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West Chester University

Fall 2004and
Spring 2005

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Spring 2003

Fall 2002

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Course Information
  LIT 165 Syllabus
  LIT 165 Announcements
  LIT 165 Assignments
  WRT 120 Syllabus
  WRT 120 Announcements
  WRT 120 Assigmments

Notebook for Topics in Literature: Imaginary Worlds (Spring 2005)
  Adieu to Imaginary Worlds
  One Last Look at Imaginary Worlds
  ASSIGNMENT SHEET: Paper #3
  Notes on 'Before the Law'
  Samuel Beckett Links
  Notes on 'Waiting for Godot'
  Approaching 'Waiting for Godot'
  Notes on 'Axolotl' by Julio Cortazar
  Notes on 'EPICAC' by Kurt Vonnegut
  ASSIGNMENT SHEET: Paper #2
  DIRECTIONS: Independent Project
  Suggested Readings: Independent Project
  Utopia/Dystopia Links
  Character Analysis: Brave New World
  Analyzing the Brave New World
  Defining Utopia
  Embarking on the Brave New World
  A Critique of BRAVE NEW WORLD
  Dante Links
  Inferno: Final Destinations, Cantos XXXII-XXXIV
  Inferno: Malebolge, Cantos XVIII-XXXI
  Inferno: Questions/Analysis, Cantos XII - XVII
  Structure in the Inferno: Analysis, Cantos V - XI
  Inferno: Questions for Analysis, Cantos I - V
  Introducing Canto I
  Approaching the Divine Comedy
  Relating to Dante's Inferno
  Our Goals for Studying the Inferno
  Assignment Sheet: PAPER #1
  The Birthmark
  Leaf By Niggle
  Responses to Leaf By Niggle
  'On Fairy Stories' by J.R.R. Tolkien
  Notes on Ovid and 'Metamorphoses'
  Analyzing the Mythic Tales
  The Four Functions of Myth
  Myth and Metaphor
  Myth - Links
  Filtering the Introduction to 'Fantastic Worlds'
  Allegory
  'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' and 'The Zebra Storyteller
  Introducing the 'Imaginary Worlds' Theme
  Alice In Wonderland
  The Metamorphosis

Notebook for Effective Writing I (Spring 2004)
  Conference Schedule: 4/21 and 4/26
  Commentary: Following Up Your Response
  Critical Thinking and Commentary
  Casebook: Evaluating Sources
  What is Argument?
  Parts of an Argument
  Casebook Assignment Sheet
  Rubric for Evaluation of Writing
  Assignment Sheet: Essay#1
  Expressive Writing
  Short Stories About Identity
  Thoughts on Stories About Identity
  Poems About Identity
  Understanding the 'Rhetorical Situation'
  Mind-map: Identity

ENG Q20: Basic Writing (Fall 2004)
  ENG Q20 Syllabus
  Frederick Douglass Excerpt
  Propaganda Analysis
  How to Detect Propaganda
  George Orwell's Politics and the English Language
  Propaganda Analysis Exercise

Go Exploring
  Weblog for WRT 120
  Writing Assistance on the Web
  Blackboard at WCU
  WCU Homepage
  WCU's Francis Harvey Green Library

 

~~ What is Argument? ~~

What is argument?
A debate
The pursuit of truth
A series of statements leading to a proposition
A rhetorical strategy used to persuade audiences in an ethical manner
A claim made convincing by logical reasoning and evidence
What people do when they implicitly or explicitly disagree but need to reach an agreement
A strategy for exerting influence
A reasonable disagreement
Your willingness to articulate your relationship to others who have taken a stand on an issue
Your position on an "arguable issue" (of substantiation, evaluation, or policy)
Your attempt to persuade your reader through use of "the appeals"-ethos, pathos, and logos

What isn't argument?
A nasty fight, winner-take-all
A shouting match
Mere contradiction
Dishonest rhetoric
Inflammatory rhetoric
Propaganda

What is a "rhetorical stance"?
Trimbur: the way writers coordinate ethos (the writer's character as projected in the text; personality; attitude; the writer's credibility, fairness, authority), pathos (readers' emotions, state of mind, intensity of belief as aroused by the text), and logos (the writer's message; the force of the logical line of reasoning) as interrelated components in persuasive writing

What are the "parts of an argument"?
The claim
The logical reasoning and evidence in support of the claim
The presence of opposing views, the counterargument(s)
A refutation of opposing views, counterargument(s)

Trimbur: claim, evidence, enabling assumption, backing, differing views, and qualifiers

Critical Thinking

As you probably have realized, argumentation is an important "critical thinking skill." In fact, it is all the critical thinking skills rolled into one. Argumentation teaches you to question, analyze, respond, evaluate, and synthesize.

All of these ways of responding to information involve critical thinking and problem solving. When you argue a position you learn to examine the positions of others-the quality of their opinions, the quality of their logic, the fairness of their assumptions. You also learn how to close the gap between you and those who are different from you-those who disagree with you-you learn to recognize and respect disagreement and you learn the value of establishing common ground.

Exercise:
Analyze the parts of the argument in the exchange of letters between Darcy Peters and Marcus Boldt (Call to Write, pp. 64-66). Explain each writer's rhetorical stance by describing his/her use of the "three appeals" (Call to Write, pp. 75-76).

Ethos
What image of Ms. Peters' character is created by her letter? How would you describe her personality? Her attitude? Does she seem fair? Authoritative? Credible? Cite reasons why or why not. Ask the same of Mr. Boldt's character based on his letter. What's his personality, attitude, fairness, credibility?
Pathos
What emotions does Darcy Peters' letter evoke? Marcus Boldt's? Are these the emotions the writer intends, do you think?

Logos
How would you sum up Darcy Peters' message to Boldt? Does she use a logical line of reasoning to make this message persuasive? Explain. Analyze Boldt's letter in the same way? What's his essential message? Is he logical in his response?


 

 

 

 

 

 

     

 


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