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Inventing Arguments 3rd Edition

John Mauk, John Metz

  • Published
  • Previous Editions 2009, 2009, 2009
  • 752 Pages


Organized around common rhetorical situations that occur all around us, INVENTING ARGUMENTS shows students that argument is a living process rather than a form to be modeled. The text's focus on invention teaches students to recognize the rhetorical elements of any argumentative situation and apply the tools of argument effectively in their own writing. Students are introduced to the basic layers of argument in early chapters, with material arranged into increasingly sophisticated topics beginning with the most obvious or explicit layers (claims) and moving to more implied or "hidden" layers (assumptions, values, beliefs, ideology). By the time they finish Part 1, your students will have a thorough understanding of argument, which they can then apply to the invention projects in Chapters 7-12.

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.
  • New Chapter, "Analyzing Argument": This new chapter (Chapter 6) walks students carefully through the process of analyzing a written argument. It also gives specific strategies for analyzing visual texts and film. The chapter has three accessible sample analyses and draws from them to illustrate key moves. Because the authors teach rhetorical analysis in their own classes, they have learned the particular pitfalls and struggles that students experience with the process---for instance, the sometimes blurry line between analysis and summary or between analysis and evaluation. The chapter clearly highlights these common pitfalls to help students avoid them.
  • Part 1 refocused on essential skills for argument: Part 1's chapters contain less jargon and briefer explanations of general concepts and argumentative moves. To help students focus on the main concepts, the authors have eliminated jargon and condensed explanations where possible. The aim is to give students a manageable introduction to the most important elements of argument: claims, support, opposition, and hidden layers (such as assumptions and spin, an argument in disguise).
  • New Summary and Analysis Prompts: The assignments at the end of each brief chapter in Part 1 grow in complexity. First, students identify major elements of arguments (in Chapters 1 and 2), then summarize arguments (in Chapters 3 and 4), and then work toward analyzing arguments (in Chapters 5 and 6). In other words, the assignments walk students slowly up to formal rhetorical analysis, which is the focus of Chapter 6.
  • Simplified Invention Chapters (Chapters 7-12): The headings and subheadings within Chapters 7-12 are now streamlined as much as possible and include the following topics: Exploring for Topics, Inventing a Claim, Inventing Support, Arrangement, Audience and Voice, Revision.
  • New Readings: The third edition offers over 90 reading selections, including 18 student arguments. The four readings in each Invention chapter (Chapters 7-12) include one piece of student or commissioned writing, annotated to display the intensive thinking behind the essay.
  • Literary Works as Support: Because fiction, poetry, and drama are often used in formal, and even popular, argumentative essays, the authors now address this strategy in the support sections of the Invention chapters (7-12). Therein, they show students how to use literature as passing or extended allusions. A thorough discussion about literature as a form of argumentative support is also featured in Chapter 3.
  • Part 3, "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 4, "The Argument Anthology," supplements chapter readings and allows instructors to create thematic units.
  • The MLA documentation reflects significant changes in the new MLA HANDBOOK FOR WRITERS OF RESEARCH PAPERS, Seventh Edition, published in March 2009.
  • 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.
  • The chapters of Part 1 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 2 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.
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.
"The Bill of Rights." "The Audacity of Hope," Barack Obama. "Cry Baby Cry." "America''s Real Death Panels," Diana Novak. The Irrefutable Mr. Jefferson, Robert "Frank" Jakubowicz. Schoolhouse Rock''s "Elbow Room," Lynn Ahrens. Hurricane Katrina photographs.
15. Men and Women.
"Real Nanny Diaries," Michelle Goldberg. "Fantastic Ideals," Jennifer Worley. "Declaration of Sentiments." "What Happened to the Women''s Movement?" Barbara L. Epstein. "Different Strategies Are Necessary Now," Joan Acker. "A Man''s Feminism," Raja Johnson-Howe. "Body Shop" ad. Suffrage parade photograph.
16. Race.
"What Is Race?" Victor M. Fernandez. Brown v. Board of Education 347 U.S. 483 (1954), U.S. Supreme Court. "Another Inconvenient Truth," Willis D. Hawley and Sonia Nieto. "It''s Racism, Stupid: Bias, Not Affirmative Action," Tim Wise. "Letter from Mecca," Malcolm X.
17. Environment.
"Lunar Eclipse: November 8, 2003," Ed Bell. "Squeaky Clean," Monica Potts. "Vegetarian is the New Prius," Kathy Freston.
18. Education.
"How Facts Backfire," Joe Keohane. "Remembrance of Food Past, Darra Goldstein. "What Is a Freethinker and Why Does It Matter?" Fred Edwords. "Critical Literacy in Democratic Education" Elaine J. O''Quinn. "No Child Left Behind" cartoon, Clay Bennett.
19. Consumption.
"Letter to Kohl''s," K.T. Glency. "Credit Cards on Campus," Robert D. Manning. "Intoxitwitching: The Energy Drink Buzz," Simon Benlow. "The Origin of Rhubarb," Barcley Owens. "Consumed by the Other: What Spam Means," Judy Chu. "Antibacterial Soap," Amy Zachary.
20. Popular Culture and the Media.
"Still Missing Women in the Media," Megan Tady. "The Daily Show Generation," Mary Zeiss Stange. "Text Me All About Yourself," Clayton Dach. "The Origin of Grunge," Jay Harrington. "Ad Nation," Wayne Grytting.
21. Technology.
"The Technology Slaves," Ross Wheatley. "Advances in Medical Technology: The Flip Side," Jan Potts. "Isolated Community: Hidden Dangers of MMORPGs", Rachel Schofield. "Letters from the Past," Laurie Schutza.
22. Philosophy and Humanity.
"The Law of Human Nature," C.S. Lewis. "Natural Passions," Laura Tangley. "The Cell That Makes Us Human," Helen Phillips. "The Mystery of the Missing Links," Mary Wakefield. "What''s It All About?" cartoon, Hardin.

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"Every time I get a review copy of a new composition text in the mail, I find myself comparing it to INVENTING ARGUMENTS. They all come up short. INVENTING ARGUMENTS has everything I need in one book."

"This is one of the most student-friendly texts on argument. The arrangement of chapters, focus on specific writing projects and the discussion of the nuts and bolts of drafting an argument paper responds to the way students ask their questions."

"I think the writing and workshop activities are well crafted. The questions posed to students in the exercises sound like questions I might ask in class."

Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.


Online Instructor's Manual

ISBN: 9781305113305
Available for download on the password-protected instructor companion site, this manual contains invaluable syllabus planning and teaching tips, as well as outlines that make it easier to prepare for your course.

Instructor's Companion Website

ISBN: 9781305274785
Find everything you need for your course in one place. This collection of book-specific lecture and class tools is available online via