Argument as Dialogue: A Concise Guide

Gary Goshgarian / Kathleen Krueger  
Total pages
January 2011
Related Titles


Argument as Dialogue is a concise and affordable guide to persuasive writing and research that treats argument as a process of dialogue and deliberation-the exchange of opinions and ideas-among people of different values and perspectives. The text contains succinct instruction on analyzing and developing arguments, including critical reading, source documentation, and analyzing visual arguments. 


  • Promotes the effective exchange of opinions and ideas by emphasizing dialogue while examining different points of view with an open mind.  The text defines argument as a process of “Debate,” “Dialogue,”  and “Deliberation,” while offering guidance for evaluating and building arguments through comparing and synthesizing diverse viewpoints, and takes students step-by-step through every stage of a critical reading process-from previewing and skimming a reading, through annotating and summarizing, to analyzing, evaluating and arguing with that reading.
  • Nine rhetorical chapters explain strategies of reading and writing arguments and are designed to stimulate critical thinking, reading and writing and introduce students to research skills.
  • Fee of technical jargon, Argument as Dialogue is the most clearly written, student-friendly concise argument text on the market today.  The text's discussion of how to write effective argument is uncluttered and accessible.
  • Integrated sample arguments exemplify important strategies of argument and give student practice in analyzing the features of good arguments.  Student essays are used throughout to model the process of creating good arguments.
  • Chapter 8, Visual Arguments, provides necessary skills for analyzing images with sample photos, print ads, editorial cartoons and graphs aimed at helping students strengthen their ability to influence and persuade.
  • Chapter 9, Researching Arguments, covers appropriately documenting sources with an emphasis on evaluating electronic sources.
  • The Documentation Guide features the most recent updates in MLA and APA documentation styles, and includes student sample research papers (with visuals) in both MLA and APA, annotated to highlight important documentation issues.  Instruction and examples of documentation using electronic sources is up to the minute.

Table of Contents



PART ONE Strategies for Reading and Writing Arguments


CHAPTER 1 Understanding Persuasion: Thinking Like a Negotiator


What Makes an Argument

The Uses of Argument


Moving from Debate to Dialogue



    Deborah Tannen, “Taking a 'War of Words' Too Literally”

Sample Arguments for Analysis

    Michael Lewis, “The Case Against Tipping”

    Paula Broadwell, "Women Soldiers Crucial to US Mission"


CHAPTER 2 Reading Arguments: Thinking Like a Critic

Why Read Critically?

Preview the Reading

Skim the Reading

Sample Arguments for Analysis

    Henry Wechsler, “Binge Drinking Must Be Stopped”

Consider Your Own Experience

Annotate the Reading

Summarize the Reading

Analyze and Evaluate the Reading

Argue with the Reading

Create a Debate and Dialogue Between Two or More Readings

Sample Arguments for Analysis

    Fromma Harrop, “Stop Babysitting College Students” (student essay)

Construct a Debate

Sample Arguments for Analysis

    Kathryn Stewart and Corina Sole, “Letter to the Editor” from the Washington Post

    James C. Carter, S. J., “Letter to the Editor” from the Times-Picayune

Deliberate About the Readings

Look for Logical Fallacies


CHAPTER 3 Finding Arguments: Thinking Like a Writer

The Writing Process

Finding Topics to Argue

Developing Argumentative Topics

Finding Ideas Worth Writing About

Refining Topics

Sample Arguments for Analysis

    Stephanie Bower, “What's the Rush? Speed Yields Mediocrity in Local Television News” (student essay)


CHAPTER 4 Addressing Audiences: Thinking Like a Reader

The Target Audience

The General Audience

Guidelines for Knowing Your Audience

Adapting to Your Readers' Attitudes

Sample Arguments for Analysis

Derrick Jackson, "Let's Ban All Flavors of Cigarettes"

Gio Batta Gori, "The Bogus 'Science' of Secondhand Smoke"

    Danise Cavallaro, “Smoking: Offended by the Numbers” (student essay)

Choosing Your Words


CHAPTER 5 Shaping Arguments: Thinking Like an Architect

Components of an Argument

Sample Arguments for Analysis

    Clara Spotted Elk, “Indian Bones”

Analyzing the Structure

Sample Arguments for Analysis

    Ron Karpati, “I Am the Enemy”

Analyzing the Structure

Two Basic Types for Arguments

Position Arguments

Sample Position Arguments for Analysis

    Sean Flynn, “Is Anything Private Anymore?”

Analysis of a Sample Position Argument

Proposal Arguments

Sample Proposal Arguments for Analysis

    Amanda Collins, “Bring East Bridgewater Elementary into the World” (student essay)

Analyzing the Structure

Narrative Arguments

Sample Narrative Arguments

    Jerry Fensterman, “I See Why Others Choose to Die”

Analyzing the Structure

Analyzing the Narrative Features


CHAPTER 6 Using Evidence: Thinking Like an Advocate

How Much Evidence is Enough?

Why Arguments Need Supporting Evidence

Forms of Evidence

   Kari Peterson, “The Statistic Speaks: A Real Person's Argument for Universal Healthcare” (student essay)

Different Interpretations of Evidence

    S. Fred Singer, “The Great Global Warming Swindle”

Some Tips About Supporting Evidence

Sample Arguments for Analysis

    Arthur Allen, “Prayer in Prison: Religion as Rehabilitation”


CHAPTER 7 Establishing Claims: Thinking Like a Skeptic

The Toulmin Model

Toulmin's Terms

Finding Warrants

Sample Arguments for Analysis

    Steven Pinker, “Why They Kill Their Newborns”

An Analysis Based on the Toulmin Model

    Michael Kelly, “Arguing for Infanticide”

Sample Student Argument for Analysis

    Lowell Putnam, “Did I Miss Something?” (student essay)


CHAPTER 8 Using Visual Arguments: Thinking Like an Illustrator

Common Forms of Visual Arguments

Analyzing Visual Arguments


    Pablo Picasso's Guernica

    Norman Rockwell's Freedom of Speech


    Sample Ads for Analysis

    Toyota Prius Ad

    Fresh Step Cat Litter

    Victoria's Dirty Secret 

Editorial or Political Cartoons

    Mike Luckovich's "Let's Be Responsible" Cartoon

    Pat Bagley's “Back in Aught-Five ...” Cartoon

    Daryl Cagle's “I Hate Them” Cartoon

News Photographs

Ancillary Graphics: Tables, Charts, and Graphs

Sample Student Argument for Analysis

    Lee Innes, “A Double Standard of Olympic Proportions” (student essay)


CHAPTER 9 Researching Arguments: Thinking Like an Investigator

Sources of Information

A Search Strategy

Sample Entries for an Annotated Bibliography

Locating Sources

Evaluating Sources

Taking Notes

Drafting Your Paper

Revising and Editing Your Paper

Preparing and Proofreading Your Final Manuscript




Where Does the Documentation Go?

Documentation Style

A Brief Guide to MLA and APA Styles


    Shannon O'Neill, “Literature Hacked and Torn Apart: Censorship in Public Schools” (MLA) (student essay)

    Dan Hoskins, "Tapped Out: Bottled Water's Detrimental Side" (APA) (student essay)