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5.1: Introduction

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    What will we learn in this chapter?

    In this chapter, you’ll learn about argumentation: different methods writers use to get their readers to believe an idea or take an action. You will study the parts of these methods of argument, practice identifying them in texts that you read, and decide if a writer’s arguments are logical, fair, and strong. You will practice using a special set of academic English vocabulary to name an argument’s parts, strengths, and weaknesses, and to build and defend your own arguments.

    Why is this important?

    Analyzing arguments in texts you read will help you deeply understand different perspectives on a topic or problem. You’ll also build your ability to apply these strategies to your own writing in English, so you can better convince your readers to share your ideas and inspire them to take action. Analyzing arguments and writing your own effective arguments will help you succeed in every other academic discipline in addition to English classes. It’s the doorway to participating in what academics call The Great Conversation: the ongoing discussion of what ideas are true and how we know this. It’s also crucial to success in your career and will help you participate in civic life in English.

    What theme will this chapter focus on?

    “Fast fashion” is a name that describes clothing produced quickly and cheaply, following the latest design trends, that is intended to meet consumer demand but not made to last. The industry has grown quickly in recent years, and brings up several controversial ethical issues: producing clothing in this manner causes environmental damage through pollution and wasted resources, and results in unfair labor practices. However, people need affordable clothing, and attempts to reduce the harms of the industry through laws and boycotts sometimes have unintended negative consequences. The readings in this chapter explore these issues and demonstrate different elements of and strategies for argumentation.

    Workers in a sweatshop
    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): "Dharavi clothes factory" by bbcworldservice is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

    Learning objectives

    In this chapter, you will learn to

    • identify, evaluate, and write the three types of rhetorical appeals (ethos, pathos, and logos).
    • identify the parts of, evaluate, and write deductive logical arguments.
    • identify, explain, and refute common logical fallacies.
    • identify, evaluate, and write concessions and counterarguments.
    • identify and use hedging language.

    Licenses and Attributions

    CC Licensed Content: Original

    Authored by Gabriel Winer, Berkeley City College. License: CC BY NC.

    This page titled 5.1: Introduction is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Gabriel Winer & Elizabeth Wadell (ASCCC Open Educational Resources Initiative (OERI)) .

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