Creating America: Reading and Writing Arguments

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This reader/rhetoric emphasizes the argumentative strategies readers need to analyze and write arguments. At the same time, it helps users see that Americans have always defined themselves and maintained a sense of unity—despite great diversity—through ongoing public debate about what America means. Selections reflect colonial times to the present, and include posters, photographs, advertisements, and court cases in addition to essays, poems, and stories that represent arguments in American culture, the art and ...
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Overview

This reader/rhetoric emphasizes the argumentative strategies readers need to analyze and write arguments. At the same time, it helps users see that Americans have always defined themselves and maintained a sense of unity—despite great diversity—through ongoing public debate about what America means. Selections reflect colonial times to the present, and include posters, photographs, advertisements, and court cases in addition to essays, poems, and stories that represent arguments in American culture, the art and craft of persuasion, writing essays, integrating research into writing, American dreams, justice and civil liberties, frontiers, war and violence, work and play, and family, identities. For those interested in argumentative and persuasive writing.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130615572
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference
  • Publication date: 1/28/1995
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 768
  • Product dimensions: 6.05 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Read an Excerpt

We developed the fourth edition of Creating America to provide a book that focuses on argumentation and persuasion in the context of American history and tradition: a book that brings together materials about issues that have always concerned Americans and that Americans continue to revisit and reinterpret. This edition maintains the focus of the previous three editions on argumentation in context. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the structure of the book, we will review it and follow with the most significant additions and changes. Part I, Contexts for Reading and Writing Arguments, is composed of four separate chapters. Chapter One, "Arguments in American Cultures," is an overview of the historical scope, design, and intent of the book.

Chapter Two, "The Art and Craft of Persuasion," is a three-part assessment and analysis of distinct persuasive components. The first part of the chapter, "Persuasion and Audience," provides the rhetorical underpinning for argumentation, with explanations-and examples of the relationship between rhetoric and audience, the purpose and effect of Aristotelian appeals, and common uses and abuses of logic. The second section in this chapter, "Persuasion in Diverse Genres," discusses specific genres included in the text—essays, legal cases, fiction, poetry, film, advertisements, speeches, and so on—and illustrates the persuasive elements they share as well as those advantages that are unique to each of them. The final part of the chapter, "Elements of Persuasion," concentrates on those components that all writers use to some degree, such as assertions, examples, assumptions, definitions, and refutations, and that constitute the practical continuum of those underlying rhetorical assumptions discussed in the first part of the chapter. Chapter Two also contains student essays as illustrations: an analysis of visual persuasion in a famous Vietnam War photograph, an analysis of refutation in the Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education, and an analysis of an advertisement.

Chapters Three and Four are devoted to different but related aspects of essay writing. Chapter Three, "Writing Essays," moves students through the whole writing process, from strategies for prewriting to developing a thesis, organizing an essay, and shaping an argument. In order to concretize these suggestions, we have also included, under the sections which discuss expository, analytical, and argumentative writing, examples of each kind of essay, followed by discussion of their rhetorical and developmental strategies. The expository essay, from the 1920s, is a paean to New York energy by a Korean immigrant—"A Korean Discovers New York." The analytical essay is a student's deconstruction of a well-known Vietnam antiwar poster which plays off the very famous James Montgomery Flagg World War I poster of Uncle Sam. And in the argumentative essay, a philosopher makes the case for "Affirmative Action in Context."

Chapter Four, "Research," is about integrating research into writing. Building on Chapter Three, it guides the student through all the steps of the research process: approaching a topic and gathering information (including online information); strategies for Internet research, search engines, ways of evaluating Web-based information, and sample Web sites; detailed discussions and samples of library sources; and sections on drafting, revision, and documentation.

The revisions of Part I include the following:

  • an alternative rhetorical table of contents for instructors who want to assign particular modes of discourse or expression, or varied strategies of development;
  • new photographs and images to illustrate Aristotelian appeals;
  • an expanded section on visual rhetoric, including revised sections on paintings and posters;
  • enlarged sections on photography and advertisements;
  • a new student essay analyzing a contemporary fashion ad;
  • a new section on film techniques and vocabulary to enable students to analyze the persuasive nature of our most pervasive visual idiom;
  • new Web sites devoted to visual persuasion;
  • a revised section on plagiarism; and
  • an expanded section on Internet and Web sources, including examples of Web-site sources that offer guidelines for MLA and APA style, and Web sites helpful to student writers.

Teachers integrating the rhetorical material with readings, as well as teachers wishing to use the readings alone and to teach with a different model of argument, such as the Toulmin model, will find a rich range of materials in Part II, "Argument in the American Tradition."

Part II offers textual and visual arguments for analysis and discussion. Chapter 5, "Identities," includes a range of materials from early discussions of what is uniquely American to contemporary struggles of building community yet maintaining cultural identity. Chapter 6, "American Dreams," includes selections on both political and material dreams and success. Chapter 7, "Images of Gender and Family," offers different perspectives on what makes a family and what constitutes the particular roles and rights of men, women, and children. Chapter 8, "Work and Play," looks at the business of Americabusiness; and at the business of play, or contemporary American sports. Chapter 9, "Justice and Civil Liberties," brings together core readings and images of American freedoms and the struggles that precede and accompany them. Chapter 10, "War and the Enemy," offers visual and textual arguments about how we idealize our friends and demonize our enemies. Chapter 11, "Frontiers," analyzes both the idea and the reality of the frontier and the West.

Each chapter includes an introduction to the core theme or issue. Selections follow, with headnotes for context and background information; journal prompts to guide reflective writing; and questions for discussion and writing, with a focus on analysis and argumentation. In each chapter we include a recommended film that should be available as a video or DVD rental in most colleges or communities. Most chapters also include at least one student essay, generally written in response to a chapter writing suggestion; inclusion of these essays is based on the premise that student Writing is an appropriate focus for analysis and discussion.

Part II, Argument in the American Tradition, includes the following revisions and additions:

  • Chapter 5, "Identities," incorporates new selections on American patriotic images, diversity, and hegemony, as well as a new film selection, to give a broader perspective about American identity in the world and to provide a context for discussion.
  • Chapter 6, "American Dreams," has updated articles and illustrations on the American search for happiness, a contemporary look back at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, "I Have a Dream" speech, the American search for community, and a new film selection.
  • Chapter 7, "Images of Gender and Family," incorporates recent articles that provide a historical context on women and gender from both dominant and nondominant cultures and a recent student essay on marginalized groups.
  • Chapter 8, "Work and Play," includes new illustrations and new articles on office work, minimum wage work, the work of a high school basketball coach, and the future of Title IX.
  • Chapter 9, "Justice and Civil Liberties," includes a new film selection and articles on technological conflicts with constitutional rights, especially with regard to the Internet.
  • Chapter 10, "War and the Enemy," returns to its focus on war and conflict, and responds to the events of 9/11 and the war on terrorism; it also has a new film selection.
  • Chapter 11, "Frontiers," includes a new painting, an excerpt from Lewis and Clark, nature writing by Edward Abbey, and an article on the development of gambling casinos on American Indian lands.

Creating America, fourth edition, is designed for use in a first-year course in composition, particularly one emphasizing argumentative writing. The underlying pedagogy is based on an Aristotelian model, but it is informed by the theories of Kenneth Burke, Carl Rogers, and feminist critics. Our premise is that people use, to quote Aristotle, "all of the available means of persuasion" to argue a point; therefore, we do not treat argument and persuasion separately. Rather, we focus on the appeals to ethos, pathos, and logos, introducing induction and deduction under logos as the basic principles by which to evaluate and through which to develop arguments. The selections represent a range of arguments, from rather combative debate to more dialogic, narrative explorations of difficult questions and complex issues.

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Table of Contents

PART I.

1. Arguments in American Culture.
Introduction. Reading American Cultures. Persuasion. Persuasion and American Cultures.

2. The Art and Craft of Persuasion.
Introduction: Persuasion and Audience. Rhetor and Audience. Audiences and Cultures. Audiences from Other Times. Audience and Appeals: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. Errors in Logic. Understanding Persuasion in Practice. Persuasion in Diverse Genres. Visual Persuasion. Elements of Persuasion. Critical Reading and Persuasive Writing.

3. Writing Essays.
Developing Essays. Techniques for Developing Essays. Developing a Core Assertion: The Thesis Statement. Organizing and Drafting the Essay. Developing an Argumentative Essay. Expository. Analytical. Argumentative Essays. Students Writing Process and Essay on “Hasten the Homecoming.”

4. Integrating Research into Writing.
Introduction. Beginning the Process. Gathering Information. Focusing the Search. Working with Sources. Writing Drafts. Revising the Draft. Documentation.

PART II.

5. Identities.
Join or Die, Benjamin Franklin. Origin of the Anglo Americans, Alexis De Tocqueville. Victory Liberty Loan, Howard Chandler Christy. What the Indian Means to America, Luther Standing Bear. Prologue to Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison. InauguralAddress, John F. Kennedy. Local Politics, from An Explanation of America, Rovert Pinsky. The Cult of Ethnicity, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. A Tapestry of Hope, Jean Wakatsuki. Prospero Unbound: The Market Revolution, Ronald Takaki. Chicana, Martha Serrano, Student Essay. The Joy Luck Club, Film.

6. American Dreams.
From The Discovery of the Large, Rich, and Beautiful Empire of Guiana, Sir Walter Raleigh. From Wealth, Andrew Carnegie. California the Cornucopia of the Wo. Poster. Let America Be America Again, Langston Hughes. No Way Like the American Way, Margaret Bourke-White. Early Success, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Harlem, Langston Hughes. I Have a Dream, Martin Luther King, Jr. Tomorrowland, Witold Rybczynski. United Shareholders of America, Jacob Weisberg. Structured Appeal: Let America Be America Again, Chris Countryman, Student Essay. Avalon, Film.

7. Images of Gender and Family.
Keep within Compass. Enlist: On Which Side of the Window Are YOU? War Posters, Website, National Archives. An Analysis of Hands Off: Building Beliefs, Dan McKenzie. Hands Off!, Poster. Fame Instead of Shame, Advertisement. Rusk v. State: Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, 406 A.2d624, Judge Wilner. When “Family” Is Not a Household Word, Keenan Peck. Marriage Is a Fundamental Right, Thomas Stoddard. Reserve Marriage for Heterosexuals, Bruce Fein. Blame It on Feminism, Susan Faludi. A Family Legacy, Marian Wright Edelman. Saplings in the Storm, Mary Pipher. The Culture of Cruelty, Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson, Mi Familia, Film.

8. Work and Play.
From The Autobiography (1771), Benjamin Franklin. From Women and Economics (1898), Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Two Women Sewing (ca. 1907), Jacob Riis. From Going Out (1994), David Nasaw. Duke Kahanamoku Postcard (1914). Physical Culture Magazine Cover (1927). The Chrysanthemums (1938), John Steinbeck. Union Maid (1940), Woody Guthrie. Mr. Bates (1972), Studs Terkel. Bricklayer's Boy (1989), Alfred Lubrano. From Sports Illusion, Sports Reality (1994), Leonard Koppett. Sports, Body Image, and the American Girl (2000), Katie Norris, Student Essay. The Cost of High Stakes in Little League Games (2000), C.W. Nevius. Jerry Maguire, Film.

9. Justice and Civil Liberties.
In Defense of Freedom of the Press, Alexander Hamilton. The Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson. From Civil Disobedience, Henry David Thoreau. Independence Day Speech at Rochester, Frederick Douglass. Women's Right to Vote, Susan B. Anthony. Plessy v. Ferguson, United States Supreme Court. Dolls, Eudora Welty. Freedom of Speech, Norman Rockwell. Brown v. Board of Education, United States Supreme Court. Letter from Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King, Jr. Hate Speech, Alan Dershowitz. Libraries, the Internet, and Freedom of Speech, Vicki Chiang, Student Essay. The Long Walk Home, Film.

10. War and Violence.
These Are the Times, Thomas Paine. The Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln. Deliver Us from Evil, Poster. Pearl Harbor Address, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The War Prayer, Mark Twain. Saigon Execution, Edward T. Adams. The Terror of War, Huynh Cong “Nick” Ut. Nurses in Vietnam, Jacqueline Navarra Rhoads. Typecasting, Paul Fussell. From Violence in America, Arnold P. Goldstein. Teddy Bears, Violence Policy Center. Propaganda in FDR's Pearl Harbor Address, Neil A. Van Os, Student Essay. Faces of the Enemy and Selected War Films.

11. Frontiers.
From Roughing It, Mark Twain. Giant Redwood Trees of California, Albert Bierstadt. Indian Treachery and Bloodshed, Police Gazette. The Significance of the Frontier in American History, Frederick Jackson Turner. The Thesis Disputed, Richard Hofstadter. Indian Belle, Orange Crate Label. Coda: Wilderness Letter, Wallace Stegner. Dear John Wayne, Louis Erdrich. The Next Last Frontier, Jonathan Raban. The Headlines Frontier, Patricia Nelson Limerick. Unforgiven, Film.

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Preface

We developed the third edition of Creating America to provide a book that focuses on argumentation and persuasion in the context of American history and tradition: a book that brings together materials revolving around issues that have always concerned Americans. This edition maintains the focus of the previous two on argumentation in context, but with some major additions. The chapter formerly called "War and the Enemy" is now "War and Violence," to allow for a consideration of a wider range of materials and experience. Part 1, Contexts for Reading and Writing Arguments, is now four separate chapters. Chapter One, "Arguments in American Cultures," is an overview of the historical scope, design, and intent of the book. Chapter Two, "The Art and Craft of Persuasion," is a three-part assessment and analysis of distinct persuasive components. The first part of the chapter, "Persuasion and Audience," provides the rhetorical underpinning for argumentation, with explanations and examples of the relationship between rhetor and audience, the purpose and effect of Aristotelian appeals, and common uses and abuses of logic. The second section in this chapter, "Persuasion in Diverse Genres," discusses specific genres included in the text—essays, legal cases, fiction, poetry, film, advertisements, speeches, and so on—and illustrates the persuasive elements they share as well as those advantages that are unique to each of them. The final part of the chapter, "Elements of Persuasion," concentrates on those components that all writers use to some degree, such as assertions, examples, assumptions, definitions, and refutations, and that constitute the practical continuum of thoseunderlying rhetorical assumptions discussed in the first part of the chapter. Chapter Two also contains two new student essays as illustrations: an analysis of visual persuasion in a famous Vietnam War photograph, and an analysis of refutation in the Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education.

Chapters Three and Four are devoted to different but related aspects of essay writing. Chapter Three, "Writing Essays," moves students through the whole writing process, from strategies for pre-writing to developing a thesis, organizing an essay, and shaping an argument. In order to concretize these suggestions, we have also included, under the sections which discuss expository, analytical, and argumentative writing, examples of each kind of essay, followed by discussion of their rhetorical and developmental strategies. The expository essay, from the 1920s, is a paean to New York energy by a Korean immigrant—"A Korean Discovers New York." The analytical essay is a student's deconstruction of a well-known Vietnam anti-war poster which plays off the very famous James Montgomery Flagg World War I poster of Uncle Sam. And in the argumentative essay, a philosopher makes the case for "Affirmative Action in Context."

Chapter Four, "Research," is about integrating research into writing. Building on Chapter Three, it guides the student through all the steps of the research process: approaching a topic and gathering information (including on-line information); strategies for internet research, search engines, ways of evaluating web-based information, and sample web sites; detailed discussions and samples of library sources; and sections on drafting, revision, and documentation.

Teachers integrating the rhetorical material with readings, as well as teachers wishing to use the readings alone and teach with a different model of argument, such as the Toulmin model, will find a rich range of materials in Part II, "Argument in the American Tradition." Part II offers textual and visual arguments for analysis and discussion. Chapter 5, "Identities," includes a range of materials from early discussions of what is uniquely American to contemporary struggles of building community yet maintaining cultural identity. Chapter 6, "American Dreams," includes selections on both political and material dreams and success. Chapter 7, "Images of Gender and Family," offers different perspectives on what makes a family and what constitutes the particular roles and rights of men, women, and children; Chapter 8, "Work and Play," looks at the business of America—business; and at the business of play, or contemporary American sports. Chapter 9, "Justice and Civil Liberties," brings together core readings and images of American freedoms and the struggles that precede and accompany them. Chapter 10, "War and Violence," offers visual and textual arguments about how we idealize our friends and demonize our enemies. Chapter 11, "Frontiers," analyzes both the idea and the reality of the frontier and the West.

Each chapter includes an introduction to the core theme or issue. Selections follow, with headnotes for context and background information; journal prompts to guide reflective writing; and questions for discussion and writing, with a focus on analysis and argumentation. In each chapter we include a recommended film that should be available as a video rental in most colleges or communities. Most chapters also include at least one student essay, generally written in response to a chapter writing suggestion; inclusion of these essays is based on the premise that student writing is an appropriate focus for analysis and discussion.

Creating America, third edition, is designed for use in a first-year course in composition, particularly one emphasizing argumentative writing. The underlying pedagogy is based on an Aristotelian model, but it is informed by the theories of Kenneth Burke, Carl Rogers, and feminist critics. Our premise is that people use, to quote Aristotle, "all of the available means of persuasion" to argue a point; therefore, we do not treat argument and persuasion separately. Rather, we focus on the appeals to ethos, pathos, and logos, introducing induction and deduction under logos as the basic principles by which to evaluate and through which to develop arguments. The selections represent a range of arguments, from rather combative debate to more dialogic, narrative explorations of difficult questions and complex issues.

Read More Show Less

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