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Critical writing skills - Essay Example

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Rotenberg’s text has proven to be viable resource to aid students become better writers.The book is based on an array of approaches that provides the reader with critical thinking techniques that could help them build a strong base for argument…
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Critical Writing Skills Rotenberg’s text has proven to be viable resource to aid become betterwriters. The book is based on an array of approaches that provides the reader with critical thinking techniques that could help them build a strong base for argument. The author outlines various philosophical approaches from other scholars such as Roger and Aristotle, while also manipulating models that support the reason for these argumentative approaches. The first three chapters make up the first part that is the understanding of argument, while the fourth chapter is part of the second part that is the analysis of the elements of the argument. In the first chapter, Rotenberg combines Aristotle’s rhetoric and Rogerian tactics to approaching an argument. She points out that although a rhetoric being is able to identify a critical point of persuasion, they are not always able to enlighten everybody with the correct point of view. “A physician knows what is required of them to heal a patient, but they are not always able to cure all their patients.” (Rotenberg, 2011, p. 3). The Rogerian argument aims towards persuasion of one party by asking one to open up their minds by getting in the shoes of the other. She further points out the Toulmin Model, which provides some terms of argument that purport the claim, support and warrant as the guide to writing when tackling and analyzing an argument. In the second chapter, Rotenberg advocates for critical reading for the writer to have a good understanding of the argument they are about to make. In Let’s Have No More Monkey Trials, Krauthammer’s argument is based on the long debated argument between religion and science. On critical evaluation of the essay, Rotenberg asserts that it is important to examine the author of the article, the matter of discussion as well the literary material the author presents to the reader. As a reader of such an essay, it is important to make a concise evaluation through critical thinking thus leading to a most viable argument. Rotenberg suggests clear comprehension of the essay, guiding through various strategies to understanding arguments made in the essay. The author of the essay shows a very strong attraction towards the scientific theory of evolution as the history of man as opposed to the creation story religion is drawn towards. He even claims that a significant and an influential person; that is the late Pope John Paul II, accepted the theory of evolution by Charles Darwin. The Catholic Church disapproves thing claim but the author goes on to disregard Cardinal Christoph’s claim that this allegation was mistaken and absurd. By reading and re-reading this essay, it is quite clear that the author is inclined to the evolution theory and totally disregards religion. Rotenberg’s style involves clearly understanding the argument as well as the author of the material. Krauthammer claims that although there are some loopholes in the scientific theory, there is still room for them to be filled up by other emerging scholars. Charles Darwin’s theory had gaps and unfilled pieces, but Einstein came along and provided some helpful information that made his theory even stronger. The argument between the author and the Cardinal goes on that in fact Christoph’s ancestor was one who disputed the discovery by Kepler's of the orbits of planets. Since now it has been proven that in deed there are planet orbits, then the Cardinal’s word could also be disputed and proven wrong. According to Rotenberg, the observer should critically go through the essay while trying to understand what the author wants to put down. For instance, in this case of the claim against the priest and his ancestors that kind of thinking is illogical and is simply a fallacy. This is a conclusion that she went to after an evaluation of the literature. In critical thinking, one of the most important lessons involve one making logical arguments. Fallacies are illogical thinking when approaching an argument and should therefore be avoided. Throughout the book, the author tries to make the reader a critical thinker which is the most important tool in tackling an argument and in writing. Through the third chapter, one is trained on how to write analytically that will involve structural planning, adequate and appropriately writing the source of the ideas and ensuring originality in order to avoid plagiarism. The fourth chapter focuses definition of the key terms used in the writing. This will help the reader understand the content of the argument. The ‘Elements of Argument’ is a masterpiece written to provide writers with critical thinking strategies that will help them in approaching arguments. For this reason, the book has been used in literature classes in school as a credible tool to help students in tackling arguments and in making better writers. Reference Rotenberg, A. & Winchell, D. (2011). Elements of Argument: A Text and Reader, 10th Ed. New York: Bedford/St. Martin's Read More
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