Thank You For Arguing

984 words 4 pages
Emily Long
Mrs. Ward
English 11AS
August 26, 2014
11 AS Summer Reading Project
Thank You For Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion is a title written by the not-so-famous, (but extremely well-versed) Jay Heinrichs. Although the title is indeed a mouthful, it serves its purpose in drawing the reader in. Also; the extremely long title is a little hint of what Heinrichs entails in his book, an endless supply of information on how to correctly and influentially utilize rhetoric, the art of persuasion.
The book is divided into five sections, each one being subdivided into different strategies on how to use rhetoric to your advantage, in any given situation.
The first section, Offense,
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Red Herring is the sin that "...distracts the audience to make it forget what the main issue is about. A variant is the straw man fallacy, which sets up a different issue that’s easier to argue. You say, “Who drank up all the orange juice?” and your spouse says “Well, you tell me why the dishes aren’t done.”" (Heinrichs 163) Wrong Ending is essentially the proof failing to lead to the conclusion. There are many different fallacies that fall under this sin, it is vital to be weary when using it.
Section four is Advanced Offence. The title of the section essentially explains itself. It teaches the reader more elite or clever ways to win an argument.
Which side your audience is swayed towards has a lot to do with the way an argument is worded. Word choice is tremendously significant. Using tools such as analogy, oxymoron, rhetorical questions, hyperbole, and coyness are essential. “The Greeks called them “schemes”, a better word than “figures,” because they serve as persuasive tricks and rules of thumb.” (Heinrichs 202). Towards the end of the chapter, Heinrichs always gives a summary of what was said and taught. These summaries are extremely helpful in clarifying any misconceptions acquired by the reader. A personal favorite in Advanced Offence is the aspect of weighing both sides. “This category of figure sums up opposing positions and compares or contrasts them. The either/or figure (dialysis) offers a choice, usually with an obvious answer. The


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