Chapter 3 How Do We Read Arguments As

How Do We Read Arguments?

Why Read?

  • reading helps with learning, everything you need to write is found while reading
  • reading also helps you learn more about writing structure and will strengthen your writing abilities. (vocab, sentence structure, strategies)
  • reading helps slow down your brain from our busy world we have today and move beyond our surface level thinking

Reading Strategies

  • Have a clear, specific purpose in mind every time you read.
  • Ask- Why am I reading this?

What do I want to get out of this?
Am I reading to get a basic idea of what this is about?
Am I reading to learn and fully understand a concept?
Am I reading to analyze or criticize something?

  • You should not read everything the same way
  • Find different techniques based on what type of thing you are reading
  • Repetition enhances memory


  • Before you read something, scan the table of contents, heading, tables, images and key words to understand what the main idea might be.


  • Write down the questions you have, if you find something confusing read ahead to see if it helps make sense, if not go back and re-read for better understanding.
  • Take notes while reading. Write down the answers to your original questions about the material and create an outline about what you're reading.
  • Write down your reaction to the text. This will help you understand what you read and what you got out of the text.


  • Stop reading and review what you read. If you cannot recall what you read, go back and try again
  • TURN OFF ELECTRONICS while reading

Reading Rhetorically
-How is the argument designed?
-What choices did the author make in designing the argument?
-Why does she make those choices?

  • catalyst: the cause of the argument, the purpose is the desired effect.
  • purpose: modify the knowledge, beliefs or behavior of the reader
  • implications: indirect and unforeseen consequences that go beyond the purpose

Author and Audience
Looking into who the author is and what they have done previously can give insight to who the author is writing to and what the purpose of their writing is.

Identifying Controversy

  • Existence or Fact
  • Definition or interpretation
  • Cause, consequence or circumstance
  • Evaluation
  • Jurisdiction, procedure, policy or action to be taken

Reading a scholarly argument

  1. Identify the Catalyst
  2. Identify the central claim
  3. identify support
  4. Identify the linkages
  5. identify implications

Responding to arguments

  • start by evaluating the argument made by your source
  • Agree or Disagree in order to extend the argument and to contribute something new


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