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writing arguments textbook

Writing Arguments: A Rhetoric with Readings, 11th edition

  • John D. Ramage, 
  • John C. Bean, 
  • June Johnson

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Table of contents

Writing Arguments: A Rhetoric with Readings presents argument as a process of inquiry and a means of persuasion. The text promotes essential critical-thinking skills needed for writing effective arguments and emphasizes the value of argument as a mean to negotiate the rhetorical divisiveness in today's world.

Published by Pearson (July 14th 2021) - Copyright © 2019

ISBN-13: 9780137534227

Subject: Composition

Category: Argument

Table of Contents

I. principles of argument.

  • Argument Is Not a Fight or a Quarrel
  • Argument Is Not Pro-Con Debate
  • Arguments Can Be Explicit or Implicit
  • An Explicit Argument Opposing Legalization of Marijuana
  • For Writing and Discussion: Implicit and Explicit Arguments
  • Argument Requires Justification of Its Claims
  • Argument Is Both a Process and a Product
  • Argument Combines Truth-Seeking and Persuasion
  • Argument and the Problem of Truth in the 21st Century
  • The Classical Structure of Argument
  • Classical Appeals and the Rhetorical Triangle
  • Difference between an Issue Question and an Information Question
  • How to Identify an Issue Question
  • Difference between a Genuine Argument and a Pseudo-Argument
  • For Writing and Discussion: Reasonable Arguments Versus Pseudo-Arguments
  • What Is a Reason?
  • Expressing Reasons in Because Clauses
  • Writing Assignment: An Issue Question and Working Thesis Statements 0
  • Formal Logic Versus Real-World Logic
  • The Role of Assumptions
  • The Core of an Argument: The Enthymeme
  • The Power of Audience-Based Reasons
  • For Writing and Discussion: Identifying Underlying Assumptions and Choosing Audience-Based Reasons
  • Adopting a Language for Describing Arguments: The Toulmin System
  • For Writing and Discussion: Developing Enthymemes with the Toulmin Schema
  • Hypothetical Example: Cheerleaders as Athletes
  • First Part of Chandale’s Argument
  • Extended Student Example: Girls and Violent Video Games
  • The Thesis-Governed “Self-Announcing” Structure of Classical Argument
  • A Note on the Informal Fallacies
  • Writing Assignment: Plan of an Argument’s Details
  • Kinds of Evidence
  • Apply the STAR Criteria to Evidence
  • Establish a Trustworthy Ethos
  • Be Mindful of a Source’s Distance from Original Data
  • Angle of Vision and the Selection and Framing of Evidence
  • For Writing and Discussion: Creating Contrasting Angles of Vision
  • Rhetorical Strategies for Framing Evidence
  • Strategies for Framing Statistical Evidence
  • Creating a Plan for Gathering Evidence
  • Writing Assignment: A Supporting-Reasons Argument
  • Logos, Ethos, and Pathos as Persuasive Appeals: An Overview
  • How to Create an Effective Ethos: The Appeal to Credibility
  • Use Concrete Language
  • Use Specific Examples and Illustrations
  • Use Narratives
  • Use Words, Metaphors, and Analogies with Appropriate Connotations
  • For Writing and Discussion: Incorporating Appeals to Pathos
  • Kairos : The Timeliness and Fitness of Arguments
  • For Writing and Discussion: Analyzing an Argument from the Perspectives of Logos , Ethos, Pathos, and Kairos
  • Using Images to Appeal to Logos, Ethos, Pathos, and Kairos
  • For Writing and Discussion: Analyzing Images as Appeals to Pathos
  • Examining Visual Arguments: Logos, Ethos, Pathos, and Kairos
  • How Audience-Based Reasons Appeal to Logos, Ethos, Pathos, and Kairos
  • Writing Assignment: Revising a Draft for Ethos, Pathos, and Audience-Based Reasons
  • One-Sided, Multisided, and Delayed-Thesis Arguments
  • Determining Your Audience’s Resistance to Your Views
  • Appealing to a Supportive Audience: One-Sided Argument
  • Summarizing Opposing Views
  • Refuting Opposing Views
  • Strategies for Rebutting Evidence
  • Conceding to Opposing Views
  • Example of a Student Essay Using Refutation Strategy
  • Trudie Makens (Student Essay), Bringing Dignity to Workers: Make the Minimum Wage a Living Wage
  • For Writing and Discussion: Refutation Strategies
  • ALEXANDER CHANCELLOR, Oh, How I Will Miss the Plastic Bag
  • Writing a Delayed-Thesis Argument
  • Lauren Shinozuka (Student Essay), The Dangers of Digital Distractedness


  • Thinking Rhetorically about a Text
  • Author, Motivating Occasion, and Purpose
  • Angle of Vision
  • Asking Questions That Promote Rhetorical Thinking
  • For Writing and Discussion: Practicing Rhetorical Analysis
  • Our Own Rhetorical Analysis of “Egg Heads”
  • ELLEN GOODMAN, Womb for Rent
  • Critiquing “Womb for Rent”
  • Zachary Stumps (Student Essay), A Rhetorical Analysis Of Ellen Goodman’s “Womb For Rent”
  • Do Some Initial Brainstorming
  • Be Open to the Issues All Around You
  • Explore Ideas by Freewriting
  • Explore Ideas by Idea Mapping
  • Explore Ideas by Playing the Believing and Doubting Game
  • For Writing and Discussion: Playing the Believing and Doubting Game
  • JAMES SUROWIECKI, The Pay Is Too Damn Low
  • Thinking Steps for Writing a Summary
  • For Writing and Discussion: Does/Says Statements
  • Examples of Summaries
  • Practicing Believing: Willing Your Own Acceptance of the Writer’s Views
  • Practicing Doubting: Willing Your Own Resistance to the Writer’s Views
  • For Writing and Discussion: Raising Doubts About Surowiecki’s Argument
  • Thinking Dialectically
  • MICHAEL SALTSMAN, To Help the Poor, Move Beyond “Minimum” Gestures
  • Three Ways to Foster Dialectic Thinking
  • Trudie Makens (Student Essay), Should Fast-Food Workers Be Paid $15 per Hour?


  • Use of Type
  • Use of Space and Layout
  • Use of Color
  • Use of Images and Graphics
  • For Writing and Discussion: Analyzing an Advocacy Ad
  • Compositional Features to Examine in Photos and Drawings
  • An Analysis of a Multimedia Video Argument Using Words, Images, and Music
  • For Writing and Discussion: Thinking Rhetorically about Photos
  • Posters and Fliers
  • Public Affairs Advocacy Advertisements
  • For Writing and Discussion: Analyzing Posters Rhetorically
  • Advocacy Videos
  • Guidelines for Creating the Visual Elements in Posters, Fliers, and Advocacy Ads
  • Guidelines for Creating Video Arguments
  • For Writing and Discussion: Developing Ideas for an Advocacy Ad or Poster Argument
  • How Tables Contain a Variety of Stories
  • Using a Graph to Tell a Story
  • Incorporating Graphics into Your Argument
  • A Note on How Graphics Frame Data Rhetorically
  • Writing Assignment: A Visual Argument Rhetorical Analysis, a Visual Argument, or a Short Argument Using Quantitative Data
  • The Appropriateness and Usefulness of Collaborative Rhetoric
  • Practicing Nonjudgmental Listening
  • Identifying Values, Emotions, and Identities
  • Seeking Common Ground
  • Promoting Openness to Ongoing Communication and Change
  • For Writing and Discussion: Listening Empathically and Seeking Common Ground
  • Preparing for Collaborative Rhetoric Through Reflective Writing
  • Practicing Collaborative Rhetoric in Discussion
  • For Writing and Discussion: Conducting a Collaborative Rhetoric Discussion
  • Writing an Open Letter as Collaborative Rhetoric
  • Monica Allen (Student Essay), An Open Letter to Christopher Eide in Response to His Article “High-Performing Charter Schools Can Close the Opportunity Gap”


  • The Types of Claims and Their Typical Patterns of Development
  • For Writing and Discussion: Identifying Types of Claims
  • Writer 1: Ban E-Cigarettes
  • Writer 2: Promote E-Cigarettes as a Preferred Alternative to Real Cigarettes
  • Writer 3: Place No Restrictions on E-Cigarettes
  • Some Examples of Hybrid Arguments
  • An Extended Example of a Hybrid Argument
  • ALEX HUTCHINSON, Your Daily Multivitamin May Be Hurting You
  • Consequences Resulting from Categorical Claims
  • The Rule of Justice: Things in the Same Category Should Be Treated the Same Way
  • For Writing and Discussion: Applying the Rule of Justice
  • Simple Categorical Arguments
  • Definition Arguments
  • Resemblance Argument Using Analogy
  • Resemblance Arguments Using Precedent
  • For Writing and Discussion: Using Claims of Precedent
  • Examining Visual Arguments: Claim about Category (Definition)
  • Overview of Criteria-Match Structure
  • Toulmin Framework for a Definition Argument
  • Creating Criteria Using Aristotelian Definition
  • Strategy 1: Research How Others Have Defined the Term
  • Strategy 2: Create Your Own Extended Definition
  • For Writing and Discussion: Developing a Definition
  • Writing Assignment: A Definition Argument
  • Exploring Ideas
  • Organizing a Definition Argument
  • Questioning and Critiquing a Definition Argument
  • Arthur Knopf (Student Essay), Is Milk a Health Food?
  • Alex Mullen (Student Essay), A Pirate But Not a Thief: What Does “Stealing” Mean in a Digital Environment?
  • MARK OPPENHEIMER, How Do We Define Adulthood?
  • Kinds of Causal Arguments
  • Toulmin Framework for a Causal Argument
  • For Writing and Discussion: Developing Causal Chains
  • First Method: Explain the Causal Mechanism Directly
  • Second Method: Infer Causal Links Using Inductive Reasoning
  • For Writing and Discussion: Developing Plausible Causal Chains Based on Correlations
  • Examining Visual Arguments: A Causal Claim
  • A Glossary of Key Terms
  • Avoiding Common Inductive Fallacies That Can Lead to Wrong Conclusions
  • For Writing and Discussion: Brainstorming Causes and Constraints
  • Identifying Your Audience and Determining What’s at Stake
  • Organizing a Causal Argument
  • Questioning and Critiquing a Causal Argument
  • Jesse Goncalves (Student Essay), What Causes Math Anxiety?
  • KRIS SAKNUSSEMM, Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Are We Really Here at All? Can We Tell?
  • Carlos Macias (Student Essay), “The Credit Card Company Made Me Do It!”–The Credit Card Industry’s Role in Causing Student Debt
  • An Overview of Categorical and Ethical Evaluation Arguments
  • Criteria-Match Structure of Categorical Evaluations
  • Developing Your Criteria
  • Making Your Match Argument
  • Examining Visual Arguments: An Evaluation Claim
  • For Writing and Discussion: Developing Criteria and Match Arguments
  • Consequences as the Base of Ethics
  • Principles as the Base of Ethics
  • Example Ethical Arguments Examining Capital Punishment
  • For Writing and Discussion: Developing an Ethical Argument
  • Common Problems in Making Evaluation Arguments
  • Organizing an Evaluation Argument
  • Questioning and Critiquing a Categorical Evaluation Argument
  • Critiquing an Ethical Argument
  • Lorena Mendoza-Flores (Student Essay), Silenced and Invisible: Problems of Hispanic Students at Valley High School
  • Hadley Reeder (Student Essay), A Defective and Detrimental Dress Code
  • JUDITH DAAR AND EREZ ALONI, Three Genetic Parents–For One Healthy Baby
  • SAMUEL AQUILA, The “Therapeutic Cloning” of Human Embryos
  • Practical Proposals Versus Policy Proposals
  • Toulmin Framework for a Proposal Argument
  • Special Concerns for Proposal Arguments
  • Developing a Proposal Argument
  • Convincing Your Readers That a Problem Exists
  • Explaining the Proposed Solution: Showing the Specifics of Your Proposal
  • Offering a Justification: Convincing Your Readers That the Benefits of Your Proposal Outweigh the Costs
  • The Claim Types Strategy
  • The Stock Issues Strategy
  • For Writing and Discussion: Generating Ideas Using the Claim Types Strategy
  • For Writing and Discussion: Brainstorming Ideas for a Proposal
  • Proposal Arguments as Advocacy Posters or Advertisements
  • Organizing a Proposal Argument
  • Designing a One-Page Advocacy Poster or Advertisement
  • Designing PowerPoint Slides or Other Visual Aids for a Speech
  • Questioning and Critiquing a Proposal Argument
  • Megan Johnson (Student Essay), A Practical Proposal
  • Ivan Snook (Student Essay), Flirting with Disaster: An Argument against Integrating Women into the Combat Arms
  • Sandy Wainscott (Student Essay), Why McDonald’s Should Sell Meat and Veggie Pies: A Proposal to End Subsidies for Cheap Meat
  • MARCEL DICKE AND ARNOLD VAN HUIS, The Six-Legged Meat of the Future


  • Formulating a Research Question Instead of a Topic
  • Identifying Kinds of Sources Relevant to Your Question
  • Approaching Sources Rhetorically
  • For Writing and Discussion: Identifying Types of Sources
  • Conducting Interviews
  • Gathering Source Data from Surveys or Questionnaires
  • Finding Books and Reference Sources
  • Using Licensed Databases to Find Articles in Scholarly Journals, Magazines, and News Sources
  • Finding Cyberspace Sources: Searching the World Wide Web
  • Reading with Rhetorical Awareness
  • Evaluating Sources
  • Criteria for Evaluating a Web Source
  • Taking Purposeful Notes
  • Writer 1: A Causal Argument Showing Alternative Approaches to Reducing Risk of Alcoholism
  • Writer 2: A Proposal Argument Advocating Vegetarianism
  • Writer 3: An Evaluation Argument Looking Skeptically at Vegetarianism
  • For Writing And Discussion: Using a Source for Different Purposes
  • Summarizing
  • Paraphrasing
  • Quoting a Complete Sentence
  • Quoting Words and Phrases
  • Modifying a Quotation
  • Omitting Something from a Quoted Passage
  • Quoting Something That Contains a Quotation
  • Using a Block Quotation for a Long Passage
  • Attributive Tags versus Parenthetical Citations
  • Creating Attributive Tags to Shape Reader Response
  • Why Some Kinds of Plagiarism May Occur Unwittingly
  • Strategies for Avoiding Plagiarism
  • The Correspondence between In-Text Citations and the End-of-Paper List of Cited Works
  • In-Text Citations in MLA Style
  • Works Cited List in MLA Style
  • MLA Works Cited Citation Models
  • MLA-Style Research Paper
  • In-Text Citations in APA Style
  • References List in APA Style
  • APA References Citation Models
  • APA-Style Research Paper


  • The Difference Between Formal and Informal Logic

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Humanities LibreTexts

How Arguments Work - A Guide to Writing and Analyzing Texts in College (Mills)

  • Last updated
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  • Page ID 27104

  • City College of San Francisco via ASCCC Open Educational Resources Initiative

How Arguments Work takes students through the techniques they will need to respond to readings and make sophisticated arguments in any college class.  This is a practical guide to argumentation with strategies and templates for the kinds of assignments students will commonly encounter. It covers rhetorical concepts in everyday language and explores how arguments can build trust and move readers.


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  1. Writing Arguments: A Rhetoric with Readings (10th Edition)

    Writing Arguments: A Rhetoric with Readings, 10/e integrates four different approaches to argument: the enthymeme as a logical structure, the classical concepts of logos, pathos, and ethos, the Toulmin system, and stasis theory.

  2. Writing Arguments: A Rhetoric with Readings, MLA Update ...

    Writing Arguments: A Rhetoric with Readings, 10/e integrates four different approaches to argument: the enthymeme as a logical structure, the classical concepts of logos, pathos, and ethos, the Toulmin system, and stasis theory.

  3. Writing Arguments: A Rhetoric with Readings - Pearson

    ISBN-13: 9780137534227. Writing Arguments: A Rhetoric with Readings. Published 2021. Need help? Get in touch.

  4. Writing Arguments: A Rhetoric with Readings, 11th edition

    Writing Arguments: A Rhetoric with Readings presents argument as a process of inquiry and a means of persuasion. The text promotes essential critical-thinking skills needed for writing effective arguments and emphasizes the value of argument as a mean to negotiate the rhetorical divisiveness in today's world.

  5. Writing Arguments: A Rhetoric With Readings -

    This book offers the most effective combination of rhetoric and readings of any argument books available. It strongly emphasizes argument as the social act it is and treats the topic as a means of clarification and truth-seeking as well as a means of persuading an audience.

  6. How Arguments Work - A Guide to Writing and Analyzing Texts ...

    1: Introduction 2: Reading to Figure out the Argument 3: Writing a Summary of Another Writer’s Argument 4: Assessing the Strength of an Argument (Logos) 5: Responding to an Argument 6: The Research Process 7: Forming a Research-Based Argument 8: How Arguments Appeal to Emotion (Pathos) 9: How Arguments Establish Trust and Connection (Ethos)