This innovative textbook, for first-year and more advanced composition and critical thinking courses, addresses the need for college students to develop critical reading, writing, and thinking skills for self-defense in the contentious arena of American civic rhetoric. It presents a comprehensive perspective on American public discourse an dpractical methods for its analysis. Exercises following the text sections and readings help students understand the ideological positions and rhetorical patterns that underlie opposing viewpoints in current controversies--such as the growing inequality of wealth in American and its impact on the finances of college students--as expressed in paired sets of readings from the political left and right. Widely debated issues of whether objectivity is possible and whether there is a liberal or conservative bias in news and entertainment media, as well as in education itself, are foregrounded as topics for rhetorical analysis.
- An extensive, in-depth glossary of key terms for rhetoric and critical thinking provides students with an easily accessible reference source
- A chapter on elementary definitions of political terms and ideological positions builds on Lazere's widely reprinted article "Teaching the Political Conflicts: A Rhetorical Schema" in College Composition and Communication
- Heuristics such as "A Semantic Calculator for Bias in Rhetoric" and "Ground Rules for Polemicists" help identify the viewpoints and evaluate the rhetorical strategies of the authors of readings in the book
- Readings not only encompass classic humanistic authors but serve as a who's who of current commentators on the American right and left
- Up-to-date guides are provided for researching sources on the internet and elsewhere, emphasizing sources on the left and right on current events and controversies
- Materials are available electronically through our website on this book's page of Chapter 23, "Using Research Resources," the Works Cited, and Glossary
"Lazere has given us a thoughtful, beautifully organized, and eminently user-friendly book that enables teachers to [give] their students a way in to some of the most important and contentious public controversies of our time."
--Gerald Graff, Professor of English and Education, University of Illinois at Chicago
"Don Lazere has produced one of the most intelligent, relevant, and important books in composition studies in the last decade. Give this to every student, adult, and citizen who believes that learning, writing, and democracy mutually inform each other."
--Henry A. Giroux, McMaster University
"What a smart book! Here is an intelligent rhetoric text that honestly faces the politics of our times. Writing teachers will benefit from the tools Lazere provides and students will benefit by becoming better writers and more informed readers of their society."
--Ira Shor, Professor of Education, CUNY Graduate Center
"Lazere's [text] is heaven-sent, and will provide a crucial link in the chain of understanding how conflicts are structured and, most important, how they can be rationally addressed-a healthy antidote to the skepticism that has become so pervasive in academic life."
--Alan Hausman, Professor of Philosophy, Hunter College, CUNY
Preface to Teachers (and Curious Students)
<>PART I: INTRODUCTION
Chapter 1: An Appeal to Students
Chapter 2: What Is an Argument? What Is a Good Argument?
Chapter 3: Definitions and Criteria of Critical Thinking
Chapter 4: Writing Argumentative Papers
PART II: ATTAINING AN OPEN MIND: CRITICAL THINKING AND ARGUMENTATIVE RHETORIC
Chapter 5: Viewpoint, Bias, and Fairness: From Cocksure Ignorance to
Chapter 6: Questioning Culturally Conditioned Assumptions and Ethnocentrism
Chapter 7: Overgeneralization, Stereotyping, and Prejudice
Chapter 8: Authoritarianism and Conformity, Rationalization and Compartmentalization
Chapter 9: Semantics in Rhetoric and Critical Thinking
Chapter 10: Avoiding Oversimplification and Recognizing Complexity
Chapter 11: Some Key Terms in Logic and Argumentation
Chapter 12: Logical and Rhetorical Fallacies
Chapter 13: Causal Analysis
Chapter 14: Uses and Misuses of Emotional Appeal
PART III: THINKING CRITICALLY ABOUT THE RHETORIC OF POLITICS AND MASS MEDIA
Chapter 15: Thinking Critically About Political Rhetoric
Chapter 16: Thinking Critically about Mass Media
PART V: DECEPTION DETECTION
Chapter 17: Special Interests, Conflict of Interest, Special Pleading
Chapter 18: Varieties of Propaganda
Chapter 19: Advertising and Hype
PART VI: PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER IN A LONG PAPER
Chapter 20: A Case Study: The Rich, the Poor, and the Middle Class
Chapter 21: Collecting and Evaluating Opposing Sources: Writing the Research Paper
Chapter 22: Documentation
Chapter 23: Research Resources
Glossary of Rhetorical and Critical Thinking Terms