Writing Arguments: A Rhetoric with Readings, 11th edition

  • John D. Ramage, 
  • John C. Bean, 
  • June Johnson

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Writing Arguments takes a problem-solving approach to the art of argument. Authors Ramage, Bean and Johnson present you with argument as a process of inquiry and a means of persuasion, not as a pro/con debate with winners and losers. This approach, which has cemented the text's reputation as a leader in argumentation through 10 editions, promotes the essential critical-thinking skills you'll need to compose effective arguments.

The 11th Edition has been carefully refined to increase your understanding of the value of argument and help you negotiate the rhetorical divisiveness in today's world. All the signature strengths of this logical, flexible text remain intact: major chapter assignments focus on 1-2 stases; discussion prompts and end-of-chapter writing assignments reinforce concepts; and coverage of research and documentation is comprehensive.

Published by Pearson (July 14th 2021) - Copyright © 2019

ISBN-13: 9780137534227

Subject: Composition

Category: Argument


Table of Contents


  1. Argument: An Introduction
    • What Do We Mean by Argument?
      • Argument Is Not a Fight or a Quarrel
      • Argument Is Not Pro-Con Debate
      • Arguments Can Be Explicit or Implicit
    • An Explicit Argument Opposing Legalization of Marijuana
    • For Writing and Discussion: Implicit and Explicit Arguments
    • The Defining Features of Argument
      • Argument Requires Justification of Its Claims
      • Argument Is Both a Process and a Product
      • Argument Combines Truth-Seeking and Persuasion
    • Argument and the Problem of Truth in the 21st Century
    • For Writing and Discussion: Role-Playing Arguments
      • Conclusion
  2. The Core of an Argument: A Claim with Reason
    • The Classical Structure of Argument
    • Classical Appeals and the Rhetorical Triangle
    • Issue Questions as the Origins of Argument
      • Difference between an Issue Question and an Information Question
      • How to Identify an Issue Question
    • For Writing and Discussion: Information Questions Versus Issue Questions
      • Difference between a Genuine Argument and a Pseudo-Argument
    • For Writing and Discussion: Reasonable Arguments Versus Pseudo-Arguments
    • Frame of an Argument: A Claim Supported by Reasons
      • What Is a Reason?
    • For Writing and Discussion: Using Images to Support an Argument
      • Expressing Reasons in Because Clauses
    • For Writing and Discussion: Developing Claims and Reasons
      • Conclusion
    • Writing Assignment: An Issue Question and Working Thesis Statements 0
  3. The Logical Structure of Arguments: Logos
    • An Overview of Logos: What Do We Mean by the “Logical Structure” of an Argument?
      • Formal Logic Versus Real-World Logic
      • The Role of Assumptions
      • The Core of an Argument: The Enthymeme
      • The Power of Audience-Based Reasons
    • For Writing and Discussion: Identifying Underlying Assumptions and Choosing Audience-Based Reasons
    • Adopting a Language for Describing Arguments: The Toulmin System
    • For Writing and Discussion: Developing Enthymemes with the Toulmin Schema
    • Using Toulmin’s Schema to Plan and Test Your Argument
      • Hypothetical Example: Cheerleaders as Athletes
    • First Part of Chandale’s Argument
    • Continuation of Chandale’s Argument
      • Extended Student Example: Girls and Violent Video Games
    • Carmen Tieu (Student Essay), Why Violent Video Games Are Good for Girls
      • The Thesis-Governed “Self-Announcing” Structure of Classical Argument
    • For Writing and Discussion: Reasons, Warrants, and Conditions of Rebuttal
      • Conclusion
      • A Note on the Informal Fallacies
    • Writing Assignment: Plan of an Argument’s Details
  4. Using Evidence Effectively
    • Kinds of Evidence
    • The Persuasive Use of Evidence
      • Apply the STAR Criteria to Evidence
      • Establish a Trustworthy Ethos
      • Be Mindful of a Source’s Distance from Original Data
    • Rhetorical Understanding of Evidence
      • Angle of Vision and the Selection and Framing of Evidence
    • For Writing and Discussion: Creating Contrasting Angles of Vision
    • Examining Visual Arguments: Angle of Vision
      • Rhetorical Strategies for Framing Evidence
      • Strategies for Framing Statistical Evidence
    • For Writing and Discussion: Using Strategies to Frame Statistical Evidence
      • Creating a Plan for Gathering Evidence
      • Conclusion
    • Writing Assignment: A Supporting-Reasons Argument
  5. Moving Your Audience: Ethos, Pathos, and Kairos
    • Logos, Ethos, and Pathos as Persuasive Appeals: An Overview
    • How to Create an Effective Ethos: The Appeal to Credibility
    • How to Create Pathos: The Appeal to Beliefs and Emotions
      • Use Concrete Language
      • Use Specific Examples and Illustrations
      • Use Narratives
      • Use Words, Metaphors, and Analogies with Appropriate Connotations
    • For Writing and Discussion: Incorporating Appeals to Pathos
    • Kairos: The Timeliness and Fitness of Arguments
    • For Writing and Discussion: Analyzing an Argument from the Perspectives of Logos, Ethos, Pathos, and Kairos
    • Using Images to Appeal to Logos, Ethos, Pathos, and Kairos
    • For Writing and Discussion: Analyzing Images as Appeals to Pathos
    • Examining Visual Arguments: Logos, Ethos, Pathos, and Kairos
    • How Audience-Based Reasons Appeal to Logos, Ethos, Pathos, and Kairos
    • For Writing and Discussion: Planning an Audience-Based Argumentative Strategy
      • Conclusion
    • Writing Assignment: Revising a Draft for Ethos, Pathos, and Audience-Based Reasons
  6. Responding to Objections and Alternative Views
    • One-Sided, Multisided, and Delayed-Thesis Arguments
    • Determining Your Audience’s Resistance to Your Views
    • Appealing to a Supportive Audience: One-Sided Argument
    • Appealing to a Neutral or Undecided Audience: Classical Argument
      • Summarizing Opposing Views
    • For Writing and Discussion: Distinguishing Fair from Unfair Summaries
      • Refuting Opposing Views
      • Strategies for Rebutting Evidence
      • Conceding to Opposing Views
      • Example of a Student Essay Using Refutation Strategy
    • Trudie Makens (Student Essay), Bringing Dignity to Workers: Make the Minimum Wage a Living Wage
    • For Writing and Discussion: Refutation Strategies
    • Appealing to a Resistant Audience: Delayed-Thesis Argument
      • ALEXANDER CHANCELLOR, Oh, How I Will Miss the Plastic Bag
      • Writing a Delayed-Thesis Argument
      • Conclusion
    • Writing Assignment: A Classical Argument or a Delayed Thesis Argument
      • Reading
    • Lauren Shinozuka (Student Essay), The Dangers of Digital Distractedness


  1. Analyzing Arguments Rhetorically
    • Thinking Rhetorically about a Text
    • Reconstructing a Text’s Rhetorical Context
      • Author, Motivating Occasion, and Purpose
      • Audience
      • Genre
      • Angle of Vision
    • Asking Questions That Promote Rhetorical Thinking
    • For Writing and Discussion: Practicing Rhetorical Analysis
    • Conducting a Rhetorical Analysis of a Source Text
      • KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ, Egg Heads
    • For Writing and Discussion: Identifying Rhetorical Features
      • Our Own Rhetorical Analysis of “Egg Heads”
      • Conclusion
    • Writing Assignment: A Rhetorical Analysis
      • Readings
      • ELLEN GOODMAN, Womb for Rent
      • Critiquing “Womb for Rent”
    • Zachary Stumps (Student Essay), A Rhetorical Analysis Of Ellen Goodman’s “Womb For Rent”
  2. Argument as Inquiry: Reading, Summarizing, and Speaking Back
    • Finding Issues to Explore
      • Do Some Initial Brainstorming
      • Be Open to the Issues All Around You
      • Explore Ideas by Freewriting
    • For Writing and Discussion: Responding to Visual Arguments About a Living Wage
      • Explore Ideas by Idea Mapping
      • Explore Ideas by Playing the Believing and Doubting Game
    • For Writing and Discussion: Playing the Believing and Doubting Game
    • Summarizing a Stakeholder’s Argument
      • JAMES SUROWIECKI, The Pay Is Too Damn Low
      • Thinking Steps for Writing a Summary
    • For Writing and Discussion: Does/Says Statements
    • Examples of Summaries
    • Responding to a Stakeholder’s Argument
      • Practicing Believing: Willing Your Own Acceptance of the Writer’s Views
      • Practicing Doubting: Willing Your Own Resistance to the Writer’s Views
    • For Writing and Discussion: Raising Doubts About Surowiecki’s Argument
    • Thinking Dialectically
    • For Writing and Discussion: Practicing Dialectic Thinking with Two Articles
      • MICHAEL SALTSMAN, To Help the Poor, Move Beyond “Minimum” Gestures
      • Three Ways to Foster Dialectic Thinking
      • Conclusion
    • Writing Assignment: An Argument Summary or a Formal Exploratory Essay
      • Reading
    • Trudie Makens (Student Essay), Should Fast-Food Workers Be Paid $15 per Hour?


  1. Making Visual and Multimodal Arguments
    • Understanding Visual Design Elements in Multimodal Argument
      • Use of Type
      • Use of Space and Layout
      • Use of Color
      • Use of Images and Graphics
    • For Writing and Discussion: Analyzing an Advocacy Ad
    • The Compositional Features of Photographs and Drawings
      • Compositional Features to Examine in Photos and Drawings
      • An Analysis of a Multimedia Video Argument Using Words, Images, and Music
    • For Writing and Discussion: Thinking Rhetorically about Photos
    • The Genres of Multimodal Argument
      • Posters and Fliers
      • Public Affairs Advocacy Advertisements
    • Cartoons
    • For Writing and Discussion: Analyzing Posters Rhetorically
    • For Writing and Discussion: Analyzing Cartoons
      • Websites
      • Advocacy Videos
    • Constructing Your Own Multimodal Arguments
      • Guidelines for Creating the Visual Elements in Posters, Fliers, and Advocacy Ads
      • Guidelines for Creating Video Arguments
    • For Writing and Discussion: Developing Ideas for an Advocacy Ad or Poster Argument
    • Using Information Graphics in Arguments
      • How Tables Contain a Variety of Stories
      • Using a Graph to Tell a Story
      • Incorporating Graphics into Your Argument
      • A Note on How Graphics Frame Data Rhetorically
      • Conclusion
    • Writing Assignment: A Visual Argument Rhetorical Analysis, a Visual Argument, or a Short Argument Using Quantitative Data
  2. An Alternative to Argument: Collaborative Rhetoric
    • The Appropriateness and Usefulness of Collaborative Rhetoric
    • The Principles of Collaborative Rhetoric
      • Practicing Nonjudgmental Listening
      • Identifying Values, Emotions, and Identities
      • Seeking Common Ground
      • Promoting Openness to Ongoing Communication and Change
    • For Writing and Discussion: Listening Empathically and Seeking Common Ground
    • Preparing for Collaborative Rhetoric Through Reflective Writing and Discussion
      • Preparing for Collaborative Rhetoric Through Reflective Writing
      • Practicing Collaborative Rhetoric in Discussion
    • For Writing and Discussion: Conducting a Collaborative Rhetoric Discussion
    • Writing an Open Letter as Collaborative Rhetoric
    • Colleen Fontana (Student Essay), An Open Letter to Robert Levy in Response to His Article “They Never Learn”
      • Conclusion
    • Writing Assignment: An Open Letter as Collaborative Rhetoric
      • Reading
    • Monica Allen (Student Essay), An Open Letter to Christopher Eide in Response to His Article “High-Performing Charter Schools Can Close the Opportunity Gap”


  1. An Introduction to the Types of Claims
    • The Types of Claims and Their Typical Patterns of Development
    • For Writing and Discussion: Identifying Types of Claims
    • Using Claim Types to Focus an Argument and Generate Ideas: An Example
      • Writer 1: Ban E-Cigarettes
      • Writer 2: Promote E-Cigarettes as a Preferred Alternative to Real Cigarettes
      • Writer 3: Place No Restrictions on E-Cigarettes
    • Hybrid Arguments: How Claim Types Work Together in Arguments
      • Some Examples of Hybrid Arguments
    • For Writing and Discussion: Exploring Different Claim Types and Audiences
      • An Extended Example of a Hybrid Argument
      • ALEX HUTCHINSON, Your Daily Multivitamin May Be Hurting You
  2. Definition and Resemblance Arguments
    • What Is at Stake in an Argument about Definition and Resemblance?
      • Consequences Resulting from Categorical Claims
      • The Rule of Justice: Things in the Same Category Should Be Treated the Same Way
    • For Writing and Discussion: Applying the Rule of Justice
    • Types of Categorical Arguments
      • Simple Categorical Arguments
    • For Writing and Discussion: Supporting and Rebutting Simple Categorical Claims
      • Definition Arguments
      • Resemblance Argument Using Analogy
    • For Writing and Discussion: Developing Analogies
      • Resemblance Arguments Using Precedent
    • For Writing and Discussion: Using Claims of Precedent
    • Examining Visual Arguments: Claim about Category (Definition)
    • The Criteria-Match Structure of Definition Arguments
      • Overview of Criteria-Match Structure
      • Toulmin Framework for a Definition Argument
    • For Writing and Discussion: Identifying Criteria and Match Issues
      • Creating Criteria Using Aristotelian Definition
      • Strategy 1: Research How Others Have Defined the Term
      • Strategy 2: Create Your Own Extended Definition
    • For Writing and Discussion: Developing a Definition
    • Writing Assignment: A Definition Argument
    • Exploring Ideas
    • Identifying Your Audience and Determining What’s at Stake
      • Organizing a Definition Argument
      • Questioning and Critiquing a Definition Argument
    • Readings
      • Arthur Knopf (Student Essay), Is Milk a Health Food?
      • Alex Mullen (Student Essay), A Pirate But Not a Thief: What Does “Stealing” Mean in a Digital Environment?
      • MARK OPPENHEIMER, How Do We Define Adulthood?
  3. Causal Arguments
    • An Overview of Causal Arguments
      • Kinds of Causal Arguments
    • Toulmin Framework for a Causal Argument
    • For Writing and Discussion: Developing Causal Chains
    • Two Methods for Arguing That One Event Causes Another
      • First Method: Explain the Causal Mechanism Directly
      • Second Method: Infer Causal Links Using Inductive Reasoning
    • For Writing and Discussion: Developing Plausible Causal Chains Based on Correlations
    • Examining Visual Arguments: A Causal Claim
    • Key Terms and Inductive Fallacies in Causal Arguments
      • A Glossary of Key Terms
      • Avoiding Common Inductive Fallacies That Can Lead to Wrong Conclusions
    • For Writing and Discussion: Brainstorming Causes and Constraints
    • Writing Assignment: A Causal Argument
      • Exploring Ideas
      • Identifying Your Audience and Determining What’s at Stake
      • Organizing a Causal Argument
      • Questioning and Critiquing a Causal Argument
    • Readings
      • Jesse Goncalves (Student Essay), What Causes Math Anxiety?
      • KRIS SAKNUSSEMM, Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Are We Really Here at All? Can We Tell?
      • Carlos Macias (Student Essay), “The Credit Card Company Made Me Do It!”–The Credit Card Industry’s Role in Causing Student Debt
  4. Evaluation and Ethical Arguments
    • An Overview of Categorical and Ethical Evaluation Arguments
    • Constructing a Categorical Evaluation Argument
      • Criteria-Match Structure of Categorical Evaluations
      • Developing Your Criteria
      • Making Your Match Argument
    • Examining Visual Arguments: An Evaluation Claim
    • For Writing and Discussion: Developing Criteria and Match Arguments
    • Constructing an Ethical Evaluation Argument
      • Consequences as the Base of Ethics
      • Principles as the Base of Ethics
      • Example Ethical Arguments Examining Capital Punishment
    • For Writing and Discussion: Developing an Ethical Argument
    • Common Problems in Making Evaluation Arguments
    • Writing Assignment: An Evaluation or Ethical Argument
      • Exploring Ideas
      • Identifying Your Audience and Determining What’s at Stake
      • Organizing an Evaluation Argument
      • Questioning and Critiquing a Categorical Evaluation Argument
      • Critiquing an Ethical Argument
    • Readings
      • Lorena Mendoza-Flores (Student Essay), Silenced and Invisible: Problems of Hispanic Students at Valley High School
      • Hadley Reeder (Student Essay), A Defective and Detrimental Dress Code
      • JUDITH DAAR AND EREZ ALONI, Three Genetic Parents–For One Healthy Baby
      • SAMUEL AQUILA, The “Therapeutic Cloning” of Human Embryos
  5. Proposal Arguments
    • The Special Features and Concerns of Proposal Arguments
      • Practical Proposals Versus Policy Proposals
      • Toulmin Framework for a Proposal Argument
      • Special Concerns for Proposal Arguments
    • Developing a Proposal Argument
    • Examining Visual Arguments: A Proposal Claim
      • Convincing Your Readers That a Problem Exists
      • Explaining the Proposed Solution: Showing the Specifics of Your Proposal
      • Offering a Justification: Convincing Your Readers That the Benefits of Your Proposal Outweigh the Costs
    • Using Heuristic Strategies to Develop Supporting Reasons for Your Proposal
      • The Claim Types Strategy
      • The Stock Issues Strategy
    • For Writing and Discussion: Generating Ideas Using the Claim Types Strategy
    • For Writing and Discussion: Brainstorming Ideas for a Proposal
    • Proposal Arguments as Advocacy Posters or Advertisements
    • Writing Assignment: A Proposal Argument
      • Exploring Ideas
      • Identifying Your Audience and Determining What’s at Stake
      • Organizing a Proposal Argument
      • Designing a One-Page Advocacy Poster or Advertisement
      • Designing PowerPoint Slides or Other Visual Aids for a Speech
      • Questioning and Critiquing a Proposal Argument
    • Readings
      • Megan Johnson (Student Essay), A Practical Proposal
      • Ivan Snook (Student Essay), Flirting with Disaster: An Argument against Integrating Women into the Combat Arms
      • Sandy Wainscott (Student Essay), Why McDonald’s Should Sell Meat and Veggie Pies: A Proposal to End Subsidies for Cheap Meat
      • MARCEL DICKE AND ARNOLD VAN HUIS, The Six-Legged Meat of the Future


  1. Finding and Evaluating Sources
    • Formulating a Research Question Instead of a Topic
    • Thinking Rhetorically About Kinds of Sources
      • Identifying Kinds of Sources Relevant to Your Question
      • Approaching Sources Rhetorically
    • For Writing and Discussion: Identifying Types of Sources
    • Finding Sources
      • Conducting Interviews
      • Gathering Source Data from Surveys or Questionnaires
      • Finding Books and Reference Sources
      • Using Licensed Databases to Find Articles in Scholarly Journals, Magazines, and News Sources
      • Finding Cyberspace Sources: Searching the World Wide Web
    • Selecting and Evaluating Your Sources and Taking Purposeful Notes
      • Reading with Rhetorical Awareness
      • Evaluating Sources
      • Criteria for Evaluating a Web Source
    • For Writing and Discussion: Analyzing the Rhetorical Elements of Two Websites
      • Taking Purposeful Notes
      • Conclusion
  2. Incorporating Sources into Your Own Argument
    • Using Sources for Your Own Purposes
      • Writer 1: A Causal Argument Showing Alternative Approaches to Reducing Risk of Alcoholism
      • Writer 2: A Proposal Argument Advocating Vegetarianism
      • Writer 3: An Evaluation Argument Looking Skeptically at Vegetarianism
    • For Writing And Discussion: Using a Source for Different Purposes
    • Using Summary, Paraphrase, and Quotation
      • Summarizing
      • Paraphrasing
      • Quoting
    • Punctuating Quotations Correctly
      • Quoting a Complete Sentence
      • Quoting Words and Phrases
      • Modifying a Quotation
      • Omitting Something from a Quoted Passage
      • Quoting Something That Contains a Quotation
      • Using a Block Quotation for a Long Passage
    • Creating Rhetorically Effective Attributive Tags
      • Attributive Tags versus Parenthetical Citations
      • Creating Attributive Tags to Shape Reader Response
    • Avoiding Plagiarism
      • Why Some Kinds of Plagiarism May Occur Unwittingly
      • Strategies for Avoiding Plagiarism
    • For Writing And Discussion: Avoiding Plagiarism
      • Conclusion
  3. Citing and Documenting Sources
    • The Correspondence between In-Text Citations and the End-of-Paper List of Cited Works
    • MLA Style
      • In-Text Citations in MLA Style
      • Works Cited List in MLA Style
      • MLA Works Cited Citation Models
      • MLA-Style Research Paper
    • APA Style
      • In-Text Citations in APA Style
      • References List in APA Style
      • APA References Citation Models
      • APA-Style Research Paper
      • Conclusion


  • The Difference Between Formal and Informal Logic

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