ERIC Number: ED449535
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Nov
An Argument for Argument: What High School Students Need To Know about Rhetoric.
Argument can be seen to connect writing in the high schools and colleges. Argument is the instrument people use to probe, in a principled way, other people's statements about who they are, what they know, and how they understand the circumstances in which they live and communicate with one another. Rhetoric is finding the available means of persuasion in any given case; argument is what can be done after that. Three suggestions about argument can be taken as points of departure for the discussion: (1) Argument involves taking a position on a topic or subject on which reasonable people may disagree; (2) As much as arguments are founded on knowledge, they are also shaped by non-knowledge; and (3) Argument is inextricably tied to ethics. For these reasons, it is important for students to see that what they do when they write is to make an argument, to take a position among other positions, and that by writing they are establishing themselves as members of a community, a polis, a discipline. To see writing this way is to better prepare students for the kind of principled and critical work they will face in the first-year college writing classroom. (NKA)
Descriptors: Ethics, High School Students, High Schools, Higher Education, Rhetoric, Writing (Composition)
Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (90th, Milwaukee, WI, November 16-21, 2000).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A