TEXTS: Everything’s An Argument, with readings, Andrea A. Lunsford, Bedford/St. Martins, The Undertaking: Life Studies of the Dismal Trade by Thomas Lynch available at Shaman Drum Bookshop, coursepack available at Accu-Copy, two blocks down from State Street.
RATIONALE: EVERTHING IS AN ARGUMENT. Even saying “Good morning,” can be an argument for the quality of a particular day, a sarcastic remark, a bonding with others or a cultural necessity. With that in mind, we will examine how traditional and current arguments use various types of appeal, evidence and structure to make their case. We will use the triangle of Writer Text Audience to examine others and our own writing. We will also examine the Toulmin Method of claim, data, warrant, counter argument with special emphasis on what is OUTSIDE the written or visual argument, what ASSUMPTIONS are made by the writer, that is, upon what assumptions does this argument depend?
Also, what types of appeal does the writer employ?
We will explore the pluses and minuses of using the following types of appeal: emotion, character, values, logic and reasoning, humor. We will also examine current visual arguments such as advertising, short films and museums as well as electronic and print media (email, web sites, newspapers). Thus, you will be able to identify and implement these methods in your own essays. We will look structurally at Introduction [start, subject in some sense]; Body [middle, evidence, examples, path of thinking]; Conclusion [author’s final point, attitude toward the subject]. Our questions will involve the following:
- Why does the argument begin this way?
- Why does the middle have this type of evidence?
- Why does it end this way?
- What is highlighted?
- What is diminished?
This exploration will look at PLACEMENT and also PROPORTION of information. Also, we will examine specific writing techniques such as hyperbole, anaphora, analogy, and metaphor. Four papers, in-class writings, peer critiques, workshop, presentation. Three papers, in-class writings, presentation and workshop.