Inventing Arguments

  • AUTHORS: John Mauk; John Metz
  • ISBN-13: 9781305092143 
  • Grade(s): 9 | 10 | 11 | 12
  • 608 Pages  Paperback 
  • 4th Edition
  • ©2016     Published
  • Prices are valid only in the respective region


About The Product

Organized around common rhetorical situations that occur all around us, INVENTING ARGUMENTS shows students that argument is a living process rather than a form to be modeled. The text's focus on invention teaches students to recognize the rhetorical elements of any argumentative situation and apply the tools of argument effectively in their own writing. Students are introduced to the basic layers of argument in early chapters, with material arranged into increasingly sophisticated topics beginning with the most obvious or explicit layers (claims) and moving to the more implied layers of assumptions, values, beliefs, and ideology. By the time they finish Part I, your students will have a thorough understanding of argument, which they can then apply to the invention projects in Chapters 7−12.


  • INVENTING ARGUMENTS is organized according to argumentative situations instead of the elements or models of argument so that students will learn to apply the tools of argument effectively in any situation.
  • The chapters of Part I help instructors to build a syllabus that begins with the most basic tools of argument and moves quickly to more advanced layers. Reviewers have appreciated the concise and comprehensible descriptions of difficult concepts (such as ideology, warranting assumptions, values and beliefs) that help instructors to emphasize important critical-thinking outcomes.
  • The “Invention” section within each Part II chapter helps students to discover topics for their arguments; to explore a rhetorical situation; to develop a revelatory main claim that promotes a new way of thinking; to support their claims with effective evidence and appeals; and to consider counterarguments, concessions, and qualifiers to their arguments.
  • Part III, “The Research Guide,” offers students fundamental strategies for doing primary and secondary research, while also teaching them to view research as a tool of argument and to evaluate sources as elements within bigger institutional and social arguments.
  • Part IV, “The Argument Anthology,” supplements chapter readings and allows instructors to create thematic units.

About the Contributor

  • John Mauk

    John Mauk has a Ph.D. in rhetoric and writing from Bowling Green State University and a Masters in language and literature from the University of Toledo. Scholarship includes an article on critical geography and composition (COLLEGE ENGLISH, March 2003). Mauk now teaches composition and rhetoric courses at Northwestern Michigan College. In 2007, he served on the NCTE Nominating Committee.

  • John Metz

    John Metz has a B.A. in English from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania (1983) and an M.A. in English from the University of Toledo (1985). He has taught first-year writing for over 20 years and currently teaches at Kent State University at Geauga in Twinsburg, Ohio.

Table of Contents

1. Inventing Arguments.
What is Argument? What is Academic Argument? What is Rhetoric? What is Invention?
2. Claims.
What is a Claim? Types of Claims. Characteristics of Claims. Reading: “A Community of Cars,” Ryan Brown (student). Assignment: Identifying and Describing Claims.
3. Support.
Evidence. Example. Appeals. Appeals to Logic. Appeals to Emotion. Appeals to Need. Appeals to Value. Reading: “Disconnected,” Lynda Smith (student). Assignment: Summarizing Arguments.
4. Opposition.
Counterargument. Concession. Qualifiers. Reading: “Learning, Styles, Freedom, and Oppression,” Simon Benlow. Assignment: Identifying and Summarizing Opposition.
5. Hidden Layers.
Assumptions. Underlying Values. Reading: “In Defense of Darkness” Holly Wren Spaulding. Arguments in Disguise. The Objectivity Disguise. The Personal Taste Disguise. Spin. Propaganda. Assignment: Identifying & Summarizing Hidden Layers.
6. Analyzing Argument.
The Analytical Posture. Summary and Analysis. Summary vs. Analysis. Four Common Pitfalls. Readings: “Chief Seattle''s Speech on the Land.” “Seattle''s Rhetoric,” Andy Buchner (student). Analyzing Visual Arguments. “The Hearts of Argument: Benetton''s Advertising Appeal,” Megan Ward. “Progressive Profiteering: The Appeal and Argumentation of Avatar,” Ben Wetherbee (student). Assignment: Inventing a Rhetorical Analysis.
7. Arguing Definitions.
“What''s the Economy for, Anyway?” John de Graaf. “Warfare: An Invention−Not a Biological Necessity,” Margaret Mead. “The Fashion Punk Paradox,” Andrew Hyde (Student). “Standardized Testing vs. Education,” Justin James (Student). “If It''s Not a Baby,” bumper sticker. “Preserve Marriage” image. Exploring for Topics. Inventing a Claim. Inventing Support. Arrangement. Audience and Voice. Revision.
8. Arguing Causes.
“No Sex Please, We''re Middle Class,” Camille Paglia. “Disparities Demystified,” Pedro A. Noguera and Antwi Akom. “More Than Cherries,” Samantha Tengelitsch (Student). “All for a Virtual Cause: The Reasons Behind MMORPG Success,” J. Noel Trapp (Student). “Why You Are Hated,” image. Exploring for Topics. Inventing a Claim. Inventing Support. Arrangement. Audience and Voice. Revision.
9. Arguing Value.
“Evaluation of ''The Education of Ms. Groves,''“ John Adams. “Adventure Is Calling,” Michael Hilliard (Student). “Higher Education through Discombobulation,” Betsy Chitwood (Student). “The Value of a Happy Meal,” image. Exploring for Topics. Inventing a Claim. Inventing Support. Arrangement. Audience and Voice. Revision.
10. Arguing Crisis.
“The Idols of Environmentalism,” Curtis White. “Big House in the Wilderness: Moratoriums on Building and Individual Responsibility,” Tracy Webster. “The Pack Rat Among Us,” Laurie Schutza (Student). “Citizens and Consumers,” Amber Edmondson (Student). “Is Bottled Water a Crisis?” image. Exploring for Topics. Inventing a Claim. Inventing Support. Arrangement. Audience and Voice. Revision.
11. Arguing the Past.
“Shakespeare and Narcotics,” David Pinching. “A Nation Made of Poetry,” Joannie Fischer. “Red (White and Blue) Scare,” Stephen Pell (Student). “Somewhere in the Past: Clarksville''s School and Community Life,” Cameron Johnson (Student). “Apache Children,” image. “Carr Fork Canyon,” image. Exploring for Topics. Inventing a Claim. Inventing Support. Arrangement. Audience and Voice. Revision.
12. Arguing the Future.
“Live Forever,” Raymond Kurzweil. “Video Games, the Next Storytelling Frontier,” Michael Hanson. “Investing in Futures: The Cost of College,” Charles Nelson (Student). “Around the Table in Traverse City,” Joel Papcun. “Smart Car,” image. Exploring for Topics. Inventing a Claim. Inventing Support. Arrangement. Audience and Voice. Revision.
13. The Research Guide.
Overview of Research. The Research Path. Conducting Primary Research. Conducting Secondary Research. Evaluating Sources. Integrating Sources. Documenting Sources. Sample Research Essays.
14. Politics.
15. Men and Women.
16. Race.
17. Environment.
18. Education.
19. Consumption.
20. Popular Culture.
21. Technology.
22. Philosophy and Humanity.

New to this Edition

  • A new discussion of Classical, Rogerian, and Toulmin Argument in Chapter 1 helps students understand different ways of thinking about argument.
  • Increased coverage of Rogerian argument in Chapter 4 includes Carl Rogers’ essay “Communication: Its Blocking and Its Facilitation” and an opportunity for students to approach a rhetorical situation from a Rogerian perspective, one based on cooperation and understanding.
  • Increased coverage of Toulminian terms in Chapter 5 helps students to better analyze—to dig further into the evasive layers of practical arguments.
  • A new name for Chapter 5, “Assumptions and Values,” better reflects its coverage.
  • Types of claims (fact, value, and policy) introduced in Chapter 2 are more clearly related to the writing projects in Part Two: Arguing Definitions, Arguing Causes, Arguing Value, Arguing Crisis, Arguing the Past, and Arguing the Future.
  • Part III, Research, is now divided into two chapters: Chapter 13, The Research Guide and Chapter 14, Documenting Styles.
  • Updated and new citations have been added to both the MLA and APA sections of Chapter 14. A new design better distinguishes the two citation styles for easier reference.

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    ISBN-10: 1305632265 | ISBN-13: 9781305632264
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