Practical Argument: Short Edition

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2016-09-19
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Best-selling authors Laurie Kirszner and Stephen Mandell have brought simplicity to the study of argument with Practical Argument Short Third Edition.  A straightforward, full-color, accessible introduction to argumentative writing, it employs an exercise-driven, step-by-step approach to get to the heart of what students need to understand argument. Practical Argument focuses on basic principles of classical argument and includes alternative approaches. Practical Argument forgoes the technical terminology that confuses students and explains concepts in understandable, everyday language, with examples that are immediately relevant to students’ lives. Thoroughly updated with exciting new topics and readings, Practical Argument is now available packaged with a LaunchPad that provides:
  • Interactive exercises and tutorials for reading, writing, and research
  • LearningCurve adaptive, game-like practice that helps students focus on the topics where they need the most help, such as fallacies, claims, evidence, and other key elements of argument
  • Comprehension quizzes on the readings and argument instruction
    Practical Argument Short Third Edition is also available in a full version with a reader
  • Author Biography

    During their long collaboration, Laurie Kirszner and Stephen Mandell have written a number of best-selling college texts for Bedford/St. Martin's, including Patterns for College Writing, Foundations First, Writing First, Focus on Writing, and, most recently, Practical Argument. Laurie Kirszner is a Professor of English, Emeritus at the University of the Sciences, where she has taught composition, literature, creative writing, and scientific writing, and served as coordinator of the first-year writing program.  Stephen Mandell is a Professor of English at Drexel University, where he founded and directed the basic writing program and has taught composition, literature, speech, and technical and business writing.

    Table of Contents

    Part 1—Understanding Argument An Introduction to Argument

    Recognizing Arguments

         Why Instructors Assign Argument [box]

    Defining Argument

         What Kinds of Statements Are Not Debatable? [box]

    Arguments in Real Life

    Winning and Losing Arguments

    The Rhetorical Situation

    Considering the Writer

    Considering the Purpose

    Considering the Audience

    Considering the Question

    Considering the Context

    Logos, Pathos, and Ethos

         The Appeal to Reason (logos)

         Logos in Action

         The Appeal to the Emotions (pathos)

         Pathos in Action

         The Appeal to Authority (ethos)

         Ethos in Action

    The Rhetorical Triangle

    The Audience for Argument

    1—The Four Pillars of Argument

    AT ISSUE: Is a College Education Worth the Money?

    The Elements of Argument

         Thesis Statement



         Concluding Statement

         Checklist: Does Your Argument Stand Up?

         Nia Tuckson, Why Foreign-Language Study Should Be Required [student essay]  

        Andrew Herman, Raise the Drinking Age to Twenty-Five

    READING AND WRITING ABOUT THE ISSUE: Is a College Education Worth the Money?

    *David Leonhardt, Is College Worth It? Clearly, New Data Say

    Marty Nemko, We Send Too Many Students to College

    Jennie Le, What Does It Mean to Be a College Grad?

    Dale Stephens, College Is a Waste of Time

    *Bridget Terry Long, College Is Worth It – Some of the Time

    *Mary C. Daly and Leila Bengali, Is It Still Worth Going to College?

    Tony Brummel, Practical Experience Trumps Fancy Degrees

    Part 2—Reading and Responding to Arguments

    2—Thinking and Reading Critically

    AT ISSUE: Do Violent Media Images Trigger Violent Behavior? Thinking Critically

         Using Critical-Thinking Skills [box]

    Reading Critically

         Guidelines for Reading Critically [box]

    Becoming an Active Reader


         Close Reading

         Comprehension Clues [box]

    Gerard Jones, Violent Media Is Good for Kids


        John Leo, When Life Imitates Video [student highlighting]


         Checklist: Questions for Annotating

        John Leo, When Life Imitates Video [student annotations]

         Jessica Robbins, Don’t Withhold Violent Games

        *American Psychological Association, Violence in Mass Media

    Writing a Critical Response

         Checklist: Questions for Critical Reading

         Katherine Choi, Response to "When Life Imitates Video" [student response]

    Template for Writing a Critical Response

    3—Decoding Visual Arguments

    AT ISSUE: Do Violent Media Images Trigger Violent Behavior? [continued]

    Thinking Critically about Visual Arguments

         Visuals versus Visual Arguments [box]

    Using Active Reading Strategies with Visual Arguments

         Comprehension Clues [box]

         Appeals: Logos, Pathos, and Ethos [box]

         Todd Davidson, Media Violence [visual]

        *Max Fisher, Gun-related murders and video game consumption [graphs]

        *Bob Engelhart, Violent Video Games [cartoon]  

         Parenthood Library, Distribution of Language, Sex, and Violence Codes in PG-Rated Movies [chart]  

        Boy Playing a First Person Shooter Game [photograph]

        Ways to Die in a Children’s Cartoon [Chart]  

        * Lauren Dazzara, Why Gaming Is a Positive Element in Life [Infographic]

    Highlighting and Annotating Visuals

        Rockstar North, Grand Theft Auto IV [advertisement]

      *Nate Londa, Silence the Violence [image]

    Responding Critically to Visual Arguments

         Checklist: Questions for Responding to Visual Arguments

         Jason Savona, Response to Grand Theft Auto IV [student response]  

         Template for Responding to Visual Arguments

    4—Writing a Rhetorical Analysis

    AT ISSUE: Is It Ethical to Buy Counterfeit Designer Merchandise?

    What Is a Rhetorical Analysis?

         Overview: "Letter from Birmingham Jail" by Martin Luther King Jr. [box]

    Considering the Rhetorical Situation

         Analyzing the Rhetorical Situation [box]

         The Writer

        Analyzing the Writer [box]

         The Writer’s Purpose

        Analyzing the Writer’s Purpose [box]

         The Writer’s Audience

        Analyzing the Writer’s Audience [box]

         The Question

    Analyzing the Question [box]

         The Context

        Analyzing the Context [box]

    Considering the Means of Persuasion: Logos, Pathos, Ethos

         The Appeal to Reason (logos)

         The Appeal to the Emotions (pathos)

         The Appeal to Authority (ethos)

    Considering the Writer’s Rhetorical Strategies




         Stylistic Techniques

    Assessing the Argument

         Checklist: Preparing to Write a Rhetorical Analysis

    Sample Rhetorical Analysis

         Dana Thomas, Terror's Purse Strings

         Deniz Bilgutay, A Powerful Call to Action [student essay]

         Rajeev Ravisankar, Sweatshop Oppression

        Template for Writing a Rhetorical Analysis

         Nicholas D. Kristof, Where Sweatshops Are a Dream

    5—Understanding Logic and Recognizing Logical Fallacies

    AT ISSUE: How Free Should Free Speech Be?

    What Is Deductive Reasoning?

    Constructing Sound Syllogisms

         Syllogism with an Illogical Middle Term

         Syllogism with a Key Term Whose Meaning Shifts

         Syllogisms with Negative Premise

    Recognizing Enthymemes

         Bumper-Sticker Thinking [box]

    Writing Deductive Arguments

         Crystal Sanchez, College Should Be for Everyone [student essay]

    What Is Inductive Reasoning?

         Reaching Inductive Conclusions [box]

    Making Inferences

    Constructing Strong Inductive Arguments

         Generalization Too Broad

         Insufficient Evidence

         Irrelevant Evidence

         Exceptions to the Rule

    Writing Inductive Arguments

         William Saletan, Please Do Not Feed the Humans

    Recognizing Logical Fallacies

         Begging the Question

         Circular Reasoning

         Weak Analogy

         Ad Hominem Fallacy (Personal Attack)

         Creating a Straw Man

         Hasty or Sweeping Generalization (Jumping to a Conclusion)

         Either/Or Fallacy (False Dilemma)


         Red Herring

         Slippery Slope

         You Also (Tu Quoque)

         Appeal to Doubtful Authority

         Misuse of Statistics

         Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc (After This, Therefore Because of This)

         Non Sequitur (It Does Not Follow)

         Bandwagon Fallacy

    Patrick J. Buchanan, Immigration Time-Out

    READING AND WRITING ABOUT THE ISSUE: *How Free Should Free Speech Be?

    *Thane Rosenbaum, Should Neo-Nazis Be Allowed Free Speech?  

    *Sol Stern, The Unfree Speech Movement

    *American Association of University Professors, On Freedom of Expression and Campus Speech Codes  

    *Wendy Kaminer, Progressive Ideas Have Killed Free Speech on Campus

    *Judith Shulevitz, In College and Hiding from Scary Ideas

    *Eric Posner, Universities Are Right to Crack Down on Speech and Behavior

    Template for Writing a Deductive Argument

    Template for Writing an Inductive Argument

    6—Rogerian Argument, Toulmin Logic, and Oral Arguments

    AT ISSUE: Is Online Education Better than Classroom Education?

    Understanding Rogerian Argument

    Structuring Rogerian Arguments

    Writing Rogerian Arguments

         Zoya Kahn, Why Cell Phones Do Not Belong in the Classroom [student essay]

    Understanding Toulmin Logic

    Constructing Toulmin Arguments

    Writing Toulmin Arguments

         Jen Davis, Competitive Cheerleaders Are Athletes [student essay]

    Understanding Oral Arguments

    Planning an Oral Argument

    Checklist: Designing and Displaying Visuals

    Delivering Oral Arguments

    Dealing with Nervousness [box]

    Composing an Oral Argument

         Chantee Steele, An Argument in Support of the "Gap Year" [student speech]  

    READING AND WRITING ABOUT THE ISSUE: Is Online Education Better Than Classroom Education?

        *Scott Newstok, A Plea for Close Learning

        *, The Evolution of Online Learning (Infographic)

         Chris Bustamante, The Risks and Rewards of Online Learning

         David Smith, Reliance on Online Materials Hinders Learning Potential for Students

         Elena Kadvany, Online Education Needs Connection

         John Crisp, Short Distance Learning

    Ray McNulty, Old Flames and New Beacons

        *Pete Rorabaugh, Trading Classroom Authority for Online Community

    Template for Writing a Rogerian Argument

    Template for Writng a Toulmin Argument

    Part 3—Writing an Argumentative Essay

    7—Planning, Drafting, and Revising an Argumentative Essay

    AT ISSUE: Should College Campuses Go Green?

    Choosing a Topic

         Topics to Avoid [box]

    Thinking about Your Topic




         Informal Outline

    Drafting a Thesis Statement

    Understanding Your Purpose and Audience

    Gathering Evidence

         Evaluating the Evidence in Your Sources

         Detecting Bias in Your Sources

    Refuting Opposing Arguments

    Using Analogies as Evidence [box]

    Strategies for Refuting Opposing Arguments

    Revising Your Thesis Statement

    Structuring Your Essay

         Supplying Background Information [box]

         Using Induction and Deduction

    Identifying a Strategy for Your Argument

         Constructing a Formal Outline

    Establishing Credibility

         Being Well-Informed

         Being Reasonable

         Being Fair

         Maintaining Your Credibility [box]

    Drafting Your Essay

         Suggested Transitions for Argument [box]

    GRAMMAR IN CONTEXT: Using Parallelism

    Revising Your Essay

         Asking Questions

    Checklist: Questions about Your Essay’s Structure and Style

    Checklist: Questions about Your Essay’s Supporting Evidence

    Checklist: Questions about Your Essay’s Purpose and Audience

         Using Outlines and Templates

         Getting Feedback

         Adding Visuals

    Polishing Your Essay


    GRAMMAR IN CONTEXT: Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement


    GRAMMAR IN CONTEXT: Contractions vs. Possessive Pronouns

         Choosing a Title

         Checking Format

    Shawn Holton, Going Green [student essay]

    Part 4—Using Sources to Support Your Argument

    8—Finding and Evaluating Sources

    AT ISSUE: Is Technology a Serious Threat to Our Privacy?

    Finding Sources

         Finding Information in the Library

         Finding Information Online

    Evaluating Sources

    Evaluating Print Sources

         Nicholas Thompson, Bigger Brother: The Exponential Law of Privacy Loss

         USA Today Editorial Board, Time To Enact "Do Not Track"

        *Rebecca MacKinnon, Privacy and Facebook

        Evaluating Online Sources

         Using a Site’s URL to Assess Its Objectivity [box]

         Avoiding Confirmation Bias [box]

         *The Chronicle of Higher Education, Home Page [website]

         *Glamour Magazine, Home Page [website]

       *The Chronicle of Higher Education, About the Chronicle [website]

         *Glamour Magazine, About Glamour [website]

        *Jonathan Mahler, Who Spewed That Abuse? Anonymous YikYak App Isn’t Telling

        *Jennifer Golbeck, All Eyes on You

        *Craig Desson, My Creepy Instagram Map Knows Where I Live

        *Sharon Jayson, Is Online Dating Safe?

        *Sam Laird, Should Athletes Have Social Media Privacy? One Bill Says Yes

    9—Summarizing, Paraphrasing, Quoting, and Synthesizing Sources

    AT ISSUE: Is Technology a Serious Threat to Our Privacy? (continued)

    Summarizing Sources

         When to Summarize [box]

         Summarizing Sources [box]

    Paraphrasing Sources

         When to Paraphrase [box]

         Paraphrasing Sources [box]

    Quoting Sources

         When to Quote [box]

         Quoting Sources [box]

       *Shelley Fralic, Don’t Fall for the Myths about Online Privacy

    Working Source Material into Your Argument

         Using Identifying Tags

         Template for Using Identifying Tags [box]

         Working Quotations into Your Sentences

         Misrepresenting Quotations [box]

    Synthesizing Sources

    10—Documenting Sources: MLA

    Using Parenthetical References

    Preparing the Works-Cited List


         Guidelines for Citing a Periodical Article    


         Guidelines for Citing a Book

    Audiovisual Sources

         Internet Sources

         Guidelines for Citing a Website

         Legal Case

         Government Document

    MLA Paper Guidelines [box]

         Erin Blaine, Should Data Posted on Social Networking Sites Be "Fair Game" for Employers? [Model MLA Paper]

    11—Using Sources Responsibly

    AT ISSUE: Where Should We Draw the Line with Plagiarism?

    Understanding Plagiarism

         Two Definitions of Plagiarism [box]

    Avoiding Unintentional Plagiarism

       Online Sources and Plagiarism [box]

         Intentional Plagiarism [box]

    Knowing What to Document

         Loos Diallo, Plagiarism Policy [image]

    Austin American-Statesman, Cheaters Never Win

    Revising to Eliminate Plagiarism

    READING AND WRITING ABOUT THE ISSUE: Where Should We Draw the Line with Plagiarism?

         Jack Shafer, Sidebar: Comparing the Copy

         Lawrence M. Hinman, How to Fight College Cheating

    Trip Gabriel, Plagiarism Lines Blur for Students in Digital Age

    Elizabeth Minkel, Too Hard Not to Cheat in the Internet Age?

         Richard A. Posner, The Truth about Plagiarism

       *Dylan Byers, Plagiarism and BuzzFeed’s Achilles’ Heel

       *K. Balibalos and J. Gopalakrishnan, OK or Not?

    *Dan Ariely, Essay Mills: A Course Lesson in Cheating

    Term Papers for Sale Advertisement [Web page]

    Template for Writing an Argument about Plagiarism

    Writing Assignments: Avoiding Plagiarism

    Appendix A—Writing Literary Arguments

    What Is a Literary Argument?

    Stating an Argumentative Thesis

    Choosing Evidence

    Writing a Literary Argument

    Megan McGovern, Confessions of a Misunderstood Poem: An Analysis of "The Road Not Taken" [student essay]

    Loren Martinez, Not Just a "Girl"[student essay]

    Appendix B—Documenting Sources: APA

    Using Parenthetical References

    Preparing a Reference List

    Examples of APA Citations



         Internet Sources

    Deniz A. Bilgutay, The High Cost of Cheap Counterfeit Goods [student essay]


    Subject Index

    Index of Titles and Authors

    Rewards Program

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