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A Rulebook for Arguments [Hardcover]

Anthony Weston
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 14, 2008 0872209555 978-0872209558 4 Revised
A Rulebook for Arguments is a succinct introduction to the art of writing and assessing arguments, organized around specific rules, each illustrated and explained soundly but briefly. This widely popular primer - translated into eight languages - remains the first choice in all disciplines for writers who seek straightforward guidance about how to assess arguments and how to cogently construct them.

The fourth edition offers a revamped and more tightly focused approach to extended arguments, a new chapter on oral arguments, and updated examples and topics throughout.

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A Rulebook for Arguments + The Elements of Style (4th Edition)
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Editorial Reviews


This is the ultimate 'how-to' book for anyone who wants to use reasons and evidence in support of conclusions, to be clear instead of confusing, persuasive instead of dogmatic, and better at evaluating the arguments of others. No one outgrows its forty-five timeless rules, all explained and illustrated with vivid examples. The fourth edition, even more elegantly organized and concise than before, adds new material on oral presentations and Web sources that everyone needs. --(Debra Nails, Michigan State University)

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Hackett Pub Co; 4 Revised edition (November 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872209555
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872209558
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #676,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good and bad changes in the 4th edition July 2, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I just got a copy of the new edition (4th). I have used this previously in teaching college, and needed to upgrade so my students and I have the same edition and page numbers.

The content of the book is wonderful, and I think the extra chapter on oral argumentation is a welcome addition. I also think that the price is great. All my Ph.D. students have been happy to have a copy and enjoy working with it.

One downside of this particular edition: there are numbers for each argument rule, but the design of these is horrible: they are placed on top of the regular text as a light gray, overlapping the heading and some of the body text. This is distracting and annoying. Not sure who gave this design a green light, but I see this as a problem that I hope is remedied in the next edition (or even the next printing of this edition!).

Overall, a great book with one design flaw that shouldn't stop anyone from spending a little for a lot of book.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Rulebook for Beginners October 26, 2009
"A Rulebook for Beginners" is made up of 45 discrete rules which have been categorised into nine chapters of general arguing techniques.
Not only does the author give positive rules for arguing, but he also lists about two dozen "Common Fallacies" in a glossary format at the end of the book.

The rulebook is written in an easy to read, and easy to reference layout. While you would definitely read it from front to back the first time, it has been specifically designed so that an engaged beginner can easily refer back to this rulebook when constructing arguments.
While it is clearly focused at the beginner, an intermediate `debater' will certainly glean some helpful hints from it.

Because it is only a concise rulebook, it doesn't do into detailed arguing techniques at all. So if you are interested in more advanced arguing methods, then you should definitely look elsewhere.

Overall this is a superb text for what it was designer for; A Rulebook for Beginners.

Four and a half stars
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A Rulebook for Arguments should be required reading as it presents a definitive outline of the basis for reason.

As a centerpiece of what separates humans from animals, the ability to reason represents a critical element in all human endeavors. Illogical reasoning is regrettably everywhere we look; advertisements, politics, religion, business, and even ordinary personal justifications. As a result, improving the ability to reason properly is of vital importance to the individual intellect.

Weston presents a concise overview of the critical aspects of logical reasoning. The subjects covered are designed to strengthen argumentative writing, help avoid common fallacies, and promote the organization of sound conclusions that hold up under any level of scrutiny.

The knowledge base of logic and formation of arguments presented in this book represents a path to improved reasoning abilities and therefore should be essential reading. As an added benefit, the book is brief and the writing is coherent from start to finish, making it an effortless read and one I highly recommend to all.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Primer and Reference Guide March 31, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this because I wanted a concise quick reference book for argumentation. My job deals primarily with Administrative Law and I write to aribitrators and judges on a daily basis. This book has been exceptional in helping to develop my Agency's position before a third party. The key to any good position paper or case narrative is brevity in framing the argument. This book is a daily reference for logically setting up my arguments in easy to digest sentences.

The book is written in short chapters that give examples of properly framing an argument or position. Although written primarily for an academic setting (term papers, dissertations, etc.) it has tremendous cross occupational applications. The book is written to the layman and clearly defines academic terminology commonly used in academia. It is short enough to be read in a couple of hours and arranged in a easy to follow format with each chapter building upon the previous. The chapter on fallacious arguments is superb in that it allows the user to avoid common pitfalls that could potentially overturn the most well reasoned arugument.

Ironically, the only downside to the book comes from what makes it so great, it's conciseness. A book of this type cannot possibly be expected to contain every detail and minutia of argumentation. There have been times, when I've been left needing more. But for everyday reference this is the best book on the subject I've found yet. It's small enough to not take up too much space in my small office, yet good enough to help me in developing my argument.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good buy for students! January 11, 2011
This was a required book for my philosophy class, and I'm glad we had to get it. This book is short, easy to read, and right to the point with the right amount of examples to make sure you get it. It's very no nonsense and perhaps there is something better out there, but this is perfect as a rulebook. It's not meant to be a textbook and that's part of it's charm. A good buy for students! I'll refer back to this book for classes to come.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 days ago by Jose Félix López S.
5.0 out of 5 stars good and basic
This is is a very basic overview of the art of arguing. It is very clear and precise. Useful information
Published 4 days ago by Robin Bruski
1.0 out of 5 stars book
this book in my opinion goes nowhere I like philosophy but books like this takes away from the idea of what philosophy is.
Published 20 days ago by Dante Devon Robertson
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, quick reference
I never took a debate course, but this has served as a nice, quick reference. I would recommend it to others.
Published 1 month ago by David
5.0 out of 5 stars great book on making arguments
Liked the book. Great strategy for making even a legal case. I would strongly recommend this book to everyone I know
Published 1 month ago by debater
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a wonderful little book that will help us all make stronger...
I have used this book as a resource for graduate students on how to construct a logical argument and make a clear point. It's easy to use, well-organized, and very helpful. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Maria
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing new
It's a good book but it doesn't really have anything that you cant find online for free. Worth the read since it's all in one place
Published 2 months ago by Rudolf Petrosyan
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
Gave great insight and depth to the topic at hand. It was well written and a joy to read. I will read it again soon.
Published 2 months ago by tj
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This book is written in a clear and precise way. When I received it I thought it was a prity big book, and I was dissapointed. But the content of it makes him a very useful manual. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Carla Zavala Cruz
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting
This simple book teaches readers the basic
foundations to develop a good argument. Do not judges because of it is simplicity. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ractery
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