Notes Tix

Chapter One: Why Do We Argue?

Scholarly writing is "to communicate and to create knowledge" pg 3.
How to think like a well educated person Pg 5

  • Make decisions carefully, and take your time gathering information and facts
  • Carefully explain and support conclusions for others to scrutinize
  • Understand that everyone's perspectives are limited, including their own
  • Practice critical thinking

Using nonsexist language and the importance of analyzing word choice
Its not always what is written that is most important, but how it is written. Tone, and the authors style are important to understating a piece of writing.
using nonsexist language, required in many academic pieces common ways to do so, alternating between he and she, or he/she

Drafting an Essay Pg 10-11
If you only have on draft, you miss out on expanding your thinking, possibly discovering new ways to see your argument.
Think carefully about your audience and purpose of the writing

Argument Pg.13

  • A tool to convey what we think and why we think it

*Should/ usually are based on topics of interest in life events

  • address a particular audience
  • your purpose is not to simply "win", get a grade or just to complete the assignment, but to convey an ideal purpose in your writing. How is more important than why
  • explore many sides of the argument and be able to refute/concede other points

Rhetoric- the investigation of how persuasion and communication work pg 14
Writing is a social activity
For review look back at pages 16 and 17 for Rhetoric
Make your writing matter think about why you were assigned to write, and what tools you will be using and practicing with. How does this help you in the long run?

Chapter Two: How Do We Argue?

Building Arguments

  • Begin with a thesis or central claim. (analogy given in chapter is a "Roadway") This claim must be supported
  • Claims are debatable statements that the author must support.
  • Linkages tie claims to the support

Types of Support

  • Evidence: anything observed, personal experience, (like witnessing an event), usually used to activate reasoning and logic. Primary Source
  • Verification: things we can look up, (summarizing an article), can determine the credibility of an argument Secondary Source
  • Illustrations: things we can imagine, a hypothetical, analogies, metaphors. Original Source
  • Each of these supports can be used to Build Credibility, Activate reasoning, or Evoke Emotion

Chapter Three: How Do We Read Arguments?

Why Read?

  • You'll find most of your information on what you are writing in what you read.
  • Reading provides models, you can see how other write and practice
  • "Have a clear specific purpose in mind every time you read." (pg 53)
  • You shouldn't read everything the same way.


  • Scan key words, table of contents, images and graphs
  • Quickly skim whole text ( I will probably not do this)


  • When you are confused by something go back and reread it for better understanding and clarification.
  • Take Notes While Reading ( I think this is the most helpful way to understand)
  • Write down your reactions to the text,this I think will help later on when you are unsure what to write about. if you wrote down your reactions then you will have something to build off.


  • Stop occasionally while reading and think about what you have read, maybe even read it again to see if you comprehend it.

Why Authors Write

  • They are responding to a catalyst

Questions to ask,
"What happened? What is the Author responding to? Where did this idea originate? why does this topic matter to the author?"(pg. 57)

Knowing the Author and Their Audience

  • knowing the Authors credentials can help the reader understand their motivations and bias.

Look at page 61 for table of Controversy Categories

Guided Reading

  • Identity the…
  • Catalyst
  • Central Claim
  • Support
  • Linkages
  • Implications

The Believing and Doubting Game
Ask yourself questions that help you identify with the author claims, how does it relate to you? what claims do you agree with? what does the argument cover well?
Then ask yourself what are the weaknesses of the argument? what claims do you disagree with? what questions were not addressed or answered?

Chapter Four: What's A Good Source?

Writing that Follows Research

  • Begin with a very specific problem
  • Review Scholarly Publications (is your topic relevant)
  • Investigate (original research)
  • Report

Picking Sources

  • A source with stability, one that is not easily challenged.
  • Pick one with a credible author
  • One with reliability, others may have come to the same conclusion also, (i.e. and experiment that is easily repeatable, where you get similar results)

Chapter Five

Chapter Six: Supporting Arguments

Building Credibility
Verification: borrow information from trustworthy sources someone else has already done the research and interpreted the results.
Reputation: What the audience already knows about the author, trust sources they recognize as experts
Presentation: appropriate writing style, for you and your audience. Considering different perspectives

Activating Reasoning or Logic with Evidence
evidence provides the strongest foundation for arguments
reliability is consistency
Audiences prefer evidence to emotional appeals
Quantitative evidence: statistics and percents (numerical evidence)
Qualitative evidence: Quotations, visual aids, human behavior.

Link Evidence to Claims
State or imply how the evidence supports conclusions, theses are called linkages.
Linkages are what connect the claim to the evidence.
Links are evaluated based on relevance and sufficiency
Sufficiency: You cannot claim more than you know.

Evoke an Audience's Emotions
In everyday arguments emotion often dominates
pathos - persuasive emotional appeal sympathy and empathy
emotional appeals can cloud judgment and get an audience to act irrationally i.e. political ads and media

Build your argument on evidence first, then credibility and emotion last.

Chapter Seven: What about Faults and Gaps in Arguments?

Fallacies in Arguments
faulty use of
1. reasoning or logic
2. credibility
3. emotion

Weak Evidence
Arguments can fail when the audience does not consider the evidence presented to be sufficient or relevant.

-Over generalizations
- Hasty Generalizations
-When a conclusion is reached before sufficient evidence is used.
ex. A driver witnessing a few speeding car all from the same place concludes they all drive too fast. this is a generalization and although may be true is not sufficient evidence, it fails to consider the rest of the population.

Unqualified Claims
A qualified claim is a restriction limiting the strength of the claim. almost like conceding, in the car example, the driver might concede that its not correct in saying that all the dirvers of the same place are speeding but that the few that he observed certainly were.
How to qualify a claim
Statement: Students are lazy,
1. Weaken the verb, Students seem lazy
2. Narrow the Subject, Some Students seem lazy
3. Limit the object, Some students seem to devote inadequate efforts to studying

Relevancy Fallacies

1.Correlation v. Causation
Correlation does not prove causation, it merely (sometimes not even then) supports it.

2.Changing the Subject
Intentionally introducing information that that's only weakly related to the subject.

3. Straw Man Arguments
-Oversimplified, exaggerated or inaccurate versions of opposing arguments to make these other arguments seem foolish and weak.
- Using someone's words out of context, "misquoting"

Truth as Support
using something that is not open to question, like religious belief or patriotism
Verifying arguments with truth is difficult, if your audience believes the truth they will likely believe your argument, but if they do not, they will not support the argument.
Truth's are matters of Faith, not logic or evidence. ( I don't know about that..)

Relying too much on Credibility
False Authority: agreeing with an argument solely based on the author's reputation, and not verifying it yourself.
Ad Hominem: "against the person" intentionally not agreeing with an argument based solely on the author/ arguer's reputation.

Chapter Eight: How do we Develop and Organize Arguments?

Organizing Rhetorically
What's the Purpose of this writing? What are you trying to accomplish?
Who will read this? Will the ideas expressed in the writing be accepted by the audience?
What kind of research should be conducted?

Developing your Argument
Arguments about Existence and Fact
Audiences tend to be stubborn to what they already think, regardless to whether it is actually true.
Existence Arguments rely on observable evidence, and when not everyone can observe the evidence, they rely on verification from a trusted source.
Sometimes through illustration

Arguments about Definition
Disagreements can arise about how to define a term or concept
use careful and thoughtful language, define what you mean, in order to show the reader what you actually mean by something.
first you need to settle on a definition that your audience will accept, by either stating what you mean by the term, or verify a definition from another credible source.

Arguments about Cause and Consequence
It can be difficult to establish a cause and effect relationship without actually just finding a correlation.
Watch out for fallacies
This is not sufficient for a section on cause and consequence argument, they should have had a longer section in the book.

Arguments and Evaluation
Establish criteria to judge the specific case, values should coincide with audiences thoughts
compare and contrast different view points of the argument

Arguments about Policy
1. Describe a problem 2. present solution(s) 3. Justify the course of action

Select Scholarly Arrangements
Begin with a thesis and show how you came up with said thesis.

1. Introduction
identify the problem, thesis, establish significance and relevance
2. Background
summarize and quote important sources, an overview of the problem,
3. Support
verify the evidence, link back to thesis, report collected data, analyze data and sources.
4. Consider other Arguments
show the other points of view, show the limitations of your side as well, show how your argument is better
5. Conclusion
summarize argument, restate thesis, call to action, raise further questions

Chapter Nine: How Do We Use Sources Responsibly?

Write with integrity, keep words in context, avoid plagiarism
copying someone else's words or ideas

Integrate and Quote
1. Introduction, "According to…"
2. Explain why the source/ quote is relevant

Create a Conversation
1. Tell the reader why the quote is there
2. explain what the quote means
3. show how the quote is related to the argument
Interpret the source, "in other words, this suggests that, the author is trying to say…
Make sure the quotation relates to the argument
Why is the quotation significant
link the quote to personal experience, or analogy

read the source and text carefully and be sure to understand it before paraphrasing it to avoid "patch writing"

Citing Sources
Always cite quotations and paraphrases (include page numbers if possible)
cite summaries
cite statistics, dates, and other details that are not common knowledge
"common knowledge" is a touchy phrase and is mostly dependent on your audience, to consider something common knowledge you should be sure that your audience knows it
Two Types of Citation
1. Bibliographic Citation includes…

  • Author
  • Title
  • where the work was published
  • when it was published
  • Who published it

2. In-Text Citations

  • Put them at the end of the quoted information you used
  • Put the Authors name in parentheses

Chapter Ten: What About Style?

Writing with style
Perfectionism can cause writers block, try free writing first, get your idea out there and then edit.
Use proper mechanics (sentence structure) to avoid confusion and errors.
Errors can make you seem less credible,
Grammer: rule for how to use language
Usage: how people actually use language in everyday situations
1. a period is used to show separation between ideas
2. a dash is used to set apart for emphasis one part of a sentence.
3. a colon is used in two ways

  • to introduce a list
  • to combine two independent sentences

4. a semicolon is used to connect closely related ideas that couold be two separate sentences but, are stronger when connected by the semicolon.
Passive Voice, places object before the verb and the subject
most readers prefer the active voice, it is easier to read and more clear, the action happens in the order it is written as opposed to reading the result before you know what the cause is.
(object, verb, subject) Passive
(subject, verb, object) Active

Clarity and Vividness
use strong verbs, avoid nominalized verbs, (ex. expressed v. expression)
Sentence Variation

  • Rhetorical Variation: Change audience, purpose, context
  • Amplification: Use an analogy, metaphor, or similie
  • Linguistic Variation: rearrange the order of the sentence
  • Genre Translation: rewrite the sentence as a post, a letter, a tweet, a poem

Figures of Speech

  • Metaphor
  • Analogy
  • Hyperbole
  • Sarcasm

becareful when usiong some of theses, figurative language can be hard for the reader to understatnd if they don't know the reference
make sure it fits the style of writing you are doing
avoid clich├ęs

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