Our times demand that we understand what we read, that we think critically about others' ideas, argue effectively in support of our own, and be able to systematically go through the wealth of avaliable information and ideas, rejecting what is unreliable and synthesizing the useful with what we already know and understand. This text combines instruction in critical thinking and analysis, argument and research techniques with a collection of readings appropriate for practising these necessary skills. In addition to its instruction and opportunities for practice, this book also shows students the interrelatedness of reading, analytic, argumentative and research skills.
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A new Chapter 2, "Writing About Reading," provides an expanded discussion of writing summaries and also includes guidelines for acknowledging sources and integrating quotations (formerly in the research section).
Chapter 4, "Understanding Literature," incorporates three new works of literature Robert Herrick's "To Daffodils," A.E. Housman's "Is My Team Plowing," and Amy Lowell's "Taxi."
Chapter 5, "The Shape of Argument," now contains an expanded discussion of Toulmin's approach to argument and additional material on Aristotelian logic. The principles of the language of argument are further illustrated with the addition of a political cartoon and two advertisements.
Chapter 6, "Preparing Good Arguments," incorporates more student essays and several new professional essays.
The five chapters in Section 3, "The Research Process," have been thoroughly expanded and updated to include coverage of the Internet and other electronic sources, reflecting the latest MLA documentation guidelines from the 1998 MLA Style Manual, and new sample student papers.
The collection of readings in Section 4 features 26 new selections (including several longer selections), which have been reorganized around current, controversial topics:
1) The impact of Style and Influence of the Media;
2) Laws, Rights, and Responsibities: A Series of Debates (on Euthanasia; Censorship Issues, Gun Control; Immigration and Immigrants; Capital Punishment; Race, Gender, and Identity; and Global
3) Examining How We Live-and Where We May Be Headed
3) Examining How We Live and Where We May be Headed.
Several longer selections have been included to provide a wider range of length and difficulty.
Chapter 1, "The Writer as Reader," features expanded coverage of active reading and critical analysis.
Step-by-step coverage on how to write specific types of arguments, and on formal logic and logical fallacies, help clarify the major principles of argumentation.
Challenging, yet workable exercises and writing assignments give students practice in critical analysis, in primary research, and in connecting argument to the research process.
Research is presented as a problem-solving activity involving skills in reading, analysis, and argument-not as a copying and documenting activity.
A full chapter on reading and analyzing literature includes a number of short stories and poems to help bridge the gap between composition and the study of literature.
Compelling readings on a variety of contemporary public policy issues and enduring moral debates illustrate various stylistic strategies and serve as points of departure for students' own writing topics.
Dorothy U. Seyler is professor of English at Northern Virginia Community College. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the College of William and Mary, Dr. Seyler holds advanced degrees from Columbia University and the State University of New York at Albany. She taught at Ohio State University, the University of Kentucky, and Nassau Community College before moving with her family to Northern Virginia. She has coauthored Introduction to Literature and Language Power, both in second editions, and is the author of The Writer's Stance, Patterns of Reflection, in its third edition, The Reading Context, Steps to College Reading, Understanding Argument, and Read, Reason, Write, currently in its fifth edition and Doing Research, currently in its second edition. In addition, Professor Seyler has published articles in professional journals and popular magazines. She enjoys tennis, golf, and traveling, as well as writing about all three.
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