Thomson and Callahan, essays on abortion. My students often want to talk about worn out debate topics (such as this one, and capital punishment, or legalizing pot) and so I found the two most widely reprinted and interesting academic papers on abortion. I also make a point that they are very old articles. It helps discuss how this argument looks different in an academic setting than it might have in their high school classrooms (or living rooms, or churches). Each writer also makes a surprising rhetorical move: Thomson concedes the personhood of the fetus starting with conception, but goes on to make a pro-choice argument; Callahan presents a feminist pro-life argument. (Charles Tedder)





Fryer. "Acting White." Two versions of this, one that was published in an education periodical and one in manuscript format with all the detailed quantitative analysis. Side-by-side, this helps students think about different audiences, specifically how research is presented differently within the a single academic discipline as compared to public scholarship. The more detailed version can also launch a discussion about how to understand the overall claims of a document even if we don't follow the specific methodology (in this case, an economic analysis with lots of scary-looking equations and charts). (Charles Tedder)


















Pollan. "An Animal's Place." Very good demonstration of dialogic or multi-perspectival research and argumentation. The essay has a very distinct ethos, one in which we look over the writer's shoulder as he reads books on animal rights while eating a steak, or visits a permaculture farm. It's a good way to talk about open-mindedness, teasing out different stasis points in an topic, and the difference between primary and secondary research. (Charles Tedder)

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