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Inventing Arguments 4th Edition

John Mauk | John Metz

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Organized around common rhetorical situations, INVENTING ARGUMENTS shows students that argument is a living process and teaches them to recognize its rhetorical elements and apply the tools of argument effectively in their own writing. Early chapters introduce students to the basic layers of argument, with material arranged into increasingly sophisticated topics beginning with claims and moving to assumptions, values, beliefs, ideology. Packaged with a free Cengage Essential Reference Card to the MLA HANDBOOK, Eighth Edition.

John Mauk, Miami University

John Mauk has a Ph.D. in rhetoric and writing from Bowling Green State University. As a composition scholar, he has written about the role of geographical place in writing pedagogy. He has also published a book of short fiction and several articles on the intersection of rhetoric and fiction. He was elected Imogene Wise Instructor of the Year at Northwestern Michigan College and Sigma Tau Delta Professor of the Year at Miami University. He currently teaches at Miami University and co-directs the Ohio Writing Project.

John Metz, Kent State University at Geauga

John Metz has a B.A. in English from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania and an M.A. in English from the University of Toledo. He has taught first-year writing for over 30 years and currently teaches at Kent State University at Geauga.

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  • The chapters of Part I help instructors to build a syllabus that begins with the most basic tools of argument and moves quickly to more advanced layers. Reviewers have appreciated the concise and comprehensible descriptions of difficult concepts (such as ideology, warranting assumptions, values and beliefs) that help instructors to emphasize important critical-thinking outcomes.
  • The "Invention" section within each Part II chapter helps students to discover topics for their arguments; to explore a rhetorical situation; to develop a revelatory main claim that promotes a new way of thinking; to support their claims with effective evidence and appeals; and to consider counterarguments, concessions, and qualifiers to their arguments.
  • Part III, "The Research Guide," offers students fundamental strategies for doing primary and secondary research, while also teaching them to view research as a tool of argument and to evaluate sources as elements within bigger institutional and social arguments.
  • Part IV, "The Argument Anthology," supplements chapter readings and allows instructors to create thematic units.
  • INVENTING ARGUMENTS is organized according to argumentative situations instead of the elements or models of argument so that students will learn to apply the tools of argument effectively in any situation.

Inventing Arguments, 2016 MLA Update


1. Inventing Arguments.
What is Argument? What is Academic Argument? What is Rhetoric? What is Invention?
2. Claims.
What is a Claim? Types of Claims. Characteristics of Claims. Reading: "A Community of Cars," Ryan Brown (student). Assignment: Identifying and Describing Claims.
3. Support.
Evidence. Example. Appeals. Appeals to Logic. Appeals to Emotion. Appeals to Need. Appeals to Value. Reading: "Disconnected," Lynda Smith (student). Assignment: Summarizing Arguments.
4. Opposition.
Counterargument. Concession. Qualifiers. Reading: "Learning, Styles, Freedom, and Oppression," Simon Benlow. Assignment: Identifying and Summarizing Opposition.
5. Hidden Layers.
Assumptions. Underlying Values. Reading: "In Defense of Darkness" Holly Wren Spaulding. Arguments in Disguise. The Objectivity Disguise. The Personal Taste Disguise. Spin. Propaganda. Assignment: Identifying & Summarizing Hidden Layers.
6. Analyzing Argument.
The Analytical Posture. Summary and Analysis. Summary vs. Analysis. Four Common Pitfalls. Readings: "Chief Seattle''s Speech on the Land." "Seattle''s Rhetoric," Andy Buchner (student). Analyzing Visual Arguments. "The Hearts of Argument: Benetton''s Advertising Appeal," Megan Ward. "Progressive Profiteering: The Appeal and Argumentation of Avatar," Ben Wetherbee (student). Assignment: Inventing a Rhetorical Analysis.
7. Arguing Definitions.
"What''s the Economy for, Anyway?" John de Graaf. "Warfare: An Invention−Not a Biological Necessity," Margaret Mead. "The Fashion Punk Paradox," Andrew Hyde (Student). "Standardized Testing vs. Education," Justin James (Student). "If It''s Not a Baby," bumper sticker. "Preserve Marriage" image. Exploring for Topics. Inventing a Claim. Inventing Support. Arrangement. Audience and Voice. Revision.
8. Arguing Causes.
"No Sex Please, We''re Middle Class," Camille Paglia. "Disparities Demystified," Pedro A. Noguera and Antwi Akom. "More Than Cherries," Samantha Tengelitsch (Student). "All for a Virtual Cause: The Reasons Behind MMORPG Success," J. Noel Trapp (Student). "Why You Are Hated," image. Exploring for Topics. Inventing a Claim. Inventing Support. Arrangement. Audience and Voice. Revision.
9. Arguing Value.
"Evaluation of ''The Education of Ms. Groves,''" John Adams. "Adventure Is Calling," Michael Hilliard (Student). "Higher Education through Discombobulation," Betsy Chitwood (Student). "The Value of a Happy Meal," image. Exploring for Topics. Inventing a Claim. Inventing Support. Arrangement. Audience and Voice. Revision.
10. Arguing Crisis.
"The Idols of Environmentalism," Curtis White. "Big House in the Wilderness: Moratoriums on Building and Individual Responsibility," Tracy Webster. "The Pack Rat Among Us," Laurie Schutza (Student). "Citizens and Consumers," Amber Edmondson (Student). "Is Bottled Water a Crisis?" image. Exploring for Topics. Inventing a Claim. Inventing Support. Arrangement. Audience and Voice. Revision.
11. Arguing the Past.
"Shakespeare and Narcotics," David Pinching. "A Nation Made of Poetry," Joannie Fischer. "Red (White and Blue) Scare," Stephen Pell (Student). "Somewhere in the Past: Clarksville''s School and Community Life," Cameron Johnson (Student). "Apache Children," image. "Carr Fork Canyon," image. Exploring for Topics. Inventing a Claim. Inventing Support. Arrangement. Audience and Voice. Revision.
12. Arguing the Future.
"Live Forever," Raymond Kurzweil. "Video Games, the Next Storytelling Frontier," Michael Hanson. "Investing in Futures: The Cost of College," Charles Nelson (Student). "Around the Table in Traverse City," Joel Papcun. "Smart Car," image. Exploring for Topics. Inventing a Claim. Inventing Support. Arrangement. Audience and Voice. Revision.
13. The Research Guide.
Overview of Research. The Research Path. Conducting Primary Research. Conducting Secondary Research. Evaluating Sources. Integrating Sources. Documenting Sources. Sample Research Essays.
14. Politics.
15. Men and Women.
16. Race.
17. Environment.
18. Education.
19. Consumption.
20. Popular Culture.
21. Technology.
22. Philosophy and Humanity.

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