Reading and Writing for Civic Literacy: The Critical Citizen's Guide to Argumentative Rhetoric: Brief Edition for a New Political Era

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Overview

This brief edition of a ground-breaking textbook addresses the need for college students to develop critical reading, writing, and thinking skills for self-defense in the contentious arena of American civic rhetoric. Designed for first-year or more advanced composition and critical thinking courses, it is one-third shorter than the original edition, more affordable for students, and easier for teachers to cover in a semester or quarter. It incorporates up-to-date new readings and analysis of controversies like the growing inequality of wealth in America and the debates in the 2008 presidential campaign, expressed in opposing viewpoints from the political left and right. Exercises help students understand the ideological positions and rhetorical patterns that underlie such opposing views. Widely debated issues of whether objectivity is possible and whether there is a liberal or conservative bias in news and entertainment media, as well as in education itself, are foregrounded as topics for rhetorical analysis.

Online Materials Available

-Steve Brouwer's essay, "If We Decide to Tax the Rich" with complete footnotes and works cited

-Model Student Research Paper: "From Reagonomics to Obamanomics"

-Research Resources

-Glossary of Rhetorical and Critical Thinking Terms

-Works Cited

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The new edition of Donald Lazere’s Reading and Writing for Civic Literacy improves an already excellent book. It is now of manageable size without sacrifice of the parts that make it an essential addition to the field of texts aimed at the improvement of critical thinking. In my current work of revising a course on the culture wars for inclusion in Hunter College’s General Education Requirement, Lazere’s book greatly appeals because it addresses the theme of civic literacy from a critical analysis perspective—two main themes of the course. The book is suitable for Philosophy courses as well as an English curriculum. I recommend it to anyone who wants to raise the level of critical thinking of our students by immersing them in our current forms of life.”
—Alan Hausman
“The new edition of Donald Lazere’s Reading and Writing for Civic Literacy improves an already excellent book. It is now of manageable size without sacrifice of the parts that make it an essential addition to the field of texts aimed at the improvement of critical thinking. In my current work of revising a course on the culture wars for inclusion in Hunter College’s General Education Requirement, Lazere’s book greatly appeals because it addresses the theme of civic literacy from a critical analysis perspective—two main themes of the course. The book is suitable for Philosophy courses as well as an English curriculum. I recommend it to anyone who wants to raise the level of critical thinking of our students by immersing them in our current forms of life.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594517105
  • Publisher: Paradigm Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/28/2009
  • Series: Cultural Politics and the Promise of Democracy
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 398
  • Sales rank: 338,752
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Donald Lazere, Professor Emeritus of English at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, writes extensively on education, media, and politics in both scholarly and journalistic media.

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Table of Contents

Preface for Teachers (and Curious Students) to the Brief Edition
Acknowledgments

PART I: INTRODUCTION
Chapter 1: An Appeal to Students
Chapter 2: What Is an Argument? What Is a Good Argument?
Chapter 3: Definitions and Criteria of Critical Thinking
Chapter 4: Semantics in Rhetoric and Critical Thinking
Chapter 5: Writing Argumentative Papers

PART II: ATTAINING AN OPEN MIND: OVERCOMING PSYCHOLOGICAL OBSTACLES TO CRITICAL THINKING
Chapter 6: From Cocksure Ignorance to Thoughtful Uncertainty: Viewpoint, Bias, and Fairness—Culturally Conditioned Assumptions and Centrisms
Chapter 7: Overgeneralization, Stereotyping, and Prejudice
Chapter 8: Authoritarianism and Conformity, Rationalization, and Compartmentalization

PART III: ELEMENTS OF ARGUMENTATIVE RHETORIC
Chapter 9: Some Key Terms in Logic and Argumentation
Chapter 10: Logical and Rhetorical Fallacies
Chapter 11: Causal Analysis
Chapter 12: Uses and Misuses of Emotional Appeal

PART IV: THINKING CRITICALLY ABOUT THE RHETORIC OF POLITICS AND MASS MEDIA
Chapter 13: Thinking Critically About Political Rhetoric
Chapter 14: Thinking Critically About Mass Media
Chapter 15: Deception Detection: Varieties of Special Interests and Propaganda

PART V: PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER IN A LONG PAPER
Chapter 16: A Case Study: Rhetoric and the Wealth Gap
Chapter 17: Collecting and Evaluating Opposing Sources: Writing the Research Paper
Chapter 18: Documentation and Research Resources

Index
Credits

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