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The Well-Crafted Argument: A Guide and Reader

By Simone J. Fred D.Billings
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Book Details
  • Author: Simone J. Fred D.Billings
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Published: 2004-10-24
  • Edition: 2

The goal of this two-part argument rhetoric/reader is to equip students with a complete set of skills (writing, arguing, reasoning, critical reading and thinking, researching) necessary for writing argumentative essays in a wide variety of contexts and disciplines. The Well-Crafted Argument uses a practical, accessible, skills-based approach to teaching argument while encouraging students to develop their individual voices and visions.

Part One, "The Rhetoric of Argument," covers using the writing process when writing arguments, framing arguments using three main models (Classic, Toulmin, and Rogerian), reasoning and avoiding fallacies, critical reading and thinking, research, and documentation of sources. Integrated throughout this part are 16 sample arguments, including Thomas Jefferson's "Declaration of Independence" and Martin Luther King, Jr.,'s "Letter from a Birmingham Jail."

Part Two, "Reading Clusters," is an anthology of 95 readings grouped into nine clusters. The first eight clusters cover controversial topics of current interest, such as downloading music files, national security, standardized testing, censorship, and media violence. Each cluster includes a wide range of contrasting (not just opposing) views. The last cluster features famous arguments, including Plato's "Allegory of the Cave," Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal," Frederick Douglass's "I Hear the Mournful Wail of Millions," and Roe v. Wade. At least one student essay is included within each of the nine reading clusters.

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