Understanding Rhetoric: A Guide to Critical Reading and Argumentation

Understanding Rhetoric: A Guide to Critical Reading and Argumentation

by Eamon M. Cunningham


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Understanding Rhetoric: A Guide to Critical Reading and Argumentation is a composition textbook that outlines three essential skills – rhetoric, argument, and source-based writing – geared towards newcomers and advanced students alike. Though comprehensive in its coverage, the book’s focus is a simple one: how to move beyond a "gut reaction" while reading to an articulation of what is effective and what is not, while explicitly answering the most important question of "Why?" This text gets at this central concern in two fundamental ways.

First, the text teaches composition as a cumulative process, coaching you how to question, challenge, and expand on not just the readings you hold in your hands, but also how to interrogate the internal processes of writing and thinking. The book's blend of composition methods detail the cross-point of product and process to turn reading and writing from a matter of coming up with answers to questions to learning what type of questions need to be asked in the first place. The "right" questions, the text argues, are fundamentally rhetorical in nature.

Second, the content of the practice-based chapters is framed into a larger mesh of intellectual history to show how the writing and thinking you are doing today is continuous with a long history of writing instruction that goes back to the ancient world. This book provides equal representation from classical and contemporary theory with the recognition that theory cannot be fully grasped without practice, and practice cannot be fully understood without its theoretical antecedent. After all, you can’t write "outside the box" until you know where the box is and what it looks like.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781627347051
Publisher: Universal-Publishers.com
Publication date: 11/01/2018
Pages: 470
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.95(d)

About the Author

Eamon Cunningham is the English Department Chair at Milford High School (Milford, MA) and a lecturer in the English department at Framingham State University (Framingham, MA). He is a featured author in the Best of the Journals in Rhetoric and Composition series (Parlor Press) and has also published with The Journal of Teaching Writing, English Journal, and The Primer. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Amanda, and two sons, Liam and Kyle.

Table of Contents

Unit 1: Rhetoric

1 A Brief History of Rhetoric 3

Rhetoric in the Classical Period 4

Rhetoric from the Medieval Period to the Renaissance 11

Rhetoric in the Modern Period 13

2 R hetorical Analysis – A Guided Methodology 19

The Rhetorical Situation: Exigence and the Rhetorical Triangle 22

Means of Persuasion: Ethos, Logos, and Pathos 37

Developing the Lines of Inquiry for a Text:

Structure, Syntax, and Diction 51

3 E stablishing a Written Dialogue with a Text 55

Knee-Jerk Annotations 56

Four-Fold Marginalia 59

Text Travelogue 61

The P.A.P.A. (Parallel Analytical Paraphrase Annotation) 63

4 Writing an Analytical Essay 67

Invention for an Analytical Essay 68

Arrangement for an Analytical Essay 79

5 Visual Rhetoric – Image as Text (and Text as Image) 89

6 Rhetoric in Film 103

The Rhetorical Triangle of Film 104

The Elements of Film Composition 106

Director as Reviser – How the Director Can Arrange Rhetorically 114

Translating Text to Film 117

7 Rhetorical Analysis – Additional Models 133

Non-Fiction Narrative Analysis: Narrative of the Life of Frederick

Douglass by Frederick Douglass 134

Essay Analysis: “Los Angeles Notebook” by Joan Didion and

“Brush Fire” by Linda Thomas 140

Poetry Analysis: “Paradoxes and Oxymorons” by John Ashbery 146

Novel/Film Analysis: Meditations in Green by Stephen Wright

and Apocalypse Now Directed by Francis Ford Coppola 151

Unit 2: Argument

8 A Brief History of Argumentation 157

Argumentation in the Classical Period 158

Argumentation from the Medieval Period to the Scientific Revolution 166

Argumentation in the Modern Period 169

9 C lassical Models of Argumentation 173

“Invention” in Argument – Stasis 174

“Arrangement and “Style” in Argument 179

The Lead-In – The Exordium 180

The Background and Context – The Narratio 187

The Claim – The Partitio 191

Appeals and Evidence – The Confirmatio 193

Refutation – The Refutatio 198

Conclusion – The Peroratio 205

10 Contemporary Models of Argumentation 213

11 Errors in Reasoning – Logical Fallacies 243

12 Argumentation – Additional Models 269

13 A Brief History of Source-Based Writing 291

14 Generating Ideas for Research 299

15 Finding and Analyzing Sources 315

16 Integrating Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism 329

17 Writing the Source-Based Argument 359

18 Source-Based Arguments – Additional Models 373

19 MLA Citation Guide 391

20 Terminology Glossary 401

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