Ch 3 El

How Do We Read Arguments

The first lesson in strategic reading is to have a clear, specific purpose in mind every time you read.

1. Before you read something, scan the table of contents, headings, tables, images, and key words so that you can formulate tentative answers to these questions.

  • what are the main ideas?
  • what is the writer trying to accomplish?
  • How does this reading connect to the course I'm taking?

2. Then skim quickly through the whole text…


  • If you encounter a confusing paragraph, stop.
  • Take notes while reading.
  • Write down your reactions to the argument.

To read and analyze a text rhetorically, we break down the argument to see how it works, without judging or agreeing or disagreeing.
1. How is the arguments designed.
2. What choices did the author make in designing the argument?
3. Why did they make those choices.

Identify the catalyst.
Identify the Central Claim
Identify the Support
Identify the linkages
and Identify the implications.

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