Creating America

Creating America : Reading and Writing Arguments

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For Writing/Composition courses-especially those with a focus on argument and/or research.

This reader emphasizes the argumentative strategies students need to analyze and write arguments. At the same time, it helps students see that Americans have always defined themselves and maintained a sense of unity-despite great diversity-through ongoing public debate about what America means. Selections reflect colonial times to the present and include posters, photographs, advertisements, and court cases in addition to essays, poems, and stories.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 565 pages
  • 149.9 x 228.6 x 27.9mm | 725.76g
  • Pearson
  • Upper Saddle River, NJ, United States
  • English
  • 3rd edition
  • 0130918423
  • 9780130918420

Table of contents


1. Arguments in American Culture.

Introduction. Reading American Cultures. Persuasion. Persuasion and American Cultures.

2. The Art and Craft of Persuasion.

Introduction: Persuasion and Audience. Rhetor and Audience. Audiences and Cultures. Audiences from Other Times. Audience and Appeals: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. Errors in Logic. Understanding Persuasion in Practice. Persuasion in Diverse Genres. Visual Persuasion. Elements of Persuasion. Critical Reading and Persuasive Writing.

3. Writing Essays.

Developing Essays. Techniques for Developing Essays. Developing a Core Assertion: The Thesis Statement. Organizing and Drafting the Essay. Developing an Argumentative Essay. Expository. Analytical. Argumentative Essays. Students Writing Process and Essay on "Hasten the Homecoming."

4. Integrating Research into Writing.

Introduction. Beginning the Process. Gathering Information. Focusing the Search. Working with Sources. Writing Drafts. Revising the Draft. Documentation.


5. Identities.

Join or Die, Benjamin Franklin. Origin of the Anglo Americans, Alexis De Tocqueville. Victory Liberty Loan, Howard Chandler Christy. What the Indian Means to America, Luther Standing Bear. Prologue to Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison. Inaugural Address, John F. Kennedy. Local Politics, from An Explanation of America, Rovert Pinsky. The Cult of Ethnicity, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. A Tapestry of Hope, Jean Wakatsuki. Prospero Unbound: The Market Revolution, Ronald Takaki. Chicana, Martha Serrano, Student Essay. The Joy Luck Club, Film.

6. American Dreams.

From The Discovery of the Large, Rich, and Beautiful Empire of Guiana, Sir Walter Raleigh. From Wealth, Andrew Carnegie. California the Cornucopia of the Wo. Poster. Let America Be America Again, Langston Hughes. No Way Like the American Way, Margaret Bourke-White. Early Success, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Harlem, Langston Hughes. I Have a Dream, Martin Luther King, Jr. Tomorrowland, Witold Rybczynski. United Shareholders of America, Jacob Weisberg. Structured Appeal: Let America Be America Again, Chris Countryman, Student Essay. Avalon, Film.

7. Images of Gender and Family.

Keep within Compass. Enlist: On Which Side of the Window Are YOU? War Posters, Website, National Archives. An Analysis of Hands Off: Building Beliefs, Dan McKenzie. Hands Off!, Poster. Fame Instead of Shame, Advertisement. Rusk v. State: Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, 406 A.2d624, Judge Wilner. When "Family" Is Not a Household Word, Keenan Peck. Marriage Is a Fundamental Right, Thomas Stoddard. Reserve Marriage for Heterosexuals, Bruce Fein. Blame It on Feminism, Susan Faludi. A Family Legacy, Marian Wright Edelman. Saplings in the Storm, Mary Pipher. The Culture of Cruelty, Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson, Mi Familia, Film.

8. Work and Play.

From The Autobiography (1771), Benjamin Franklin. From Women and Economics (1898), Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Two Women Sewing (ca. 1907), Jacob Riis. From Going Out (1994), David Nasaw. Duke Kahanamoku Postcard (1914). Physical Culture Magazine Cover (1927). The Chrysanthemums (1938), John Steinbeck. Union Maid (1940), Woody Guthrie. Mr. Bates (1972), Studs Terkel. Bricklayer's Boy (1989), Alfred Lubrano. From Sports Illusion, Sports Reality (1994), Leonard Koppett. Sports, Body Image, and the American Girl (2000), Katie Norris, Student Essay. The Cost of High Stakes in Little League Games (2000), C.W. Nevius. Jerry Maguire, Film.

9. Justice and Civil Liberties.

In Defense of Freedom of the Press, Alexander Hamilton. The Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson. From Civil Disobedience, Henry David Thoreau. Independence Day Speech at Rochester, Frederick Douglass. Women's Right to Vote, Susan B. Anthony. Plessy v. Ferguson, United States Supreme Court. Dolls, Eudora Welty. Freedom of Speech, Norman Rockwell. Brown v. Board of Education, United States Supreme Court. Letter from Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King, Jr. Hate Speech, Alan Dershowitz. Libraries, the Internet, and Freedom of Speech, Vicki Chiang, Student Essay. The Long Walk Home, Film.

10. War and Violence.

These Are the Times, Thomas Paine. The Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln. Deliver Us from Evil, Poster. Pearl Harbor Address, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The War Prayer, Mark Twain. Saigon Execution, Edward T. Adams. The Terror of War, Huynh Cong "Nick" Ut. Nurses in Vietnam, Jacqueline Navarra Rhoads. Typecasting, Paul Fussell. From Violence in America, Arnold P. Goldstein. Teddy Bears, Violence Policy Center. Propaganda in FDR's Pearl Harbor Address, Neil A. Van Os, Student Essay. Faces of the Enemy and Selected War Films.

11. Frontiers.

From Roughing It, Mark Twain. Giant Redwood Trees of California, Albert Bierstadt. Indian Treachery and Bloodshed, Police Gazette. The Significance of the Frontier in American History, Frederick Jackson Turner. The Thesis Disputed, Richard Hofstadter. Indian Belle, Orange Crate Label. Coda: Wilderness Letter, Wallace Stegner. Dear John Wayne, Louis Erdrich. The Next Last Frontier, Jonathan Raban. The Headlines Frontier, Patricia Nelson Limerick. Unforgiven, Film.
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