Brainstorm
Services

EDUCATIONAL
MATERIALS


West Chester University

Spring 2006 and Fall 2005

West Chester University

Fall 2004and
Spring 2005

Spring 2003

Fall 2002

Spring 2002

Fall 2001

 

 

 

Home

Contact

Course Syllabi and Announcements
  LIT 165 Syllabus
  LIT 165 Announcements and Assignments
  WRT 120 Syllabus
  WRT 120 Announcements and Assignments

Notebook for Topics in Literature: Imaginary Worlds (Spring 2008)
  A Reading of THE TEMPEST

Notebook for Topics in Literature: Rites of Passage (Spring 2006)
  Goals of the Course
  Fundamental Questions about Literature
  Valuing Literature
  Critical Thinking and Reading Literature
  Critical Approaches to Literature
  Literature as ART
  Ambiguity
  Approaching the Art of Fiction
  Defining the Short Story
  Evaluating Short Fiction
  Craft of Fiction: PLOT
  Craft of Fiction: CHARACTER
  Small Group Exercise
  ARABY by James Joyce
  WHERE ARE YOU GOING, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? by Joyce Carol Oates
  Our RITES OF PASSAGE Theme
  A note about GIRL
  POE and the art of STORY OF A HOUR
  THE YELLOW WALLPAPER
  YOUNG MAN ON SIXTH AVENUE
  Notes on Innovative Fiction
  Assignment Sheet for Paper #1
  Fiction and Ambiguity - Your Questions
  Writing Workshop - Short Fiction
  Poetry Journal Project Assignment Sheet
  LITERARY SYNTHESIS PROJECT
  Defining Poetry
  Reading Poetry
  The Craft of Poetry
  Drama and Tragedy
  Study Questions: DEATH OF A SALESMAN

Notebook for Effective Writing I (Spring 2006)
  Paper #4 Assignment Sheet
  Critical Thinking and Commentary
  Casebook: Evaluating Sources Worksheet
  Selecting Information
  Evaluating Arguments
  CASEBOOK PROJECT Assignment Sheet
  Approaching Persuasive Writing
  Topic Development - Profile Essay
  Generating Ideas for the Profile Essay
  Paper #2 Assignment Sheet
  Profile Exercise
  Analyzing THE FIVE BEDROOM, SIX FIGURE ROOTLESS LIFE
  Objective Writing: Selected Readings
  Writing Workshop: Paper #1
  Expressive Writing in the NYTimes
  Writing Effective Introductions and Conclusions
  Paper #1: IDENTITY
  Expressive Writing
  Open Letter Exercise and Examples
  EMERSON on Individuality vs. Conformity
  Literature related to IDENTITY
  Understanding the 'Rhetorical Situation'

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

Notebook for Topics in Literature: Imaginary Worlds (Fall 2005)
  One Last Look at Imaginary Worlds
  Franz Kafka's BEFORE THE LAW
  Analyzing WAITING FOR GODOT
  Approaching WAITING FOR GODOT
  Paper #3: Assignment Sheet
  Paper #4: Independent Project
  The Problem of Stability in BRAVE NEW WORLD
  UTOPIA/DYSTOPIA Links
  Analyzing Huxley's BRAVE NEW WORLD
  Defining Utopia
  Embarking on Huxley's BRAVE NEW WORLD
  A Reading of Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST
  From today's news (11/3/05)
  Assignment Sheet for Paper #2
  Goodbye to Dante's Imaginary World
  Stepping Through Dante's Inferno: Cantos 10-34
  Stepping Through Dante's Inferno: Cantos 1-10
  INFERNO: Questions/Analysis: Cantos 32-34
  INFERNO: Questions/Analysis: Cantos 18-31
  INFERNO: Questions for Analysis: Cantos 12-17
  INFERNO: Structure
  INFERNO: Questions for Analysis: Cantos 1-5
  INFERNO: Analyzing Canto 1
  Relating to Dante's Inferno
  Approaching Dante's DIVINE COMEDY
  A Little Help with Dante's INFERNO
  Assignment Sheet for Paper #1
  Notes on LEAF BY NIGGLE
  Responses to LEAF BY NIGGLE
  ON FAIRY STORIES: An Essay by Tolkien
  Notes on Axolotl
  Reading Ovid's Tales
  From Myth to Literature: Approaching Ovid's Tales
  Notes on THE EYE OF THE GIANT
  Functions of the Genesis Tales
  Analyzing Mythic Tales
  Defining Mythology
  Filtering the Introduction to FANTASTIC WORLDS
  Commentary on LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCI by Keats
  Commentary on DARKNESS by Byron
  Handout: Imagination Poems Set
  What is Imagination?
  Our Course Theme: Imaginary Worlds
  LIT 165 Assignments: Fall 2005
  LIT 165 Announcements: Fall 2005
  Imaginary Worlds: Course Syllabus

Notebook for Effective Writing I (Fall 2005)
  Paper #4: Independent Thinking/Reading/Writing
  Casebook Preparation Checklist
  Casebook Assignment Schedule
  Evaluating Sources for the Casebook
  Casebook Project Assignment Sheet
  Notes on Rational Argument
  Argument
  Assignment Sheet: Objective Writing
  Reviewing Elements of the Profile Essay
  Writing the Profile Essay
  Readings: Objective Writing
  Assignment Sheet: Expressive Writing
  Rubric for Evaluation of Writing
  About SKIN DEEP
  Emerson on Individuality vs. Conformity
  Mind-map: Identity
  Understanding the 'Rhetorical Situation'
  Assignments Page
  Announcements Page
  WRT 120 Course Syllabus for Fall 2005

ENG Q20: Basic Writing

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?


 

 

 

 

 

 

     

 


Questions? Contact me.

All materials unless otherwise indicated are copyright © 2001-2008 by Stacy Tartar Esch.

The original contents of this site may not be reproduced, republished, reused, or retransmitted
without the express written consent of Stacy Tartar Esch.
These contents are for educational purposes only.