Writing Arguments: A Rhetoric with Readings (10th Edition)
Through nine editions, Writing Arguments has established itself as a leading college textbook in argumentation. By focusing on argument as dialogue in search of solutions to problems instead of as pro-con debate with winners and losers, Writing Arguments treats argument as a process of inquiry as well as a means of persuasion. Users and reviewers have consistently praised the book for teaching the critical thinking skills needed for writing arguments: how to analyze the occasion for an argument; how to ground an argument in the values and beliefs of the targeted audience; how to develop and elaborate an argument; and how to respond sensitively to objections and alternative views. We are pleased that in this tenth edition, we have made many improvements while retaining the text’s signature strengths.
What’s New in the Tenth Edition?
Based on our continuing research into argumentation theory and pedagogy, as well as on the advice of users, we have made significant improvements in the tenth edition that increase the text’s flexibility for teachers and its appeal to students. We have made the following major changes:
■ An updated, revised, and streamlined Chapter 2 on “Argument as Inquiry” now focused on the “living wage” controversy. The previous edition’s inquiry topic about immigration has been replaced by the issue of raising the minimum wage for fast-food workers or retail store clerks. Chapter 2 now has all new student examples, visual arguments, and professional readings focussed on minimum wage, including a new annotated student exploratory essay that models the process of rhetorical reading and dialogic thinking.
■ Expanded treatment of evidence. A revised and expanded Chapter 5 explains with greater clarity the kinds of evidence that can be used in argument and shows students how to analyze evidence rhetorically. A new section shows students how to evaluate evidence encountered in secondary sources by tracing it back to its primary sources.
■ Expanded treatment of Rogerian communication and other means of engaging alternative views. In Chapter 7, we expand our treatment of Rogerian argument by reframing it as Rogerian communication, which focuses more on mutual listening, negotiation, and growth than on persuasion. Chapter 7 now contains an additional student example of Rogerian communication addressing the issue of charter schools. In addition, we have strengthened our explanation of how classical argument treats opposing views. A new annotated student essay using a rebuttal strategy shows how classical argument can appeal successfully to neutral, undecided, or mildly resistant audiences.
■ Streamlined organization of each chapter now keyed to learning outcomes. Each chapter now begins with newly formulated learning outcomes. Each main heading in a rhetoric chapter is linked to a respective outcome, enhancing the explanatory power of the outcomes and helping students learn the high-level takeaway points and concepts in each chapter
■ New “For Writing and Discussion” activities. The class discussion activities in this edition now include two types. The first—identified as “For Class Discussion”— helps teachers incorporate small-group discussion tasks that enhance learning of course concepts and skills. The second type—identified as “For Writing and Discussion”—is new to this edition. Each of these activities begins with an “individual task” that can be assigned as homework in advance of class. These tasks are intended as informal, low-stakes write-to-learn activities that motivate reading of the chapter and help students build their own argumentative skills. Each chapter contains at least one of these “For Writing and Discussion” activities.
■ Seven new student model essays, many of which are annotated. New student model arguments, including many newly annotated models, help demonstrate argument strategies in practice. Showing how other students have developed various types of arguments makes argument concepts and strategies easier for students to grasp and use themselves. New student essays address timely and relevant issues such as raising the minimum wage, evaluating charter schools, analyzing the ethics of downloading films from a person-to-person torrent site on the Web, critiquing a school culture that makes minorities “invisible,” opposing women in combat roles, and evaluating the effect of social media on today’s college students.
■ Seven new professional readings throughout the rhetoric section in the text. New readings about issues such as a living wage, the use of dietary supplements among athletes, the “amateur” status of college athletes, the impact of adult cellphone use on children, and therapeutic cloning have been chosen for their illustrative power and student interest.
■ New visual examples throughout the text. New images, editorial cartoons, and graphics throughout the text highlight current issues such as living wage, climate change, bullying, sexual trafficking, date rape, rainwater conservation, fracking, and gender or racial stereotypes.
■ A thoroughly updated and revised anthology. The anthology in the tenth edition features newly updated units as well as one new unit.
• A new unit on food and farming explores controversies over labelling genetically modified foods and the educational, nutritional, and social value of school gardens.
• An updated unit on digital literacies explores the effects of communications technologies and social media on the way we think, read, and write as well as on our values and social relationships and online identities. The unit also explores the controversy over selfies and shows how social media have been employed to fight gender violence.
• An updated unit on education continues its focus on the value of a college education.
A new sequence of arguments examines the benefits and drawbacks of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), including their effect on teaching,
student learning, and society’s commitment to educate its citizens.
• The unit on immigration has been updated to reflect the latest controversies over the social and economic benefits of immigrants and the humanitarian crisis over undocumented children at the border.
• An updated unit on sustainability now presents a range of arguments on the technological, economic, and political challenges of converting to renewable energy sources and on the controversy over fracking.
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