Brain Candy Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Original Essays | September 21, 2015

    Annie Jacobsen: IMG Mirrors on the Moon: A Reporter's Story about Sources and Secrets in the Modern World

    As a national security reporter, I write about war, weapons, security, and secrets. The question most commonly asked of me is, "How do you get... Continue »
    1. $21.00 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

Qualifying orders ship free.
New Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Available for In-store Pickup
in 7 to 12 days
Qty Store Section
2 Remote Warehouse Reference- Writing

More copies of this ISBN

This title in other editions

The Shape of Reason: Argumentative Writing in College


The Shape of Reason: Argumentative Writing in College Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This brief, rhetoric of argument teaches critical reading, informal reasoning, and writing as reasoned inquiry, and now features a new collection of student arguments.


The Shape of Reason emphasizes the enthymeme as the central basis for the invention and structuring of arguments. This approach blends classical insights into rhetorical reasoning with contemporary understandings of the composing process as generative and organic, situated within discourse communities. The book helps students understand argument as inquiry, stressing the responsibility that writers have–to their audience and to their own ideas–in structuring arguments that earn their conclusions and in considering opposing arguments.

Table of Contents

A Note to Students.


A Note to Instructors.


The Shape of Reason.

1. Writing and the College Community.

Discourse Communities.

Judgment and Writing.

This Book and You.

Purpose and Design.

Earned Conclusions.

Questions for Thought, Discussion, and Writing.

2. Critical Reading.

How We Read.

The Brady Problem.

Reading and Belief.

Some Considerations for Critical Reading.

Questions for Thought, Discussion, and Writing.

3. The Deep Structure of Reasoning.

Opposing Terms.

Assigning Value to Terms.

On Dialectic.

The Interplay of Dualisms.

Questions for Thought, Discussion, and Writing.

4. Ethical Argument.

Ideas in Conflict.

The Ethical Turn.

The Fairness Principle.

Some Ethical Precepts.

Making Ethical Choices.

Questions for Thought, Discussion, and Writing.

5. Asking Questions, Generating Ideas.

An Idea Worth Writing About.

Ideas in Context: Audience.

Questions at Issue.

Stasis: Kinds of Questions at Issue.

Kinds of Inquiry.

Visual Argument.

What a Thesis Does.

The Need for Precision.

Generating Questions about Fiction.

Revising a Thesis.

Questions for Thought, Discussion, and Writing.

6. Giving Reasons.

What a Reason Does.

The Enthymeme: Connecting Reasons and Conclusions.

Connecting the Enthymeme and the Audience.

Informal Reasoning.

Exploring the Audience Connection.

Kinds of Appeal.

Relevance and Connectedness.

Relative Precision.

Circular Reasoning.

Questions for Thought, Discussion, and Writing.

7. Developing Structures.

The Structural Enthymeme.

From Enthymeme to Structure.

Questions for Thought, Discussion, and Writing.

8. Revising and Editing.

Revision as Rethinking.

Obstacles to Revision.

Responding to Your Teacher’s Comments.

Style and Attitudes.

Style and Clear Thinking.

Editing as Rethinking.


Questions for Thought, Discussion, and Writing.

9. Implications for Research.

Research as Inquiry.

Critical Reading and Research.

Asking Questions for Research.

Research and Reasons.

Structuring Research.

Questions for Thought, Discussion, and Writing.


Essays by Student Writers.

Mindy Dodge, “Revising Our College Education: Participation Is the Key”.

Todd Pittman, “Nonviolent Resistance: A More Courageous Show of Power”.

Matthew Stewart, “A Beefed-up Industry”.

Katie Fidler, “The Self-Imprisonment of American Society”.

Forum on Zoos.

Zach Blume, “The Reality of Zoos”.

Leah Brandt, “Zoos: The Evil Empires”.

Devlin Timony-Balyeat, “The Education Experience of the American Zoo”.

Forum on Art and Culture.

Katie Wright, “Funding for the Future”.

Rosei Rocha-Judd, “The Seduction of Hyperrealism and Overblown Images”.

Text Credits.


Photo Credits.



Product Details

Gage, John T.
Longman Publishing Group
Composition & Creative Writing
Persuasion (rhetoric)
Report writing
Composition & Creative Writing - General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
May 2005
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
8.8 x 6 x 0.5 in 290 gr

Other books you might like

  1. Writing about the World (with Infotrac) Used Trade Paper $46.00
  2. Rules for Writers with Tabs Used Spiral/comb $4.95
  3. Exploring Language Used Trade Paper $6.95
  4. On Human Nature Used Trade Paper $7.95
  5. Art of Public Speaking - Text Only... Used Trade Paper $35.00

Related Subjects

Reference » General
Reference » Rhetoric
Reference » Speech and Debate
Reference » Student Guides
Reference » Writing » General
Reference » Writing » Nonfiction
Textbooks » General

The Shape of Reason: Argumentative Writing in College New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$70.25 In Stock
Product details 208 pages Longman Publishing Group - English 9780321320773 Reviews:
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at