Chapter 3 Notes Johnson

Chapter 3: How Do We Read Arguments

Why Read

  • Reading provides models
  • Every time you read you should intentionally notice how each argument exhibits the choices of its author and how effectively it achieves its purpose
  • Before we write about a source we have to read it carefully enough to understand its arguments thoroughly
  • We read differently than our parents or grandparents did
  • Reading requires concentration, engagement, and quiet mind all of which are difficult to maintain in our highly distracting society
  • Practicing reading can train hour brain to slow down, to focus, and to move beyond surface level thinking
  • These habits of mind are essential for us to be productive members of society
  • Reading is like a fitness class for your brain

Reading Strategies

  • Have a clear, specific purpose in mind every time you read
  • Why am I reading this and 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
  • your shouldn't read everything the same way
  • Repetition enhances memory
  • Reading experts advocate a reading process that involves three different phases: previewing, reading, and reviewing
  • Repetition heeds to happen in fairly quick succession after you first learn new material
  • Improve concentration by limiting distractions

Reading Rhetorically: Reading to Discover how it Says

  • To read and analyze a text rhetorically we break down the argument to see how it works, without judging or agreeing or disagreeing
  • The guiding question of analysis are:
    • How is the argument designed
    • What choices did the author make in designing the argument
    • Why did she make those choices
  • Authors write because they are responding to some catalyst: problem, question, or gap in understanding
  • Genres -often use similar kinds of support, writing styles, and organizational patterns
  • Context-An argument is also influenced by its larger context: where and when it was written

Identifying the Controversy

  • To help identify what an argument is really about concentrate on finding, detangling, and categorizing the main controversies
  • Complex controversies involve multiple issues, but they can fall into an least one of five categories
    • Existence or fact
    • Definition or interpretation
    • Cause, consequence, or circumstance
    • Evaluation
    • Jurisdiction, procedure, policy, or action to be taken
  • Complicated arguments often involve several controversies
  • The controversy categories are generally sequential or hierarchical: until we agree about the facts, definitions, and interpretations
  • After all, arguments are designed to resolve controversies

A Guided Reading of a Scholarly Argument

  • Identify the catalyst
  • Identify the central claim
    • To locate the articles central debatable statement we focus our attention on the introduction or also known as Hypothesis
  • Identify the support
    • to find the support we look for examples of evidence, verification, and illustrations that hold up the thesis
  • Identify the Linkages
    • We can usually spot linkages at the end of paragraphs
  • Identify the implications
    • A scholarly arguments implications may be stated or implied. if they are stated, we usually locate them in the conclusion

How Do We Read Multimedia Arguments

  • Identify a scholarly arguments elements:
    • Catalyst
    • Thesis or central claim
    • Support
    • Linkage
    • Implications
  • The strength of multimedia arguments are their vividness, and can also be a weakness
  • Vividness can also evoke emotional responses easily
  • When analyzing visual arguments like any others its useful to begin with the basic elements of the rhetorical situation

Responding to Arguments

  • To respond effectively to a reading, you should think of your source as a catalyst
  • Evaluation involves judging whether the writers strategies were effective for her intended audience and purpose
  • Summary, analysis, and evaluation enable you to dig deeper into understanding your sources
  • The believing and doubting game helps you to think more carefully about how you relate to an argument as an individual reader
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