ERIC Number: ED485418
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Feb
Reading and Writing for Civic Literacy: The Critical Citizen's Guide to Argumentative Rhetoric
This innovative textbook, for first-year English and more advanced composition and critical thinking courses, addresses the need for college students to develop critical reading, writing, and thinking skills for self-defense in the contentious arena of American civic rhetoric. In a groundbreaking reconception of composition theory, it presents a comprehensive critical perspective on American public discourse and practical methods for its analysis. Exercises following the text sections and readings help students understand the ideological positions and rhetorical patterns that underlie opposing viewpoints in current controversies--such as the growing inequality of wealth in America and its impact on the finances of college students--as expressed in paired sets of readings from the political left and right. Widely debated issues of whether objectivity is possible and whether there is a liberal or conservative bias in news and entertainment media, as well as in education itself, are foregrounded as topics for rhetorical analysis. This book is divided into seven parts. Part 1, the introduction, contains the following chapters: (1) An Appeal to Students; (2) What Is an Argument? What Is a "Good" Argument?; (3) Definitions and Criteria of Critical Thinking; and (4) Writing Argumentative Papers. Part 2, Attaining an Open Mind: Psychological, Social and Semantic Dimensions of Critical Thinking, contains contains: (1) Viewpoint, Bias, and Fairness: From Cocksure Ignorance to Thoughtful Uncertainty; (2) Questioning Culturally Conditioned Assumptions and Ethnocentrism; (3) Overgeneralization, Stereotyping, and Prejudice; (4) Authoritarianism and Conformity, Rationalization and Compartmentalization; and (5) Semantics in Rhetoric and Critical Thinking. Part 3, Elements of Argumentative Rhetoric, includes: (1) Some Key Terms in Logic and Argumentation; (2) Logical and Rhetorical Fallacies; (3) Causal Analysis; and (4) Uses and Misuses of Emotional Appeal. Part 4, Thinking Critically About the Rhetoric of Politics and Mass Media, contains: (1) Thinking Critically About Political Rhetoric; and (2) Thinking Critically about Mass Media. Next, part 5, Deception Detection, contains: (1) Special Interests, Conflict of Interest, Special Pleading; (2) Varieties of Propaganda; and (3) Advertising and Hype. Following this part 6, Putting It All Together in a Long Paper, includes: (1) A Case Study: The Rich, the Poor, and the Middle Class-Sklar versus Weicher; and (2) Collecting and Evaluating Opposing Sources: Writing the Research Paper. The concluding chapter of the book, part 7, Documentation and Research Resources, contains: (1) Documentation; (2) Research Resources; (3) Sources in Print; and (4) Online Resources. Also included are: Glossary of Rhetorical and Critical Thinking Terms; Works Cited; and Index.
Descriptors: Critical Reading, Writing (Composition), Political Issues, Critical Thinking, Persuasive Discourse, Semantics, Citizen Participation, Case Studies, Conflict of Interest, Mass Media
Paradigm Publishers, P.O. Box 605, Herndon, VA 20172-0605. Tel: 800-887-1591 (Toll Free); Fax: 703-661-1501.
Publication Type: Books; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A