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John C. Bean is an emeritus professor of English at Seattle University, where he held the title of “Consulting Professor of Writing and Assessment.” He has an undergraduate degree from Stanford (1965) and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington (1972). He is the author of Engaging Ideas: The Professor’s Guide to Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom, 2nd edition (Jossey-Bass, 2011). He is also the co-author of three widely-used composition textbooks–Writing Arguments, The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Writing, and Reading Rhetorically. He has published numerous articles and book chapters on writing in the disciplines as well as on literary subjects. His current research interests focus on pedagogical strategies for teaching undergraduate research including quantitative literacy, disciplinary methods of inquiry and argument, and the problem of “transfer of learning” as students move through and across a curriculum. He has delivered lectures and conducted workshops on writing-across-the-curriculum throughout the United States and Canada as well as for universities in Germany, Bangladesh, and Ghana. In 2010 his article “Messy Problems and Lay Audiences: Teaching Critical Thinking within the Finance Curriculum” (co-authored with colleagues from finance and economics) won the 2009 McGraw-Hill — Magna Publications Award for the year’s best “scholarly work on teaching and learning.”
A student opposes a ban on a chemical that makes toys soft and flexible.The Defining Features of Argument
An American journalist argues for an increased federally mandated minimum wage combined with government policies to promote job growth and ensure a stable safety net for the poor.Summary Writing as a Way of Reading to Believe
The chief economist for the Employment Policy Institute opposes an increased minimum wage, arguing that it does nothing for the jobless poor and will in fact lead to increased joblessness.Three Ways to Foster Dialectic Thinking
Examining articles by Surowiecki, Saltsman, and others, a student narrates the evolution of her thinking as she researches the issue of minimum wage.
A student argues that playing violent video games helps girls gain insight into male culture.The Thesis-Governed “Self-Announcing” Structure of Classical Argument
A student writer refutes three arguments against increasing the minimum wage.Appealing to a Resistant Audience: Dialogic Argument
A conservative columnist asks readers to explore aspects of American identity that suggest that Muslims should not build a community center near Ground Zero.Writing a Delayed-Thesis Argument
Using the strategies of Rogerian argument, a student writes an open letter about the problem of gun violence on college campuses to an advocate of minimal gun control laws and more guns.Conclusion
Using the classical argument form, a student writer argues that being a skilled digi-tal native also “harms us by promoting an unproductive habit of multitasking, by dehumanizing our relationships, and by encouraging a distorted self-image.”MONICA ALLEN (STUDENT), “An Open Letter to Christopher Eide in Response to His Article ‘High-Performing Charter Schools Can Close the Opportunity Gap’ ” (RogerianCommunication)
Using the strategies of Rogerian communication, a student writer skeptical about charter schools initiates dialogue with a charter school advocate on ways to improve education for low-income and minority students.
Writing for the conservative magazine National Review, Kathryn Jean Lopez argues against the emerging practice of egg donation enabled by new reproductive technology.Our Own Rhetorical Analysis of “Egg Heads”
Writing ten years after Lopez, liberal columnist Ellen Goodman explores the ethical dilemmas created when first-world couples “outsource” motherhood to third-world women.ZACHARY STUMPS (STUDENT), “A Rhetorical Analysis of Ellen Goodman’s ‘Womb for Rent–For a Price’ ”
A student analyzes Ellen Goodman’s rhetorical strategies in “Womb for Rent,” emphasizing her delayed-thesis structure and her use of language with double meanings.
A student argues that milk, despite its reputation for promoting calcium-rich bones, may not be a health food.ALEX MULLEN (STUDENT), “A Pirate But Not a Thief: What Does ‘Stealing’ Mean in a Digital Environment?”
A student argues that his act of piracy–downloading a film from a file- sharing torrent site–is not stealing because it deprives no one of property or profit.LOS ANGELES TIMES EDITORIAL BOARD, “College Football–Yes, It’s a Job”
The Editorial Board of the Los Angeles Times supports a court decision that scholarship football players at Northwestern University are “paid employees” of the university and therefore have the right to unionize.
A student writer disagrees with Harvard president Lawrence Summers’s claim that genetic factors may account for fewer women than men holding professorships in math and science at prestige universities.DEBORAH FALLOWS, “Papa, Don’t Text: The Perils of Distracted Parenting”
Linguist Deborah Fallows argues in The Atlantic that by texting and talking on cell phones instead of interacting with their young children adults are jeopardizing their children’s language learning.CARLOS MACIAS (STUDENT), “‘The Credit Card Company Made Me Do It!’–The Credit Card Industry’s Role in Causing Student Debt”
A student writer examines the causes of college students’ credit card debt and puts the blame on the exploitive practices of the credit card industry.
A physics major critiques her former high school for marginalizing its growing numbers of Hispanic students.CHRISTOPHER MOORE (STUDENT), “Information Plus Satire: Why The Daily Show and The Colbert Report Are Good Sources of News for Young People”
A student favorably evaluates The Daily Show and The Colbert Report as news sources by arguing that they keep us up to date on major world events and teach us to read the news rhetorically.JUDITH DAAR AND EREZ ALONI, “Three Genetic Parents–For One Healthy Baby”
Lawyers specializing in medical research argue that mitochondrial replacement (which enables a child to inherit DNA from three parents) “might be a way to prevent hundreds of mitochondrial-linked diseases, which affect about one in 5, people.”SAMUEL AQUILA, “The ‘Therapeutic Cloning’ of Human Embryos”
A Catholic archbishop finds therapeutic cloning “heinous,” despite its potential health benefits, “because the process is intended to create life, exploit it, and then destroy it.”14 Proposal Arguments
A student writes a practical proposal urging her university’s administration to allow off-campus use of meal cards as a way of increasing gender equity and achieving other benefits.IVAN SNOOK (STUDENT), “Flirting with Disaster: An Argument Against Integrating Women into the Combat Arms” (MLA-format research paper)
A student writer and Marine veteran returned from combat duty in Iraq argues that women should not serve in combat units because the inevitable sexual friction undermines morale and endangers soldiers’ lives.SAVE-BEES.ORG, “SAVE THE BEES ADVOCACY AD”
An organization devoted to saving bees calls for support for a moratorium on the use of certain chemical pesticides that are deadly to bees.SANDY WAINSCOTT (STUDENT), “Why McDonald’s Should Sell Meat and Veggie Pies: A Proposal to End Subsidies for Cheap Meat” (speech with PowerPoint slides)
A student proposes the end of subsidies for cheap meat for the benefit of both people’s health and the environment.MARCEL DICKE AND ARNOLD VAN HUIS, “The Six-Legged Meat of the Future”
Two Dutch entomologists argue that insects are a nutritious and tasty form of protein and less environmentally harmful than cattle, pigs, or chickens.