Dialogues, Fourth Edition continues the previous edition's focus on argument as meaningful dialogue, that is, the exchange of opinions and ideas. Dialogues represents argument not as a battle to be won but as a process of dialogue and deliberation among people with diverse values and perspectives. Part I contains succinct instruction on analyzing and developing arguments, from critical reading to source documentation, to a new chapter on visual arguments. Part II, with more than 90 new readings, offers a diverse collection of provocative essays from both the popular and scholarly medium. The lucid, lively, and engaging writing addresses students as writers and thinkers, without overwhelming them with unnecessary jargon or theory.
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This newer concept of argument informs every page of this dramatically revised third edition, now titled Dialogues: An Argument Rhetoric and Reader. Part One of the text demonstrates how students can use the strategies of debate, dialogue, and deliberation to engage meaningfully with people holding diverse viewpoints. In Part Two, Current Dialogues, four major new themes and 17 new subtopics present a multiplicity of viewpoints on various timely topics. New writing assignments after each subtopic ask students to synthesize their understanding of different arguments as they write their own. With 90 percent new readings, this edition of Dialogues represents a substantial revision of argument.
Highlights of Dialogues, Third Edition:
Dialogues: An Argument Rhetoric and Reader (formerly Crossfire) embodies a new approach to reading and writing arguments. It moves students away from the traditional combative model of argument in which writers take opposing stances and attempt to defeat all viewpoints other than their own. Instead, students are encouraged to explore multiple perspectives on a particular topic before forming their own opinions and writing their own arguments. Through a process of debate, dialogue, and deliberation, students learn to investigate diverse opinions, synthesize and respond to the views of others, and carefully evaluate evidence to arrive at an informed position on a particular issue. Students are encouraged to abandon a pro/con, adversarial stance in favor of negotiation and the discovery of shared values among opponents. While we are well aware that not all arguments can be resolved to everyone's satisfaction, we believe that the power of argument can be used most productively when arguers actually listen to the voices of others and respond to them in a thoughtful way. In this book we provide a structure for this dialogue to take place.
Organization of the Book
As the title indicates, the book is divided into two parts. The rhetoric section consists of eight chapters explaining the strategies of reading and writing arguments. The reader section consists of 9 thematic units containing 90 essays— a challenging collection of thought-provoking contemporary and historical arguments.
Part I: Strategies for Reading and Writing Arguments
Our overall goal is to involve students in the process of writing arguments, a multifaceted activity involving careful reading, critical thinking, skillful writing, and thorough research. To this purpose we have organized the first eight chapters to guide students through the stages of argument writing, beginning with an explanation of what an argument is and progressing to the final argument essay. Throughout Part 1 we have included short arguments— 20 essays in all&3151; by professional and student writers to illustrate each chapter's focus and provide opportunities to apply, analyze, and synthesize the major ideas in the chapter. In some chapters, several essays on a particular issue demonstrate diverse ways of writing and thinking about a single topic. Exercises in each chapter reinforce concepts with immediate, hands-on practice.
Chapter 1 offers an overview of argumentation, clarifies key terminology, and introduces the processes of debate, dialogue, and deliberation. Chapter 2 focuses on critical reading, presenting a series of activities designed to help students evaluate arguments and recognize their primary components. An extensive section on testing arguments for logical fallacies ends the chapter. Chapter 3 discusses how to begin writing arguments. It helps students find worthwhile and interesting topics to write about by demonstrating techniques for brainstorming, limiting topics, and formulating claims. Chapter 4 examines the presence of audience, encouraging students to think about the different kinds of readers they may have to address. This chapter suggests ways to evaluate the audience's concerns and strategies to reach different audiences.
Chapter 5 focuses on the organization of the argument essay by analyzing two basic types of arguments— positions and proposals. Outlining is reviewed as a tool to ensure effective organization. Chapter 6 considers the importance of evidence. We demonstrate that the effectiveness of a writer's argument largely depends on how well evidence— facts, testimony, statistics, and observations— is employed to support the writer's ideas. Chapter 7 introduces the socially constructed Toulmin model of logic as a way of testing the premises of the writer's argument. Chapter 8 discusses research strategies, including locating and evaluating print and electronic sources, note-taking tips, and drafting and revising argument essays. The Documentation Guide provides documentation formats for both MLA and APA styles, and two annotated sample student research papers, one in MLA style and the other in APA style.
Part 2: Dialogues
The 90 contemporary and historical essays in the reader offer a wide range of provocative and stimulating selections to get students thinking about controversies that affect their lives, and make them aware of the diversity and complexity of argument. We expect that these readings will generate lively class discussion through shared debate and dialogue.
Seventy-eight of the essays are organized into seven broad thematic chapters: "Gender Matters," "Race and Ethnicity," "Freedom of Expression," "Media Influence," "Individual Rights," "Regulating Relationships," and "The Black Freedom Struggle." Each of these chapters is divided into three or four specific topics whose readings demonstrate both different viewpoints and shared concerns. While most of the readings deal with current controversies, Chapter 17 on the civil rights movement, "The Black Freedom Struggle," presents historical arguments that substantially altered twentieth century American history. In three sections, the chapter examines the controversies surrounding education, violence and nonviolence, and equal opportunity during the civil rights era; a fourth section reflects back from contemporary points of view on the gains and losses of the struggle for African American rights. From the formality of the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka to the eloquence of James Baldwin to the riveting passion of Malcolm X, the arguments here should inspire students' interest and challenge their assumptions about this important period of American political history.
Twelve readings comprise our casebooks on juvenile crime and teen parents, two subjects of particular interest to college students. Each casebook provides students with the opportunity to explore the subject in depth through extensive readings, discussion questions, collaborative exercises, writing assignments, and research opportunities. Many suggestions for using Web resources help ensure that students have access to the most current information about these rapidly evolving issues.
To help students become actively engaged with the readings and the issues, we have included a variety of apparatus throughout the text. Each chapter in Part 2 opens with an introduction explaining the chapter theme and underscoring the importance of the essays and the rationale behind their selection. An introduction to each essay provides a context for the reading and pertinent biographical information about the writer. "Before You Read" and "As You Read" questions guide students before and during the actual reading process. Following each essay are "For Analysis and Discussion" questions designed to stimulate thinking about the content, logic, and organization of the essay and the strategies of the writer. At the end of each section of readings, several writing assignments encourage students to synthesize their ideas about the essays, deliberate about their own ideas, and undertake further research and writing. In the casebooks on juvenile crime and teen parenting, each reading is also followed by more extensive opportunities to explore the topic by conducting interviews and surveys, visiting both Web sites and community facilities, and investigating additional reference sources. Finally, the Glossary of Rhetorical Terms defines terminology used throughout the text.
New to This Edition
While the second edition of Crossfire was a successful text, we knew that it was time for a change if we wanted our book to reflect the most current research being done in composition studies. To do this, we invited a new author on board, Janet Barnett Minc, a professor of English at The University of Akron-Wayne College, who brought her extensive teaching experience and research in the fields of composition and argument to the task of revision. As a result of her work, Crossfire shifted its emphasis away from a pro/con model to a new paradigm that acknowledges more effectively the complexity of argument. The revisions were so dramatic that the former title was no longer relevant to the text. Dialogues tells the story of our new focus on finding common ground, listening and responding to those who hold different views, and carefully deliberating about these multiple perspectives before arriving at a position.
This third edition also reflects the insights and suggestions of many of the instructors and students who used the second edition of Crossfire. We have left those features that people found most useful unchanged, and we have tried to make careful revisions where improvement was needed. Here are some of the major changes in this new edition:
"Media Influence" includes subthemes on the persuasive language of advertising (including three sample advertisements), the credibility of TV news, and movie and TV violence.
"Individual Rights" examines physician-assisted suicide, the right to privacy, and drug testing of students.
"Regulating Relationships" discusses same-sex marriage, sexual harassment, and adoption.
"The Black Freedom Struggle" includes arguments on four themes: education, violence and nonviolence, equal opportunity, and contemporary reflections on the civil rights movement.
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