A Dam Good Argument - 1st Edition
Liz Delf, Corvallis, Oregon
Rob Drummond, Corvallis, Oregon
Kristy Kelly, Corvallis, Oregon
Copyright Year: 2022
Publisher: Oregon State University
Conditions of Use
The textbook is thorough in its coverage of writing an argumentative research paper. It walks the students through the process from constructing arguments ethically to developing a research question. It looks at the four tiers of sources and... read more
The textbook is thorough in its coverage of writing an argumentative research paper. It walks the students through the process from constructing arguments ethically to developing a research question. It looks at the four tiers of sources and much more as it leads to the culminating chapter about style, form , and mechanics.
The book is spot on with the information included. It includes information about why and when to use citations, but doesn't include any specifics about any of the citation styles (APA, MLA, etc.)
This book will appeal to college students indefinitely as it uses enticing jargon, such as the CRAAP Test and Four Moves and a Habit (both about evaluating a source). The inclusion of discussion questions and activities makes the information even more relevant to students and instructors. The authors also use concepts, language, and phrases that are timeless and make the book one that can be used for many years.
The authors clarify terms and give examples and descriptions as needed.
The same terms are used throughout the text consistently and new concepts build on previous ones.
Students and instructors could start anywhere in the book and use the information as it is needed.
The book is well organized and flows through the process, from beginning to end, of writing a argumentative research paper.
Yes, it was easy to maneuver through the textbook.
I didn't notice any grammar or mechanical errors in the textbook.
I didn't see any issues with equity and diversity in the book.
I will adopt and use the book for my English Composition II course which involves writing an argumentative research paper. This is just the book that I've been looking for. Students can augment it with online resources to learn more about APA and MLA styles, such as the Purdue Online Writing Lab.
The text starts by explaining why students need to craft a good argument regardless of what profession they take on. What is intriging about this text and what draws readers to it is it's real approach--not pretentious--but instead, down to earth... read more
The text starts by explaining why students need to craft a good argument regardless of what profession they take on. What is intriging about this text and what draws readers to it is it's real approach--not pretentious--but instead, down to earth guaranteed to grab it's readers. Take , for example, the opening comments,"Let’s begin by being real with each other: you’re probably in this class because you have to be. It fulfills a gen ed writing requirement you need to graduate, and you wouldn’t be here otherwise. And there is a good chance you’re not absolutely thrilled about it." Immediately, the reader wants to see what else is on the page, and so the learning begins.
The text is interesting in its approach to the argument. Along with its "in your face approach," the text chunks important information in its chapters, giving the readers a chance to process the stages of argument writing. This approach works as students are not overhwhelmed with trying to develop the essay all at once. Here are the major sections:
I. Introduction to Argument at the College Level
II. Analyzing Persuasion
III. Constructing Arguments
IV. Working with Sources
V. Style, Form, Mechanics
Once the topic is selected, the text then goes through the fine tuning process of crafting a decent argument and why facts matters if students wish to convince their readers. The first chapter gets the reader to start thinking about the different ways people think and communicate. By discussing this information early on while students are beginning to craft the essay, the authors open up the argument and what it really means. "By perpetuating the myth of one correct way of writing, we are effectively marginalizing substantial swaths of the population linguistically and culturally."
With it's direct approach, this text is very relevent in today's world. It's great that the text addresses why students need to have a clear argument regardless of vocation. The need to commincate effectively is important period.
The text is clear in its approach. One drawback is that students like to see patterns. If the text could show patterns of argument, I think its comments would become clearer for students. I think a chart showing the following points in an essay would be awesome: introduction, background, main arguments, refutation, and conclusion. It's ok to talk, but students need to see the words in practice.
The text does a great job of explaining terms and their applications. The material is current and relevant to today's world. Take chapter 5, for instance: BACKPACKS VS. BRIEFCASES: Steps toward Rhetorical Analysis. The chapter begins with "Imagine the first day of class in first-year composition at your university. The moment your instructor walked into the room, you likely began analyzing them and making assumptions about what kind of teacher they will be. You might have noticed what kind of bag they are carrying—a tattered leather satchel? A hot-pink polka-dotted backpack? A burgundy briefcase?" Immediately, the reader is intrigued and then the chapter goes on to explain why analysis needs to happen.
After the explanation, I would like to see the material pointed out and applied to a student essay. This approach could be done at the end of each chapter before the next chapter takes the information a step further so students could clearly follow the process.
Generally, the text is organized well as the reader thinks through the writing process, but more examples with application of the text's points shown on sample students essays would be very helpful for students.
This text has NO significant interface issues or naviagtion problems. The points are clearly shown as students thinks through the creation of a well crafted argument.
No major grammatical errors are present.
One of the best aspects of this text is that it is open to anyone of any background . It is not written with bias but instead with a "let's learn to argue effectively approach." For example, in the opening chapeter of the text, it is stated, "...one of the best things about Oregon State University is that our students come from all different cultures and stages of life and scholastic and socioeconomic backgrounds. So instead of trying to identify all of your individual circumstances, let me state two things everyone reading this shares: You’ve all made it this far somehow, jumping through hoop after writing-requirement hoop, and [y]our schooling is much closer to its end than its beginning." Thus, this text is open and makes it a point to be open and acceptable to anyone regardless of background.
This text right now is more or a book that students would read before beginning the argument essy rather than a text that could be used along with writing the essay. Consider this point made in Chapter 18: RESEARCH SHOULD START WITH QUESTIONS, NOT ANSWERS. "However, a researcher who begins with an open-ended question motivated by curiosity, whose goal is not to prove anything but to discover salient ideas about a human rights issue, has the chance to explore different thoughts about human trafficking and come to her own conclusions as she researches why it’s a problem and what ought to be done to stop it, not just create stronger consequences for it." Why not take a student essay on human trafficking and point out these points? Student need to see charts--patterns to the argument essay. Take a student essay or two --pointing out the introduction, background, main arguments, refutation, and conclusion. Then, analyze what the students have said, pointing out where improvements could be made and then rewriting with these improvements made so students can see the contrast. If an entire student essay were analyzed showing the parts of the argument , students would be better able to better follow the suggestions of the text. In addition, patterns of the argument essay shown in chart form with a essay given for each pattern would make this text a great one! Right now, this text is a very good reference, but with a lttle tweaking could be even more applicable.
Table of Contents
- I. Introduction to Argument at the College Level
- II. Analyzing Persuasion
- III. Constructing Arguments
- IV. Working with Sources
- V. Style, Form, Mechanics
- Alternatives to Traditional Grading
- Antiracist and Inclusive Pedagogy Resources
- Creative Commons License
About the Book
Arguments are all around us. Everywhere we look, someone is trying to get our attention, change our minds, or sell us something. Learning about how persuasion works will make you a more thoughtful and skeptical consumer of all that content, so that you can come to your own conclusions and recognize the underlying assumptions that inform those attempts to persuade you. This book is about analyzing others' arguments and crafting your own. The rhetorical choices that you make as a writer–from evidence to structure to tone–impact how your audience will receive your ideas. Using those tools effectively will help your voice be heard.
About the Contributors
Liz Delf (MA, Oregon State University '11) developed and piloted the Career Preparation for English Majors course in 2017. She teaches writing across the university and beyond, including sections for the Honors College, INTO, the Beijing Normal University Summer Program, and an INTEL Technical Writing Boot Camp. Courses regularly taught at OSU include English Composition, Argumentation, Technical Writing, Writing in Business, and Intro to Literature: Fiction. Her MA thesis, "'Born of Ourselves': Gendered Doubling and the Femme Fatale in Vernon Lee's Ghost Stories" was selected for the OSU Outstanding Thesis Award in 2011.
Rob Drummond, Oregon State University
Kristy Kelly, Oregon State University