Reading and Writing for Civic Literacy: The Critical Citizen's Guide to Argumentative Rhetoric

Reading and Writing for Civic Literacy: The Critical Citizen's Guide to Argumentative Rhetoric

by Donald Lazere

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ISBN-10: 159451710X

ISBN-13: 9781594517105

Pub. Date: 01/28/2009

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Written for use in first-year and other composition courses, this textbook emphasizes recent American political issues as a means of developing the critical thinking skills necessary for analyzing argument. In contrast to many textbooks that direct students to produce papers based on their own understanding of issues, Lazere (U. of Tennessee) wants students to


Written for use in first-year and other composition courses, this textbook emphasizes recent American political issues as a means of developing the critical thinking skills necessary for analyzing argument. In contrast to many textbooks that direct students to produce papers based on their own understanding of issues, Lazere (U. of Tennessee) wants students to generate papers that demonstrate understanding and critical evaluation of arguments from other sources. His approach incorporates principles from the philosophy of general semantics in emphasizing the role in argumentation of definition of terms, connotative language, and verbal slanting. He also places great importance on the need to perceive the complexity and diversity of possible viewpoints and so includes writings from conservative, liberal, libertarian, and leftist authors. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Product Details

Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
Cultural Politics and the Promise of Democracy
Edition description:
New Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Preface to Teachers (and Curious Students)xi
Part IPreliminaries
Chapter 1An Appeal to Students3
English as a Survival Skill3
Critical Education in Historical Perspective13
"An End to History"17
"Majoring in Debt"19
"Students Stand Up for Workers' Rights"22
"The Abandoned Generation: Democracy Beyond the Culture of Fear"25
Young America's Foundation Website29
A Preview Case: September 11, 200133
"The Voices of Dissent"33
"Thoughts on September 11"35
"Faced With Evil on a Grand Scale, Nothing Is Relative"36
Chapter 2What Is an Argument? What Is a Good Argument?42
What Is a Good Argument?43
Analysis, Synthesis, and Judgments50
Style and Tone, Eloquence and Moral Force51
Rhetoric: A Checklist for Analyzing Your Own and Others' Arguments54
A Historical-Causal Analysis of "The White Problem"58
Chapter 3Definitions and Criteria of Critical Thinking63
Critical Thinking and Cultural Literacy65
Making Connections66
Dialogue in Critical Thinking and Literature67
Recursiveness, Cumulativeness, and Levels of Meaning68
Drawing the Line and Establishing Proportion70
from The American Scholar72
"A Noiseless Patient Spider"75
"Can Patriotism Be Compassionate?"76
Chapter 4Writing Argumentative Papers89
Locating and Evaluating Sources95
A Model of the Writing Process in a Student Paper97
from The Beauty Myth108
"The Backlash Myth"118
Part IIAttaining an Open Mind: Critical Thinking and Argumentative Rhetoric
Chapter 5Viewpoint, Bias, and Fairness: From Cocksure Ignorance to Thoughtful Uncertainty125
Relativism and Commitment127
Biased and Unbiased Viewpoints: The ESBYODS Principle128
Acknowledge Your Own and Opposing Viewpoints129
Rogerian Argument, Believers and Doubters130
A Semantic Calculator for Bias in Rhetoric131
Case Study: Anita Hill versus Clarence Thomas133
"The Effort to Destroy Clarence Thomas"134
"Can I Get A Witness?"136
Thomas vs. Hill: Postscript 1, 2001141
Thomas vs. Hill: Postscript 2, 2004141
"Strange Lies"142
Chapter 6Questioning Culturally Conditioned Assumptions and Ethnocentrism148
Totems and Taboos149
American Ethnocentrism154
Questioning Capitalism157
from A Room of One's Own164
"Rescue Me, Please"164
"Objectivity in Connected Thinking"166
"The Campus Anti-Sweatshop Movement"169
"In Defense of Sweatshops"176
"Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America"177
Chapter 7Overgeneralization, Stereotyping, and Prejudice183
Class Prejudice185
Reverse Prejudice187
"Will Sex Stereotypes Never End?"189
"An Unexpected Education at St. Anthony's"190
"Life on the Expense Account"192
"Beverly Hills vs. the South Bronx"194
"How to Slash Corporate Welfare"196
"Corporations: Underworld, U.S.A."198
Chapter 8Authoritarianism and Conformity, Rationalization and Compartmentalization204
Rationalization, Compartmentalized Thinking, and Double Standards209
Double Standards and Selective Vision212
Other Defense Mechanisms213
from 1984214
Progressive, from "An Interview with Adrienne Rich"215
"On the Merits"216
"Greens Dodge Links to Unabomber"217
Chapter 9Semantics in Rhetoric and Critical Thinking222
Denotation and Connotation223
Definition and Denotation in Argument223
Connotation in Argument: "Cleans" and "Dirties"224
Extra! Update, "Language as a Key Mechanism of Control"225
Abstract and Concrete Language228
Unconcretized Abstractions229
Literal and Figurative Language229
Literal and Figurative Language in Literature230
A Semantic Analysis of Rush Limbaugh232
Summary: Applying Semantic Analysis234
from Where I Lived and What I Lived For235
"When Words Cheapen Life"236
"Framing the Issues"237
"Look Behind Statistics for Changing Definitions"242
Chapter 10Avoiding Oversimplification and Recognizing Complexity244
Recognizing Complexity245
Reading Between the Lines246
"My Dungeon Shook"256
Chapter 11Some Key Terms in Logic and Argumentation260
Deductive and Inductive Arguments260
Implications and Inferences270
Setting the Agenda271
Tone and Style273
Ground Rules for Polemicists275
"Vouchers, Choice: Opposing Views"275
"Chicken Little Calling Out, 'Global Warning'"277
"Lies, Damn Lies and Racial Statistics"278
"White Racism: The Seductive Lure of an Unproved Theory"280
"Closing the Wealth Gap"283
Chapter 12Logical and Rhetorical Fallacies288
Glossary of Logical and Rhetorical Fallacies289
Chapter 13Causal Analysis298
"Ya Got Trouble"300
"Other People's Children: North Lawndale and the South Side of Chicago"304
"Crisis in American Education"314
"Post-Feminist Swill Redux"321
"Equality: A Grand Fallacy"322
Chapter 14Uses and Misuses of Emotional Appeal324
Appeals to "Cleans" and "Dirties"324
Puff Pieces and Hatchet Jobs325
"Bunker Hunt's Greatest Investment"326
Predictable Patterns of Wartime Rhetoric: Appeals to Fear and Pity332
"The War Prayer"339
"The Real War 1939-1945"341
"War Is the Supreme Drug,"343
Part IIIThinking Critically About the Rhetoric of Politics and Mass Media
Chapter 15Thinking Critically About Political Rhetoric351
Prestudy Exercises351
Political Semantics351
Liberalism, Conservatism, Democrat, Republican352
Socialism, Communism, Marxism354
The World Political Spectrum355
The American Political Spectrum358
A Guide to Political Terms and Positions358
Notes on the Guide to Political Terms and Positions362
Predictable Patterns of Political Rhetoric367
A Note on Twenty-first Century Modifications to Table 15.1368
Political Viewpoints in Sources368
California Voter Information Booklet, "Political Party Statements of Purpose"373
"If We Decided to Tax the Rich"377
"The Intellectual Class War"381
"Ventura: Act Got Old, but the Message Prevails"384
"Fascism Anyone?"386
Chapter 16Thinking Critically about Mass Media391
Do the Media Give People What They Want?391
"A Professor Challenges the Press"393
Are News Media Objective? What Are Their Biases?396
The Debate over Political Bias in Media398
"The Illiberal Media"407
"Networks Need a Reality Check"411
"Liberal Hate-Speech"413
"My Sports Right or Left"416
"Outfoxed Tweaks Rupert Murdoch's Mayhemosphere"418
Assignment for a Paper421
Part IVDeception Detection
Chapter 17Special Interests, Conflict of Interest, Special Pleading425
"'Iron Triangle' Would Quash Competitiveness"429
"Quayle Group Meddles With Our Safeguards"430
"Letter to Dr. David Kessler"431
"Corporate Funding Taints Public Debate"433
"The Historic Power of Special Interests"435
"When Money Talks"436
"Secrecy and Financial Conflicts in University-Industry Research Must Get Closer Scrutiny"438
"Fat and Happy in D.C."441
Chapter 18Varieties of Propaganda444
Invective, Smearing, Disinformation445
Lobbying and Public Relations447
Government Public Relations; The Military-Industrial Complex448
"Propaganda Under a Dictatorship"451
"How to Watch the Next War"453
"Flack Attack"455
60 Minutes, "Confessions of a Tobacco Lobbyist"459
"Truth, Moore or Less: Fahrenheit 9/11"463
Chapter 19Advertising and Hype468
Are You Taken In by Ads?469
Advertising Sells More than Products470
Political Advertising471
"Extravagant Expectations"473
Center for Science in the Public Interest, "Ten Food Secrets You Should Know"475
"Children Now Facing Adult Heath Issues"476
"Road to Ruin: Sport Utility Vehicles and the Greening of Environmental Destruction"477
Part VPutting It All Together in a Long Paper
Chapter 20A Case Study: The Rich, the Poor, and the Middle Class485
Sklar versus Weicher486
"Let Them Eat Cake"486
"Wealth-Gap Claptrap"489
"George Bush's Tax Return"492
Applications in Student Papers497
Summary of Suspicious Statistical Arguments500
An Outline of Conservative and Leftist Arguments on the Rich, the Poor, and the Middle Class500
"The CEO Makes What? Return of a Fair-Pay Debate"506
Left Watch507
"What's Behind Income Disparity?"509
Chapter 21Collecting and Evaluating Opposing Sources: Writing the Research Paper512
Assignment for an Annotated Bibliography and Working Outline513
Sample Working Outline, Annotated Bibliography Entry, and Term Paper513
A Model Student Research Paper (Using MLA Style)516
Chapter 22Documentation528
Citations in Your Text528
Works Cited Section529
Chapter 23Research Resources531
Sources in Print531
Online Resources532
Glossary of Rhetorical and Critical Thinking Terms539
Works Cited548

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