The Language of Argument, 12th Edition

  • Larry W. Burton Georgia Southern University
  • Daniel McDonald University of South Alabama
  • ISBN-10: 0618917551  |  ISBN-13: 9780618917556
  • 448 Pages
  • © 2008 | Published
  • List Price = $ 141.95
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This highly regarded English Composition text teaches students to read argument and provides material around which they can write their own argumentative essays. Throughout the collection, short and compelling pieces generate classroom debate by touching on today's most controversial issues, including stem cell research and racial profiling. The brevity of each argument allows instructors to assign one or more readings in a single class period. While the majority of reading selections function as models of good writing, the collection also contains poorly structured writing examples so that students can analyze and learn from the flaws. The Twelfth Edition features "Get Your Facts," a new section designed to help students use the latest technology and document electronic resources properly.

Features and Benefits

  • New! Readings include topics such as the cost of high school proms, workplace productivity, and the validity of the SAT.
  • Part 2, "Argument for Analysis," includes a rich assortment of provocative arguments for student analysis.
  • Part 3, "Literary Argument," presents a collection of poems and classic arguments, including John Donne's "Death, Be Not Proud" and Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal."
  • Part 4, "Eight Rules for Good Writing," offers students advice on finding a subject, gathering facts, organizing material, and utilizing stylistic techniques.
  • "Exercises for Review" consists of ninety brief arguments for group activity assignments.
  • The text's appendices include MLA citation guidelines, a discussion of word choice, and review exercises.

Table of Contents

I. Forms of Argument
Persuasive Writing
Win Your Audience
Define the Issue
Make Your Case
Restoring Perspective: $1,000 for the Prom Is Immoral, Peter A. Brown
Help Wanted Immediately!
Even Terri Schiavo''s Death Won''t Stop the Politicians, Carl Hiaasen
Dr. Durant Demonstrates Psychokinesis, Redstone Wire Service
Color Me Pro-Choice, Mitchell Farnum
Of Paul De Man and Deconstruction, Alice Kracke
Is the Sample Known?
Is the Sample Sufficient?
Is the Sample Representative?
Occam''s Razor
Essay Assignments
Cast Men Out of Polling Places, Matthew Miller
Praying for Pope John Paul II''s Death May Be More Appropriate, William F. Buckley, Jr.
We Don''t Need Immigrants, Dan Stein
Ban Boxing, Robert E. McAfee
Smoking Is Very Glamorous, American Cancer Society
Fast Food Terror: A Tale of Two Cities, Timothy Wheeler, M.D.
Are the Premises True?
Is the Language Unambiguous?
Is the Syllogism Valid?
Induction or Deduction?
Essay Assignments
Ebonics Be a Complex Issue, Bill Cosby
Death Penalty Deters Violent Crime, Senator Strom Thurmond
Justice Department Detects Discrimination Against Native Americans, John Leo
All in Favor of "Gun Control," Raise Your Right Hand
A Broader Approach to Respect for Life, Jerry Darring
Stem Cell Research Needs to Proceed, Editorial, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Research Not Equal to Sacrifice, Phil Gingrey
False Analogy
Presumed Cause-Effect
Begging the Question
Ignoring the Question
Fallacies in Other Forms
Essay Assignments
Left-Handers (Those Sickos) Got No Reason to Live!, Roger L. Guffey
Is This Intelligent Design or What? Timothy Johnson
How Would You Like the Police to Investigate Your Miscarriage? Planned Parenthood
Sizism--One of the Last "Safe" Prejudices, Sally E. Smith
Pave the Stupid Rainforests! Ed Anger
Women Priests? Never! S. L. Varnado
Argument by Authority
Expert Testimony
Biased Testimony
Distorting Quotations
Essay Assignments
America''s Founding Fathers on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, National Rifle Association
Tracking the Werewolf, Fred A. Dobson
How Prozac Saved My Marriage, Tonya Kowalsy
What Jesus Said About Homosexuality, Dignity/USA
Nudity Can''t Separate Us From God, Sin Does, Robert Bahr
There Is No Safe Sex, Robert C. Noble
Semantic Argument
Snarl and Purr Words
Indirect Statement
Persuasive Style
Essay Assignments
Offices Revolve Around Doughnuts, Nancy Hauge
Psychometry: Getting the Vibrations, David St. Clair
Stauer EMC2 Analog Atomic Watch, NextTen Corporation
Which Would You Rather Put on Your Kids'' Cereal? Sugar Association
SAT Has Outlived Its Usefulness--If It Ever Had Any, That Is, Joe Rodriguez
Women Can Dump Jerks Without Help of Lawyers, Judy Jarvis
Questionable Figures
Irrelevant Numbers
Homemade Statistics
Enhancing a Statistic
Essay Assignments
Terrorism and You--The Real Odds, Michael L. Rothschild
100,000 Beer Commercials? Anheuser-Busch
Barry Bonds, Your Records Will Stand, Mike Lukovich
Is It Sports, the Weather or Love of God That Keeps Us Married? William R. Mattox, Jr.
Consider the Bulk Rate for Wide-Bodied Airline Passengers, Marc Fisher
God Bless America, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
No, Virginia, There Isn''t a Santa Claus! Bruce Handy
II. Argument for Analysis
The Ugliness Problem, Dan Seligman
Would You Take a House Call from Dr. Kevorkian? Faye Girsh, Ed.D.
I Had Liposuction Instead, American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons
The Baby Grew Up to Be a Monster, John De Rosier
Give Hotel Guests a Bible-Free Room, Annie Laurie Gaylor
Let''s Not Blame Wrestling for All the Violence, R. W. Peterson
The Supreme Court Also Legalized Slavery, Breen
Entrance to High School Should Not Be Automatic, Carol Jago
Women Don''t Belong in the Cockpit! Ed Anger
Federal Foolishness and Marijuana, Jerome P. Kassirer, M.D.
A Lot of Campus Rapes Start Here, Santa Monica Hospital
Making Sheep: Possible, but Right? Timothy Backous
The Whole Scoop on Coffee, Health After 50
Impotence: Ever Since Brad Went Vegetarian, PETA
Let''s Do Away with Safety, Lawrence A. Bullis
In Defense of Lies, John Leo
Asking God to Cheat in Sports, Dexter Martin
Young Children Need Moral Instruction in School, Jack Valenti
They''re Forgetting Someone, Media: Right to Life of Michigan Educational Fund
Dying Is Not a Solely Private Decision, Our Sunday Visitor
So I Have a Vitamin Gap, Big Deal, Council for Responsible Nutrition
Shocking Study Reveals...Vitamin C Can Help You Win the Lottery! Ann Victoria
Our Youth Aren''t Learning Our History, Herbert London
Little Girls Shouldn''t Count Calories, Deborah Mathis
Handgun Freedom: Where Have All the Feminists Gone? Dr. Michael S. Brown
Butter: Now More Than Ever the Natural Choice, National Dairy Board
Equal Treatment Is Real Issue--Not Same-Sex Marriage, USA Today
For a Better Life, Don''t Eat Any Beef, Dean Ornish
That''s Racial Profiling, Mike Ramirez
Step 1 Toward Greatness: Win Powerball, Jim Watts
Simple Tradeoff Is Key to Finding Time to Read, John Sledge
Diary of an Unborn Child
Roswell: A Little Less Balance, Please, Art Levine
When You Give Blood..., American Red Cross
America Needs a Flag-Protection Amendment, Senator Bob Dole
Blame It on Dr. Jekyll, Luke Thompson
Biologist: Creationism Is ''Bad Religion,'' Brian J. Axsmith
Should Priests Marry? Martin Ridgeway
Is It Any Wonder the Prisons Are Full? Dakin
Reasonable Rate of Divorce Can Be Good for Society, Philip D. Harvey
III. Literary Argument
My Mistress'' Eyes--Sonnet CXXX, William Shakespeare
From Henry V, St. Crispin''s Day, William Shakespeare
To His Coy Mistress, Andrew Marvell
Death, Be Not Proud, John Donne
From Paradise Lost, Book IX, John Milton
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Mary Wollstonecraft
A Modest Proposal, Jonathan Swift
From Northanger Abbey--"Oh! It Is Only a Novel!" Jane Austen
My Last Duchess, Robert Browning
I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General, W. S. Gilbert
The Declaration of Independence as Adopted by Congress
Do We Really Need Another Biography of Jane Austen? Irene B. McDonald
Cardinal Newman''s Rules for Writing Sermons, Cardinal J. H. Newman
IV. Eight Rules for Good Writing
Rule 1: Find a Subject You Can Work With
Rule 2: Get Your Facts
Visit the Library
Use Your Telephone
Use New Technology
Write for Facts You Need
Alternate Exercises
Rule 3: Limit Your Topic to Manageable Size
Rule 4: Organize Your Material
The Introduction
The Body
The Conclusion
Rule 5: Make Your Writing Interesting
Generalized Language
Inflated Language
Rule 6: Make Your Writing Emphatic
Avoid Wordiness
Write in the Active Voice
Express Your Main Idea in the Subject-Verb of Your Sentence
Do Not Waste the Ends of Your Sentences
Keep Your Sentences Relatively Short
Keep Your Document as Short as Possible
Rule 7: Avoid Language That Draws Attention to Itself
Sexist Language
Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers
Elaborate Figures of Speech
Faulty Parallelism
Awkward Constructions
Abrupt Changes in Tone
Rule 8: Avoid Mechanical Errors
Apostrophes, Quotation Marks, Italics, and Capital Letters
Final Reminders
Credit Your Sources
Use Your Speaking Voice
Get Help from Friends
Make It Neat
Remember Your Audience
Remember Your Purpose
Be Smart
Exercises for Review
Subjects for Argumentative Essays
Good Words, Bad Words, and Persuasive Words
Writing a Business Letter
Making a Speech
The MLA System for Citing Sources

What's New

  • Part 1, "Forms of Argument," consists of brief, accessible discussions on the different forms of argument, with sample essays and print advertisements as examples.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

Online Instructor's Resource Manual with Test Bank  (ISBN-10: 0618917586 | ISBN-13: 9780618917587)

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