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Workbook website: http://www.hackettpublishing.com/workbookforarguments/
* "Quite simply, one of the best critical-thinking texts I have read."
A Workbook for Arguments builds on Anthony Weston’s Rulebook for Arguments to provide a complete textbook for a course in critical thinking or informal logic. Workbook includes:
• The entire text of Rulebook, supplemented with extensive further explanations and exercises.
• Homework exercises adapted from a wide range of arguments from newspapers, philosophical texts, literature, movies, videos, and other sources.
• Practical advice to help students succeed when applying the Rulebook’s rules to the examples in the homework exercises.
• Suggestions for further practice, outlining activities that students can do by themselves or with classmates to improve their skills.
• Detailed instructions for in-class activities and take-home assignments designed to engage students.
• An appendix on mapping arguments, giving students a solid introduction to this vital skill in constructing complex and multi-step arguments and evaluating them.
• Model answers to odd-numbered problems, including commentaries on the strengths and weaknesses of selected sample answers and further discussion of some of the substantive intellectual, philosophical, or ethical issues they raise.
To download a pdf of the complete Table of Contents and chapter 1, please click HERE.
* "Unlike many critical-thinking books, there is a particular and efficacious focus on helping the reader write an argumentative essay. . . . The central goal of Workbook for Arguments is to assist one in becoming a critical thinker qua writer. Chapters 7 and 8 (nearly fifty pages) are devoted specifically to preparing the reader to produce an argumentative essay. For those of us who want to concentrate on the receiving aspects of critical thinking, the first six chapters and perhaps an appendix or two will do the job superbly.
"There are over sixty exercise sets, not one of which is frivolous. The model responses are typically excellent, some providing both weak and strong examples for answers, and the answers are often followed by commentary.
"Part 3 offers twelve critical-thinking activities, one per chapter and appendix. These activities are often set up for group work. The activities are relevant, helpful, and thoroughly presented.
"The expository clarity is as good as it gets, and this is true even when a light touch is used.
"A Workbook for Arguments is an excellent text, standing head and shoulders above both Boylan's Critical Inquiry and Browne and Keeley's Asking the Right Questions. A Workbook for Arguments is much larger than the other two books reviewed here, and it is actually less expensive than Critical Inquiry and Asking the Right Questions."
—Chris Jackson, Philosophy and Religion Program, Mt. Hood Community College, in Teaching Philosophy
—Michael Strawser, University of Central Florida
“This comprehensive text models what it teaches. It combines concise principles of critical thinking with delightful examples and engaging exercises.”
“Workbook not only provides a basic introduction to critical thinking but also contains a wealth of exercises, sample answers, and evaluations of sample arguments conducive to deepening and applying critical thinking skills, both in writing and in oral presentations. It is a valuable asset for critical thinking courses and is accessible both in terms of the clear structure of its content and its price.”
Anthony Weston is Professor of Philosophy and Environmental Studies at Elon University.