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Thank You for Arguing, Third Edition

Format: Trade Paperback, 480 pages
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
On Sale: 07/04/2017
Price: $17.00
ISBN: 978-0-804-18993-4
open close ABOUT THE BOOK
The go-to text for English Language, writing, and journalism courses, Thank You for Arguing is your student’s master class in the art of persuasion. Jay Heinrichs not only teaches how to recognize a metonymy and a chiasmus, but also how to argue effectively without anger. The revised third edition includes extensive new material on persuasive essay writing, tropes, facing bullies, and arguing when people don’t believe the same facts. Plus an expanded  “Argument Lab” section to put your students’ new skills to the test. For exercises, online quizzes, and other teacher resources, visit the author’s website at

“Heinrichs is a clever, passionate and erudite advocate for rhetoric, the 3,000- year- old art of persuasion, and his user- friendly primer brims with anecdotes, historical and popular- culture references, sidebars, tips and definitions.”
— Publishers Weekly
“Cross Cicero with David Letterman and you get Jay Heinrichs, whose new book is simultaneously an analysis of how to argue effectively and a hilarious commentary on the reasons we have lost the art so completely.”
— Joseph Ellis, author of American Sphinx and Founding Brothers
“A lot of people think of rhetoric as a dirty word, but a long time ago— think ancient Greece— it was perhaps the noblest of arts. Jay Heinrichs’s book is a timely, valuable, and entertaining contribution to its much- needed rehabilitation.”
— Ben Yagoda, author of About Town: The New Yorker and the World It Made andThe Sound on the Page: Great Writers Talk About Style and Voice in Writing
“Knowing how to use the proper words is an art; knowing how to intersperse them with savvy pauses is a mystery. Words are treacherous: they either explain or conceal. And silence is all the more dangerous: speak too much and you’ve become redundant; speak too little and you’re ignored. But speak in just the right way and then be quiet and you’ll be revered and esteemed. Jay Heinrichs’s superb modern manual on rhetoric shows the extent to which we are what we say— and how. Ah, the mysteries of the tongue!”
— Ilan Stavans, author of Dictionary Days: A Defining Passion
“A rhetorical cocktail party where the guest list includes Cicero, Britney Spears, St. Augustine, and Queen Victoria. From MTV to Aristotle, Heinrichs entertains, enlightens, and even teaches us a little Greek, persuading us that the big battles and daily combats of work, love, and life can be won. If argument is the cradle of thought, Thank You for Arguing can make us all better thinkers. So listen up!”
— Sarah McGinty, author of Power Talk: Using Language to Build Authority and Influence
“Reading Thank You for Arguing is like having a lively talk with the author about the very backbone of real talk, the willingness of people to change each other’s—and their own— ideas through constructive argument. Writing with vividness and rigor, Jay Heinrichs maps this territory so you’ll always know where you are. You’ll scratch your head, grit your teeth, smack your forehead, and laugh out loud as he guides you through the landscape of differing with a difference.”
— Margaret Shepherd, author of The Art of Civilized Conversation: A Guide to Expressing Yourself with Grace and Style
“Who knew that a rhetorician could be a seducer, a swashbuckler, and a stand- up comic? In this inspiring and original study, Jay Heinrichs illuminates the ways in which we understand, enjoy, and infuriate each other, all the while instructing us on ways to make certain everyone will be on our side. Heinrichs’s prose is not only engaging, it’s hysterically funny. Aristotle would have loved him; so too John Adams, Daniel Webster, and Abraham Lincoln; E. B. White would have become his agent. Rhetoric doesn’t get any better than this.”
— Regina Barreca, editor of The Signet Book of American Humor
JAY HEINRICHS spent twenty-six years as a writer, editor, and magazine-publishing executive before becoming a full-time advocate for the lost art of rhetoric. He now lectures widely on the subject, to audiences ranging from Ivy League students to NASA scientists to Southwest Airlines executives, and runs the language blog
open close READ AN EXCERPT
Chapter 1. Open Your Eyes


A personal tale of unresisted persuasion

Truth springs from argument among friends. —David Hume

It is early in the morning and my seventeen-­year-­old son eats breakfast, giving me a narrow window to use our sole bathroom. I wrap a towel around my waist and approach the sink, avoiding the grim sight in the mirror; as a writer, I don’t have to shave every day. (Marketers despairingly call a consumer like me a “low self-­monitor.”) I do have my standards, though, and hygiene is one. I grab toothbrush and toothpaste. The tube is empty. The nearest replacement sits on a shelf in our freezing basement, and I’m not dressed for the part.

“George!” I yell. “Who used all the toothpaste?”

A sarcastic voice answers from the other side of the door. “That’s not the point, is it, Dad?” George says. “The point is how we’re going to keep this from happening again.”

He has me. I have told him countless times how the most productive arguments use the future tense, the language of choices and decisions.

“You’re right,” I say. “You win. Now will you please get me some toothpaste?”

“Sure.” George retrieves a tube, happy that he beat his father at an argument.

Or did he? Who got what he wanted? In reality, by conceding his point, I persuaded him. If I had simply said, “Don’t be a jerk and get me some toothpaste,” George might have stood there arguing. Instead I made him feel triumphant, triumph made him benevolent, and that got me exactly what I wanted. I achieved the pinnacle of persuasion: not just an agreement, but one that gets an audience—­a teenage one at that—­to do my bidding.

No, George, I win.

The Matrix, Only Cooler

What kind of father manipulates his own son? Oh, let’s not call it manipulation. Call it instruction. Any parent should consider rhetoric, the art of argument, one of the essential R’s. Rhetoric is the art of influence, friendship, and eloquence, of ready wit and irrefutable logic. And it harnesses the most powerful of social forces, argument.

Whether you sense it or not, argument surrounds you. It plays with your emotions, changes your attitude, talks you into a decision, and goads you to buy things. Argument lies behind political labeling, advertising, jargon, voices, gestures, and guilt trips; it forms a real-­life Matrix, the supreme software that drives our social lives. And rhetoric serves as argument’s decoder. By teaching the tricks we use to persuade one another, the art of persuasion reveals the Matrix in all its manipulative glory.

The ancients considered rhetoric the essential skill of leadership—­knowledge so important that they placed it at the center of higher education. It taught them how to speak and write persuasively, produce something to say on every occasion, and make people like them when they spoke. After the ancient Greeks invented it, rhetoric helped create the world’s first democracies. It trained Roman orators such as Julius Caesar and Marcus Tullius Cicero and gave the Bible its finest language. It even inspired William Shakespeare. Every one of America’s founders studied rhetoric, and they used its principles in writing the Constitution.

Rhetoric faded in academia during the 1800s, when social scientists dismissed the notion that an individual could stand up to the inexorable forces of history. Who wants to teach leadership when academia doesn’t believe in leaders? At the same time, English lit replaced the classics, and ancient thought fell out of vogue. Nonetheless, a few remarkable people continued to study the art. Daniel Webster picked up rhetoric at Dartmouth by joining a debating society, the United Fraternity, which had an impressive classical library and held weekly debates. Years later, the club changed its name to Alpha Delta and partied its way to immortality by inspiring the movie Animal House. To the brothers’ credit, they didn’t forget their classical heritage entirely; hence the toga party.

Scattered colleges and universities still teach rhetoric—­in fact, the art is rapidly gaining popularity among undergraduates—­but outside academia we forgot it almost entirely. What a thing to lose. Imagine stumbling upon Newton’s law of gravity and meeting face-­to-­face with the forces that drive the universe. Or imagine coming across Freud for the first time and suddenly becoming aware of the unconscious, where your id, ego, and superego conduct their silent arguments.

I wrote this book for that reason: to lead you through this ill-­known world of argument and welcome you to the Persuasive Elect. Along the way you’ll enhance your image with Aristotle’s three traits of credible leadership: virtue, disinterest, and practical wisdom. You’ll find yourself using logic as a convincing tool, smacking down fallacies and building airtight assertions. Aristotle’s principles will also help you decide which medium—­text? phone? skywriting?—­works best for each message. You will discover a simple strategy to get an argument unstuck when it bogs down in accusation and anger.

And that’s just the beginning. The pages to come contain more than a hundred “argument tools” borrowed from ancient texts and adapted to modern situations, along with suggestions for trying the techniques at home, school, or work, or in your community. You will see when logic works best, and when you should lean on an emotional strategy. You’ll acquire mind-­molding figures of speech and ready-­made tactics, including Aristotle’s irresistible enthymeme, a neat bundle of logic that I find easier to use than pronounce. You’ll see how to actually benefit from your own screw-­ups. And you’ll discover the most compelling tools of all in your audience’s own self-­identity.

By the end of the book you will have mastered the rhetorical tricks for making an audience eager to listen. People still love a well-­delivered talk; the top professional speakers charge more per person than a Bruce Springsteen concert. I devote a whole chapter to Cicero’s elegant five-­step method for constructing a speech—­invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery—­a system that has served the greatest orators for the past two thousand years.

Great argument does not always mean elaborate speech, though. The most effective rhetoric disguises its art. And so I’ll reveal a rhetorical device for implanting opinions in people’s heads through sheer sleight of tongue.

Besides all these practical tools, rhetoric offers a grander, metaphysical payoff: it jolts you into a fresh new perspective on the human condition. After it awakens you to the argument all around, the world will never seem the same.

I myself am living proof.

Ooh, Baby, Stir Harder

To see just how pervasive argument is, I recently attempted a whole day without persuasion—­free of advertising, politics, family squabbles, or any psychological manipulation whatsoever. No one would persuade me, and I would avoid persuading them. Heck, I wouldn’t even let myself persuade myself. Nobody, not even I, would tell me what to do.

If anyone could consider himself qualified for the experiment, a confirmed hermit like me could. I work for myself; indeed, having dropped out of a career in journalism and publishing, I work by myself, in a cabin a considerable distance from my house. I live in a tiny village in northern New England, a region that boasts the most persuasion-­resistant humans on the planet. Advertisers have nightmares about people like me: no TV, no smartphone, dial-­up Internet. I’m commercial-­free, a walking NPR, my own individual, persuasion-­immune man.

As if.

My wristwatch alarm goes off at six. I normally use it to coax myself out of bed, but now I ignore it. I stare up at the ceiling, where the smoke detector blinks reassuringly. If the smoke alarm detected smoke, it would alarm, rousing the heaviest sleeper. The philosopher Aristotle would approve of the smoke detector’s rhetoric; he understood the power of emotion as a motivator.

For the time being, the detector has nothing to say. But my cat does. She jumps on the bed and sticks her nose in my armpit. As reliable as my watch and twice as annoying, the cat persuades remarkably well for ten dumb pounds of fur. Instead of words she uses gesture and tone of voice—­potent ingredients of argument.

I resist stoically. No cat is going to boss me around this morning.

The watch beeps again. I wear a Timex Ironman, whose name comes from a self-­abusive athletic event; presumably, if the watch works for a masochist who subjects it to two miles of swimming, a hundred miles of biking, and 26.2 miles of running all in one day, it would work for someone like me who spends his lunch hour walking strenuously down to the brook to see if there are any fish. The ancient Romans would call the Ironman’s brand appeal argumentum a fortiori, “argument from strength.” Its logic goes like this: if something works the hard way, it’s more likely to work the easy way. Advertisers favor the argument from strength. Years ago, Life cereal ran an ad with little Mikey the fussy eater. His two older brothers tested the cereal on him, figuring that if Mikey liked it, anybody would. And he liked it! An argumentum a fortiori cereal ad. My Ironman watch’s own argument from strength does not affect me, however. I bought it because it was practical. Remember, I’m advertising-­immune.

But its beeping is driving me crazy. Here I’m not even up yet and I already contemplate emotional appeals from a cat and a smoke detector along with a wristwatch argument from strength. Wrenching myself out of bed, I say to the mirror what I tell it every morning: “Don’t take any crap from anyone.”

The cat bites me on the heel. I grab my towel and go fix its breakfast. Five minutes later I’m out of toothpaste and arguing with my son. Not a good start to my experiment, but I’ll chalk it up to what scientists euphemistically call an “artifact” (translation: boneheaded mistake) and move on. I make coffee, grab a pen, and begin writing ostentatiously in a notebook. This does little good in the literary sense—­I can barely read my own scribble before coffee—­but it produces wonderful rhetorical results: when my wife sees me writing, she often brings me breakfast.

Did I just violate my own experiment? Shielding the notebook from view, I write a grocery list. There. That counts as writing.

Dorothy returned to full-­time work after I quit my job. The deal was that I would take over the cooking, but she loves to see her husband as the inspired author and herself as the able enabler. My wife is a babe, and many babes go for inspired authors. Of course, she might be persuading me: by acting as the kind of babe who goes for inspired authors, she turns me on. Seduction underlies the most insidious, and enjoyable, forms of argument.

Seduction is not just for sex, either. Writer Frederick Kaufman showed in Harper’s Magazine how the Food Network uses techniques identical to that of the porn industry—­overmiked sound, very little plot, and good-­looking characters, along with lavish close-­ups of firm flesh and flowing juices.

rachael ray: Lentils poof up big when you cook ’em. They just suck up all the liquid as they get nice and tender.

emeril lagasse: In go the bananas. Oh, yeah, babe. Get ’em happy right now.

We live in a tangled, dark (I almost added “moist”) world of persuasion. A used car salesman once seduced me out of fifteen grand. My family and I had just moved to Connecticut, and I needed cheap transportation. It had been a tough move; I was out of sorts. The man at the car lot had me pegged before I said a word. He pointed to a humble-­looking Ford Taurus sedan, suggested a test drive, and as soon as I buckled in he said, “Want to see P. T. Barnum’s grave?” Of course I did.

The place was awesome. We had to stop for peacocks, and brilliant-­green feral Peruvian parrots squawked in the branches of a huge fir tree. Opposite Barnum’s impressive monument stood Tom Thumb’s marker with a life-­sized statue of the millionaire midget. Enthralled by our test drive, I did everything else the salesman suggested, and he suggested I buy the Ford. It was a lemon.

He sized me up and changed my mood; he seduced me, and to tell you the truth, I enjoyed it. I had some misgivings the next morning, but no regrets. It was a consensual act.

Which leads us to argument’s grand prize: the consensus. It means more than just an agreement, much more than a compromise. The consensus represents an audience’s commonsense thinking. In fact, it is a common sense, a shared faith in a choice—­the decision or action you want. And this is where seduction comes in. As St. Augustine knew, faith requires emotion.

Seduction is manipulation, manipulation is half of argument, and therefore many of us shy from it. But seduction offers more than just consensual sex. It can bring you consensus. Even Aristotle, that logical old soul, believed in the curative powers of seduction. Logic alone will rarely get people to do anything. They have to desire the act. You may not like seduction’s manipulative aspects; still, it beats fighting, which is what we usually mistake for an argument.

Birds Do It . . . ​

Meanwhile, my experiment gets more dubious by the moment. I’m leaving the bathroom when Dorothy puts a plate of eggs on the table, shrugs into her suit jacket, and kisses me goodbye. “Don’t forget, I’ll be home late—­I’m having heavy hors d’oeuvres at the reception tonight,” she says, and leaves for her fundraising job at a law school. (Fundraising and law. Could it get more rhetorical?)

I turn to George. “So, want to have dinner with me or on campus tonight?” George attends a boarding school as a day student. He hates the food there.

“I don’t know,” he says. “I’ll call you from school.”

I want to work late and don’t feel like cooking, but I’m loath to have George think my work takes priority over him. “Okay,” I say, adding with as much enthusiasm as I can fake, “we’ll have stew!”

“Ugh,” says George, right on cue. He hates my stew even more than school food. The odds of my cooking tonight have just gone way down.

Oops, as that fine rhetorician Britney Spears put it, I did it again. And so goes my day. In my cabin office, I email editors with flattering explanations for missing their deadlines. (I’m just trying to live up to their high standards!) I put off calling Sears to complain about a $147 bill for replacing a screw in our oven. When I do call eventually, I’ll take my time explaining the situation. Giving me a break on the bill will cost less than dealing with me any further.

At noon, I grab some lunch and head outside for a walk. A small pile of fox scat lies atop a large granite rock. Mine, the fox says with the scat. This spot belongs to me. Territorial creatures, such as foxes and suburbanites, use complicated signals to mark off terrain and discourage intruders—­musk, fences, scat, marriage licenses, footprints, alarm systems . . . ​Argument is in our nature, literally.
open close TEACHER'S GUIDE


Please click on the PDF link at the bottom of this page to download the Teacher's Guide.

Guide prepared by David Landes

A master class in the art of persuasion, as taught by professors ranging from Bart Simpson to Winston Churchill, newly revised and updated. The time-tested secrets taught in this book include Cicero’s three-step strategy for moving an audience to action and Honest Abe’s Shameless Trick for lowering an audience’s expectations. And it’s also replete with contemporary techniques such as politicians’ use of code language to appeal to specific groups and an eye-opening assortment of persuasive tricks, including the Eddie Haskell Ploy, the Belushi Paradigm, Stalin’s Timing Secret, and the
Yoda Technique. Whether you’re an inveterate lover of language books or just want to win a lot more anger-free arguments on the page, at the podium, or over a beer, Thank You for Arguing is for you. Warm, witty, erudite, and truly enlightening, it not only teaches you how to recognize a paralipsis when you hear it, but also how to wield the weapons of persuasion the next time you really, really want to get your own way.
JAY HEINRICHS spent 26 years as a writer, editor, and magazine-publishing executive before becoming a full-time advocate for the lost art of rhetoric. He now lectures widely on the subject, to audiences ranging from Ivy League students to NASA scientists to Southwest Airlines executives, and runs the language blog
There are many ways Thank You for Arguing can be taught and integrated with curricula: as a main textbook, a supplementary text, an example of persuasive writing, prompts for debate, prompts for student response papers, and many others. The text has 30 short lessons and five appendices that explain the rhetorical concepts behind argument and style. Unlike most rhetoric textbooks, Thank You for Arguing simultaneously instructs and demonstrates its lessons by self-referencing how the text itself uses rhetorical concepts to teach and delight the reader. This approach exemplifies rhetoric’s conceptual and practical character while empowering students to interact with their source of instruction.
The instructional materials below offer activities for each chapter. Teachers should adapt them into assignments that best suit their context and needs. For example, each activity can be oriented as a task for individuals, groups, and prepared demonstrations. These activities can be adapted for written, spoken, discussion, or multimedia formats. Teachers should note that these rhetorical concepts are tools to both produce persuasion and analyze persuasion.
This teaching guide begins with pre-reading activities for stimulating students to personalize the book’s lessons. Next, the questions for discussion are useful before, during, and after reading the text. Then, the chapter exercises help ingrain rhetorical concepts into student practices. Lastly, synthesis activities provide opportunities to combine chapter concepts and practice making arguments at any point in the reading process.
Thank You for Arguing supports the national Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in Reading,
Writing, Speaking/Listening, and Language for high school curricula, which makes it an apt selection for grades 11 and 12 in Language Arts or Literature classes, as well as Advanced Placement® courses in English Language & Composition. At the college level, the book is appropriate for courses in Rhetoric/Composition, Literature, Communication, and first year or common reading programs. Below, each chapter exercise references the related Common Core State Standard that it fulfills. For a complete listing of the Standards, go to:
Rhetoric has to be personalized and digested in order for students to produce strong arguments and develop critical habits of mind. These pre-reading activities help make students receptive to learning rhetoric and will prepare them to integrate concepts into their thinking processes.
Topics bank: To supply content for the chapter exercises, each student lists:
• What are the four matters you are most knowledgeable about?
• What are eight topics that interest you?
• What are five questions you would like to hear intelligent debates on?
Aggregate these lists into one master list available to students. Students will draw from this master list for chapter exercises that ask them to “select a topic.”
Select three rhetors (public speakers) who inspire you. Watch footage of them speaking, and make a list of what exactly they do in their speech that inspires you. What lessons about speech should you learn from them?
Select three rhetors whom you dislike. Watch footage of them speaking, and make a list of what exactly they do in their speech that you dislike. What lessons about speech can you learn from them?
Your personal argument museum: Consider your personal argument history:
• What is your earliest memory of an argument? Why might you have remembered this?
• What were some of the most important arguments of your life? Why where they important?
How could they have been done better?
What does the word “argument” mean to you personally? Where do arguments happen, how do you feel about arguing, and how should it be done best? What word might better replace “argument”?
What are the implicit rules of argument? List the game rules of an argument in the style of an official sports rules book. There can be many different answers.
Arguing style: People have different styles of arguing. What are some of these differences?
Parents’ argument style: Make two columns with one of your parents’ names at the top of each. List aspects of each parent’s argument style. How do they argue? What do they say?
What is their mood, tone, and emotion? What, when, where, why, and with whom do they argue? For how long? How long do they remember the argument afterward?
What is your personal argument style? How is it similar to or different from your parents’ styles? What animal best represents your argument style? Does your answer depend on the situation? Audience? Role? Emotional state?
What is your argument culture? Discuss as a class how your culture influences the ways people generally argue. Do you belong to more than one culture, and how does each influence you? Highlight differences from people who have noticed differences across cultures, spaces, and traditions. Do different generations argue differently? Discuss with your instructor, parents, and grandparents.
Keep an argument journal of things you notice are persuading you and how you respond to them. Record the thoughts in your mind during the persuasion process.
Peer analysis: Each student is assigned to be the personal “rhetorical analyst” of another student in class. This peer analyst must 1) observe the client’s speaking and writing throughout the class, 2) take notes on the rhetorical behaviors, and 3) advise the client on how to improve. The class can share key findings so that everyone can benefit from these “case studies.”
Argument of the day: The teacher puts one provocative “argument of the day” on the board.
Each student must agree or disagree and provide reasons for doing so. Discuss or write responses.
Argument field reports: Once a week, each student writes three paragraphs: 1) retell the most interesting argument you observed that week, 2) state why it is interesting to you, and 3) tell what should you learn from this. This assignment can be in a private journal but is best when shared with the class via online discussion board and class discussion.
1. What makes someone persuasive to you personally? What makes someone unpersuasive to you personally?
2. Persuasion is often thought of as deception and manipulation, but when is persuasion necessary for good and ethical outcomes?
3. Is rhetoric good or bad? Why?
4. Discuss the differences between arguing and fighting.
5. Discuss the differences between argument and persuasion.
6. What are some situations where the truth is available but persuasion is still needed?
When do we need more than just logic and facts?
7. What is the difference between rhetoric and deception?
8. At what age should people be taught the basics of rhetoric and argument? Why?
9. What does “responsible rhetoric” mean to you?
10. Who is your favorite rhetor in the room? Why? You might be surprised by the diversity of answers.
11. What are your favorite three words or phrases to use when arguing? Why?
12. What are you unpersuadable about?
13. What are some topics on which you want to be persuaded to change your mind?
14. Which parts of life are not affected by rhetoric? Does everything have a rhetorical aspect to it? Discuss several examples.
15. Discuss your classroom’s rhetorical atmosphere. What are its rules, patterns, expectations, and opportunities? In what ways is your classroom’s rhetorical atmosphere similar to different from that of your other classes?
16. Discuss the rhetorical styles among your closest friends. How do you persuade each other?
What are the rules, patterns, expectations, and blind spots? In what ways is your friend group’s rhetorical style similar to/different from that of other groups of friends?
ch. 1 — Open Your Eyes
• Your Rhetorical Day: Write your own rhetorical day in the style of this chapter, taking us through the various persuasions happening around you. (R8; W1)
ch. 2 — Set Your Goals
• Personal Goals: What are some of your most common personal goals in the arguments you are currently having? What are your goals generally in most of your arguments? Which goals are specific to circumstance? (W1; SL1)
• Mood, Mind, Action Exercise: Pick a short argument to make and write it three different ways—first just to change your audience’s mood, second to change audience members’ minds, and third, their willingness to act. (W1, 2, 4, 5; L3)
• Concession Only: Practice introducing a topic by opening with a concession to the other side. Write out a concession without writing the rest of the argument (e.g., I know you don’t want to listen to me talk, so I’ll approach this concisely and through pictures). (W1, 4)
ch. 3 — Control the Tense
• All the Issues: Choose a question or argument and list all the possible issues contained in it. Of these, which are most salient? (R2, 8)
• Central Issue: Go out and find several arguments that are clearly focused on a “core issue” of blame. Do the same for arguments whose core issue is about values and also for arguments about choice. (R2, 8)
• Changing the Issue: Take an argument about one issue and turn it into an argument about another. For any topic, practice making arguments in each of the three core issues. (R2, 8; W1, 5; L3)
• Wrong Issue: Take an argument that is clearly about one core issue (e.g., values) and counter it strictly in terms of the other issue (e.g., blame). Practice hearing how indirect and implied arguments become when their core issues mismatch. (R2, 8; W1, 7)
• Control the Clock: Heinrichs connects blame with the past, values with the present, and action with the future. Come up with example arguments about other combinations, such as an argument about past values, future values, or past action. (W1, 7)
ch. 4 — Soften Them Up
• Ethos Pathos Logos (Analysis): Choose an op-ed piece and mark every instance of ethos in red, pathos in blue, and logos in black. (R8; L4)
• Ethos Pathos Logos (Application): Write a short argument using as much ethos, pathos, and logos as you can. You or someone else in the class then goes through the argument, marking each instance of ethos in red, pathos in blue, and logos in black. (R8; W1, 8, 9)
• Who Is Your Ethos Role Model? Tell us 1) Why did you pick this person? 2) What do they do to establish their ethos? How do they create their character effectively through their language and argument? 3) Why is this person’s ethos effective for their particular audience and situation? (R8; W1; SL1, 3)
• Ethos Check-Up: What is your ethos? Before you speak, how do people generally perceive you? As you speak, what assumptions do you think people make about you? What do people’s perceptions about you help you to do and hinder you from doing? (W1)
• Ethos Games: Select something (it can be almost anything) and tell us what it conveys about someone and how it tells us that. This can be clothes, a bedroom, a written essay, contents in a backpack, a car interior, music playlists, an Internet browsing history, and so on. (R2, 4, 5, 7, 8; W1; SL1)
ch. 5 — Get Them to Like You
• Decorum Guidebook: Choose a specific argument scenario and write out its rules of decorum. Specifically, write out all the things the audience expects the ideal rhetor to do in that scenario. Include both what should be done and what should be avoided. (R4; SL1; L3)
• Common Decorums: Write decorum guidelines for your most common argument scenarios (e.g., speaking in class, e-mail, writing an essay). (R4; SL1; L3)
8 Mile Example: Watch the film clip that Heinrichs discusses on pp.49–50. (R4; L3)
• Breaches of Decorum: Select an argument scenario and list the ways you might violate decorum in it. Put your answers on a spectrum that ranges from “interesting” to “social disaster.” Other spectra you can use: workable to unworkable, creative to empty, meaningful to meaningless, useful to useless, attention-grabbing to attention-repealing, or any another spectrum that fits your scenario. (R4; W4; SL1; L3)
• Author’s Ethos: What is Heinrichs’s ethos to you? What specifically did he do to get you to think that way about him? (R4, 8; W8; SL3; L4)
ch. 6 — Make Them Listen; ch. 7 — Use Your Craft; ch. 8 — Show You Care
• Ethos Elements: For each of the bolded words in these chapters, create a few example sentences that illustrate the concept. State the argument scenario and audience for which each example sentence works. Also find an example of someone doing this concept in your life, in a text, or in a recording. (W4; SL1; L3, 6)
• More Ethos Elements: Select a speaking scenario and list the ways you can display each
“C” in Heinrichs’s “3C.” (R8; W1, 4; SL3; L3)
• Audience Effects: Select a speaking scenario and list the ways you can make your audience receptive. List the ways for making your audience attentive and for making the audience trusting. (R8; W1, 4; SL3; L3)
• Personal Mission Statement: In exactly four sentences, write your personal constitution, a statement of the person you want to be; however, write it strictly in terms of the values you embody. Do not write specifics, such as goals achieved, specific actions, or others’ perceptions of you. Share and compare these personal mission statements with others’.
Have others hold you accountable to this by asking if you are speaking or writing arguments in alignment with your mission statement. (R2, 8; W1, 4; SL3; L3)
• Story Ethos: Tell us a short story. In it, clearly apply the ethos concepts from Chs.6–8 and let the class guess which concepts you used. (W2, 4; SL1, 4, 6; L3, 5, 6)
ch. 9 — Control the Mood; ch. 10 — Turn the Volume Down
• Pathos Elements: For each of the bolded words in these chapters, create a few example sentences that illustrate the concept. State the argument scenario and audience for which each example sentence works. Also find an example of someone doing the concept in your life, in a text, or in a recording. (W4; SL1; L3, 6)
• Story Pathos: Tell us a short story. In it, clearly apply the pathos concepts from Chs.9–10 and let the class guess which concepts you used. (W2, 4; SL1, 4, 6; L3, 5, 6)
• Simple Speech: Write a brief argument using the simplest language possible. What tone does it create? Go simpler by using only three-word sentences. What tone does this extreme brevity create? Play with sentences’ length and simplicity. (R4, 5, 8; W1, 2, 4; SL3, 6; L3, 5)
• Emulation: Select someone who has a distinct style and make an argument by imitating them the best you can. (R2, 4, 5, 10; W1, 2, 4; SL3, 6; L3, 5)
• Story Options: Select an argument to make and list what kinds of anecdotes would help this argument’s pathos. (W4; L3)
• Passive Voice: Write a short story with every sentence strictly in the passive voice. This will sensitize your ear to the passive voice others might use, often to avoid blame. (W2, 4; L3)
• Joke Assignment: Bring a good joke to tell to the class. It doesn’t have to make people laugh in order to be rhetorically interesting. State what kind of humor the joke exemplifies from the chapter and when you could use it rhetorically. (R2, 4, 5, 8, 10; W1; SL3, 4, 6; L3)
ch. 11 — Gain the High Ground
• Commonplaces: Select a topic (e.g., high school) and list all the commonplaces about it. (R2)
• Commonplaces in Stories and Jokes: Go through your stories and jokes from the above activities in Chs.6–8 and 10. Find as many commonplaces in them as you can: shared ideas, commonsense thoughts, premises that make them intelligible. Explain how the commonplaces help them work. (R2)
• Refutation by Commonplaces: Select a topic and argue against it using only commonplaces rather than specifics of the argument. This will sensitize your ear for when people do this. (R2; W1, 4; L3)
ch. 12 — Persuade on Your Terms
• Stance Theory (Analysis): Pick a simple debate topic (e.g., are print books better than e-books?). Without advocating one side or the other, list all of your topic’s questions of fact (e.g., which are selling more?). Then list the topic’s questions of definition (e.g., what is meant by “better”?). Then questions of quality (e.g., is each better for certain situations?), and lastly the questions of relevance (e.g., for whom and for what purpose are we asking this question?). (R2, 8; SL3)
• Stance Theory (Applied): Pick a simple debate topic (e.g., I am the coolest person in the room) and defend this position. Proceed through stance theory, first arguing from facts only (e.g., I have the newest Nikes), then from definition only (e.g., coolness is about visible style), then from quality (e.g., my visible style is the most visible), and lastly from relevance
(e.g., I’m so cool I don’t even care how irrelevant this debate is). (W1, 5, 7)
• Framing Technique: Select a topic to argue in one paragraph or so. Apply the framing techniques listed on p.134. (W1, 5, 7)
• Techniques for Labeling: Select a common debate topic and re-approach it using each of the techniques on pp.133–134—term-changing, redefinition, definition jujitsu, and definition judo. Make simple, clear examples that illustrate each of these concepts. (R2, 4, 8; W1, 5; L1, 5, 6)
• Redefine a Familiar Word in a New Way: Be creative. Tell us what this new definition allows you to do that you could not do before. (R4; L1, 5, 6)
• Word’s Ethos: Pick a word and tell us about its ethos to you. Consider mundane words
(e.g., “bored,” “authority”) as well as more unusual words (e.g., “frothy,” “kerfuffle,” “imbroglio,”
“peccadillo,” “mania,” “melee”). (R4; L4)
ch. 13 — Control the Argument
• Induction and Deduction: Generate your own examples of each. (W1, 8, 9)
• Syllogism: Generate your own examples using sound logic. Then generate syllogisms using untrue statements, pictures, and made-up words, such as: all A are squizoo, my friend is squizoo, and therefore, my friend is A. (W1, 8, 9)
• Types of Example: Make a simple claim and make up some examples to support it. Use all three kinds of example: fact, comparison, and story. Your examples do not have to be true or even believable as long as they fit. (W1, 8, 9)
• Enthymemes: Find enthymemes from different sources and explain their “logical sandwich.”
What is each enthymeme’s unsaid assumption? How are they being used to rhetorical advantage? (W1, 8, 9)
ch. 14 — Spot Fallacies; ch. 15 — Call a Foul
• Fallacy Making: Write three clear and enjoyable examples of each fallacy. The best way to catch fallacies is first to create them yourself. (W1, 8, 9)
• Fallacy Catching: Search the Internet for examples of people making fallacies and identify which ones they make. Fallacies are everywhere. (R2, 4, 8, 10; W8, 9; SL3; L6)
ch. 16 — Know Whom to Trust
• Needs and Extremes Tests (Analysis): Select an argument where you know who the speaker/ author is. Apply the needs and extremes tests to them. Describe the ways in which they are interested/disinterested and extreme/middle-of-the-road. (R2, 4, 8, 10; W8; SL3; L3)
• Needs and Extremes Tests (Applied): Make a short argument that exemplifies your application of the needs and extremes tests. In it, clarify the ways you are interested/ disinterested and extreme/middle-of-the-road. (R2, 4, 8, 10; W1, 5, 8; SL3; L3)
ch. 17 — Find the Sweet Spot
• That Depends: Take an argument that seems obvious (e.g., the sky is blue), respond to it by saying “well, that depends on . . . ,” and complete the sentence to list all the dependencies.
(R2, 8, 10)
ch. 18 — Deal with a Bully
• Role-Play a Scene: Act out a bullying scenario where one person repeats a bullying act and different people take turns responding and acting out the rest of the scene. Try Heinrichs’s “virtue pose” and “aggressive interest” in definitions, details, and sources. The audience can be permitted to yell out suggestions to the actors.
ch. 19 — Get Instant Cleverness
• Tropes and Figures: Create your own examples of each of the bolded words in this chapter in order to show you understand and can illustrate each concept. Optional: State the argument scenario and audience for which each example trope/figure works. Also find an example of someone doing it in your life, in a text, or in a recording. (R4; W2, 4; SL3; L3, 4, 5, 6)
• Invent a Word That Currently Does Not Exist: What does your new word mean? More important, what does your new word enable you to do that you couldn’t do before? You can make this word do something that is currently unavailable to do, shrink something complex down, make a verb out of a noun, make a noun out of a verb, and so on. (L3, 4, 5, 6)
• Invent a Euphemism: Explain how it softens a tricky situation. (L3, 4, 5, 6)
ch. 20 — Change Reality; ch. 21 — Speak Your Audience's Language; ch. 22 — Make Them Identify with Your Choice
• Word Coding: Select an imagined audience and topic matter. Use the concepts from these chapters to create expressions that would appeal to your topic and audience. What words and phrases would be available to fulfill the techniques of metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, hyperbole, profanity (from Ch.20), code grooming, logic-free values, repeated code words, reverse words (from Ch.21), identity strategy, irony, and code inoculation (from Ch.22)? Also have each person write a possible audience on one paper and an imagined speaking situation on another. Redistribute papers so that each person gets assigned one audience and one speaking situation to apply the four concepts. (R4, 10; W4, 7; SL3, 6; L3, 4, 5, 6)
• Ideographs: List the words you hear used in arguments whose rhetorical meaning cannot be adequately found in a dictionary. Write how these words are being used and how someone else might use them differently. Examples: justice, progress, freedom, fairness. (R4, 8; SL3; L3, 4, 5, 6)
• 60-Second Pitches: Apply concepts from Chs.18–20 to an exercise of selling a specific thing to a specific group (e.g., paper clips to nuns). Pretend you are a CEO pitching your product to this demographic in 60 seconds. Use logos to think of arguments for them, use code grooming to speak their language, use their commonplaces, and so on. Also have each person write a possible audience on one paper and imagined speaking situation on another. Redistribute papers so that each person gets assigned one audience and one speaking situation to apply the four concepts. (W1, 2, 4, 7; SL3, 4, 6; L3, 5)
ch. 23 — Recover from a Screw-Up
The Steps: Select a situation where you would need to apologize. Apply Heinrichs’s steps by writing out a narrative of what you would do and say to respond to your error. (W1; L3)
ch. 24 — Seize the Occasion
• Kairos Elements: List all the elements of kairos in your current speaking circumstance (time of day, current events, relations among audience members, shared ideas, etc.).
Consider what is special about today, your country, the room, the clothes, the weather, the mood, the shared knowledge, inside jokes, relationships, use of space, follies, coincidences, ambiguities, and distractions. To focus the exercise, pick a topic and then see what different kairos elements become relevant. (R8; W4; L3)
• Kairos Connections: Make a list of topics and then practice connecting each topic to the best three elements from your kairos list above. (R8; W4; L3)
• Current Events: Articulate the relationships between a given topic and a current event going on. (R8; W1, 4; L3)
• Improvisational Kairos: The audience names a topic. Then you must articulate a point of connection between the topic and someone in the room or something this person said.
The audience can help think of connections after you give it a try first. (R8; W4; L3)
ch. 25 — Use the Right Medium
• ArguMedia (Analysis): Find and discuss how arguments are made through various media: audio only, video, in person live or recorded to a mass audience, and so forth. Also consider how arguments are made through images, music, and other media. Bring in examples and explain. (R5, 7, 8; SL2)
• Sentencizing: Summarize a book, film, or argument in one sentence. Also have a debate where each person is allowed strictly one sentence per turn. (R2; SL1, 4, 5)
• Twitterizing: Read an argumentative text and rewrite the whole text as a Twitter post in 140 characters or less. (R2, 5, 10; W2, 4, 6; SL5; L3)
• SMS Arguments: Write a text message exchange between two characters arguing. Both characters should be arguing their side skillfully and demonstrating Thank You for Arguing’s concepts in action. (W2, 4, 6; SL4, 5; L3, 5)
• How Does the Medium Affect the Argument? List the different kinds of places where public argument occurs (e.g., TV news, newspaper op-ed, books, YouTube comments). For each, describe how the conversation is influenced by aspects of its medium. (R5, 7, 8, 10; W7; SL3)
• News Sources: Select one recent news event. Analyze how three different news outlets from three different countries cover the event differently. Do the same to also learn how news outlets differently express the same story across video, webtext, and print. (R2, 7; SL2; L4)
ch. 26 — Give a Persuasive Talk
• The Five Cannons: Let Heinrichs guide you through the process of writing an argument, starting with invention and moving you through arrangement, style, memory, and delivery. For more writing processes like these, see the Other Works of Interest below. (W1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9; L3)
• Classic Argument Arrangement: Write an argument in the classical structure on p.306: introduction, narration, division, proof, refutation, and conclusion. (W1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9; L3)
ch. 27 — Capture Your Audience
• Cicero’s Techniques: Create your own examples of each of the bolded concepts in this chapter to show you understand and can illustrate each concept. State the argument scenario and audience for which each of your example sentences works. Also, find examples of someone else doing each of these concepts in your life, in a text, or in a recording. (W1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9; L3, 5, 6)
ch. 28 — Write a Persuasive Essay
• Tell a Story to open an argument in the way Heinrichs does in the chapter’s opening. Select your argument and craft a story that introduces it. Also, begin with a story and find the arguments that it can support.
• Imitation: Select an author and imitate their style. Craft a paragraph of what your author would say about something your audience is involved in (e.g. Shakespeare commenting on the Internet, Cookie Monster describing the school cafeteria, etc.).
• Your Hooks: List the “hooks” you have about your life and what subject matters they could help you talk about.
• Heinrichs’s Essay Tools: Practice each of Heinrichs’s four tools listed at the end of the chapter by writing out examples of each. Work with a small group to come up with ideas for each while relating the concepts (e.g., tactical flaw and epiphanies) to each person in the group.
• The Montaigne Essay: Write a short essay in the style Heinrichs discusses by applying his directions to 1) set your topic right off the bat, 2) give your theme a twist, 3) try an epiphany, and 4) show your flaws.
ch. 29 — Use the Right Tools
• The Big 5: Emulate the chapter’s examples by finding examples of an argument (oral, written, advertisement, etc.) and listing the ways it approaches its goals, ethos, pathos, logos, and kairos.
ch. 30 — Run an Agreeable Country
• The Rhetorical Society: As Heinrichs does here, describe your vision of an ideal rhetorical society. Explain the role of argument, who argues, how people argue, what it is like to live there, the mood of arguments, the skills people have, the problems that are solved, the new problems created, and so on. (W1)
• The Rhetorical Environment: As Heinrichs’s kids do on p.372, argue back to an advertisement. Rip it to shreds with every counterargument you can think of. Do the same to a news segment, speech, text, and any source of argument. (R8, 10; W1; SL2, 3; L4)
• Argue the Rhetorical Matrix: Recall how Heinrichs walked you through the rhetorical
“Matrix” in Ch.1 (e.g., the persuasion of his smoke detector and cat). Argue back with the parts of your rhetorical matrix in your day, specifically countering each one in the languageeach uses. (R8, 10; W1; SL2, 3; L4)
Appendix I — Argument Lab
• More Examples: Extend any activity here by having your students create more examples for their peers to use. (W5)
• Group Quizzing: Do the quizzes on p.382 as a group, having people creatively make their case for each of the possible answers. Welcome from them any other possible answers not listed on the page. (SL1, 3)
• Additional Argument Lab Equipment: Ask your students what exercises, games, or activities they think would help their rhetorical skills. Submit your ideas to so that educators can share.
Appendix II — The Tools; Appendix III — Glossary
• Prioritize: Go through these tools and highlight your favorites. Prioritize the top three that you need to start using when you write and speak. Make a separate list of the top three tools you need to better analyze arguments.
• Top Three Tools: Create lists of the top three tools that are: most commonly useful, most powerful, most needed by others, most dangerous, most complex, easiest, most peaceful, most memorable, and so on.
Appendix IV — Chronology
• Historic Moments: Make an argument of what belongs on this list after 2012. What are the most significant rhetorical events in the world since then? Also which important rhetorical events belong on this list before 2012? (W1)
Appendix V — Further Reading
• Magic Books: Write an additional paragraph to this appendix that invents your perfect book to add to Heinrichs’s list. What would be the ideal next book for you? How does it relate to rhetoric? How would it be described to sell it to other readers?
• Chapter Epigraphs: Each chapter begins with a quotation on a rhetorical theme. Go through these again and select your favorite one. Write out your explanation (or argument) of what this quotation means to you now. Do not repeat the chapter; rather, explain how it applies to you personally. (R8; W1)
• Student Examples: Find a short video online to show to the class and tell us what it teaches about rhetoric that is different from what has been taught so far. Also ask the class one good discussion question about it. (R7, 10; SL1, 2)
• Argue with Jay Heinrichs: Find a part of the book you disagree with and explain why. What exactly do you disagree with, and what would you write in its place? Also what is important to you about argument, rhetoric, and persuasion that was not mentioned in the book? Let us know at (W1; SL3)
• Play Apples to Apples: Play the popular card game, but have each player make their argument to the judge for each round. (SL4; L3)
• Thesismania: Write a paragraph where each sentence is a thesis statement. Can you make it reader-friendly and coherent? (W1)
• Thesis Avoidance: Make a paragraph that contains no argument whatsoever. Have other students check you to make sure it makes zero arguments. What does this paragraph sound like to you? Where have you encountered speech like this? (W1)
• Concession War: Two sides argue and then switch into a competition of who can out-concede the other. The class decides the winner. (SL4, 6)
• 99–1 Arguments: Argue for something “crazy” that 99 percent of people would disagree with and only 1 percent would agree with (e.g., it’s better to never brush your teeth ever again). Be creative and apply the book’s concepts. (W1)
• Argue for Your Own Homework: Have your class members argue for how they should demonstrate their mastery of Thank You for Arguing’s concepts. Each student writes a short proposal arguing what they will do to prove to you they learned the material. This can be done as individuals proposing their own project or as a group activity. Students can evaluate each other’s proposals to make the arguments stronger. (W1)
• Arguemedia (Applied): Take a short argument in any form and identify its medium, audience, and style. Identify how this passage would seem if it were presented as another medium, for another audience, or in another style. Which would be particularly bad? Reconstruct (or just reimagine) the argument for a different medium, audience, or style, using language to appropriately suit each. Consider emulating a role model to guide your rhetorical choices. (SL5, 6)
• Impasse Arguments (Analysis): Find an argument where two sides are not having the same conversation, are missing each other’s point, or are not talking about the same parts of their topic. This happens often. What is each side focusing on? Why do you think the one side is not addressing the other’s side? (R2, 4, 8)
• Super Bowl Ads: Apply concepts from the book to an exercise of selling a specific thing to a specific group (e.g., a rubber band to children) in 30 seconds. Come up with your brand name, market strategy, and persuasive strategy. Perform it like an advertisement at the Super Bowl with millions of viewers. (W1, 2, 4; SL1, 4, 6; L3, 5)
• Un-Common Sense: Give a speech that challenges some element of “common sense” in our culture. This requires you to identify a commonplace and then critique and revise it in a way your audience will enjoy. (W1; SL4)
• Reputation Shifting: Defend a disliked public figure. Malign a much-beloved public figure. (W1; SL4)
• Eulogy: Give a eulogy for a public figure who is still alive (e.g., a celebrity, musician, or politician—any public personality your audience will recognize). (W1; SL4)
• Declare War on Something: It can be serious, semiserious, or completely playful. Provide adequate reasons for the attack, resistance, or defense. (W1; SL4)
• Current Events: Select a public controversy that your classmates know about and take a stand on one side of the matter. Consider and answer what you believe are the two strongest arguments against your position. Identify and discuss what you believe is the core issue of the controversy. (W1; SL4)
• Culture Doctor: Choose a piece of culture (a person, object, practice, saying, etc.) and argue how it is detrimental to your culture. In your presentation, you should explicitly name your audience members and outline their relationship to your subject matter. (W1; SL4)
• Sell Rhetoric Itself: Apply concepts from the book to an exercise in selling rhetoric itself to school administrators. Convince them to make a rhetoric course mandatory for students.
Reference at least one example of rhetoric’s benefits to you personally. (W1; SL4)
• Class Rankings: Select a criterion to measure your peers (e.g., applied course concepts the most, the most improved, or the most persuasive) and rank each person in order of who fulfilled that criterion from the most to the least. (R8; W1; SL3)
For more exercises and activities, see Appendix I. Argument Lab in Thank You for Arguing.
Reading (R)
Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
Writing (W)
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Speaking and Listening (SL)
Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
Language (L)
Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.
Workbooks of Rhetorical Concepts and Exercises
Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student by Edward P. J. Corbett and Robert Connors
Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students by Sharon Crowley and Debra Hawhee
Composition in the Classical Tradition by Frank J. D’Angelo
The Trivium: The Liberal Arts of Logic, Grammar, and Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph; edited
by Marguerite McGlinn
Rhetorical Devices: A Handbook and Activities for Student Writers by Brendan McGuigan;
edited by Douglas Grudzina and Paul Moliken
Textbooks for Argumentative Writing
“They Say/I Say”: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing, with Readings by Gerald Graff,
Cathy Birkenstein, and Russel Durst
Understanding Rhetoric: A Graphic Guide to Writing by Elizabeth Losh, Jonathan Alexander,
Kevin Cannon, and Zander Cannon
Writing Arguments: A Rhetoric with Readings by John D. Ramage, John C. Bean, and June Johnson
Argumentation Theory and Practice
An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments by Ali Almossawi; illustrations by Alejandro Giraldo
A Workbook for Arguments: A Complete Course in Critical Thinking by David R. Morrow and
Anthony Weston
Elements of Argument: A Text and Reader by Annette T. Rottenberg
A Rulebook for Arguments (Hackett Student Handbooks) by Anthony Weston
Rhetorical Theory and History
The Rhetorical Tradition: Readings from Classical Times to the Present edited by Patricia
Bizzell and Bruce Herzberg
Encyclopedia of Rhetoric and Composition: Communication from Ancient Times to the
Information Age edited by Theresa Jarnagin Enos
The History and Theory of Rhetoric: An Introduction by James A. Herrick
Introduction to Rhetorical Theory by Gerald A. Hauser
Encyclopedia of Rhetoric, Thomas O. Sloane, editor in chief
ArgueLab,, is the official web companion to Thank You for Arguing, which has videos, quizzes, and updates from the author. Teachers can share their activities and lesson plans with each other.
American Rhetoric,, is an extensive bank of speeches useful for example and analysis.
Silva Rhetoricae,, and Literary Devices,, are extensive lists of rhetorical terms’ explanations and examples.
The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University,, has many resources, from rhetoric to research, to assist writers and teachers.
Your Logical Fallacy Is,, allows you to digitally tell people what fallacy they just used. Nineteen languages available.
Existential Comics has two short and enjoyable “Adventures of Fallacy Man,”,
Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data,, is a college course available online dedicated to equipping people to “call bullshit” on faulty science-based arguments.
DAVID LANDES, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Oral Rhetoric at the American University in
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and has taught courses on rhetoric, media, communication, speaking, and writing. He coauthored the Argument Lab section of Thank You for Arguing and contributes to its supplemental website, As a consultant, he helped teach humanities courses at Stanford and MIT and has given over 40 invited talks. More info at