1st Edition

Teaching Arguments Rhetorical Comprehension, Critique, and Response

By Jennifer Fletcher Copyright 2015

    No matter wherestudents' lives lead after graduation, one of the most essential tools we can teach them is how to comprehend, analyze, and respond to arguments. Students need to know how writers' and speakers' choices are shaped by elements of the rhetorical situation, including audience, occasion, and purpose. In Teaching Arguments: Rhetorical Comprehension, Critique, and Response , Jennifer Fletcher provides teachers with engaging classroom activities, writing prompts, graphic organizers, and student samples to help students at all levels read, write, listen, speak, and think rhetorically.Fletcher believes that, with appropriate scaffolding and encouragement, all students can learn a rhetorical approach to argument and gain access to rigorous academic content. Teaching Arguments opens the door and helps them pay closer attention to the acts of meaning around them, to notice persuasive strategies that might not be apparent at first glance. When we analyze and develop arguments, we have to consider more than just the printed words on the page. We have to evaluate multiple perspectives; the tension between belief and doubt; the interplay of reason, character, and emotion; the dynamics of occasion, audience, and purpose; and how our own identities shape what we read and write. Rhetoric teaches us how to do these things.Teaching Arguments will help students learn to move beyond a superficial response to texts so they can analyze and craft sophisticated, persuasive arguments-;a major cornerstone for being not just college-and career-ready but ready for the challenges of the world.

    Chapter 1: Starting with Open-Minded Inquiry; Chapter 2: From Comprehension to Critique; Chapter 3: Fostering a Deeper Understanding of the Occasion; Chapter 4: Fostering a Deeper Understanding of Audience; Chapter 5: Fostering a Deeper Understanding of Purpose; Chapter 6: Analyzing and Integrating Ethos, Pathos, and Logos; Chapter 7: Aristotle's Guide to Becoming a “Good” Student


    Jennifer Fletcher is a professor of English at California State University, Monterey Bay. Before joining the faculty at CSUMB, she taught high school English for more than ten years in Southern California. She is the author of Teaching Arguments: Rhetorical Comprehension, Critique, and Response (2015, Stenhouse).

    The book synthesizes concepts from classical rhetoric, modern rhetoric, Common Core State Standards, and Jennifer’s teaching experience and wisdom. It manages to be both academic and personal, with practical teaching strategies on every page…Reading this book is like accompanying the author on a personal intellectual journey through rhetoric and teaching, a journey on which you learn, grow, and pick up handouts that you can use on Monday morning. I recommend it highly.
    Teaching Text Rhetorically Oct 2016