Suggestions- persuasive writing

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Suggestions- persuasive writing

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Dec 29, 2006, 4:29pm

I'm putting together a plan for the Persuasive Writing course I'm teaching this coming term (sophomore-level course). It's the first time I've taught it-- and for first-times, I tend to rely pretty heavily on a textbook. I'm using Good Reasons with Contemporary Arguments by Faigley/Selzer.

If you've got any suggestions regarding this particular book or any tips or exercises that you wouldn't mind sharing, I'd appreciate it.


Jan 5, 2007, 5:12pm

I've never used that particular book, but I am somewhat familiar with it, having reviewed it for our Composition Committee's approval list. It seems like a good one, with a lot of unnecessary jargon and bells and whistles stripped out.

I am strongly considering using Booth, Colomb, and Williams's The Craft of Research_ 2/e (Chicago UP) when I teach the sophomore level argument class next year (I'm taking a break from teaching at TCU this year to help edit _Composition Studies_ and am teaching a junior-level Business Writing course at another university).

For my money, the Booth, et. al. volume contains more wisdom and valuable advice in its pages than most of the comp textbooks and handbooks I've seen. It doesn't come prepackaged with any readings, so it's not a stand-alone book. But it might be worth picking up a copy just for your own reference and possible use. Frankly, I am also finding it useful for my diss. project. It's that good.

Jan 10, 2007, 7:48pm

Thanks for the recommendation-- I've seen that book before, but I've not looked at it closely. If you're considering it for an argument class, then I'm assuming it does more than give the basics of researching-- is that right?

Jan 11, 2007, 5:36pm

"If you're considering it for an argument class, then I'm assuming it does more than give the basics of researching-- is that right?"

I certainly think so. See the TOC, especially section III:

"Table of Contents
PrefaceI RESEARCH, RESEARCHERS, AND READERS PROLOGUE: STARTING A RESEARCH PROJECT 1 Thinking in Print: The Uses of Research, Public and Private1.1 What Is Research? 1.2 Why Write It Up? 1.3 Why a Formal Report? 1.4 Conclusion 2 Connecting with Your Reader: (Re)Creating Your Self and Your Audience 2.1 Creating Roles for Writers and Readers 2.2 Creating a Relationship with Your Reader: Your Role 2.3 Creating the Other Half of the Relationship: The Reader’s Role 2.4 Writing in Groups 2.5 Managing the Unavoidable Problem of Inexperience Quick Tip: A Checklist for Understanding Your Readers II ASKING QUESTIONS, FINDING ANSWERS PROLOGUE: PLANNING YOUR PROJECT 3 From Topics to Questions 3.1 From an Interest to a Topic 3.2 From a Broad Topic to a Focused One 3.3 From a Focused Topic to Questions 3.4 From a Merely Interesting Question to Its Wider Significance Quick Tip: Finding Topics 4 From Questions to Problems 4.1 Problems, Problems, Problems 4.2 The Common Structure of Problems 4.3 Finding a Good Research Problem 4.4 Summary: The Problem of the Problem Quick Tip: Disagreeing with Your Sources 5 From Problems to Sources 5.1 Screening Sources for Reliability 5.2 Locating Printed and Recorded Sources 5.3 Finding Sources on the Internet 5.4 Gathering Data Directly from People 5.5 Bibliographic Trails 5.6 What You Find 6 Using Sources 6.1 Three Uses for Sources 6.2 Read Generously but Critically 6.3 Preserving What You Find 6.4 Get Help Quick Tip: Speedy Reading III MAKING A CLAIM AND SUPPORTING IT PROLOGUE: PULLING TOGETHER YOUR ARGUMENT 7 Making Good Arguments: An Overview 7.1 Argument and Conversation 7.2 Basing Claims on Reasons 7.3 Basing Reasons on Evidence 7.4 Acknowledging and Responding to Alternatives 7.5 Warranting the Relevance of Reasons 7.6 Building Complex Arguments Out of Simple Ones 7.7 Arguments and Your Ethos Quick Tip: Designing Arguments Not for Yourself but for Your Readers: Two Common Pitfalls 8 Claims 8.1 What Kind of Claim? 8.2 Evaluating Your Claim Quick Tip: Qualifying Claims to Enhance Your Credibility 9 Reasons and Evidence 9.1 Using Reasons to Plan Your Argument 9.2 The Slippery Distinction between Reasons and Evidence 9.3 Evidence vs. Reports of Evidence 9.4 Select the Right Form for Reporting Evidence 9.5 Reliable Evidence Quick Tip: Showing the Relevance of Evidence 10 Acknowledgments and Responses 10.1 Questioning Your Argument 10.2 Finding Alternatives to Your Argument 10.3 Deciding What to Acknowledge 10.4 Responses as Subordinate Arguments Quick Tip: The Vocabulary of Acknowledgment and Response 11 Warrants 11.1 How Warrants Work 11.2 What Warrants Look Like 11.3 Knowing When to State a Warrant 11.4 Testing Your Warrants Quick Tip: Some Strategies for Challenging Warrants IV PREPARING TO DRAFT, DRAFTING, AND REVISING PROLOGUE: PLANNING AGAIN Quick Tip: Outlining 12 Planning and Drafting 12.1 Preliminaries to Drafting 12.2 Planning: Four Traps to Avoid 12.3 A Plan for Drafting 12.4 The Pitfall to Avoid at All Costs: Plagiarism 12.5 The Next Step Quick Tip: Using Quotation and Paraphrase 13 Revising Your Organization and Argument 13.1 Thinking Like a Reader 13.2 Analyzing and Revising Your Overall Organization 13.3 Revising Your Argument 13.4 The Last Step Quick Tip: Titles and Abstracts 14 Introductions and Conclusions 14.1 The Three Elements of an Introduction 14.2 Establish Common Ground 14.3 State Your Problem 14.4 State Your Response 14.5 Fast or Slow? 14.6 Organizing the Whole Introduction 14.7 Conclusions Quick Tip: Opening and Closing Words 15 Communicating Evidence Visually 15.1 Visual or Verbal? 15.2 Tables vs. Figures 15.3 Constructing Tables 15.4 Constructing Figures 15.5 Visual Communication and Ethics 15.6 Using Graphics as an Aid to Thinking 16 Revising Style: Telling Your Story Clearly 16.1 Judging Style 16.2 A First Principle: Stories and Grammar 16.3 A Second Principle: Old Before New 16.4 Choosing between Active and Passive 16.5 A Final Principle: Complexity Last 16.6 Spit and Polish Quick Tip: The Quickest Revision V SOME LAST CONSIDERATIONS The Ethics of Research A Postscript for Teachers An Appendix on Finding Sources General Sources Special Sources A Note on Some of Our Sources Index"