Argumentation: Critical Thinking in Action explores a wide variety of issues and concepts connected to making arguments, responding to the arguments of others, and using good critical thinking skills to analyze persuasive communication.
Based on feedback from users and instructors, the new fifth edition of David Lapakko’s Argumentation: Critical Thinking in Action:
- promotes civil discourse through expanded emphasis on sender/receiver ethics.
- integrates updated examples – includes 2020 election, COVID, and racial issues in police practices.
- includes ethical issues in argumentation – unlike any other book on the market.
- features new coverage of visual evidence of argumentation.
- fuses practical examples with Spotlight on Scholarship vignettes in each chapter that include coverage of academic studies/articles of the content provided.
- has been completely reformatted with a stronger emphasis on visual design.
- is easy to adopt! Adopting instructors receive access to a large test bank and PowerPoint presentation for each chapter.
Why Did You Create This Publication?
What Makes Argumentation: Critical Thinking in Action Unique?
Chapter 1 Orientation to Argumentation
Why study argument?
Matters of definition
Three elements always present in argument
Critical thinking and argument
Traits associated with good critical thinking
The single most important critical thinking skill
The “free marketplace” assumption
Ethical issues in argumentation
Chapter 2 Fundamental concepts of argument
Burden of proof
Stock issues for policy propositions
Stock issues for value propositions
Stock issues for factual propositions
The Toulmin model of argument
Chapter 3 Categories and types of evidence
General categories of evidence
Specific types of evidence
General tests for all types of evidence
Chapter 4 Issues in the use of statistical evidence
Not all concepts can be readily quantified
A more precise number is not necessarily a “better” number
Survey samples must be truly representative
There are at least three different ways to define “average”
Comparing percentages is often misleading and unwarranted
Absolute percentages and relative percentages can be quite different
Statistical correlation is not the same as causation
Statistical predictions of the future must be based on certain assumptions
How a graph is constructed can be misleading
A statistically significant difference defies random chance
Chapter 5 Types of reasoning
Reasoning by analogy
The “SI jinx”: A case study
Chapter 6 Fallacies in reasoning
Fallacies in Inductive Reasoning
Fallacies in Deductive Reasoning
Fallacy in Causal Reasoning
Fallacies Involving the Burden of Proof
Chapter 7 The use of language in argument
Words have no intrinsic meaning
There’s more than one way to define a word, and the “dictionary definition” is not always the best way
Language is not static—the meanings of words change over time
Sometimes arguers will try to be clear with their use of words; but sometimes they will be intentionally vague or unclear
Sometimes arguers use words that are designed to get us emotionally worked up; but sometimes they will use words to get us to calm down
There are a variety of types of language that can be regarded as misleading or “loaded.”
Language can be more concrete or more abstract; arguers and critical thinkers must be mindful of the difference
Metaphors raise some of the most interesting issues, and they affect the way we think
Chapter 8 Narratives as Argument
Dramatism in a Nutshell
Bormann’s Symbolic Convergence Theory
Chapter 9 Constructing a case for change
Advantages of Advocating Change
Advantages of Opposing Change
Realism Vs. Idealism
The Issue of “Should” Versus “Would”
The Need to Structure the Solution
The Need to Be Explicit
Chapter 10 Refutation
Steps in Refutation
The Four Main Refutational Responses
Other Types of Refutational Responses
Debate Judging Paradigms
Chapter 11 Spheres of Argument
The Scientific Sphere
The Legal Sphere
The Business Sphere
The Religious Sphere
The Political Sphere
An Additional Editorial Comment on Religion and Politics
For All Spheres
U.S. Culture as a Sphere of Argument
Chapter 12 Effective oral delivery and written presentation
Oral Presentation Skills
Issues Involving Grammar / Usage
Issues Involving Punctuation
Issues Involving Spelling
Issues Involving Style
Argumentation: Critical Thinking in Action is an accessible, contemporary explanation of argumentation concepts, with many good examples. It gives my general science students the conceptual framework to formulate, analyze and refute arguments relating to important issues facing us today.
Dr. Steven Mellema, Professor of Physics
Gustavus Adolphus College
Argumentation: Critical Thinking in Action is an excellent source for covering the basics of argumentation without overwhelming students. Lapakko’s conversational writing style drew my students into material which they quickly became comfortable using when addressing everyday topics. I have used this text in upper division argumentation and persuasion communication classes and highly recommend it to other instructors. At the end of the semester many of my students informed me they found this text so useful they planned to keep it rather than selling it back.
Dr. Cheryl Maiorca
New Mexico State University