The chapters of How Arguments Work aim to empower students to integrate and apply chapter concepts in the ways described below.
- Recognize ourselves as participants in a larger academic conversation.
- Explain how learning to write will help us academically, professionally, and personally.
- See reading and writing as tools for careful critical thinking.
- Identify the main claims of a text as well as the reasons that support those claims.
- Identify any limits, counterarguments, or rebuttals mentioned in an argument.
- Draw a visual map of the claims, reasons, limits, counterarguments, and rebuttals.
- Write a thorough summary of an author’s text that includes that text’s main claim, reasons, counterarguments, and limits.
- Choose phrases precisely to show the role of each point summarized within the larger argument.
- Identify key similarities and differences between two arguments.
- Write an essay summarizing and comparing two arguments that highlights what we can learn from their key similarities and differences.
- Check arguments for common problems such as exceptions, faulty evidence, invalid assumptions, and inadequate treatment of counterarguments.
- Identify insights in an argument that can contribute to future discussions on the topic.
- Write a complete assessment of an argument’s strengths and weaknesses with a thesis that points to the most crucial ones.
- Use precise and varied phrases to highlight the argument’s flaws and insights.
- Distinguish between assessing the strength of an argument and offering an original idea
- Generate relevant and original responses to others’ arguments
- Demonstrate the ability to suggest an exception to an argument
- Demonstrate the ability to extend an argument with an original point
- Demonstrate the ability to suggest an alternative argument.
Chapter 6: The Research Process
- Understand a research paper assignment prompt
- Choose, evaluate, and integrate sources from a wide variety of publications including academic journals
- Narrow a research topic.
- Use correct MLA format for essays and in-text citations.
Chapter 7: Forming a Research-Based Argument
- Determine the purpose of an argument
- Distinguish between definition, evaluation, causal, and proposal arguments
- Explain what common questions will need to be answered for each of the above argument types.
- Describe the value of emotional appeals in written academic argument
- Identify the ways in which a given argument appeals to emotion through word choice, tone, or powerful examples
- Assess the likely effectiveness of an emotional appeal for a particular audience
- Distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate emotional appeals
- Use legitimate emotional appeals to support their own written arguments.
- Describe the value of building trust and connection in a written academic argument
- Evaluate the effectiveness and legitimacy of an argument’s appeals to trust and connection
- Use effective, legitimate strategies for building trust and connection in written arguments.
Chapter 10: Writing an Argument Analysis
- Write an analysis of an argument's appeal to emotion
- Write an analysis of an argument's appeal to trust
- Connect an assessment of an argument's logical structure to an assessment of the effectiveness of its rhetorical appeals
- Give constructive feedback on an argument analysis essay
- Describe how the visual features of an image can reinforce the message of a visual argument.
Chapter 11: The Writing Process
- Describe the stages of the writing process
- Identify strategies for annotation, brainstorming, outlining, and drafting
- Choose what to focus on in revision
- Give constructive feedback on a peer's draft
- Evaluate and incorporate peer feedback.
Chapter 12: Essay Organization
- Write a thesis that summarizes the main point of an essay
- Write a topic sentence that summarizes the main point of a paragraph
- Introduce relevant specific evidence to support a topic sentence
- Integrate quotations and paraphrases from other texts as support
- Connect a new idea to a previous point or to the thesis
- Introduce essays in ways that engage the reader in the specific topic
- Conclude essays in ways that sum up as needed and point toward further questions or implications.
Chapter 13: Correcting Grammar and Punctuation
- Understand the value of being able to write Standard English in professional and academic settings.
- Acknowledge the value of other English dialects.
- Describe multiple proofreading techniques.
- Feel empowered to look up, learn about, and fix a variety of common errors.
Chapter 14: Style: Shaping Our Sentences
- Recognize clarity as the first priority in academic writing.
- Edit out repetition and wordiness.
- Revise sentences to feature characters as subjects and actions as main verbs.
- Use parallelism to create balanced sentences.
- Employ varied sentence structures to make prose more engaging.
- Feel empowered to decipher convoluted academic prose.