Thank You for Arguing Reading Logs

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Vincent Nguyen
8/15/11
Pg. 1

Chapter 1 Entry

“…rhetoric offers a grander, metaphysical payoff: it jolts you into a fresh new perspective on the human condition. After it awakens you to the argument all around, the world will never seem the same.” (6)

In chapter one, “Open Your Eyes,” Heinrichs states that argument is an important social element that surrounds everyday life. People who uses rhetoric, the art of argument, tends to succeed in persuading others to do their bidding. Many powerful politicians today mastered this tool. The most toughest arguments can be won with this art. Rhetoric has helped mankind develop complex societies, codes, and laws. “Every one of America’s founders studied rhetoric, and they used its principles in writing the Constitution (4)”. An example of someone using rhetoric effectively is a U.S. president attempting to persuade the citizens to vote for him. The president’s goal is to “manipulate” or “seduce” the voters into thinking that voting for him may be the best choice for the country. This may lead to a consensus about who will be the leader of America. To win the election, however, the candidates must persuade the people with an elaborate speech. The best speeches tends to have rhetorical devices. Former President John F. Kennedy was very good at speeches since he used rhetoric effectively by using devices such as chiasmus. "Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind." - JFK

8/15/11
Chapter 2 Entry

“You succeed in an argument when you persuade your audience. You win a fight when you dominate the enemy.” (16)

In chapter two, “Set Your Goals,” the author talks about setting a goal and the difference between arguing and fighting. Fighting is someone trying to dominate the opponent with aggression. Arguing is someone trying to persuade the opponent with speech. Many people fail to realize the distinctive line between the two. Fighting does not persuade , it only calls for revenge. More fighting can be the result and things would get out of hand. During a fight, the person’s goal is to beat your opponent. With arguing, the goal would be to win over the opponent. A politician who argues will accomplish more than a politician who fights. Heinrichs also explains about how to reach a goal by persuading someone by changing the person’s mood, changing the person’s mind, and/or getting him/her to act. By using one or all three goals, the person being persuaded will do what the other wants. By using these three techniques, it would accomplish far more than what fighting could. Imagine, a student attempting to convince his teacher to give out more extra credit. He would change the teacher’s mood by complimenting on his teachings, completing an assignment on time, etc. Then he would persuade the teacher how important it is to pass his class with the extra credit. Lastly, the student would somehow get the teacher to act . All of this is a lot easier and calmer than fighting.

8/16/11
Chapter 3 Entry
“..most arguments take place in the wrong tense. Choose the right tense(36).”

In chapter three, “Control the Tense,” Heinrichs explains that the only productive arguments are ones that are in the right tense. Many arguments get out of hand because the arguers are using the wrong tense. As Aristotle stated, the most favored tense is future. This tense deals with choices. It gives the arguer the advantage of choices and it gives people what to think about and what would they get out of the argument. People can get more out an argument deliberately if they, “Control the clock(37).” Many people argue about the simplest things and more than half of them use the past tense. Blaming someone for what happened could only make matters worse. Expert Rhetoricians know that changing the tense could make things a little easier. It could even stop the argument. Imagine, a student forgets to do an assignment. The teacher is mad and is yelling at...
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