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So What? The Writer's Argument

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2020-09-15
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


So What? The Writer's Argument, Third Edition, teaches students how to write compelling arguments and explains why practicing argumentation is essential to learning and communicating with others. Practical exercises throughout each chapter reinforce this broader academic aim by focusing on the key issue of significance-helping writers answer the "So What?" question for themselves and their audiences. By showing students how their writing fits within the broader context of academic inquiry, So What?, Third Edition, encourages them to emulate and adapt the authentic academic styles, foundational organizing structures, and helpful rhetorical moves to their college classes and beyond.

Author Biography

Kurt Schick is Director of First-Year Writing and Professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication at James Madison University.

Laura Miller is Assistant Professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication and Executive Director of the Learning Centers at James Madison University.

Table of Contents

To the Instructor
The Scholarly Apprentice Model
To the Student

Chapter 1. What's the Purpose of Scholarly Writing?
So, What's the Point of Scholarly Writing?
A Scholar's Work-in College and Beyond
Why Bother?
Scholarly Habits of mind
The Rhetorical Situation
Analyzing Rhetorical Elements
Scholarly Writing as a Rhetorical Activity

Chapter 2. How Do Scholars Read and Write?
Read Like a Scholar
Challenges to Effective Reading
Reading Strategically
Genre and Its Uses
Write More Like a Scholar
The One-Draft Wonder
A Better Writing Process
Experienced Writers' Processes
Set Priorities and Adapt Your Process
Manage the Writing Process
Interpreting Assignments
Writing with Purpose
Writing for Multiple Audiences
Make It Matter: The So What? Factor

Chapter 3. How Do We Select and Use Sources Responsibly?
Sifting through Sources
So What's a Better Source?
How Do We Find Credible Scholarly Sources?
What's the Best Research Container?
Summarizing, Paraphrasing, and Quoting Sources
How to Summarize
How to Paraphrase
How to Quote and Integrate Sources
How to Create a Conversation
Citing Sources
When We Need to Cite Something?
Citation Fundamentals
So Many Styles...
Write with Integrity
Unauthorized Collaboration
Recycled Writing
Tips for Avoiding Plagiarism

Chapter 4. How Do Arguments Work?
What Does Argument Look Like in Different Contexts?
What about Specialized Scholarly Arguments?
How Do Scholars Create Arguments?
Argument as Investigation and Case Building
Implications and Applications
How Do We Build Arguments?
Supporting Claims
Linking Support to Claims
An Everyday Argument
Getting to the Bottom of Things
Making Assumptions
"Above-Water" Arguments
Rookie Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Chapter 5. How Do We Analyze Arguments?
Analyzing Rhetorical Elements
So What? The Inspiration, Purpose, and Implications
Author and Audience
Identifying the Controversy
A Guided Analysis of a Scholarly Argument
Identify the Audience and Context
Identify the Author and Inspiration
Identify Contents of the Argument
Identify the Purpose of the Argument
Identify the Implications
Analyzing Visual Arguments
Responding to Arguments
Play the "Believing and Doubting Game"
Mind and Mine the Gaps

Chapter 6. How Can We Create a Compelling Thesis?
Every Great Thesis Grows from a Stimulating Question
Ask the Right Questions
Picking Juicier Questions
Turning Clich?d Arguments into Better Ones
Use Sources to Generate Ideas
Alternative Competing Hypotheses
Can I Change My Thesis?
Why Would I Change My Thesis?
Writing an Evolving Thesis
Infuse a Little Style
"Although" Statements
Try Something Unexpected
Checklist for Thesis Statements

Chapter 7. How Do We Organize and Develop Arguments?
Organizing Rhetorically
Techniques for Organizing Your Thoughts
Visualize Your Organization
Experiment with Maps, Graphics, and Software
Patterns for Organizing Arguments
Start with What Others Have Said
Follow Scholarly Models
The Scholarly Model
Use the Controversy Categories
Techniques for Organizing Paragraphs
Move from General to Specific, Known to Unknown
Highlight Agreement before Disagreement
Repeat Key Terms
Stick to the Point
Create a Reverse Outline
How to Develop and Expand Arguments
Build Transitions
Add Metacommentary
Aim for Reader-Centered Writing
Anticipate and Respond to Opposing Views
Anticipate Objections
Respond to Objections

Chapter 8. How Do We Support Arguments?
Building Credibility
Activating Reasoning or Logic with Evidence
Quantitative Evidence
Qualitative Evidence
Research Methods
Analyzing Research
Evoke an Audience's Emotions
Crossover Effects
Personal Experience as Support
Select Support According to the Controversy Categories
Arguments about Existence and Fact
Arguments about Definition
Arguments about Cause and Consequence
Arguments about Evaluation
Arguments about Policy
Provide Rationales to Link Support to Claims

Chapter 9. How Can We Find and Fix Faults in Arguments?
Relevance and Sufficiency
Fallacious Arguments
Faulty Reasoning
Jumping to Conclusions
Qualifying Your Claims
Fallacies of Relevance
Other Reasoning Fallacies
Relying Too Much on Credibility
Getting Emotional
Hidden Benefits of Studying Fallacies
Fallacies and Critical Thinking

Chapter 10. How Can We Improve Our Style?
Revise Globally and Edit Locally
Writing with Style
Clarity and Vividness
Start Easy
Remember, Less Can Be More
Punctuate for Readability
Use Strong Verbs
Assert Your Active Voice
Use Vivid and Precise Language
Errors and Mistakes
Grammar versus Usage
Bending the Rules
Creative Choices We Make to Improve Style
Imitate Models
Remix Sentences
Use Figures of Speech
Invest in a Good Title
Proofreading and Editing
Reviewing with Others
Using Technology
Developing More Style

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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