Writing Arguments: A Rhetoric with Readings, Concise Edition (4th Edition) 4th Edition

108 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321412898
ISBN-10: 0321412893
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From the Back Cover

Key Benefit: The market leader in argumentative rhetorics, Writing Arguments has proven highly successful in teaching individuals to read arguments critically and to produce effective arguments of their own. Key Topics: In its reader–friendly tone, clear explanations, high–interest readings and examples, and well–sequenced critical thinking and writing assignments, Writing Arguments offers a time–tested approach to argument that is interesting and accessible to students and eminently teachable for instructors. Throughout the book, the authors approach argument rhetorically by emphasizing audience and context at every stage of the construction of an argument. Writing Arguments moves readers beyond a simplistic debate model of argument to a view of argument as inquiry and consensus–building as well as persuasion, in which the arguer negotiates with others in search of the best solutions to problems.Key Market: Individuals interested in developing their argumentative writing skills. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Longman; 4 edition (July 21, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321412893
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321412898
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,980,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By J. Edwards on November 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
"Writing Arguments" shines like a beacon in the dark and murky waters of composition textbooks. Although some have critiqued it for its "passive" approach, I support both the approach and the layout as the best way I've found to approach basic argumentation. A solid understanding of audience (in particular) is vital for successful writing, and it's also something inexperienced, self-focused writers often lack.

Rather than pushing a "win at all costs" or "go with your gut" victory-based approach to rhetoric, the authors promote rhetorical writing grounded in Perelman's audience concepts, Toulmin's warrants, and Aristotelian enthymeme. By encouraging students to locate common ground (warrants) between themselves and their real or imagined audience, this book sets them up to engage in rhetoric as participants in a broader civic culture. And this is the rhetoric that will ultimately equip them to survive in the real world--where knowing what a client or an opponent wants and believes is critical to "winning" the argument in a lasting and productive way.

No theory or approach is perfect (not that I've found so far at least), and a rigid application of the Toulmin model or the schema as outlined in this book will inevitably bog down writers as they move into more advanced composition. But that, afterall, is why we teachers are there. By focusing students' attention on the basic principles in the book--audience awareness, orderliness, situational groundedness, etc.--rather than forcing them to memorize rules or endlessly construct Toulmin models, I may just be able to help my students develop a new respect for argumentation as discovery (and themselves as rhetors) in the public sphere. And if we can do that, maybe there's a little civil light in the civic culture tunnel after all.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By educator, writer, blogger, shopper on September 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
As an instructor, I am in LOVE with this text. I teach an argument-based research composition course and this text has improved the effectiveness of my teaching methods while at the same time making learning enjoyable for my students. The text is easy to read and uses language familiar with students of all ages (I teach at a community college and as a result the age range is tremendous). In addition, the book includes relevant examples that students can further relate to. I have taught this course previously using another textbook for three semesters and I dreaded the use of the previous textbook. Now, teaching this course, while using this text for the first time, I get excited creating my class agenda. The activities included in the text allows for the students to foster dynamic discussion. I have never before LOVED textbook this much. I look forward to continuing using this text.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Monty Rainey VINE VOICE on March 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
Presented in textbook fashion, WRITING ARGUMENTS: A RHETORIC WITH READINGS, doesn't exactly make for compelling reading, but is certainly a critical source for argumentation documents. Author's Ramage, Bean and Johnson guide the reader through the process both deliberately and succinctly, covering every aspect of argument presentation, beginning with definition through source documentation.

Mine is an older edition and the technology aspect is dated, but nonetheless, I turn often to this book to guide me through argument preparation. Though certainly intended for classroom study, this book is also useful outside the classroom. I have prepared a fair number of arguments for political presentation and have found this to be a useful volume.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By avogt2 on January 11, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have just started reading the first 4 chapters. It sticks to the point of what you need with learning how to write a successful argumentation paper. I have ADHD and I am able to understand and write with the instructions in this book
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By M. Salakka on March 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
I didn't buy this book because writing arguments fascinates me. I picked it up because I needed it for my freshman composition class. For that, it serves a purpose, but I do not particularly like this book.

I love to write. Absolutely love it, and I am always interested in books that can help me become a better writer.

This book, however, is a confusing read. It has a monotonous design: chapters are not easily distinguishable from one another. Sample essays are, of course, always nice, but they are peppered throughout the book to an exhausting degree. The writing is technical and uninspiring. I found that I learned more about ethos, pathos and logos by listening to my instructor than by browsing through the overly-complicated text in this book.

Some books are designed to look interesting and to excite you into reading them. This one is unfortunately not one of them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Samantha on September 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is basically a high school book assigned to college students. It gets you all the basic rhetorical strategies you'll need, but the example arguments they give you are far from mature academic writing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Red on February 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a textbook required for an English Composition class. To date, I've found it suprisingly well written and provacative. It's been many years since I took an English composition course and I may actually find I enjoy it in part due to this text.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James Smithe on November 9, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I forced to use this book when i was TAing for a comp class and while i believe its a good start for people, i feel the book is too convoluted to reach its target audience effectively. The information is presented in a very dull and drawn out manner that doesnt do much for a freshmen comp audience. There are far better books out there for comp classes such as Trimble's "writing with style" which deals with writing arguments in a much more succinct and efficient manner.

The only good thing about this book is it broaches a wide variety of arguments and helps show students just how many different kinds of arguments they can make, but the length of the book makes it a difficult text to use for intro classes and the topic makes it meaningless for more advanced composition classes. It fails to reach its intended argument.
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