Everything Is an Argument

Optional materials: slideshow “Everything is an Argument,” Understanding Analysis handout. I use the actual textbook, Everything is an Argument, but it’s not necessary to do so as you can discuss the book’s essential argument without reference to the book itself. 

The first slide in “Everything is an Argument” lists artifacts and asks students to explain what arguments they make. Ask students to do a pair and share in which they contemplate the question on the second slide, which can be summarized as, “What do we lose by not analyzing cultural phenomena?” You’ll find potential answers to this question on the next slide. You may want to expand the breadth of this question by asking what’s at stake in considering everything an argument? In other words, if we fail to consider everything an argument, what do we lose?  

In referring to the handout “Understanding Analysis,” emphasize that analysis is what students already do, in the everyday, as they navigate every element of their lives. The reading selection “Backpacks and Briefcases” may be useful in emphasizing this fact, as will the activity of analyzing the difference between “lol,” “haha,” “lmao,” “hahaha” and other common text abbreviations. 

As a class, analyze the advertisement on the last page of the Understanding Analysis handout, using the “Questions to Ask for Rhetorical Analysis” handout.

As a class, do the exercises on slide 7, slide 8, and slide 9 of “Everything is an Argument,” borrowed from the Everything is an Argument textbook.