Read, Write, Do

“The Art of Persuasion”

In his Winning Arguments Fish argues that there are multiple types of arguments, such as the argument of authority, and that “the art of persuasion” can be utilized through “good” or “bad” end goals. More specifically, one does not necessarily win an argument through leaving the opponent speechless to gain satisfaction, but rather arguing to persuade the opponent from point A to point B. For example, he writes, “Good  persuasion  aids  in  the  rational  sorting  through  of  alternatives  that characterizes  a  democratic  society…” In other words, the goal of an argument is to arrive at a solution that both sides have come to agree on, and can accomplish the goal of whatever the argument was about. In sum then, Fish suggests that we must argue with “good persuasion” due to the fact that argument is ever present. 

In her, Says Who? Teaching and Questioning the Rules of Grammar, Curzan argues that we must question grammar rules just as we question other educational topics such as science. More specifically, she focuses on the words “they” and “hopefully.” For example, she writes, “Grammar is not, and should not ever be framed as a ‘Because I said so’ subject.” In other words, we should question who says these writing conventions are correct and why. In sum then, Curzan suggests that students should be allowed to make their own grammatical and rhetorical choices because as students they are asked to question everything.

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