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9780130154002

Making the Case An Argument Reader
Making the Case An Argument Reader
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  • ISBN-13: 9780130154002
  • ISBN: 0130154008
  • Publication Date:
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR

AUTHOR

SUMMARY

Preface Making the Caseis a composition reader focused on legal issues. It aims to help you develop your skills in written argument by stimulating you to think and write about compelling cases that have actually appeared before the courts. You may have an image of the law as impossibly complex, musty, and boring, and--let's face it--much of it is, even to lawyers. But if you peer beneath the sometimes intimidating language-here reduced to a bare minimum-you can often discern the outlines of intense human drama. Viewed in one way, legal cases are stories. They are morality tales.Ahas done something wrong toB.Bclaims injury.Adenies the charge.Amay be a person or a company.Bmay be a person, or a company, or the government--speaking for "the people."AandBhire champions to argue their cases. An impartial judge and jury hear the opposing arguments. They take account of the facts. They take account of the law that applies to these facts. And they make a decision. Using the material in this book, you will be called on to make these decisions--and to explain why you decided as you did. Legal cases are rooted in conflicts, and most conflicts are inherently dramatic and interesting. These conflicts often raise questions about our duties and responsibilities to other people and to society at large. Writing about legal disputes is an ideal approach to developing your skills at logical thought and argument. Roleplaying as jury members, as prosecutors, or as defense attorneys, you makeclaims(that is, arrive at verdicts) based onsupport(the facts and evidence of the case itself), and applystandards(the relevant laws). Writing about cases tends to be purposeful--in terms of arguing for a particular verdict--even as it implies larger ethical questions. And, usually, writing essays about particular cases is more enjoyable than writing about more general or theoretical issues. Each chapter in this book focuses on a particular issue and comprises groups of related readings. While the main chapters focus on broad issues such as homicide, freedom of speech, and sexual harassment, a series of brief segments at the end of the book focuses on narrower issues: high school athletic injuries, hot coffee spills, parental responsibility for the destructive acts of their children. Each group of readings and cases focuses on a particular aspect of the issue in question. By reading and discussing such related cases, you may see how judgments on aspects of an issue (for instance, harsh and insulting language in emotional distress cases or the particular conditions of a claimed hostile work environment) are affected by the specific circumstances of the case, and you can compare and contrast such cases--in effect, using your judgments about one case as precedent for your judgments on another. More general reading selections in each major chapter provide social, psychological, or historical contexts for the issue in question. For example, a chapter dealing with sexual harassment includes not only cases of sexual harassment that have been taken up by courts, and sections from the relevant statutes and the judge's instructions to the jury, but also passages from books or articles on the matter. Beginning with Chapter 3, each group of reading selections is preceded by an introductory headnote and is followed by a set of discussion and writing assignments: "For Deliberation and Argument." Making the Casetherefore allows you to practice the essential college-level and professional skills ofanalysis(applying one or more general principles or rules to one or more specific cases),comparison-contrast(examining key similarities and differences),summary(summarizing the relevant case or cases and the legal principles that apply),narration(relating the key evBehrens, Laurence is the author of 'Making the Case An Argument Reader', published 2000 under ISBN 9780130154002 and ISBN 0130154008.

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