Wendy Zellner, How Wal-Mart Keeps Unions at Bay: Organizing the Nation’s No. 1 Employer Would Give Labor a Lift 230 John L.
Lewis, Labor and the Nation 231 Fielding Poe, Watch Out for Stereotypes of Labor Unions 233 James Sherk, Do Americans Today Still Need Labor Unions? 234 CHAPTER 28 CLASSIC ARGUMENTS 237 Plato, The Allegory of the Cave 237 Niccolo Machiavelli, From The Prince 238 Andrew Marvell, To His Coy Mistress 240 Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal 241 Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence 243 Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions 244 Margaret Sanger, The Cause of War 246 Rachel Carson, The Obligation to Endure 247 Martin Luther King Jr. Letter from Birmingham Jail 248 Model Syllabi Here are two model syllabi. The first is for a standard semester course and the second for a school on the quarter system, planned for a fourteen-week term and ten-week term, respectively. They reflect a scaffolded approach to teaching the forms of argumentation presented in Practical Argument. Both syllabi follow a progressive pattern of teaching less-sophisticated to more-sophisticated concepts in argument. The page numbers on the syllabi refer to the student edition of Practical Argument.
Suggestions for additional topics for writing assignments supplement those in the book. FULL-SEMESTER SYLLABUS fourteen-week term, three meetings per week WEEK 1: INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION: Understanding Argument 3 Chapter 1: The Structure of Argument 11 At Issue 11 The Pillars of Argument 12 Chapter 2: Thinking and Reading Critically 33 Reading Critically 34 Becoming an Active Reader 34 Chapter 1 Readings: PolandSpring. com, Poland Spring Water [ADVERTISEMENT] 27 PureWater2GO. com, Pure Water 2GO [ADVERTISEMENT] 28 Zak Moore, Defying the Nalgene 22 Tom Standage?
Bad to the Last Drop 24 Writing Assignment: Construct a template for your own argument about bottled water. WEEK 2: VISUAL ARGUMENTS Chapter 3: Decoding Visual Arguments 53 Thinking Critically about Visual Arguments 53 Using Active Reading Strategies with Visual Arguments 54 Chapter 1 Readings: Look again at water visuals. PolandSpring. com, Poland Spring Water [ADVERTISEMENT] 27 PureWater2GO. com, Pure Water 2GO [ADVERTISEMENT] 28 Chapter 3 Readings (visuals): Distribution of Language, Sex, and Violence Codes in PG-Rated Movies [CHART] 57 Homicides per 100,000 Population [GRAPH] 58 EveryLifeCounts. nfo, “I Saw 7,000 People Killed” [PHOTOGRAPH] 58 Act Against Violence, Media Violence & Children [WEB SITE] 59 xiv Model Syllabi xv Grand Theft Auto IV [DESKTOP WALLPAPER] 60 Media Violence [PHOTOGRAPH] 61 CHECKLIST: Questions for Responding to Visual Arguments 63 Jason Savona, Response to Grand Theft Auto IV [STUDENT RESPONSE] 64 Writing Assignment: Analyze and decode the argument of a visual text. WEEK 3: WRITING A RHETORICAL ANALYSIS Chapter 4: What Is a Rhetorical Analysis? 68 Overview: “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” by Martin Luther King Jr. 8 Considering the Rhetorical Situation 70 Considering the Means of Persuasion: Logos, Pathos, Ethos 75 Considering the Writer’s Rhetorical Strategies 76 Assessing the Argument 79 Sample Rhetorical Analysis 80 Dana Thomas, Terror’s Purse Strings 81 Deniz Bilgutay, A Powerful Call to Action [STUDENT ESSAY] 82 Rajeev Ravisankar, Sweatshop Oppression 86 Chapter 28 Classic Arguments: Readings Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence 679 Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions 683 Writing Assignment: Write a rhetorical analysis that compares Stanton’s use of rhetoric to Jefferson’s, and explain the rhetorical value of using Jefferson’s work as a model. WEEK 4: EVALUATING SOURCES Chapter 8: At Issue: Should Data Posted on Social-Networking Sites Be “Fair Game” for Employers? 219 Evaluating Print Sources 220 Michael Gregoris, Stay Informed on Facebook’s Third-Party Privacy Policies 226 Maria Aspan, How Sticky Is Membership on Facebook?
Just Try Breaking Free 227 Evaluating Web Sites 231 Carolyn Elefant, Do Employers Using Facebook for Background Checks Face Legal Risks? 244 Chapter 14: Evaluation Arguments 385 At Issue: Do the Harry Potter Books Deserve Their Popularity? 385 What Is an Evaluation Argument? 386 Structuring an Evaluation Argument 388 A. S. Byatt, Harry Potter and the Childish Adult 403 Charles Taylor, A. S. Byatt and the Goblet of Bile 406 Christine Schoefer, Harry Potter’s Girl Trouble 411 Writing Assignment: Choose one of the At Issue debates covered this week, and use one article that you’ve evaluated as a source to write an evaluation argument of Facebook or the Harry Potter texts.
WEEK 5: ROGERIAN ARGUMENT, TOULMIN LOGIC, AND ORAL ARGUMENT Chapter 6: Understanding Rogerian Argument 146 Structuring Rogerian Arguments 147 Writing Rogerian Arguments 149 Christopher Chu, Do the Olympic Games Need Permanent Host Sites? [STUDENT ESSAY] 150 xvi Model Syllabi Understanding Toulmin Logic 153 Constructing Toulmin Arguments 154 Writing Toulmin Arguments 156 Franco Ghilardi, Our Right to Burn or Burning Our Rights? [STUDENT ESSAY] 157 Understanding Oral Arguments 160 Planning an Oral Argument 161 Delivering Oral Arguments 164 Writing an Oral Argument 167 Chantee Steele, An Argument in Support of the “Gap Year” [STUDENT ESSAY] 168 Sandra C.
Ceraulo, Online Education Rivals “Chalk and Talk” Variety 175 Suzanne M. Kelly, The Sensuous Classroom: Focusing on the Embodiment of Learning 177 Marilyn Karras, Calling a University “Virtual” Creates an Actual Oxymoron 180 Writing Assignment: Write either a Toulmin or Rogerian argument that supports your position in the debate on distance learning; then highlight the key points, and reformulate the argument in brief for oral delivery. WEEK 6: UNDERSTANDING LOGIC AND RECOGNIZING FALLACIES Chapter 5: What Is Deductive Reasoning? 91 Constructing Sound Syllogisms 92 Recognizing Enthymemes 94 Writing Deductive Arguments 99 What Is Inductive Reasoning? 02 Making Inferences 104 Constructing Strong Inductive Arguments 105 Student paragraph on football fanatics 108 Crystal Sanchez, Higher Education for All [STUDENT ESSAY] 99 Writing Inductive Arguments 109 William Saletan, Please Do Not Feed the Humans 110 Writing Assignment: Choose one of the debate topics our readings have addressed this term, and write either an inductive or a deductive argument supporting your position. WEEK 7: UNDERSTANDING LOGIC AND RECOGNIZING FALLACIES Chapter 5 Readings: Recognizing Logical Fallacies 113 Patrick J. Buchanan, Immigration Time-Out 125 Chapter 28 Readings: Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal 672 Chapter 5 READING AND WRITING ABOUT THE ISSUE: Do Merit-Based Scholarships Make Sense? 27 Peter Schmidt, At the Elite Colleges—Dim White Kids 128 Zoe Mendelson, Paying for College 131 Brent Staples, A Broader Definition of Merit: The Trouble with College Entry Exams 134 Associated Press, Hamilton College to End Merit Scholarships in Favor of Need-Based Aid 136 Lewis & Clark College, Merit-Based Scholarships for Incoming Students 138 WEEK 8: ARGUMENT BY DEFINITION Chapter 12: What Is Argument by Definition? 316 Model Syllabi xvii Developing Definitions 317 Structuring an Argument by Definition 319 Adam Kennedy, Why I Am a Nontraditional Student [STUDENT ESSAY] 319 Gayle Rosenwald Smith, The Wife-Beater 322 Nikki Grimes, What Is a Good Poem? 325 Courage [POSTER] 326 Courage Is Not the Absence of Fear [POSTER] 326 Chapter 18 Readings: Should We Eat Meat?
Laura Fraser, Why I Stopped Being a Vegetarian 526 Jonathan Safran Foer, Let Them Eat Dog 523 Writing Assignment: Spend some time thinking about the debate on vegetarianism, about the words used to define it, perhaps about the word vegetarianism itself, and write an argument by definition. WEEK 9: CHAPTER 17– ETHICAL ARGUMENTS 481 Chapter 17: What Is an Ethical Argument? 482 Stating an Ethical Principle 483 Ethics versus Law 484 Understanding Ethical Dilemmas 487 TreadLightly. org, Ride Hard, Tread Lightly [ADVERTISEMENT] 489 Human Meat [PHOTOGRAPH] 489 Linda Pastan, Ethics 490 Structuring an Ethical Argument 491 Chris Munoz, The Promise to Educate [STUDENT ESSAY] 491 READING AND WRITING ABOUT THE ISSUE How Far Should Colleges Go to Keep Campuses Safe? 498 M. Perry Chapman, Openness vs.
Security on Campus 499 Brett A. Sokolow, How Not to Respond to Virginia Tech—II 501 Jesus M. Villahermosa Jr. , Guns Don’t Belong in the Hands of Administrators, Professors, or Students 505 Timothy Wheeler, There’s a Reason They Choose Schools 508 Writing Assignment: Find a visual image of an ethical question that you are passionate about; for oral delivery, write an ethical argument that also makes reference to your visual image. WEEK 10: DO WE STILL NEED UNIONS? Chapter 27 Readings and Class Debate: Do We Still Need Unions? 639 Wendy Zellner, How Wal-Mart Keeps Unions at Bay: Organizing the Nation’s No. 1 Employer Would Give Labor a Lift 642 John L.
Lewis, Labor and the Nation 645 Fielding Poe, Watch Out for Stereotypes of Labor Unions 650 Paula Green and Malcolm Dodds, Union Label 641 James Sherk, Do Americans Today Still Need Labor Unions? 652 Writing Assignment: Interview a union or nonunion worker. Use his or her responses as a source for an argument about whether or not we need unions; write an oral argument for use in your class debate. WEEK 11: CHAPTER 12 –ARGUMENT BY DEFINITION 315 Chapter 22 Readings: Should Undocumented Immigrants Be Entitled to Driver’s Licenses? 559 xviii Model Syllabi National Immigration Law Center, Fact Sheet: Why Denying Driver’s Licenses to Undocumented Immigrants Harms Public Safety and Makes Our Communities Less Secure 561 Michael W.
Cutler, States Should Not Issue Driver’s Licenses to Illegal Immigrants 567 Chapter 20: What Should Be Done about Our Nation’s Homeless? 541 John Derbyshire, Throw the Bums Out: But Do So with Compassion—Coolidge-Style Compassion 543 America, The Meanest Cities 546 Writing Assignment: Choose a position in the rights-of-homeless debate or in the debate over awarding driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants; remember to consider the ethics of the argument as you use a Rogerian or Toulmin model WEEK 12: SHOULD FELONS PERMANENTLY FORFEIT THEIR RIGHT TO VOTE? Chapter 24 Readings and Class Debate: Should Former Felons Vote? Bill McCollum, Felons Don’t Merit Automatic Rights 589 Edward Feser, Should Felons Vote? 91 Rebecca Perl, The Last Disenfranchised Class 595 New York Times, Felons and the Right to Vote 600 Writing Assignment: Write an evaluation argument summarizing and analyzing the four authors’ opinions before presenting your own response to the debate. WEEK 13: SHOULD EVERY AMERICAN GO TO COLLEGE? Chapter 26 Readings and Class Debate: Should Going to College Be a Right? Pharinet, Is College for Everyone? 635 Margaret A. Miller, The Privileges of the Parents 628 Charles Murray, What’s Wrong with Vocational School? 631 Robert T. Perry, On “Real Education” 625 Writing Assignment: Using a Toulmin structure, write an argument in which you take a position on the college-access debate.
WEEK 14: CLASSIC ARGUMENTS Chapter 28 Classic Arguments 657 Plato, The Allegory of the Cave 657 Andrew Marvell, To His Coy Mistress 670 Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal 672 Margaret Sanger, The Cause of War 686 Rachel Carson, The Obligation to Endure 692 Martin Luther King Jr. , Letter from Birmingham Jail 698 Writing Assignment: Using the structures covered in the preceding weeks, write an argument that responds to one of the selections in this chapter. QUARTER-SYSTEM SYLLABUS ten-week term, three meetings per week WEEK 1: INTRODUCTION TO ARGUMENT INTRODUCTION: Understanding Argument 3 Chapter 1: The Structure of Argument 11 At Issue 11 The Pillars of Argument 12 Model Syllabi xix
Chapter 2: Thinking and Reading Critically 33 Reading Critically 34 Becoming an Active Reader 34 Chapter 1 Readings: PolandSpring. com, Poland Spring Water [ADVERTISEMENT] 27 PureWater2GO. com, Pure Water 2GO [ADVERTISEMENT] 28 Zak Moore, Defying the Nalgene 22 Tim Standage? Bad to the Last Drop 24 Writing Assignment: Construct a template for your own argument about bottled water. WEEK 2: VISUAL ARGUMENTS Chapter 3: Decoding Visual Arguments 53 Thinking Critically about Visual Arguments 53 Using Active Reading Strategies with Visual Arguments 54 Chapter 1 Readings: Look again at water visuals. PolandSpring. com, Poland Spring Water [ADVERTISEMENT] 27 PureWater2GO. om, Pure Water 2GO [ADVERTISEMENT] 28 Chapter 3 Visuals: Distribution of Language, Sex, and Violence Codes in PG-Rated Movies [CHART] 57 Homicides per 100,000 Population [GRAPH] 58 EveryLifeCounts. info, “I Saw 7,000 People Killed” [PHOTOGRAPH] 58 Act Against Violence, Media Violence & Children [WEB SITE] 59 Grand Theft Auto IV [DESKTOP WALLPAPER] 60 Media Violence [PHOTOGRAPH] 61 CHECKLIST: Questions for Responding to Visual Arguments 63 Jason Savona, Response to Grand Theft Auto IV [STUDENT RESPONSE] 64 Writing Assignment: Analyze and decode the argument of a visual text. WEEK 3: WRITING A RHETORICAL ANALYSIS Chapter 4: What Is a Rhetorical Analysis? 68 Overview: “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” by Martin Luther King Jr. 8 Considering the Rhetorical Situation 70 Considering the Means of Persuasion: Logos, Pathos, Ethos 75 Considering the Writer’s Rhetorical Strategies 76 Assessing the Argument 79 Sample Rhetorical Analysis 80 Dana Thomas, Terror’s Purse Strings 81 Deniz Bilgutay, A Powerful Call to Action [STUDENT ESSAY] 82 Rajeev Ravisankar, Sweatshop Oppression 86 Chapter 28 Classic Arguments: Readings Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence 679 Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions 683 Writing Assignment: Write a rhetorical analysis that compares Stanton’s use of rhetoric to Jefferson’s, and explain the rhetorical value of using Jefferson’s work as a model.
WEEK 4: EVALUATING SOURCES Chapter 8: At Issue: Should Data Posted on Social-Networking Sites Be “Fair Game” for Employers? 219 Evaluating Print Sources 220 xx Model Syllabi Michael Gregoris, Stay Informed on Facebook’s Third-Party Privacy Policies 226 Maria Aspan, How Sticky Is Membership on Facebook? Just Try Breaking Free 227 Evaluating Web Sites 231 Carolyn Elefant, Do Employers Using Facebook for Background Checks Face Legal Risks? 244 Chapter 14: Evaluation Arguments 385 At Issue: Do the Harry Potter Books Deserve Their Popularity? 385 What Is an Evaluation Argument? 386 Structuring an Evaluation Argument 388 A. S. Byatt, Harry Potter and the Childish Adult 403 Charles Taylor, A. S.
Byatt and the Goblet of Bile 406 Christine Schoefer, Harry Potter’s Girl Trouble 411 Writing Assignment: Choose one of the At Issue debates covered this week, and use one article that you’ve evaluated as a source to write an evaluation argument of Facebook or the Harry Potter texts. WEEK 5: ROGERIAN ARGUMENT, TOULMIN LOGIC, AND ORAL ARGUMENT Chapter 6: Understanding Rogerian Argument 146 Structuring Rogerian Arguments 147 Writing Rogerian Arguments 149 Christopher Chu, Do the Olympic Games Need Permanent Host Sites? [STUDENT ESSAY] 150 Understanding Toulmin Logic 153 Constructing Toulmin Arguments 154 Writing Toulmin Arguments 156 Franco Ghilardi, Our Right to Burn or Burning Our Rights? [STUDENT ESSAY] 157 Understanding Oral Arguments 160 Planning an Oral Argument 161 Delivering Oral Arguments 164 Writing an Oral Argument 167 Chantee Steele, An Argument in Support of the “Gap Year” [STUDENT ESSAY] 168 Sandra C.
Ceraulo, Online Education Rivals “Chalk and Talk” Variety 175 Suzanne M. Kelly, The Sensuous Classroom: Focusing on the Embodiment of Learning 177 Marilyn Karras, Calling a University “Virtual” Creates an Actual Oxymoron 180 Writing Assignment: Write either a Toulmin or Rogerian argument that supports your position in the debate on distance learning; then highlight the key points, and reformulate the argument in brief for oral delivery. WEEK 6: UNDERSTANDING LOGIC AND RECOGNIZING FALLACIES Chapter 5: What Is Deductive Reasoning? 91 Constructing Sound Syllogisms 92 Recognizing Enthymemes 94 Writing Deductive Arguments 99 What Is Inductive Reasoning? 02 Making Inferences 104 Constructing Strong Inductive Arguments 105 Student paragraph on football fanatics 108 Crystal Sanchez, Higher Education for All [STUDENT ESSAY] 99 Model Syllabi xxi Writing Inductive Arguments 109 William Saletan, Please Do Not Feed the Humans 110 Writing Assignment: Choose one of the debate topics our readings have addressed this term, and write either an inductive or deductive argument supporting your position. WEEK 7: UNDERSTANDING LOGIC AND RECOGNIZING FALLACIES Chapter 5 Readings: Recognizing Logical Fallacies 113 Patrick J. Buchanan, Immigration Time-Out 125 Chapter 28 Reading: Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal 672 Chapter 5 READING AND WRITING ABOUT THE ISSUE: Do Merit-Based Scholarships Make Sense? 27 Peter Schmidt, At the Elite Colleges—Dim White Kids 128 Zoe Mendelson, Paying for College 131 Brent Staples, A Broader Definition of Merit: The Trouble with College Entry Exams 134 Associated Press, Hamilton College to End Merit Scholarships in Favor of Need-Based Aid 136 Lewis & Clark College, Merit-Based Scholarships for Incoming Students 138 WEEK 8: ETHICAL ARGUMENTS Chapter 17: What Is an Ethical Argument? 482 Stating an Ethical Principle 483 Ethics versus Law 484 Understanding Ethical Dilemmas 487 TreadLightly. org, Ride Hard, Tread Lightly [ADVERTISEMENT] 489 Human Meat [PHOTOGRAPH] 489 Linda Pastan, Ethics 490 Structuring an Ethical Argument 491 Chris Munoz, The Promise to Educate [STUDENT ESSAY] 491 READING AND WRITING ABOUT THE ISSUE How Far Should Colleges Go to Keep Campuses Safe? 498 M. Perry Chapman, Openness vs. Security on Campus 499 Brett A. Sokolow, How Not to Respond to Virginia Tech—II 501 Jesus M. Villahermosa Jr. Guns Don’t Belong in the Hands of Administrators, Professors, or Students 505 Timothy Wheeler, There’s a Reason They Choose Schools 508 Writing Assignment: Find a visual image of an ethical question that you are passionate about; for oral delivery, write an ethical argument that also makes reference to your visual image. WEEK 9: ARGUMENT BY DEFINITION Chapter 22 Readings and Class Debate: Should Undocumented Immigrants Be Entitled to Driver’s Licenses? 559 National Immigration Law Center, Fact Sheet: Why Denying Diver’s Licenses to Undocumented Immigrants Harms Public Safety and Makes Our Communities Less Secure 561 Michael W. Cutler, States Should Not Issue Driver’s Licenses to Illegal Immigrants 567 Chapter 20 Readings: What Should Be Done about Our Nation’s Homeless? 540 xxii Model Syllabi
John Derbyshire, Throw the Bums Out: But Do So with Compassion—Coolidge-Style Compassion 543 America, The Meanest Cities 546 Writing Assignment: Choose a position in the rights-of-homeless debate or in the debate over awarding driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants; remember to consider the ethics of the argument as you use a Rogerian or Toulmin model. WEEK 10: SHOULD EVERY AMERICAN GO TO COLLEGE? Chapter 26 Readings and Class Debate: Pharinet, Is College for Everyone? 635 Margaret A. Miller, The Privileges of the Parents 628 Charles Murray, What’s Wrong with Vocational School? 631 Robert T. Perry, On “Real Education” 625 Writing Assignment: Using a Toulmin structure, write an argument by definition focusing on the term education as you weigh in on the college-access debate. Understanding Argument 1 PA R T Introduction: Understanding Argument Encountering Arguments, p. 3
This part of the introduction offers examples of common arguments (lawyers defending clients, an employee who thinks she or he deserves a raise, a job-application letter) and concludes by offering a few reasons why they are assigned. By pointing to argumentation’s real-world efficacy, the text makes a case for the importance of assigning arguments in school. Since the text offers real-world examples and a list of debatable questions students might encounter in your course, you might consider asking students to list more real-world examples or to compose more questions you might debate in a college classroom. This could be a good time to talk about debatable claims, which segues to the next section, “Defining Argument. ” Defining Argument, p. 4
Introducing terms such as spin and propaganda, this part of the introduction first defines an argument by what it is not: a quarrel, positive or biased slant, or denial of another’s position. It then offers a brief differentiation between informal and formal arguments and resolves that “An argument takes a stand and presents evidence that helps to convince people to accept the writer’s position” (p. 5). Teaching tip: Many of your students are likely familiar with right-wing commentators Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter and left-leaning commentators Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann. To discuss bias and spin, consider bringing in a documentary news story about a recent event that two of these politically disparate commentators discuss. Read the news story first, and then view and discuss clips of each commentator.
You may naturally begin discussing debatable claims here — it’s likely one of the commentators will resort to a statement of taste or an expression of faith, both problematic, nondebatable statements that are also discussed in this section of the text. 3 4 Part 1 Understanding Argument As you discuss debatable claims, consider preparing a list of facts that students could turn into debatable claims. Since the text stresses the idea that arguments have multiple sides and the commentators we watch frequently show only two, this is a good place to encourage students to think from multiple viewpoints as they reformulate facts as claims and attempt to negotiate the either/or fallacy (p. ); you might even rewatch the clips of the commentators and encourage students to think about perspectives left out of their coverage. Logos, Pathos, and Ethos, p. 7 Drawing from argument’s Aristotelian roots, here the introduction defines persuasion as “a general term that refers to how a speaker or writer influences an audience to adopt a particular belief or to follow a course of action” (p. 7) and focuses on the three major appeals Aristotle names in The Art of Rhetoric: logic (logos), emotion (pathos), and character (ethos). Generally, students easily grasp appeals to emotion, but appeals to logic and character are a bit more difficult.
Teaching tip: To explain these appeals, you might turn to television commercials for insurance or medication; encourage students to see the use of experts such as doctors or others we esteem, such as celebrities, as appeals to ethos (character) that attempt to establish credibility for a product. Further, these commercials also frequently compare price or effectiveness, making an appeal to a viewer’s logic. For example, if a commercial proclaims, “Nine out of ten doctors recommend X,” then the viewer who doesn’t use X asks him or herself, “Why am I using Y? ” Teaching tip: Advertisements, the most common everyday arguments we encounter, are a great place to find visual appeals (like the images included in this text) and textual appeals. Clip a few ads, and distribute them to groups of two or three students. Have students discuss the ads in their groups and then present their ideas to the larger class.
In lieu of presenting, have students write about the appeals they identified. CHAPTER The Structure of Argument Centered on the benefits and costs of buying bottled water, this chapter focuses on identifying and learning to mirror effective argument structure. The chapter first introduces several key concepts and a useful metaphor for thinking about argument. 1 The Pillars of Argument, p. 12 Drawing on students’ existing knowledge of the essay format (introduction, body, conclusion), the text suggests that argument is built from these basics: the introduction contains an argumentative thesis statement, the body includes evidence and refutation, and the conclusion resolves with a convincing concluding statement.
The building metaphor continues as the text uses words and visuals of an Ancient Greek temple to conceptualize argument. The argument—the top of the temple— is supported by a thesis, evidence, refutation, and a concluding statement — the four pillars, which give shape to and buttress the argument. As the metaphor is presented, the text briefly defines each pillar. Teaching tip: Remember that thesis statements are difficult for students no matter how many times they’ve been taught and that students frequently do not evaluate the sources from which they draw evidence. You might want to spend some time talking about both thesis statements and good and bad evidence.
Consider giving students practice by assigning a topic and having small groups work out mock thesis statements for each topic. Further, it’s likely that students have been taught that a conclusion summarizes the main points of an argument, while a concluding statement asks students to think about a logical next step or recommendation for future action. Help students transition from summary-focused conclusions to concluding statements by suggesting that they consistently ask of essays they read and write, “So, what do we do now? ” Since refutation will likely be the newest concept for your students, you may want to have the class share their team-generated thesis statements on the board and together think f at least one possible counterargument and refutation for each thesis. This approach shows students the importance of a thesis statement in directing the content and shape of an argumentative essay. 5 6 Part 1 Understanding Argument Sample Student Essay: “Why Foreign-Language Study Should Be Required,” p. 14 With each structural element clearly labeled in the text, this student essay argues in favor of college foreign-language requirements because the global economy necessitates that Americans speak more than one language. The student argues that speaking a second language makes students more employable, enriches students’ understanding of culture and education, and even strengthens relations between nations.
The author poses and refutes the counterargument about the time and work required to learn a second language by arguing in favor of cutting less-important requirements (such as physical education) to meet the demands of language study. The author poses a second counterargument and refutation: positing that some may argue that requirements limit students’ control of their own studies (including their majors), the author reminds us that students may change majors and that studying another language exposes students to other possibilities. In a concluding statement, the author claims that students have become too narrowly focused and overlook the broader implications of language study for their future. Exercise 1. 1, p. 6 This exercise directs students to read Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “An Immigrant Writes” and to answer four questions (p. 18) about the essay’s argument structure. You will find a brief summary of the essay and sample responses to those questions below. Summary of “An Immigrant Writes” by Arnold Schwarzenegger, p. 16 In this brief argument, Governor Schwarzenegger urges federal immigration reform predicated on a simple philosophy: control of the borders, compassion for the immigrant. He concedes that in a post-9/11 America, stronger borders are necessary but suggests that in addition we need a temporary worker program that sheds light on the 12 million undocumented—but contributing—workers in American society. Identifying the Elements of Argument, p. 18 1.
Schwarzenegger’s thesis appears in the fourth paragraph of his argument when he writes: “control of the border . . . and compassion for the immigrant. These are the twin pillars around which we must construct a new immigration policy. They are both essential elements in our overall immigration strategy. Without both, our strategy is destined to collapse. ” Student rewrites of Schwarzenegger’s thesis will vary but should stress that a new immigration policy, to succeed, must have a two-pronged approach—control and compassion. 2. Students are asked to list three arguments the author uses; here is a list of the author’s arguments, paraphrased: I In a post-9/11 world, we must think about security (para. 5).
I Citizens’ groups at the border remind us that the federal government is failing to do its job (5). Chapter 1 The Structure of Argument 7 I I I I I Brick walls and chains (a unilateral focus on security) will not stop “a father who is desperate to feed his family” (6). Twelve million undocumented workers support our economy because business depends on these workers to do jobs no one else will do (6). A free trade zone throughout the Americas will help to create economic growth elsewhere and, therefore, give us greater security (7). Immigrants are just like us (8). It’s un-American to punish charities and individuals who help immigrants (8). 3.
In the third paragraph of the essay, Schwarzenegger writes against several straw-man arguments he introduces early in the essay; he suggests that some people falsely and thoughtlessly argue that “in a free society it’s not possible to have border security” and that “we must deport 12 million people. ” In paragraph 5, he refutes deportation by reminding readers of the need for security in a post-9/11 America, while in paragraph 6, he argues in favor of a temporary worker program by pointing out that the work of those 12 million undocumented workers supports the economy. He also refutes the latter by reminding readers of the ironic link between complaints about outsourcing and the use of immigrant workers in America; thus, he suggests that the use of immigrant workers actually keeps jobs in America, supporting the American economy. 4.
Students should point to Schwarzenegger’s final paragraph as his concluding statement, when he writes: “Yes, immigration reform is a difficult issue. But it must be guided by a simple goal: compassion for the immigrant, control of the borders. Congress should not rest until it achieves both. ” Teaching tip: Because Schwarzenegger enlists several rhetorical strategies and appeals, consider using this essay to review the content covered in the text’s introduction by asking students to identify his means of persuasion. Reading and Writing about the Issue: Do the Benefits of Bottled Water Outweigh the Costs? p. 19 Returning to the questions raised about bottled water at the outset of this chapter, this section collects three argumentative essays and two visual arguments on this debate.
Each essay and image is followed by an At Issue section with several questions about the structure of the argument; below, you will find a brief summary of each written argument and sample responses to the questions in each At Issue. Teaching tip: Since students are likely consumers of bottled water and, as such, may take even more interest in this debate, this might be a good time to ask students to bring in their favorite bottle of water or for you to supply empty bottles for inclass analysis. Analyzing the packaging is a good way to reinforce the ideas covered in the introduction. Hint: Ethos brand water, frequently sold at Starbucks, always 8 Part 1 Understanding Argument makes for an interesting analysis.
Further, to help students think more broadly about consumption and refuse, consider asking students to collect and document (textually, photographically, or by other means) their plastic trash for a few days. Summary of “In Praise of Tap Water,” New York Times, p. 20 As the title suggests, this argument favors drinking tap water in the United States, which the author claims has “some of the best public water supplies in the world” (para. 1). He points to the extensive negative environmental impact the bottled water industry has on the environment as well as on consumers’ pocketbooks. At Issue: The Structure of Argument, p. 21 1. The author’s actual thesis statement is at the end of the first paragraph. Student responses will vary but should clearly assert that we should stop consuming bottled water because of its environmental impact. 2.
The arguments used in paragraphs 1–3 to support the thesis are as follows: I The United States offers the cleanest public water in the world (para. 1). I Spending up to $1,400 annually on bottled water; same amount of tap water is only $. 49 (2). I Manufacturing water bottles, made from natural gas and petroleum, uses 1. 5 million barrels of oil per year (3). I Water bottles are frequently excluded from local recycling (3). I Transporting water, because of its weight, consumes substantial fuel (3). 3. The essay’s concluding statement is its final paragraph; students should mention that change will come only when consumers realize that they can save money and the environment by drinking tap water. 4. The author could raise additional arguments against his position.
He does raise the idea that tap water may not always be the equal of bottle water but suggests that any decline in tap water will be politically motivated by consumers’ preference for bottled water. He argues that, in part, because of consumers’ desire for bottled water, eventually less money will be invested in supporting clean public water (4). Other arguments and refutations might include the following: I Argument: Because of its diffuse network and the sheer volume of its distribution, pipes for tap water are always at risk of contamination. Refutation: Because of the number of humans at bottling plants in contact with bottles and because of a single filling source, bottled water may also be contaminated. I Argument: Tap water in all communities is not equal, despite the fact that, on average, U. S. water is highly drinkable.
Refutation: Interest in bottled water may divert funding from improving tap water in these regions, but the population of these regions is so low that they barely increase bottledwater consumption. Chapter 1 The Structure of Argument 9 5. Paragraph 5 is both an example of a grass-roots movement against bottled water and a call to action aimed at the reader; it suggests the mass movement toward bottled water is stoppable and that even city governments are getting involved. Summary of “Defying the Nalgene” by Zak Moore, p. 22 In favor of drinking bottled water, Moore suggests that beyond the better taste and more sanitary production of bottled water, arguments for the negative environmental impact of excess bottles and their transportation are unconvincing.
He also suggests that the price argument fails in practice because the expense of water is low — comparable with or less than that of other staples — when purchased. Teaching tip: Consider having students evaluate or try to substantiate Moore’s evidence; unlike the other two articles in this set, “Defying the Nalgene” does not name any sources. At Issue: The Structure of Argument, p. 23 1. While responses will vary, students should mention that the arguments against bottled water are unconvincing. For example, a student may write: Bottled water comes under a great deal of criticism for its negative environmental impact; however, closer examination of environmental and price-based arguments against drinking bottled water reveals that they are unconvincing, even specious. 2.
In paragraph 2, Moore introduces related counterarguments he eventually refutes convincingly: (1) producing, disposing of, and transporting bottled water are bad for the environment; (2) consumers should drink tap water because bottled is expensive and has minimal health benefits. Other arguments students might raise against Moore’s position include the following: I Most plastic is not biodegradable. I Plastic may be cheap, but as a finite resource, the oil to produce it is not. I One bad experience with Nalgene does not mean that all reusable bottles are problematic. I When tap water is drinkable and the expense of bottled water is tallied yearly, the expense becomes both visible and unnecessary. I Supply and demand in the United States does not necessarily affect pricing in other countries. 3. Moore’s arguments: I Nalgenes are unsanitary because they are hard to clean. I Bottled water is more convenient.
I The demand for low-priced bottled water in the United States keeps prices down elsewhere in the world where clean water is scarce; choosing to drink bottled water is humanitarian. 10 Part 1 Understanding Argument Other arguments Moore might present: I The demand for bottled water employs countless Americans. I The demand for bottled water ensures consistent and competitive quality. I Some bottled water brands contribute to improving clean water supplies in developing nations (Ethos is one such brand). I Manufacturers of bottled water are already striving to reduce waste by using postconsumer recycled materials in packaging, making the purchase an ethical choice. 4.
Moore’s actual concluding statement is the last paragraph of his argument; it states that few facts or convincing arguments support the case against drinking bottled water and that readers should choose to drink it freely. 5. Answers will vary, but since Nalgene was a first-generation refillable bottle, it has come to function generically — as a general term for all refillable bottles. In other words, Nalgene is very well-known, particularly among college students. Summary of “Bad to the Last Drop” by Tom Standage, p. 24 Reporting on a taste test that reveals that only one of ten can discern tap water among bottled water, Standage argues against the consumption of bottled water.
While he makes traditional arguments about the financial and the environmental impact of bottled water, his later focus on the lack of clean water in developing nations adds complexity to the bottled-water debate. He argues that a fraction of the money spent annually on bottled water would enable everyone on earth to have clean water and sanitation, so he concludes by advocating donation to water charities in lieu of buying bottled water. Teaching tip: Consider asking students how Standage’s essay responds to Moore’s — particularly, to Moore’s claim that consuming bottled water is a humanitarian gesture. Then ask students to evaluate which essay seems more credible and why. At Issue: The Structure of Argument, p. 26 1.
The introduction, an anecdote about a water tasting the author and a group of friends conduct, lends him credibility and appeals to a reader’s logic. From the outset of the essay, readers question, If only one out of ten people can identify the tap water in the lot, could I? Beginning in this manner unsettles readers, forcing them to second-guess themselves and, in this manner, opens up the possibility they may change their opinions. 2. Student responses will vary, but most will suggest that Standage wants to relate to his audience by establishing a common understanding of the bottled-water industry and rate of consumption. After the facts and figures Standage cites, he anticipates objections and logically disarms readers prior to making his
Chapter 1 The Structure of Argument 11 case; this tactic may gain support as objections are raised and dismissed, forcing readers to rethink their own position. 3. The opposing arguments and refutations are as follows: I Argument: Both types of water are at risk of contamination. Refutation: Tap water is much more stringently regulated than bottled (para. 8). I Argument: Bottled water allows you to avoid chemical additives. Refutation: Some bottled water contains the same chemicals, and chemicals in water are unavoidable if you shower or use a dishwasher, as both appliances strip chemicals from water and put you in constant contact with them (9–10).
I Argument: Bottled water is associated with purity and cleanliness. Refutation: Bottled water wastes fuel and money; bottles overload landfills (11). I Argument: Tap water is not abundant in the developing world. Refutation: Thus, the choice to drink bottled water in a country with safe tap water is an indulgent lifestyle choice that merely flaunts wealth in the face of those for whom “access to water remains a matter of life or death” (12). On the question of why Standage doesn’t wait to refute opposing arguments until after he makes his case, answers may vary. Students may suggest that refuting the arguments early shows how easily Standage can wipe them out, how dismissive he can be. 4.
The arguments in support of Standage’s thesis follow: I More than 40% of the world’s population lack basic sanitation; more than 1 billion people lack safe drinking water (13). I The World Health Organization estimates that, worldwide, 80% of illness is due to water-borne diseases (13). I Widespread illness (which he has linked to water) makes countries less selfsufficient, more reliant on aid, and less able to combat poverty (14). I The need to transport clean drinking water is one of the chief reasons girls in developing nations do not attend school (14). I For $1. 7 billion dollars a year (above current spending), everyone could have clean water (15). I Improving sanitation would cost an additional $9. 3 billion a year (15). I
Combined, the money to improve sanitation and provide clean water worldwide amounts to less than one quarter of the money spent annually on bottled water (15). 5. Standage’s thesis is a directive to stop spending money on bottled water and to donate that money to water charities. While opinions about the delayed thesis may be mixed, students will likely agree that the thesis is a radical suggestion that a skeptical audience would initially reject and dismiss; it might even stop this audience from continuing to read the essay. The essay’s structure and thesis position are strategic—as is Standage’s lengthy introduction. 6. Standage’s concluding statement urges readers to try their own taste test, to see if they can actually distinguish tap water from bottled or if they are mindlessly 12 Part 1
Understanding Argument and needlessly buying water and consuming it. His use of the phrase “bitter taste” points to the taint bottled water acquires when consumers learn how their money could be much better spent. At Issue: The Structure of Argument, p. 27 After reading all three essays, students are likely to name the following opposing arguments: I I I I Compared with the number purchased, very few water bottles are recycled, and most communities do not recycle the plastic (frequently different) used to make lids. Smaller labels may use less paper or plastic, but given the number of bottles produced each year, conservation through sparse labeling is nominal.
While some water advertisements or labels brag about using less plastic, they still use a lot of plastic and with it large quantities of petroleum and natural gas. Reusable or filter bottles are as easy to carry as bottled water, sometimes more so as many clip onto bags or come with a strap. At Issue: The Structure of Argument, p. 28 Student responses should focus on the enormous waste caused by consuming bottled water versus the conservation possible by using refillable, filter bottles. Exercise 1. 2, p. 29 For this exercise, students follow the template and fill in the blanks to create their own argument. A sample response against the use of bottled water is provided below; the given text is in boldface. Template for Structuring an Argument The use of bottled water is a controversial topic.
Some people claim that bottled water is environmentally unfriendly and even hard to distinguish from clean tap water. Others, however, believe that bottled water tastes better and has little more impact on the environment than any other consumer product. Although both sides of this issue have merit, I believe that the impact bottled water has on the environment is substantial, so when we have access to clean tap water, we should limit or stop consumption of bottled water because bottles frequently go unrecycled, their manufacture depletes petroleum resources, the water offers little health benefit, and the money would be better donated to clean-water charities. Exercise 1. 3, p. 9 This exercise asks students to revise their response for the template exercise by taking into account two friends’ opinions on the issue. Remind students that academic debate is useful and that every issue has multiple viewpoints—not just two sides. Emphasize respect for others’ opinions. Perhaps, redirect students to the structure of Standage’s essay, which seeks to build rapport and to refute counterarguments logically before proposing a thesis. 12 Chapter 1 The Structure of Argument 13 Exercise 1. 4, p. 29 This exercise asks students to write an essay addressing the question “Do the Benefits of Bottled Water Outweigh the Costs? ” and to cite the texts from pages 20–28.
First, you may want to remind students that the facts and ideas they’ve encountered in the preceding essays and visuals can be used as supporting evidence in their own arguments. To that end, it may be useful before assigning this exercise to review direct quotation—including the introduction of quotations—and MLA or APA format for in-text citation. You might also consider allocating a class meeting or portion of a class meeting to a partnered or small-group writing assignment where students can work together (in a computer lab or in the classroom) to negotiate a position and compose a single essay. If you’re concerned that some students may not be able to argue their own or multiple perspectives, consider assigning students to rewrite the joint essay from a different perspective as homework. Exercise 1. 5, p. 9 This exercise asks students to review the argument checklist on page 14 and to label each portion of the essay: thesis statement, evidence, refutation of opposing arguments, and concluding statement. Teaching tip: to give students extra practice identifying these elements, consider having students label classmates’ essays rather than their own. Reading and Responding to Arguments 2 PA R T CHAPTER Thinking and Reading Critically This chapter focuses on what has become a passionate debate in our time — the relationship between violence in the media and violent behavior of young people. While most students will likely be familiar with this discussion, he chapter’s content seeks to draw out the complexities surrounding the issue (parental responsibility, gun regulations, the history of violence on television and in video games) and reminds students that this is not a simple two-sided debate. 2 Reading Critically: Becoming an Active Reader, p. 34 To make the chapter relevant beyond just this one issue, the text asks students to learn to become critical readers. You may need to underscore this point with students — specifically, because most students will assume that to be critical is to criticize. Instead, remind them that to read critically is to assess and examine rather than simply argue against or challenge.
Secondly, this chapter encourages students to be active, rather than passive, readers, and it introduces them to various techniques that will help them with reading comprehension (highlighting, annotating, summarizing). Teaching tip: Your students are likely to have very strong opinions about the subject matter of this chapter, so you’ll want to make sure that their discussions about violence in video games or in movies stay centered on the essays provided. Consider having them brainstorm a list of who is affected by this discussion (children, parents, media companies, government leaders, victims of violence, gun manufacturers, and so on) so that they have in mind what kinds of arguments would work for what kinds of audiences. This list will help them build, as well, on the means of persuasion covered in the book’s introductory chapter.
In other words, by discussing what kinds of arguments would work for parents of young children versus what arguments a teen video gamer might believe, your students will quickly see the value of critically assessing arguments for strength or for bias (another concept that is introduced in the beginning pages of this chapter). 17 18 Part 2 Reading and Responding to Arguments Exercise 2. 1, p. 35 This exercise asks students to read “Violent Media Is Good for Kids” by Gerard Jones and then answer a series of questions, in preparation for class discussion. You will find a brief summary of the essay and possible responses to those questions below. Summary of “Violent Media Is Good for Kids” by Gerard Jones, p. 35 In this magazine article, comic-book author and father Gerard Jones argues that in some cases “creative violence” can provide children with much needed outlets for their fears and anger and even bring a sense of empowerment and selfhood.
Jones draws on his own experiences as a child, when he found courage through the dual-identity of the Incredible Hulk, and he describes how his son followed a similar path to empowerment through comic-book characters. Finally, Jones discusses recent psychological studies arguing for the usefulness of violent entertainment that allows children to explore feelings they’re often told to suppress. Using real-life examples to support these studies, Jones details the ways that several children dealt with difficult family situations by writing violent stories or listening to rap. In the end, Jones does not argue that violent entertainment is harmless but rather that it helps more people than it hurts. Identifying the Elements of Argument, p. 39 1.
Because Jones’s essay relies so heavily on personal experiences, his thesis is delayed until the end, when in the next-to-the-last paragraph he writes, “I’m not going to argue that violent entertainment is harmless. I think it has helped inspire some people to real-life violence. I am going to argue that it’s helped hundreds of people for every one it’s hurt, and that it can help far more if we learn to use it well. ” Students may paraphrase the quotation as saying that more good derives from violent entertainment than ill. Talk with your students about why a delayed thesis is useful in this essay and how the author builds his credibility and support in a way that leads to this statement as a conclusion. 2.
Jones’s main arguments rely on personal experience: the way he found courage as a child in the character of the Incredible Hulk (paras. 2–5), the way his son has used “creative violence” in comic books as an outlet (6), the experiences of several children Jones has known or worked with who found ways to express their anger and fear through violent stories and even “gangsta rap” (13–15). Jones also weaves in current psychological studies regarding violence and creative expression among children (9–12). 3. Jones acknowledges the current debate surrounding violence in the media and the effects of so-called junk culture (7), and he admits in his concluding statements that, in some cases, violent entertainment does cause children to act out violently (16). 4.
Students should look at the second half of Jones’s final paragraph, which broadens the discussion to a more historical view. He says parents condemn “Mortal Kombat” and play-fighting, alike, in ways that suppress their children’s need to “feel what they feel,” and he compares this suppression with the ways Victorians suppressed their children’s sexuality. He advocates balance, instead, Chapter 2 Thinking and Reading Critically 19 in a way that allows for “natural aggression” without necessarily condoning extreme violent behavior. Highlighting, p. 39 This section introduces the technique of highlighting important parts of an essay (such as the thesis, topic sentences, supporting points, and so on). Suggestions for markings to highlight text appear in a box.
Then, a sample essay shows how a student, Katherine Choi, highlighted a magazine article titled “When Life Imitates Video” by John Leo. Teaching tip: Remember that most of your students will feel a bit strange about writing in their actual books (in fact, many of them have been told not to write in books at all). To help ease their anxieties, think about showing them your own highlighted books or articles and explaining how and why you highlight your own reading material. This sharing will make active reading seem like less of an activity for inexperienced readers. Exercise 2. 2, p. 42 This exercise asks students to read through student Katherine Choi’s highlighting of Leo’s essay “When Life Imitates Video. When students are through reading, you might open things up for discussion and ask them to consider what markings they’ve seen in Katherine’s highlighting and what they would do differently if they were to highlight Leo’s essay. Remind them that they want to highlight the main points of the essay so that they can quickly reference them but that students’ highlighting will vary, depending on their particular ways of reading. Exercise 2. 3, p. 42 This exercise directs students to reread the first essay in the chapter, “Violent Media Is Good for Kids,” and to practice highlighting by underlining, starring, circling, and marking the essay’s main points.
It also reminds students that it can be useful to mark words or references they don’t understand by putting a question mark above them, then coming back to them later. When they’re finished, have students discuss this experience, either in small groups or in a large group, so that they can consider the benefits of such focused attention to an essay. Most students (especially, first-year students) say they have a hard time with reading comprehension, so you might remind them that highlighting will help them find ways to remember and engage with what they read. Annotating, p. 42 This section introduces annotating as a supplement to highlighting.
A box provides suggested questions that will lead students to make notes on an essay. Then the Leo essay appears again, this time with notes by Katherine, the student. Exercise 2. 4, p. 45 For practice with annotating — marking their responses to what they read — this exercise has students return, again, to “Violent Media Is Good for Kids” by Jones. Students should mark where they agree or disagree with Jones and why, summarize 20 Part 2 Reading and Responding to Arguments the most important points, look up unfamiliar words or references and write in the definitions, and note passages they’d like to return to when writing about Jones’s essay. Exercise 2. 5, p. 5 To compare their new annotating methods, have students exchange their annotated essays with one another and consider the ways that their responses to the text were similar and different. Also, have them discuss how their classmate’s responses help them to realize new things about Jones’s essay. Exercise 2. 6, p. 45 This exercise allows students to consider how highlighting and annotating help them to compare and contrast arguments by two writers. Students are directed to examine readers’ responses that appeared in USA Today after the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech University. The opinion pieces provide counterpoints to Jones’s arguments, and students should mark areas where these contributors agree or disagree with Jones.
You may also ask them to mark places where the writers address concerns that Jones ignores. Teaching tip: Most students say that they have difficulty organizing sources and information for papers that they write, so you may want to suggest ways of keeping their annotations clear. Offer them simple ideas, like putting an A next to parts of essays they agree with and a D next to parts they disagree with; or they may jot NI if they think the author “needs more information” to support a certain point. These practical suggestions can help students to organize their notes and papers better. Summaries of Newspaper Opinion Pieces, p. 46 There are two letters from readers in this section.
The first one, titled “Media Violence May Be Real Culprit Behind Virginia Tech Tragedy,” argues that the way violence is portrayed in the media (television, movies, coverage of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) makes students believe that violence can solve problems. The second piece, titled “Take Aim at Guns,” argues that the availability and prevalence of guns in America lead to outbursts of violence like the Virginia Tech shooting. Further, this author references the National Rifle Association, the Constitution, and even the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Exercise 2. 7, p. 47 To help students interact with a fellow college student’s opinion on the effects of violent media, this exercise asks them to read a letter to the editor of a college newspaper and then highlight and annotate the letter in response to several questions. Possible responses to these questions appear below. I
Students should identify the thesis at the end of the first paragraph where the writer states, “Some states have already passed laws which ban minors from the viewing or purchasing of these [violent] video games without an accompanying adult. I believe this law should not exist. ” As students restate the thesis, they should acknowledge that the writer’s main argument is against laws Chapter 2 Thinking and Reading Critically 21 that prohibit the sale of graphic, violent video games to minors; the author is not against laws that rate such games, as she indicates in paragraph 2. I In paragraph 3, the writer cites studies reported by universities such as MIT and UCLA. The studies denounce laws that prohibit the sale of certain video games to minors because, according to the studies, such games are not found to have adverse effects on children.
Then the writer takes this conclusion a step further by saying there are benefits to violent video games — that they provide a “safe outlet for aggression and frustration, increased attention performance, along with spatial and coordination skills” (para. 3). The idea that violent entertainment provides an outlet for emotions is Jones’s primary argument, and he discusses several children he’s known who, after needing an outlet for anger and fear as children, went on to success in school, college, and beyond. In paragraph 4, the writer of the letter to a college newspaper notes that there are people who disagree with her opinion, and she writes that they believe research shows that violent video games lead to antisocial behavior and even delinquency. For this reason, some people believe there should be laws restricting who can play graphic or violent video games.
But the writer says that children know the difference between real life and video games and are also aware of the consequences of turning to violence and weapons. In some ways, Jones addresses similar concepts when, in the concluding paragraph of his essay, he argues that parents should allow their children to express natural feelings of aggression or anger, not keep feelings bottled up. Both writers, then, argue that some expressions of anger or frustration are natural for children and that these feelings shouldn’t be repressed. Consider asking students their opinions, and ask them which writer seems more effective in making his or her argument.
The writer to the college paper seeks to overturn laws restricting the sale of violent video games to minors. In her closing paragraph, she implores the major software companies that make violent video games to write to Congress and protest these laws. Jones, in his essay, argues more for the emotional and personal value of “creative violence,” which he claims can help children develop a sense of selfhood and stability — a different approach from this letter’s arguments about legality. I I Writing a Critical Response, p. 48 The final section of this chapter asks students to go a step beyond simply understanding arguments and, instead, demonstrates how they may respond to arguments critically.
To do so, this section reminds students that critical evaluation involves both examining the features of any given text to identify how the writer makes his or her argument and asking plenty of why and how questions: why did a writer include this particular means of persuasion, why did the author include this information as support, why is the writer taking this stance, how will the writer’s strategies impact readers? After reading previous sections of this chapter, students should be able to identify the main parts of an argument essay and should have strategies for how to highlight these main parts and annotate their response 22 Part 2 Reading and Responding to Arguments to the text while reading. Specific questions for critical reading are also provided in this section, along with a paragraph that outlines, step by step, how to write a critical response (pp. 48–49).
You might consider writing out these various steps on the board so that students can easily know whether they’ve included enough elements for a critical response. Teaching tip: Students often have a difficult time transitioning from identifying the parts of an essay to being able to write about an essay critically. Keep reminding them that while they should identify the main parts of the writer’s argument, they also should include their response — not just whether they liked the essay or not but whether the author’s argument was successful or well supported or how the author attempted to connect with readers. And remind students that they can actually identify elements that are not successful; often students hesitate to criticize published work.
Summary of Sample Critical Response by Student Katherine Choi, p. 49 Providing a sample critical response for your students is crucial if they are to understand how to go about writing such a text. Keep in mind that most of them have never written this kind of essay before, so a focused discussion about Katherine’s method and organization could be quite helpful to them. Katherine responds to the essay “When Life Imitates Video” by John Leo. She opens her response by stating the main point of Leo’s essay — that violent video games can actually lead to violent behavior. Then Katherine goes on, in paragraph 2, to outline Leo’s subsequent main points and to explain both their usefulness and their shortcomings.
She acknowledges that Leo’s argument is “convincing, up to a point” but says that the study he relies on most for evidence is never cited by name and that his rhetorical style is weak. In later paragraphs, Katherine criticizes Leo for speaking in generalizations, for misunderstanding why children play violent video games in the first place, and for making unsubstantiated connections between violent video games and the military. Ultimately, Katherine argues in her response that Leo does not establish a substantial cause-and-effect relationship between violent video games and violent behavior and that his argument is not convincing. Teaching tip: After reading Katherine’s critical response, students will likely feel that their responses have to criticize the authors they’re writing about.
Remind them that when an author is successful in his or her argument they will want to tell why the writer is able to make such an argument, and they might even discuss why it’s a fresh or new argument as well. Exercise 2. 8, p. 51 In this one-paragraph exercise, students fill in the blanks to create their own argument about Jones’s essay on creative violence. A sample response appears below with the given text in boldface. Template for Writing a Critical Response According to Gerard Jones, violent media can actually have positive effects on young people because those media can give children much-needed Chapter 2 Thinking and Reading Critically 23 utlets for feelings of anger, frustration, sadness, and aggression. Jones also believes that violent media are a positive influence on children because they allow children to explore these feelings in a controlled environment. Jones makes some good points. For example, he says that “even in the most progressive households, where we make such a point of letting children feel what they feel, we rush to substitute an enlightened discussion for the raw material of rageful fantasy. In the process, we risk confusing them about their natural aggression in the same way Victorians confused their children about their sexuality” (para. 16). However, Jones oes still acknowledge that a link between violent media and violent behavior likely exists, but he believes that for every one person hurt by violence in media, one hundred people are helped by using such media as an outlet. All in all, Jones’s essay is a well-balanced and personal look at the issue of violence in the media, both addressing the need for children to express their feelings and cautioning us to remain aware of the possible risks of violent media. Exercise 2. 9, p. 51 Now it is time for students to try their own hands at writing a critical response. This exercise asks them to return to the paragraph they wrote in the template exercise and to develop it into a more substantial response to Jones’s essay.
Remind them to refer to the highlighting and annotating they did earlier and to think in terms of what was successful about Jones’s essay and what was unsuccessful (or less convincing). Teaching tip: One of the things students will struggle with the most in writing a critical response is organization. Before you ask them to write a fully developed response to Jones’s essay, you might return to the paragraph that discusses the various parts of a critical response (pp. 48–49). Listing these components bullet-style might supply the students with a ready-made outline for their own critical responses. CHAPTER 3 Decoding Visual Arguments Continuing the debate about violent media images begun in Chapter 2, Chapter 3 asks students to broaden their discussion by considering the cultural effects of violent visual images.
At the same time, this chapter encourages students to apply the critical-reading strategies learned in the previous chapter to visual arguments. Clarifying that not all images are visual arguments, the text differentiates an advertisement, chart, or Web page from an informational diagram, for example. Teaching tip: Because we live in a society where we are inundated by images, students frequently receive those images passively — they consume them without thinking critically about them. As a continuation of the prior chapter, consider asking students to collect or document violent images they see around them. Ask them to watch TV with paper and pen or their camera phones in hand.
Also, consider bringing in a variety of visual images (diagrams, ads, posters) for students to categorize, first, by whether or not they make an argument and, second, by the dominant appeal that the image uses. This activity reinforces the text’s introductory chapter and introduces this chapter’s attention to identifying appeals in visual arguments. Thinking Critically about Visual Arguments, p. 53 Drawing on the previous chapter’s focus on thinking critically, the text asks students to see similarities between written and visual arguments and to evaluate the logic and fairness of those arguments. Teaching tip: Help students learn to read visual texts through in-class analysis. By and large, students do not know what to look for or how, so thoroughly cover and discuss the list of reading strategies in the next section of text (see p. 4). Using Active Reading Strategies with Visual Arguments, p. 54 This section reminds students that highlighting and annotating, tools for actively reading a written text (covered in Chapter 2), can help with decoding visual argu- 24 Chapter 3 Decoding Visual Arguments 25 ments as well. As when approaching a written text, students should approach a visual text with pen in hand in search of main ideas, purpose, and intended audience. As the text points out, encourage students to look for words/body copy, the size and orientation of images, use of white space, use of color and shading, presence of people, activities, expressions, and gestures.
Teaching tip: The text box entitled “Comprehension Clues” (p. 54) offers a good list of things to consider when approaching visual images, but it is not exhaustive. Consider reading and discussing these clues as a class, applying them to a particular image. Then, try to add to the list other clues students should look for when approaching a visual text. Reminding students that visual images also make appeals, a second text box (p. 55) describes how visual images deploy logos, pathos, and ethos. A cartoon and brief analysis of it follow; spend time talking about the cartoon’s intended audience and purpose, how it makes an argument, and what appeals it makes.
Teaching tip: If you did not earlier have students identify and categorize visual arguments by dominant appeals, have students identify and classify them now; advertisements (drawn from a variety of magazines) or comic strips are great visuals to use for this assignment. Crime Victims per 1,000 Citizens (graph and explanation), pp. 56–57 This graph refutes the popular assumption that crime rates rose with the advent and popularization of violent video games. To help students identify the purpose of visual arguments quickly and succinctly, the text illustrates naming the argument of the image in a single sentence. Teaching tip: Provide or have students bring in other visual arguments to practice this valuable skill. Exercise 3. 1, pp. 57–59 Identifying the Elements of Visual Arguments, p. 59 1.
The four images are a pie chart labeled “Distribution of Language, Sex, and Violence Codes in PG-Rated Movies” (informative); a bar graph labeled “Homicides per 100,000 Population” (informative/argumentative); a photo of a child with a sign saying “I saw 7,000 people killed before I was 14” (argumentative); and a screen shot of a Web page, “Media Violence & Children” (informative/ argumentative). The images labeled “informative/argumentative” convey information, but they do so in an argumentative fashion. For example, the simple bar graph lists the United States first and shows a line three times longer than the lines of other major developed nations; the juxtaposition of the lines seems to convey a comparative argument in a way that a chart listing homicides as numbers would not. 2.
A main idea of each may be stated as follows: I “Distribution of Language, Sex, and Violence Codes in PG-Rated Movies” Main Idea: Nearly half of all movies rated PG earn that rating because of 26 Part 2 Reading and Responding to Arguments I I I violence only or some violent content in addition to the prevalence of sex and language in the film. “Homicides per 100,000 Population” Main Idea: The United States has a homicide rate over three times higher than the rate of all the other major developed nations shown on the chart. “I saw 7,000 people killed before I was 14” Main Idea: Young children witness many murders on television, a fact that underscores the prevalence of violence in media. “Media Violence & Children” Main Idea: Media violence has a strong influence on children’s behavior. 3.
How each visual supports its main idea follows: I “Distribution of Language, Sex, and Violence Codes in PG-Rated Movies” shows the prevalence of violence in PG-rated films surpasses the prevalence of only sex or only language. I “Homicides per 100,000 Population” clearly shows the much higher U. S. homicide rate. I “I saw 7,000 people killed before I was 14” focuses on that single striking statistic. I “Media Violence & Children” links witnessing media violence to aggressive behavior. 4. Answers will vary, but students should generally suggest a link between media violence and actual violence or between media violence and aggressive behavior among children. 5. Answers will vary; most of the visuals could appeal to a variety of audiences.
Suggestions follow: I “Distribution of Language, Sex, and Violence Codes in PG-Rated Movies”: neutral audience I “Homicides per 100,000 Population”: neutral, hostile, or friendly audience I “I saw 7,000 people killed before I was 14”: friendly audience, possibly neutral audience as well I “Media Violence & Children”: friendly or neutral audience Highlighting and Annotating Visuals, p. 60 Highlighting and annotating visual arguments, just like highlighting and annotating textual arguments, help us to look more carefully at each element in an image. The text suggests that students star, box, and circle important parts of an image and write about each of the identified elements in the margins. A sample student annotation of a video game called Grand Theft Auto IV follows. Teaching tip: Ask students to critique and add to this sample annotation; it’s a good annotation but intentionally not exhaustive. Chapter 3 Decoding Visual Arguments 27 Exercise 3. 2, p. 1 This exercise asks students to (1) highlight and annotate a visual argument and (2) identify its central message. The image, entitled “Media Violence” shows a white hand holding a gun emerge from the screen of a laptop to shoot its white male user in the head; blood splatters the wall behind him. In their highlighting and annotating, students should note that the hand and gun are central to the image and that a black glove makes the hand stand out. The black-gloved hand and the silver gun reinforce the color of the laptop, turned to an angle to make it appear more prominent. The victim’s neutral-colored clothing and the image’s general lack of color make the blood on the wall behind the victim appear even more vivid.
Some may read the central message of the ad as “Media violence contributes to claiming real lives”; despite the cautionary note accompanying the image, others may want to focus specifically on violent video games. Exercise 3. 3, p. 61 This exercise asks students to interview a classmate about an experience with video games and actual violence, to discuss any links that classmate sees between the two, and to write a paragraph summarizing the interview. Teaching tip: Because the assignment does ask students to consider their experiences with actual violence, discussion may touch on uncomfortable areas of student disclosure (child abuse, domestic violence, assault, etc. ).
As you present the assignment to students, you may want them to focus on violence in their communities rather than on themselves, or you may want to preface the assignment by reminding students that they do not need to talk about more than one experience that they feel comfortable sharing. Exercise 3. 4, p. 61 This exercise asks students to recall Gerard Jones’s argument in “Violent Media Is Good for Kids,” which they read in Chapter 2 (pp. 36–39), and to assess the images included in that essay with a critical eye. Students should discuss whether or not the images support Jones’s central argument. While student responses will vary, each image reinforces Jones’s central argument that comic-book images and fantasy violence help children to negotiate their own feelings of powerlessness. Each visual is empowering: a central figure gains control of a situation and indulges in over-the-top self-expression.
The images combat what Jones sees as a society problematically encouraging only acceptable social behavior to the detriment of developing healthy aggression in children. Responding Critically to Visual Arguments, p. 62 Encouraging students to recall what they learned in Chapter 2 about writing critical responses to written arguments, this section offers a useful series of questions to prompt students to write a critical response to visual arguments. The text suggests that students first identify audience and purpose before analyzing a visual 28 Part 2 Reading and Responding to Arguments text. A sample student analysis of the advertisement for Grand Theft Auto IV (p. 60) follows.
Teaching tip: If you spent time asking students to add to the annotation of the Grand Theft advertisement, continue this work by having students add to this sample response. Ask students to evaluate the sample essay, to provide more evidence, and to make and support additional assertions about the visual text. Exercise 3. 5, p. 65 For this exercise, students follow the template and fill the blanks to create their own argument. A sample critical response to a visual argument follows; the given text is in boldface. Template for Responding to Visual Arguments A visual posted on Flickr. com shows a white hand holding a gun emerge from the screen of a laptop to shoot its white male user in the head; blood splatters the wall behind the computer user. This visual makes a powerful statement about media violence.
Its images show media as the perpetrator of real violence, as violence reaches past the screen into the real world. At first glance, the photographer’s goal seems to be to critique violent screen media, perhaps even violent video games. The photo’s stark images support this position. For example, the gun appears as the central and most prominent image in the photo, and the neutral colors in the photo make the victim’s red blood even more vivid. A note that accompanies the photo states that it is not a statement against video games. Still the impact on its audience is likely to be upsetting since so many video games are played on computers. Exercise 3. 6, p. 65 This exercise asks students to reflect on their paragraph response to Exercise 3. and to write a more fully developed critical response to the “Media Violence” image. Have students return to the highlighting and annotating of the image they did in Exercise 3. 2 as they construct a more in-depth response to the image. Teaching tip: Since this is a difficult image to analyze (it’s stark, has no text, and seems deceptively simple) and may be your students’ first sustained attempt at analyzing a visual argument, consider having them work in small groups to develop their ideas together before they write on their own. CHAPTER Writing a Rhetorical Analysis What Is a Rhetorical Analysis? p. 68 Focusing on Martin Luther King Jr. ’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (p. 8), the text asks students to begin thinking about rhetorical analysis — that is, how a writer uses strategy to convince his or her audience. As the text warns, students may know or focus on the negative connotation of rhetoric as empty manipulation, so here the text explains rhetoric from the academic perspective. The text defines rhetoric and rhetorical analysis in terms of the situation within which the writer is writing: for whom she or he is writing, how she or he attempts to persuade, and what strategies she or he uses to form an argument. 4 Considering the Rhetorical Situation, p. 70 Considering the rhetorical situation of any piece of writing requires analyzing the writer, purpose, audience, topic, and context of the writing.
The text explains each of those five concepts through examples from King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and offers lists of universal analytical questions for each. (As students perform their own rhetorical analysis in Exercise 4. 2, p. 87, direct them to return to these questions. ) Context is perhaps the most difficult of these concepts for students to grasp, largely because it requires social, political, and historical knowledge students might not have; always remind students to read headnotes and to scan a text for historical or cultural references (p. 74). While you should encourage students to recall what they have learned about the time period during which a text was written, this is also a good time to make a plug for the importance of research.
Teaching tip: To encourage research, you might ask students to underline any of King’s references that they do not understand and to look them up later; parlay this advice into a short writing assignment asking students to discuss how learning this new information affected their thoughts about the letter. 29 30 Part 2 Reading and Responding to Arguments Considering the Means of Persuasion: Logos, Pathos, Ethos, p. 75 This section reviews the terms logos, pathos, and ethos, introduced on p. 7. Generally, students easily grasp appeals to emotion, but appeals to logic and character are a bit more difficult. Teaching tip: While the text draws on King’s letter to give examples of these appeals, the identification of them is certainly not exhaustive.
Consider giving students an excerpt of King’s letter and asking them to mark each kind of appeal in a different color highlighter/marker/pen. Also, advertisements, the most common everyday arguments we encounter, are a great place to find visual appeals (like the images included in this text) and textual appeals. Clip a few ads and distribute them to small groups (two or three works best); have students discuss the ads in their groups and then present their ideas to the larger class. In lieu of presenting, have students write about their ad’s rhetorical situation and the appeals they identified. Considering the Writer’s Rhetorical Strategies, p. 76
As writers and readers, it’s important to think about rhetorical strategy on the structural and stylistic level. As this portion of the chapter makes clear, the tenor and placement of the thesis statement as well as the organization — the arrangement of points or ideas—are important components of an essay’s rhetorical effect. You might use this opportunity to discuss the type and caliber of evidence or sources that an author may include and why he or she might choose to include or exclude the refutation of opposing viewpoints. The text reacquaints students with the stylistic techniques of metaphor, simile, and allusion and again offers examples from King’s letter.
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