Chapter 3 Hamnes

Chapter 3: How Do We Read Arguments?

What are the benefits of becoming a better reader?

  • Reading provides most of the information that you write about, and it's difficult to write about something you don't understand.
  • Many of the problems students have with writing aren't really writing problems at all, but rather challenges that students have with the demands of college-level reading.
  • Even expert writers struggle when trying to explain difficult content, so before they write about a source, they have to read it carefully enough to understand its argument thoroughly.

How do we read texts as models for designing effective arguments?

  • You should intentionally notice how each argument exhibits the choices of its author, how effectively (or ineffectively) it achieves its purpose.
  • Models can help you learn new vocabulary, sentence structure, style, and persuasive strategies that will gradually strengthen your reading and writing skills.

How do we read rhetorically?

  • To read and analyze a text rhetorically, we break down the arguments to see how it works, without judging or agreeing or disagreeing. The guiding questions of analysis are as follows:
    • How is the argument designed?
    • What choices did the author make in designing the argument?
    • Why did she make those choices?

How do we identify and analyze an argument's central controversies?

  • To help you identify what an argument is really about, concentrate on finding, detangling, and categorizing the main controversies or points of disagreement that the argument addresses.
  • We can better decipher a writer's catalyst if we ask ourselves: What happened? What is this writer responding to? Where did this idea originate? Why did this topic matter to him?
  • If the catalyst is the cause of the argument, the purpose is its desired effect: what the write hopes his argument will accomplish
  • In general, arguments influence how our audiences think or act, so an argument's purpose will be to modify the knowledge, beliefs, or behavior of the reader.

How do we read multimedia arguments?

  • Advertisements, social media, television, and websites
  • Who is the author? Who is the intended audience
  • What is the controversy or debatable claim?
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