Chapter 4 Arguing about Literature

Topic: BusinessManagement
Sample donated:
Last updated: May 5, 2019
4 stages of the writing process
1. exploring2. planning3. composing4. revising

what does the exploring step involve?
critical reading; making predictions, rereading-with a different focus each time, compare text to own experiences, trace patterns and breaks, note ambiguities, consider author’s alternatives, generate questions, formulate a tentative claim, use informal writing

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what does good planning entail?
identifying the main issue you will address

sentence outline
writer’s key points in sentence form

topic outline
a list in which the writer uses a few words to signify the main subjects they will discuss

rhetorical purpose outline
list the major sections of your paper, then briefly indicate two things for each section: the effect you want it to have on your audience, and how you will achieve that effect

what should be identified in the introduction?

the main text that you will analyze2. the main issue about it you will address3. the main claim that you will develop in response to that issue

limit plot summary (general)
1. assume reader only needs a few brief reminders2. main purpose is to answer your question 3.

try to start each new paragraph (after intro.) with a subclaim that helps develop main claim4. write about how the work analyzed is constructed5. try to linger on author’s specific language, exploring possible definitions

author’s life and intentions (general)

be careful linking work to an author’s own circumstances2. admit that you are guessing what the author thought3. if you think author is going to object your view, acknowledge such possible disagreement4. concede that your analysis of the work isn’t the only reasonable one

unsound reasoning (unlogical)

ad hominem
instead of doing the hard work of analyzing the claim and the evidence, we simply ignore them and attack the character of the person making the argument

begging the question
a kind of circular reasoning in which the statement being argued is already assumed to have been decided

appeal to authority
cite other professionals working the their field to bolster their credibility

hasty generalization
claiming less would improve the argument

post hoc, ergo propter hoc
because of this, then that (cause and effect without it being cause and effect)

intentional fallacy
when we defend ourselves against someone we offend by saying “oh that’s not what i meant. it was a joke.”

straw man
when trying to destroy someone’s argument by ignoring their main point and focusing on something marginal

slippery slope
to claim that if we allow one thing to happen, then slipping into catastrophe is just around the corner

not seeing the inevitable complexity of things

non sequitur
when we make a claim that the evidence cannot support

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