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To the Point helps readers construct arguments by thinking about their own experiences, reading brief, current essays, and doing writing assignments.
- Thoughtful readings on fresh but significant topics provide invaluable models for writing arguments.
- Readings cover areas from cell phones to environmentalism, from human rights to love and marriage, from immigration to terrorism, along with five classic arguments from Plato, Jonathan Swift, Virginia Woolf, Rachel Carson, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
- A series of paired Pro/Con readings (Part 2) look at contemporary issues show that there is not always one right answer to a problem or question.
MARKET: Anyone interested in learning how to develop good arguments.
Table of contents
I. AN OVERVIEW: CRITICAL THINKING AND ARGUMENTATION.
1. Reading Arguments
The Vocabulary of Argument
Justifying an Argument
Aristotle and the Appeal to Reason
Emotional and Ethical Appeals
Reading Visual Arguments
Reading and Writing About Five Current Issues
Barbara Ehrenreich, “From Stone Age to Phone Age”
James Traub, “All Go Down Together”
Anna Quindlen, “One Nation, Indivisible? Wanna Bet?”
Maria Vargas Llosa, “Fence of Lies”
2. Writing Arguments
The Writing Process
Limiting your Topic
Knowing Your Purpose and Audience
Making a Claim in Your Thesis
Supporting Your Claim
Organizing Your Argument
Checking Your Assumptions (or Warrants)
Refutation: Meeting the Opposition
Avoiding Traps in Appeals and Logic
Perspectives on Love and Marriage: Reading and Writing About a Critical Issue
Judy Brady, “I Want a Wife”
Nicholas Kristof, “Love and Race”
Ann Patchett, “Kissing Cousins”
Andrew Sullivan, “Let Gays Marry”
Barbara Kantrowitz, “Unmarried, With Children.”
3. Literary Arguments: Getting to the Point About Literature and the Arts
Reading Arguments about Literature and the Arts
Reading Literary Arguments: A Checklist
Writing Arguments about Literature and the Arts
Writing Literary Arguments: A Checklist
A Student’s Literary Argument
e.e. cummings, “in just”
Harry Singh, “Delights and Dangers of Childhood” [student essay]
Literary Arguments for Reading and Analysis
Kate Chopin, “The Story of an Hour”
Daniel P. Deneau, Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour”
Robert E. Fleming, “Wallace Stevens’ ‘The Snow Man’ and Hemingway’s ‘A Clean Well-Lighted Place’”
Carrie O’Maley, “Dickinson’s ‘I Started Early — Took My Dog —’”
Caroline Weber, “Tabloid Princess: Review of The Diana Chronicles by Tiny Brown”
Anthony Lane, “Acting Out: Review of Spider-Man 3”
II. CONTEMPORARY DEBATES
4. Rap Culture: Is It Too Negative?
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