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Writing Logically Thinking Critically Plus NEW MyLab Writing -- Access Card Package, 8th Edition

By Sheila Cooper, Rosemary Patton

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Aug 11, 2014


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This concise, accessible text teaches students how to write logical, cohesive arguments and how to evaluate the arguments of others.


Integrating writing skills with critical thinking skills, this practical book teaches students to draw logical inferences, identify premises and conclusions and use language precisely. Students also learn how to identify fallacies and to distinguish between inductive and deductive reasoning. Ideal for any composition class that emphasizes argument, this text includes coverage of writing style and rhetoric, logic, literature, research and documentation.


  • Comprehensive coverage of persuasive writing in a brief format
  • Exercises appear throughout each chapter, often paired with readings for students to write about, giving them necessary practice with key ideas from each chapter.
  • Extensive visuals throughout the text help students understand important concepts.                                                      
  • A “Plagiarism” section discusses the current problem of students taking materials from the Internet without attribution and discovers the risks and ethical considerations of plagiarism.
  • “Making Inferences—Analyzing Visual Images” applies the principles of logical inference to “reading” images such as advertisements, helping students navigate our consumer culture.
  • “Strategies for Writing a Summary” includes a model summary and step-by-step instruction.
  • A convenient list of readings in the front of the book makes it easy for students and instructors to locate selections and highlights the variety of genres covered—poetry, fiction, student essays, editorials, newspaper and magazine columns.

Table of Contents

Guide to Readings


Chapter 1

Thinking and Writing—A Critical Connection

Thinking Made Visible  1

Critical Thinking  2

An Open Mind—Examining Your World View

Hedgehogs and Foxes

Writing as a Process

Invention Strategies—Generating Ideas

The First Draft  9

The Time to be Critical

Audience and Purpose

E-Mail and Text Messaging

Writing Assignment 1  Considering Your Audience and Purpose

Reason, Intuition, Imagination, and Metaphor

Reasoning by Analogy


Key Terms

Chapter 2

Inference—Critical Thought

What Is an Inference?

How Reliable is an Inference?

What Is a Fact?

Reliability of Facts in a Changing World

What Is a Judgment?

Achieving a Balance Between Inference and Facts

Facts Only

Inferences Only

Writing Assignment 2  Reconstructing the Lost Tribe

Reading Critically

Making Inferences—Writing about Fiction

Writing Assignment 3 Interpreting Fiction

Making Inferences—Analyzing Images

Persuading With Visual Images

Examining Ads

Vivid Warnings

Visual Images and the Law


Key Terms

Chapter 3

The Structure of Argument

Premises and Conclusions

Distinguishing Between Premises and Conclusions

Standard Form

Writing Assignment 5  Creating a Political Handout

Ambiguous Argument Structure

Hidden Assumptions in Argument

Dangers of Hidden Assumptions

Hidden Assumptions and Standard Form

Hidden Assumptions and Audience Awareness


Strategies For Writing a Summary

An Example of a Summary

Writing Assignment 5  Summarizing an Article

Argument and Explanation—Distinctions


Key Terms

Chapter 4

Written Argument

Focusing Your Topic

The Issue

The Question at Issue

The Thesis

Shaping a Written Argument—Rhetorical Strategies

The Introduction

The Development of Your Argument

How Many Premises Should an Argument Have?

The Conclusion

A Dialectical Approach to Argument

Addressing Counterarguments

How Much Counterargument?

Refutation and Concession

Rogerian Strategy

When There is No Other Side

Logical Connections—Coherence

Joining Words

More On Coherence

Sample Essays

A Two-Step Process for Writing a Complete Argument

Writing Assignment 6  Arguing Both Sides of an Issue

Writing Assignment 7  Taking a Stand


Key Terms

Chapter 5

The Language of Argument—Definition

Definition and Perception

Who Controls the Definitions?

Defining Ourselves

Shifting Definitions

Definition: The Social Sciences and Government

Language: An Abstract System of Symbols

The Importance of Concrete Examples

Abstractions and Evasion

Euphemism and Connotation

Definition in Written Argument

Appositives—A Strategy for Defining Terms Within the Sentence

Appositives and Argument

Punctuation of Appositives

Extended Definition

Writing Assignment 8  Composing an Argument Based on a Definition

Inventing a New Word to Fill a Need

Writing Assignment 9  Creating a New Word


Key Terms

Chapter 6

Fallacious Arguments

What Is a Fallacious Argument? 

Appeal to Authority 

Appeal to Fear 

Appeal to Pity 

Begging the Question 

Double Standard 


False Analogy 

False Cause 

False Dilemma 

Hasty Generalization 

Personal Attack 

Poisoning the Well 

Red Herring 

Slippery Slope 

Straw Man  

Writing Assignment 10  Analyzing an Extended Argument 

Key Terms 

Chapter 7

Deductive and Inductive Argument

Key Distinction

(1) Necessity Versus Probability

(2) From General to Specific, Specific to General

The Relationship Between Induction and Deduction

Deductive Reasoning

Class Logic

Relationships Between Classes

Class Logic And The Syllogism

Hypothetical Arguments  168

The Valid Hypothetical Argument

The Invalid Hypothetical Argument

Necessary and Sufficient Conditions

Hypothetical Chains

Hypothetical Claims and Everyday Reasoning

Inductive Reasoning


The Direction of Inductive Reasoning

Testing Inductive Generalizations

Thinking Critically About Surveys and Statistics

Writing Assignment 11  Questioning Generalizations

Writing Assignment 12  Conducting a Survey: A Collaborative Project


Key Terms

Chapter 8

The Language of Argument—Style


The Structure of Parallelism

Logic of the Parallel Series

Emphasizing Ideas With Parallelism

Sharpening Sentences, Eliminating Wordiness

Concrete Subjects

Active and Passive Verbs

Passive Verbs and Evasion

When the Passive is Appropriate

Consistent Sentence Subjects


Key Terms

A Quick Guide to Evaluating Sources and Integrating Research into your Own Writing

Where to Begin

Evaluating Online Sources

Checking for Bias

Three Options for Including Research

Blend Quotations and Paraphrases into Your Own Writing

 Make the Purpose Clear

Punctuation and Format of Quotations

Omitting Words From a Direct Quotation—Ellipsis


A Final Note

Additional Readings

“Living with Less,” Graham Hill

“The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage,” Ted Olsen

“You Are What You Speak,” Guy Deutscher

“The Order of Things,” Malcolm Gladwell

Text Credits



Digital + Print