Tag Archives: argumentation

Rhetoric

Rhetoric (Greek, rhetor, “speaker in the assemby): Rhetoric is the art of using language for persuasion, in speaking and writing; especially in oratory. The Classical theoreticians codified rhetoric very thoroughly. A knowledge and command of it was regarded as essential. The major textbooks included Aristotle’s Rhetoric, Quintilian’s Institutio Oratoria, Cicero’s De Inventione, De Optimo Genere Oratorium, and De Oratore. Cicero himself was an accomplished rhetorician. So great was the influence of these men (and, later, of Longinus in the work ascribed to him, On the Sublime) that in the Middle Ages rhetoric became part ot the trivium, along with logic and grammar.

The rules for oral and written composition (these rules altered little from Cicero’s day until well on in the 19th century) were divided into five processes in a logical order: invention, arrangement (or disposition), style, memory, and delivery (each had a number of sub-divisions). ‘Invention’ was the discovery of the relevant material; ‘arrangement’ was the organization of the material into sound structural form; under ‘style’ came the consideration of the appropriate manner for the matter and occasion (e.g. the grand style, the middle and the low and the plain); under ‘memory’ came guidance on how to memorize speeches; the section devoted to ‘delivery’ elaborated the technique for actually making a speech.”

Excerpted from: Cuddon, J.A. The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. New York: Penguin, 1992.

The Weekly Text, 2 July 2021: A Lesson Plan on the Crime and Puzzlement Case “The Cider Booth”

This week’s text is a lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “The Cider Booth.” 

I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on dead languages. Incidentally, the short reading in this half-page document speaks specifically of Latin, ancient Greek, and Sanskrit. As a matter of routine in my classroom, I taught Greek and Latin word roots for vocabulary building. When one thinks about how often classical word roots turn up in English words, the idea under the circumstances that these languages are “dead” can make for interesting classroom discussions. Also, when one considers that Spanish, the first lingua franca of a wide swath of student I served over the years, is in some respect a modern version of Latin, the idea that the tongue of the Roman Empire is dead doesn’t quite make sense.

Anyway, to conduct your investigation into the case of “The Cider Booth,” you will need this PDF of the illustration and questions that both drive the investigation and serve as evidence in it. Finally, to identify a suspect and bring him or her to the bar of justice, here is the typescript of the answer key you will need.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

The Weekly Text, June 4, 2021: A Lesson Plan on the Crime and Puzzlement Case “The Cheater”

This week’s Text is a lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “The Cheater.” I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the Latinism mea culpa, which means, of course, “through my fault.” You see the root of the noun culpability there, I’m confident, which means “responsibility for for wrongdoing or failure” and “the quality or state of being culpable.” Translated into adolescent-speak, it means “my bad.” You and I might say it translates to “my fault.” Enough said.

To conduct your investigation into the case of “The Cheater,” you’ll need this scan of the illustration that presents the evidence in the case, which is attended by short narrative and questions to guide your inquiry. Finally, here is the typescript of the answers to help you conclude your investigation.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Term of Art: Abstract

“Abstract, (noun) A text summarizing the matter or principal points of a book, article, record, or speech, especially of an official or technical document; abbreviated or concentrated version; condensation. Noun: abstractor; Verb: abstract.”

Excerpted from: Grambs, David. The Random House Dictionary for Writers and Readers. New York: Random House, 1990.

The Weekly Text, January 8, 2021: A Lesson Plan on the Crime and Puzzlement Case “International Crisis”

The first Weekly Text for 2021 is this lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “International Crisis.”

This lesson opens with this Cultural Literacy Cultural Literacy worksheet on the proverb “you can’t have your cake and eat it too. To conduct your investigation of the international crisis, you’ll need this PDF of the illustration and questions that serve as evidence in this case. Finally, here is the typescript of the answer key to assist you in bringing the culprit or culprits to justice.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review

The Weekly Text, November 13, 2020: A Lesson Plan on the Crime and Puzzlement Case “Seeing Double”

This week’s Text is a lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “Seeing Double.” Judging from my download statistics, these are always a crowd pleaser.

I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the idiom “Have. an ax to grind,” (which might also be usefully employed when introducing students to the methods of writing a research paper–especially scholarly disinterest). This PDF of the illustration and questions is the evidence you’ll need to conduct this investigation. Finally, here is the typescript of the answer key so that you may bring the culprit to the bar of justice.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

The Weekly Text, October 16, 2020: A Lesson Plan on the Crime and Puzzlement Case “Blot It Out”

It’s Friday again. I don’t know about you, but I am experiencing time in some very strange ways during this pandemic. Anyway, Hispanic Heritage Month 2020 has come and gone.

So, this week’s text is a lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “Blot It Out.” I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the phrase “Art for Art’s Sake” (incidentally, when you watch movies, new or old, produced at the Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) studio, you’ll see the Latin phrase “Ars Gratia Artis” above the roaring lion’s head as the film begins to roll, well, you can now explain that phrase to students and children). You’ll need this scan of the illustration and questions in order to conduct your investigation. Finally, here is the typescript of the answer key so that you can make allegations and bring your suspect to the bar of justice.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

The Weekly Text, September 11, 2020: A Lesson Plan on the Crime and Puzzlement Case “Piggy Bank”

Because they’ve been a popular item on this site, I’ve engaged in idle speculation about the social and educational characteristics of the users of the many Crime and Puzzlement lessons I’ve posted here. I must assume these are particularly useful for homebound, younger kids and their parents.

In any case, here is another, a lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “Piggy Bank.”

I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the idiom “beyond the pale.” To investigate this case, you’ll need the PDF of the illustration, reading, and questions. To make sure you bring the accused to the bar of justice, here is the typescript of the answer key.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

A Lesson Plan on the Crime and Puzzlement Case “Picnic”

OK, moving along on a warm afternoon, here is a lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “Picnic.”

I open this lesson, to get kids settled after the class change, with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the proverb “All’s Fair in Love and War.” You’ll need this PDF of the illustration, reading, and questions to conduct your investigation. Finally, to bring your suspect to justice, here is the typescript of the answer key for this case.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

A Lesson Plan on the Crime and Puzzlement Case “Stolen Bases”

Alright, here is another lesson plan on a Crime and Puzzlement case, to wit, “Stolen Bases.”

This Cultural Literacy worksheet on the noun and idiom raison d’etre, derived from the French, obviously, opens the lesson if you are inclined to use it. Otherwise, moving right along, to conduct your investigation you’ll need this scan of the illustration, reading, and questions that are the circumstances of the case. Finally, to solve the case and bring the accused to the bar of justice, you’ll want the typescript of the answer key.

Best of luck, inspectors!

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.