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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
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
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
Writing Assignment 2 Reconstructing the Lost Tribe
Making Inferences—Writing about Fiction
Writing Assignment 3 Interpreting Fiction
Making Inferences—Analyzing Images
Persuading With Visual Images
Visual Images and the Law
The Structure of Argument
Premises and Conclusions
Distinguishing Between Premises and Conclusions
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
Focusing Your Topic
The Question at Issue
Shaping a Written Argument—Rhetorical Strategies
The Development of Your Argument
How Many Premises Should an Argument Have?
A Dialectical Approach to Argument
How Much Counterargument?
Refutation and Concession
When There is No Other Side
More On Coherence
A Two-Step Process for Writing a Complete Argument
Writing Assignment 6 Arguing Both Sides of an Issue
Writing Assignment 7 Taking a Stand
The Language of Argument—Definition
Definition and Perception
Who Controls the 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
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
What Is a Fallacious Argument?
Appeal to Authority
Appeal to Fear
Appeal to Pity
Begging the Question
Poisoning the Well
Writing Assignment 10 Analyzing an Extended Argument
Deductive and Inductive Argument
(1) Necessity Versus Probability
(2) From General to Specific, Specific to General
The Relationship Between Induction and Deduction
Relationships Between Classes
Class Logic And The Syllogism
Hypothetical Arguments 168
The Valid Hypothetical Argument
The Invalid Hypothetical Argument
Necessary and Sufficient Conditions
Hypothetical Claims and Everyday 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
The Language of Argument—Style
The Structure of Parallelism
Logic of the Parallel Series
Emphasizing Ideas With Parallelism
Sharpening Sentences, Eliminating Wordiness
Active and Passive Verbs
Passive Verbs and Evasion
When the Passive is Appropriate
Consistent Sentence Subjects
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
“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
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