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Practical Argument: A Text and Anthology


Practical Argument: A Text and Anthology Cover

ISBN13: 9780312570927
ISBN10: 0312570929
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Publisher Comments:

From the best-selling authors of the most successful reader in America comes Practical Argument.  No one writes for the introductory composition student like Kirszner and Mandell, and Practical Argument simplifies the study of argument. A straightforward, full-color, accessible introduction to argumentative writing, it employs an exercise-driven, thematically focused, step-by-step approach to get to the heart of what students need to understand argument. In clear, concise, no-nonsense language, Practical Argument focuses on basic principles of classical argument and introduces alternative methods of argumentation. Practical Argument forgoes the technical terminology that confuses students and instead explains concepts in understandable, everyday language, illustrating them with examples that are immediately relevant to students lives. 

About the Author

Watch an author video.
During their more than 25-year collaboration, LAURIE KIRSZNER and STEPHEN MANDELL have produced a number of best-selling college texts for Bedford/St. Martins, including Foundations First: Sentences and Paragraphs, Writing First: Practice in Context, Focus on Writing, and Patterns for College Writing. Laurie Kirszner teaches composition, literature, and creative writing at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. Stephen Mandell is the founder and former director of the basic writing program at Drexel University, where he teaches composition, literature, and technical and business writing.

Table of Contents

PART I—Understanding Argument

#LINK>#    Encountering Arguments

       Why Instructors Assign Argument (box)

    Defining Argument

       What Kinds of Statements Are Not Debatable? (box)

     Logos, Pathos, and Ethos

       The Appeal to Logic  

       The Appeal to Emotion

       The Appeal to Authority 

1—#LINK>#     AT ISSUE: Do the Benefits of Bottled Water Outweigh
      the Costs?

     The Pillars of Argument

        Thesis Statement



        Concluding Statement

        Checklist: Does Your Argument Stand Up?

         Nia Tuckson, Why Foreign Language Study Should Be

           Required (student essay)              
         Arnold Schwarzenegger, An Immigrant Writes       
      Benefits of Bottled Water Outweigh the Costs?

        New York Times, In Praise of Tap Water     

        Zak Moore, Defying the Nalgene        
        Tom Standage¸ Bad to the Last Drop      , Poland Spring Water (advertisement)    , Pure Water 2GO (advertisement)     
    Template for Structuring an Argument 


Part II—Reading and Responding to Arguments

2—Thinking and Reading Critically

    AT ISSUE: Do Violent Media Images Trigger Violent Behavior?

    Reading Critically

        Guidelines for Becoming a Critical Reader (box)

   Becoming an Active Reader


        Comprehension Clues (box)

        Gerard Jones, Violent Media is Good for Kid      


        Suggestions for Highlighting (box)

        John Leo, When Life Imitates Video (with highlighting)     


        Checklist: Questions for Annotating

        John Leo, When Life Imitates Video

          (with highlighting and annotations)        
        Tim Miley, Media Violence May Be Real Culprit behind
          Virginia Tech Tragedy

        Patrick Mackin, Take Aim at Gun     

        Jessica Robbins, Dont Withhold Violent Games    
    Writing a Critical Response

        Checklist: Questions for Critical Reading

        Katherine Choi, Critical Response to “When Life Imitates

          Video” [student response]        
    Template for Writing a Critical Response

3—Decoding Visual Arguments

    AT ISSUE: Do Violent Media Images Trigger Violent

      Behavior? [continued]

    Thinking Critically about Visual Arguments 

        Visual Texts vs. Visual Arguments (box)

    Applying Active Reading Strategies to Visual Arguments

        Comprehension Clues (box)

        Appeals: Logos, Pathos, and Ethos (box)  

        Rob Rogers, “Youre Not Watching…” [cartoon]

        United States Department of Justice, Crime Victims per

          1,000 Citizens (chart)          
        Distribution of Language, Sex, and Violence Codes in
          PG-Rated Movies (chart)           
        Homicides per 100,000 Population (chart)       
        John P. Murray, Routes of Influence of Television
          Violence (diagram)          , “I Saw 7,000 People Killed”
        ACT Against Violence, Media Violence & Children
          (Web site)    
    Highlighting and Annotating Visuals

        Grand Theft Auto IV [desktop wallpaper]      

        Media Violence [photograph]         
        Checklist: Questions for Responding to Visual Arguments

    Responding Critically to Visual Arguments

        Jason Savona, Response to Grand Theft Auto IV

         Wallpaper (student response)          
    Template for Responding to Visual Arguments

4—Writing a Rhetorical Analysis

    AT ISSUE: Is It Ethical To Buy Counterfeit Designer


    What Is a Rhetorical Analysis?

        Overview of “Letter from Birmingham Jail,”

          by Martin Luther King Jr. (box) 

    Considering the Rhetorical Situation

        Strategies for Analyzing the Rhetorical Situation (box)

        The Writer

        Questions for Analyzing the Writer (box) 

        The Writers Purpose

        Questions for Analyzing the Writers Purpose (box)

        The Writers Audience

        Questions for Analyzing the Writers Audience (box)

        The Topic

        Questions for Analyzing the Topic (box)

        The Context

        Questions for Analyzing the Context (box)

    Considering the Means of Persuasion: Logos, Pathos, Ethos 

    Considering the Writers Rhetorical Strategies




        Stylistic Techniques

    Assessing the Argument

        Checklist: Writing a Rhetorical Analysis

    Sample Rhetorical Analysis

        Dana Thomas, Terror's Purse Strings       

        Deniz Bilgutay, A Powerful Call to Action [student essay]     
        Rajeev Ravisankar, Sweatshop Oppression       
    Template for Writing a Rhetorical Analysis

5—Understanding Logic and Recognizing Fallacies

    AT ISSUE: Do Merit-Based Scholarships Make Sense? 

    What is Deductive Reasoning?

    Constructing Sound Syllogisms

        Syllogism with an Illogical Middle Term

        Syllogism with a Key Term Whose Meaning Shifts

        Syllogisms with Negative Premises

    Recognizing Enthymemes

        Bumper Sticker Thinking (box) 

    Writing Deductive Arguments 

    What is Inductive Reasoning?

         Reaching Inductive Conclusions (box)

    Making Inferences

    Constructing Strong Inductive Arguments

        Pooja Vaidya, Football Fanatics [student paragraph]     

        Crystal Sanchez, College Should Be for Everyone
          [student essay]   
     Writing Inductive Essays

         William Saletan, Please Do Not Feed the Humans      

    Recognizing Logical Fallacies  

        Begging the Question

        Circular Reasoning

        Weak Analogy

        Ad Hominem  (Personal Attack)

        Hasty or Sweeping Generalization (Jumping to a Conclusion)

        Either/Or Fallacy (False Dilemma)


        Red Herring

        Slippery Slope

        You Also (Tu Quoque)

        Appeal to Doubtful Authority

        Misleading Statistics

        Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc (After This, Therefore

          Because of This)

        Non Sequitur (It Does Not Follow)

        Bandwagon Appeal (ad populum)

        Patrick J. Buchanan, Immigration Time-Out      

      Merit-Based Scholarships Make Sense?

        Peter Schmidt, At the Elite Colleges - Dim White Kids     

        Zoe Mendelson, Paying for College 
        Brent Staples, A Broader Definition of Merit: The Trouble
          with College Entry Exams           
        Associated Press, Hamilton College to End Merit
          Scholarships in Favor of Need-Based Aid          
        Lewis & Clark College, Merit-Based Scholarships for
          Incoming Students  
    Template for Writing a Deductive Argument

    Template for Writing an Inductive Argument

6—Rogerian Argument, Toulmin Logic, and Oral Argument

    AT ISSUE: Is Distance Learning As Good As

      Classroom Learning?

    Understanding Rogerian Argument

    Structuring Rogerian Arguments

    Writing Rogerian Arguments

        Christopher Chu, Do the Olympic Games Need

          Permanent Host Sites? [student essay]         
    Understanding Toulmin Logic

    Constructing Toulmin Arguments

    Writing Toulmin Arguments

        Franco Ghilardi, Our Right to Burn or Burning Our

          Rights? [student essay]            
    Understanding Oral Arguments

    Planning an Oral Argument

        Tips for Designing and Displaying Visuals (box)

    Delivering Oral Arguments

    Writing an Oral Argument

        Chantee Steele, An Argument in Support of the

          “Gap Year” [student essay]            
      Learning as Good  as Classroom Learning?

        Sandra C. Ceraulo, Online Education Rivals

          “Chalk and Talk” Variety 
        Suzanne M. Kelly, The Sensuous Classroom: Focusing
          on the Embodiment of Learning      
        Marilyn Karras, Calling a University “Virtual” Creates
          an Actual Oxymoron                 , Frequently Asked Questions about
          eLearning [Web page]           
        Naugatuck Valley Community College, Distance Learning   
        Two Views of Distance Learning [photographs]    
Part III—Writing an Argumentative Essay

7—Planning, Drafting, and Revising an Argumentative Essay

    AT ISSUE: Should College Campuses Go “Green”?

    Choosing a Topic

        Topics to Avoid (box)

    Thinking about Your Topic

        Brainstorming Notes

        Informal Outline

    Taking a Stand

    Understanding Your Audience

    Gathering Evidence

        Kinds of Evidence

        Criteria for Evaluating Evidence in Your Sources

        Detecting Bias in Your Sources

    Refuting Opposing Arguments

        Daniel Halperin, Putting a Plague in Perspective      

    Revising Your Thesis Statement

    Understanding Essay Structure

        Supplying Background Information (box)

        Using Induction and Deduction

        Constructing a Formal Outline

    Preparing to Write

        Establishing Your Credibility

        Maintaining Your Credibility (box)

        Being Fair

    Writing Your Draft

        Some Transitions for Argument (box)

    Revising Your Argumentative Essay

        Asking Questions

        Checklist: Questions about Your Essays Supporting Evidence

        Checklist: Questions about Your Essays Structure and Style

        Getting Feedback

        Adding Visuals

        Editing and Proofreading

        Choosing a Title (box)

    Shawn Holton, Going “Green” [student essay]    

Part IV—Using Sources to Support Your Argument

8—Evaluating Sources

    AT ISSUE: Should Data Posted on Social Networking Sites Be

      “Fair Game” for Employers?

    Evaluating Print Sources






        Michael Gregoris, Stay Informed on Facebooks

          Third-Party Privacy  Policies         
        Maria Aspan, How Sticky Is Membership on Facebook?
          Just Try  Breaking Free         
        Lew McCreary, What Was Privacy?     
    Evaluating Internet Sources




        Using a Sites URL to Assess Objectivity (box)

        Avoiding Confirmation Bias (box)



        Jonathan Kleiman, The Importance of User Education

          in Privacy   
        Facebook, Facebook Principles     
        Kim Hart, A Flashy Facebook Page, at a Cost to Privacy    
        Carolyn Elefant, Do Employers Using Facebook for
          Background Checks  Face Legal Risks?       
        The Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality,
          Mission Statement   
9—Summarizing, Paraphrasing, Quoting, and
        Synthesizing Sources

    AT ISSUE: Should Data Posted on Social Networking Sites Be

      “Fair Game” for Employers? [continued]

    Summarizing Sources

        When to Summarize (box)

        How to Summarize Sources (box)

    Paraphrasing Sources

        When to Paraphrase (box)

        How to Paraphrase Sources (box)

    Quoting Sources
        When to Quote (box)

        How to Quote Sources (box)

        Alison George, Things You Wouldnt Tell Your Mother   

    Working Source Material into Your Argument

        Using Identifying Tags

        Verbs in Identifying Tags (box)

        Working Quotations into Your Sentences

         Distorting Quotations (box)

    Synthesizing Sources

10—Documenting Sources: MLA

    Using Parenthetical References

    Preparing the Works-Cited List



        Internet Sources

        Erin Blaine, Should Data Posted on Social Networking Sites

          Be “Fair  Game” for Employers? [Sample MLA Paper]     
11—#LINK>#    AT ISSUE: Where Do We Draw the Line with Plagiarism?

    Understanding Plagiarism

        Modern Language Association, Definition of Plagiarism
        Using Sources Responsibly

        Internet Sources and Plagiarism (box)

        Intentional Plagiarism (box)

        Knowing What to Document

        Austin American-Statesman, Cheaters Never Win     

    Revising to Eliminate Plagiarism

        Source 1: Christina Hoff Sommers, from “The War

                          against Boys”

        Source 2: Rosalind C. Barnett and Caryl Rivers, from

                       “Men Are from  Earth, and So Are Women. Its
                         Faulty Research That Sets Them Apart”


      We Draw the Line  with Plagiarism?

        Jack Shafer, Sidebar: Comparing the Copy       

        Lawrence M. Hinman, How to Fight College Cheating     
        Deborah R. Gerhardt, The Rules of Attribution  
        Richard A. Posner, The Truth about Plagiarism      
        Doris Kearns Goodwin, How I Caused That Story      
        Carolyn Foster Segal, Copy This        
    Template for Writing an Argument about Plagiarism

    Writing Assignments: Avoiding Plagiarism


Part V—Patterns and Purposes

12—Argument by Definition
    AT ISSUE: Is Wikipedia a Legitimate Research Source?

    What is Argument by Definition?

    Developing Definitions

        Dictionary Definitions (Formal Definitions)

        Extended Definitions

        Operational Definitions

    Structuring an Argument by Definition

        Adam Kennedy, Why I Am a Non-Traditional Student

          [student essay]   
        GRAMMAR IN CONTEXT: Avoiding Is Where and Is When

        Gayle Rosenwald Smith, The Wife-Beater       

        Nikki Grimes, What is a Good Poem?       
        Courage (poster)

        Courage is not the Absence of Fear (poster)


      a Legitimate  Research Source?

        John Seigenthaler, A False Wikipedia Biography     

        Randall Stross, Anonymous Source is Not the Same as
          Open Source   
        Encyclopedia of Earth, Policy on the Use of Content
          from Wikipedia   
        Neil Waters, Wikiphobia: The Latest in Open Source     
        The Stanford Daily, Wikipedia with Caution      
        Wikipedia, Revision History of “Global Warming”      
        Wikipedia, Global Warming (difference between revisions)    
    Template for Writing an Argument by Definition

    Writing Assignments: Argument by Definition

13—Causal Argument

    AT ISSUE: Will Lowering the Drinking Age Solve the Problem of

      Binge Drinking among College Students?

    What is Causal Argument?

        Take the Keys. Call a Cab. Take a Stand.  (advertisement)     

        Gun Control Bumper Stickers (photograph)     

        Caution: Cigarette Smoking May be Hazardous to

          Your Health. (photograph)          
        Surgeon Generals Warning (photograph)       
    Understanding Cause and Effect Relationships

        Main and Contributory Causes 

        Immediate and Remote Causes

        Causal Chains

        Key Words for Causal Argument

        Post Hoc Reasoning

        Nora Ephron, The Chicken Soup Chronicles      

    Structuring a Causal Argument

        Kristina Mialki, Texting: A Boon, Not a Threat, to Language

          [student essay]            
        GRAMMAR IN CONTEXT: Avoiding “The reason is because”

        Marjorie O. Rendell, U.S. Needs an Educated Citizenry     

      the Drinking Age Solve the Problem of Binge Drinking Among
      College Students?

        Amethyst Initiative, Statement      

        Radley Balko, Amethyst Initiatives Debate on Drinking a
          Welcome Alternative to Fanaticism          
        Joanne Glasser, Alcohol and Those Under 21 Dont Mix   
        Andrew Herman, Raise the Drinking Age to 25     
        Bradley R. Gitz, Save Us from Youth      
        Robert Voas, Theres No Benefit to Lowering the Drinking Age   
    Template for Writing a Causal Argument

    Writing Assignments: Causal Argument

14—Evaluation Arguments

    AT ISSUE: Do the Harry Potter Books Deserve Their Popularity?

    What is Argument by Evaluation?

        Making Evaluations (box)

        Criteria for Evaluation

    Structuring an Evaluation Argument

        Loren Martinez, Not Just a “Girl” [student essay]      

        GRAMMAR IN CONTEXT: Comparatives and Superlatives

        Kalamazoo Gazette, Do We Have the Worlds Best

          Medical Care?    
      Potter Books  Deserve Their Popularity?

        Michiko Kakutani, An Epic Showdown as Harry Potter is

          Initiated into Adulthood                
        Carlie Webber, Were All Still Wild About Harry              
        A. S. Byatt, Harry Potter and the Childish Adult      
        Charles Taylor, A. S. Byatt and the Goblet of Bile      
        Christine Schoefer, Harry Potters Girl Trouble      
    Template for Writing an Evaluation Argument

    Writing Assignments: Evaluation Arguments

15—Proposal Arguments

    AT ISSUE: Should College Lectures Be Made Available

      as Podcasts?

    What is a Proposal Argument?

    Stating the Problem, I Love This Town But the Traffic Is

          Killing Me (advertisement)       , Let the Sunshine In (advertisement)     
    Proposing a Solution

    Demonstrating that Your Solution Will Work

    Establishing Feasibility

    Discussing Benefits

    Addressing Possible Objections, Its Your City.  Its Your Earth.(advertisement)     

        John Leo, If I Ran the Zoo          
    Structuring Proposal Arguments

        Melissa Burrell, Colleges Need Honor Codes [student essay]    

        GRAMMAR IN CONTEXT: Will vs. Would      
        T. Boone Pickens, My Plan to Escape the Grip of
          Foreign Oil   
        Murray Jensen, Lecture is Dead: Take 3      
        Robert Schneider, The Attack of the Pod People     
        Jeff Cutro, Globalizing Education One Podcast at a Time   
        The Pitt News, iPod Addiction Goes Academic      
        Fabienne Serriere, Teaching via iPod      , iTunes U and Mobile Learning (advertisement)     
    Template for Writing a Proposal Argument

    Writing Assignments: Proposal Arguments


16—Argument by Analogy

    AT ISSUE: Should Credit Card Companies Be Permitted to

      Target College Students?

    What is Analogy?

        Key Words for Analogy

    What is Argument by Analogy?

        Avoiding Weak Analogies

    Positive and Negative Analogies

    Structuring an Argument by Analogy

       Anthony Luu, Does Separate Housing for Minority Students

          Make Sense? [student essay]                
       GRAMMAR IN CONTEXT: Using Like and As

       Nat Hentoff, Civil Rights and Anti-Abortion Protests    

      Card Companies Be Permitted to Target College Students?

        Erica L. Williams and Tim Westrich, The Young and

          the Indebted  
        Contra Costa Times, Non-Issue Needs No Law     , College Student Credit Cards  
         Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Majoring in Credit-Card Debt  
   Template for Writing An Argument by Analogy

    Writing Assignments: Argument by Analogy


17—Ethical Arguments

    AT ISSUE: How Far Should Colleges Go to Keep Campuses Safe?

    What is an Ethical Argument?

     Stating an Ethical Principal

    Ethics versus Law

    Understanding Ethical Dilemmas, Ride Hard, Tread Lightly (advertisement)     

        Human Meat (photograph)         
        Linda Pastan, Ethics          
    Structuring Ethical Arguments

        Chris Munoz, The Promise to Educate [student essay]     

        GRAMMAR IN CONTEXT: Subordination and Coordination

        National Anti-Vivisection Society, Animals in

          Scientific Research   
      Colleges Go to Keep Campuses Safe?

        M. Perry Chapman, Openness vs. Security on Campus     

        Brett A. Sokolow, How Not to Respond to Virginia Tech - II     

        Jesus M. Villahermosa, Jr., Guns Dont Belong in the Hands

          of Administrators, Professors, or Students             
        Timothy Wheeler, Theres a Reason They Choose Schools     
        Isothermal Community College, Warning Signs: How You
          Can Help Prevent Campus Violence                          
        Gone But Not Forgotten                
   Template for Writing an Ethical Argument

   Writing Assignments: Proposal Arguments

Part VI—Readings

18—Should We Eat Meat? 

        Laura Fraser, “Why I Stopped Being A Vegetarian”     

        Jonathan Safran Foer, “Let Them Eat Dog”      
19—Do We Still Need Newspapers?

       Chris Hedges, Requiem for Real News     

       Gary S. Becker, Yes, Newspapers are Doomed    
20—What Rights Should the Homeless Have?

        John Derbyshire, Throw the Bums Out: But Do So with

          Compassion — Coolidge-Style Compassion         
        America, The Meanest Cities        
21—Should the US Government Drop its Sanctions
          against Cuba?

        Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Opposition to Rep. Rangel Amendment

          to Life Embargo on Cuban Regime          
        Jacob Weisberg, Thanks for the Sanctions    
22—Should Undocumented Immigrants Be Entitled to
          Drivers Licenses?

        National Immigration Law Center, Fact Sheet: Why Denying

          Divers Licenses to Undocumented Immigrants Harms
          Public Safety and Makes Our Communities  Less Secure         
        Michael W. Cutler, States Should Not Issue Driver's
          Licenses to Illegal  Immigrants          

23—Should the U.S. Drill for Oil in Environmentally

          Sensitive Areas?

        Pete Du Pont, Drill, Baby, Drill      

        Lamar Alexander, To Drill or…       
        Ed Markey, …Not to Drill       
        Natural Resources Defense Council, Arctic National
          Wildlife Refuge: Why  Trash an American Treasure for a
          Tiny Percentage of Our Oil Needs?   
24—Should Felons Permanently Forfeit Their Right to Vote?

        Bill McCollum, Felons Dont Merit Automatic Rights   

        Edward Feser, Should Felons Vote?       
        Rebecca Perl, The Last Disenfranchised Class     
        New York Times, Felons and the Right to Vote    
25—Should Openly Gay Men and Women Be Permitted to
          Serve in the Military?

        John M. Shalikashvili, Second Thoughts on Gays in

          the Military   
        Vance Coleman, Written Statement to Subcommittee on
          Military Personnel, House Armed Services Committee,
          U.S. House of Representatives   
        Stephan Benjamin, Dont Ask, Dont Translate     
        Daniel L. Davis, Homosexuals in the Military: Combat
          Readiness or Social  Engineering?        
        Brian Jones, Statement to Subcommittee on Military
          Personnel, House Armed  Services Committee, U.S. House
          of Representatives     
       David Benkof, Allow Gays to Serve in Non-Combat Roles     
26—Should Every American Have the Right to Go to College?

        Robert T. Perry, On “Real Education” - II     

        Margaret Miller, The Privileges of the Parents    
        Charles Murray, What's Wrong with Vocational School?   
        Pharinet, Is College for Everyone?       
27—Do Workers Still Need Unions?

        Wendy Zellner, How Wal-Mart Keeps Unions at Bay:

          Organizing the Nations  No. 1 Employer Would Give
          Labor a Lift      
        John L. Lewis, Labor and the Nation      
        Fielding Poe, Watch Out for Stereotypes of Labor Unions    
        Paula Green and Malcolm Dodds, Look for the
          Union Label    
        James Sherk, Do Americans Today Still Need
          Labor Unions?   

        Plato, Allegory of the Cave        

        Niccolò Machiavelli, From The Prince      
        Andrew Marvell, To His Coy Mistress
        Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal        
        Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence      
        Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Declaration of Sentiments
          and Resolutions    
        Margaret Sanger, The Cause of War     
        Rachel Carson, The Obligation to Endure        

        Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail    

Appendix A—Writing Literary Arguments

    What is Literary Argument?

    Stating an Argumentative Thesis

    Choosing Evidence

    Writing a Literary Argument

        Megan McGovern, Confessions of a Misunderstood Poem:

          An Analysis of  “The Road Not Taken”  [student essay]      
Appendix B—Documenting Sources: APA

    Using Parenthetical References

    Preparing a Reference List



    Internet Sources

        Deniz Bilgutay, The High Cost of Cheap Counterfeit

          Goods (Sample  APA Paper)         

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malpascm, September 26, 2011 (view all comments by malpascm)
An extremely useful text. Easy to use, and understand. :)
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malpascm, September 26, 2011 (view all comments by malpascm)
An extremely useful text. Easy to use, and understand. :)
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Product Details

A Text and Anthology
Kirszner, Laurie G
Mandell, Stephen R.
Kirszner, Laurie G.
Bedford/St. Martin's
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
9.13 x 7.38 in

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