Approaching Great Ideas
First Edition   ©2016

Approaching Great Ideas

Critical Readings for College Writers

Lee A. Jacobus (University of Connecticut)

  • ISBN-10: 1-4576-9994-X; ISBN-13: 978-1-4576-9994-8; Format: Paper Text, 484 pages



CHAPTER 1: Examining Ideas
Strategies for Critical Reading about Great Ideas
     Prereading, Titles, and Subheadings
     Looking at Opening Paragraphs
          Sample Annotated Passage for Review and Discussion
Forming Your Own Ideas

CHAPTER 2: Writing about Ideas
Generating Topics for Writing
      Thinking Critically
Creating a Thesis Statement
      Sample Opening Paragraphs
      Supporting Your Thesis
             Development by Definition
             Development by Comparison
             Development by Example
             Development by Analysis of Cause and Effect
             Development by Analysis of Circumstances
             Development by Testimony
            Development by Rhetorical Question
     Questions for Reading and Writing
Establishing Your Argument
     Classical Argument
     Toulmin Argument
     Rogerian Argument
A Sample Student Essay  


CHAPTER 3: How Democracy Relates to Human Rights
Plato (427–347 B.C.E.), Democracy and the Democratic Man
James Madison (1751–1836), The Bill of Rights 
Marquis de Lafayette (1757–1834) and the National Assembly of France (1789), Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–1797), A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
Alexis de Tocqueville (1805–1859), The Idea of Rights in the United States
Emile Durkheim (1858–1917), The Intellectual Elite and Democracy 
Robert A. Dahl (1915–2014), Why Democracy? 
Cornel West (b. 1953), The Deep Democratic Tradition in America
Fareed Zakaria (b. 1954), Illiberal Democracy

CHAPTER 4: How Freedom Depends on Justice
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778), Of Slavery and the Social Pact
Lucy A. Delaney (c. 1828–1890), from Struggles for Freedom 
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882–1945), The Four Freedoms
John Rawls (1921–2002), A Theory of Justice
James Baldwin (1924–1987), My Dungeon Shook: Letter to My Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Emancipation
Martin Luther King Jr. (1929–1968), I Have a Dream
Amartya Sen (b. 1933), The Idea of Justice
bell hooks (b. 1952), Feminist Politics: Where We Stand

CHAPTER 5: How Science Reads the Book of Nature
Lucretius (c. 99–c. 55 B.C.E.), The Nature of Sleep
Charles Darwin (1809–1882), Of Sexual Selection and Natural Selection
Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947), Religion and Science
Oliver Sacks (b. 1933), The Mind’s Eye
Steve Jones (b. 1944), The Descent of Men
Michio Kaku (b. 1947), Physics of the Impossible
Jennifer Ackerman (b. 1959), Molecules and Genes

CHAPTER 6: How Society Regards Wealth and Poverty
Adam Smith (1723–1790), The Value of Labor
Andrew Carnegie (1835–1919), The Gospel of Wealth
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860–1935), Women and Economics: “Cupid-in-the-Kitchen” 
John Kenneth Galbraith (1908–2006), Inequality
Jane Jacobs (1916–2006), Stagflation
Elizabeth Warren (b. 1949), The Vanishing Middle Class 
Leslie T. Chang (b. 1969), Factory Girls in Dongguan

CHAPTER 7: How Ethics and Morality Interact
Aristotle (384–322 B.C.E.), The Aim of Man
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), Good and Bad 
John Dewey (1859–1952), Education and Morality
Thomas Nagel (b. 1937), The Objective Basis of Morality
Michael Gazzaniga (b. 1939), Toward a Universal Ethics
Peter Singer (b. 1946) and Jim Mason (b. 1934), Ethics and Animals
Francis Fukuyama (b. 1952), Human Specificity and the Rights of Animals
Kwame Anthony Appiah (b. 1954), If You’re Happy and You Know It