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To the Point helps readers construct arguments by thinking about their own experiences, reading brief, current essays, and doing writing assignments.
I. AN OVERVIEW: CRITICAL THINKING AND ARGUMENTATION.
1. Reading Arguments
The Vocabulary of Argument
Justifying an Argument
Aristotle and the Appeal to Reason
Emotional and Ethical Appeals
Reading Visual Arguments
Reading and Writing About Five Current Issues
Barbara Ehrenreich, “From Stone Age to Phone Age”
James Traub, “All Go Down Together”
Anna Quindlen, “One Nation, Indivisible? Wanna Bet?”
Maria Vargas Llosa, “Fence of Lies”
2. Writing Arguments
The Writing Process
Limiting your Topic
Knowing Your Purpose and Audience
Making a Claim in Your Thesis
Supporting Your Claim
Organizing Your Argument
Checking Your Assumptions (or Warrants)
Refutation: Meeting the Opposition
Avoiding Traps in Appeals and Logic
Perspectives on Love and Marriage: Reading and Writing About a Critical Issue
Judy Brady, “I Want a Wife”
Nicholas Kristof, “Love and Race”
Ann Patchett, “Kissing Cousins”
Andrew Sullivan, “Let Gays Marry”
Barbara Kantrowitz, “Unmarried, With Children.”
3. Literary Arguments: Getting to the Point About Literature and the Arts
Reading Arguments about Literature and the Arts
Reading Literary Arguments: A Checklist
Writing Arguments about Literature and the Arts
Writing Literary Arguments: A Checklist
A Student’s Literary Argument
e.e. cummings, “in just”
Harry Singh, “Delights and Dangers of Childhood” [student essay]
Literary Arguments for Reading and Analysis
Kate Chopin, “The Story of an Hour”
Daniel P. Deneau, Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour”
Robert E. Fleming, “Wallace Stevens’ ‘The Snow Man’ and Hemingway’s ‘A Clean Well-Lighted Place’”
Carrie O’Maley, “Dickinson’s ‘I Started Early — Took My Dog —’”
Caroline Weber, “Tabloid Princess: Review of The Diana Chronicles by Tiny Brown”
Anthony Lane, “Acting Out: Review of Spider-Man 3”
II. CONTEMPORARY DEBATES
4. Rap Culture: Is It Too Negative?
Gregg Jones, “Rap Fans Desire a More Positive Product”
Barbara Ehrenreich, “Ice-T: The Issue Is Creative Freedom”
5. SUVs: Safe or Dangerous
Kim Pittaway, “Terror on the Roads”
Woody Hochswender, “Did My Car Join Al Qaeda?”
6. Wal-Mart: Good or Evil?
Jack and Suzy Welch, “What’s Right About Wal-Mart”
Paul Krugman, “Low Pay, Few Benefits
7. Animal Rights: Should They Compromise Human Needs?
Jane McCabe, “Is a Lab Rat's Fate More Poignant Than a Child's?”
Jane Goodall, “A Question of Ethics”
8. Stem Cell Research: Yes or No?
Michael Kinsley, “False Dilemma on Stem Cells”
Gary Rosen, “What Would a Clone Say?”
9. Capital Punishment: Should We Take a Human Life?
Terry Golway, “Wrongly Convicted?”
David Gelernter, “What Do Murderers Deserve?”
III. PERSPECTIVES ON CRITICAL ISSUES.
10. The Internet: How Do We Relate to Each Other in Cyberspace?
Libby Copeland, “Anyone Need a Friend?”
Judith Levine, “I Surf, Therefore I Am”
Beth Brophy, “Saturday Night and You're All Alone? Maybe You Need a Cyberdate”
Joshua Green, “YouTube: Maker of Dreams, Destroyer of Lives” [student essay]
11. Campus Violence: What is the Answer?
Michael Barone, “Feeling Safe Isn’t Safe”
Warren Goldstein, “Why It’s Ok to Rat On Other Students”
Judi S. Cohen and Rex W. Huppke, “How Safe Are America’s Campuses?”
Adam Gopnik, “Shootings”
12. Work, Money, and Class: Who Benefits?
Linda Hirshman, “Off to Work She Should Go”
Jane Smiley, “The Case Against Chores”
David Brooks, “The Triumph of Hope Over Self-Interest”
Herbert J. Gans, “Fitting the Poor into the Economy”
13. The Media: Do We Control It, or Does It Control Us?
Karen Springen, “Why We Tuned Out”
Tony Sachs and Sal Nunziato, “Spinning into Oblivion”
Wendy Kaminer, “Toxic Media”
14. The Environment: How Can We Preserve It?
Bob Herbert, “No Margin for Error”
Verlyn Klinkenborg, “Out of the Wild”
Barry Lopez, “Apologia”
Wendell Berry, “In Distrust of Movements”
15. Globalization: How Are We Interconnected?
Thomas L. Friedman, “Globalization, Alive and Well”
William Ecenbarger, “We Are the World”
Lewis M. Branscomb, “Innovate or Perish”
Bob Davis and John Lyons, “Wealth of Nations”
16. Terrorism: How Should We Meet the Challenge?
Reshma Memon Yaqub, “You People Did This”
Joyce Carol Oates, “Words Fail, Memory Blurs, Life Wins”
Jeffrey Rosen, “Bad Luck: Why Americans Exaggerate the Terrorist Threat”
IV. SIX CLASSIC ARGUMENTS
Plato, “The Allegory of the Cave”
Jonathan Swift, “A Modest Proposal”
Virginia Woolf, “Professions for Women”
George Orwell, “A Hanging”
Rachel Carson, “The Obligation to Endure”
Martin Luther King, Jr., “I Have a Dream”
V. A CASEBOOK ON AMERICANS EATING HABITS: ARE WE WHAT WE EAT?
Paul Rozin and Andrew B. Geier, “Want Fewer Fries With That?”
Shannon Brownlee, “Were Fatter but Not Smarter”
David Zinczenko, “Don't Blame the Eater”
Cast-A-Way, “Instructions for Stress Diet”
Adam Cohen, “The McNugget of Truth in Lawsuits Against Fast-Food Restaurants”
Jonathan Rauch, “The Fat Tax: A Modest Proposal”
Roz Chast, “Trick or Treat”
Michele Ingrassia, “The Body of the Beholder”
Jay Walljasper, “The Joy of Eating”
“Weight Loss Guide”
Ellen Goodman, “The Culture of Thin Bites Fiji”
Dawn Mackeen, “Waifs on the Web”
VI. Constructing a Brief Argumentative Research Paper.
Using Research and Documentation to Support Your Argument
The Research Process
Stage One: Choosing an Issue
Stage Two: Establishing Your Claim
Stage Three: Gathering and Organizing Evidence
Stage Four: Writing the Paper
Stage Five: Documenting Sources
Sample Student Research Paper: Nelson Rivera, “Combating Childhood Obesity: Why Can’t Johnny Touch His Toes?” [student essay]