Argument as Conversation

Many things from this article stick out as familiar from my own experience. He points out that conversation is always ongoing, like we discussed early in our class. You will never be the first person to discuss an issue, and you certainly won’t be the last. Greene also mentions the distinction between reading as inquiry and reading as a search for information. I think he implies that the former entails reading to explore the arguments of writers before you, while the latter is just to gather data.

On page 14, Greene explains framing as, “a metaphor for describing the lens, or perspective, from which writers present their arguments.” He means that every writer has a particular agenda, and they will deliver the information that is most likely to convey the agenda they want. It is understandable and inevitable, in that the mere purpose of writing is to convince your audience of the point of view that you hold. Sherry Turkle, for example, is guilty of framing in her own book. In the Family chapter, she utilizes sad stories from young children, begging their parents to look up from their phones to pay attention to them. By quoting distraught five year olds, Turkle is trying to evoke an emotional response to confirm her notion that technology is a detrimental monster, tearing families apart. Throughout her book, she seems to ignore the benefits that technology has on society in order to showcase her main argument. We also see this framing every day in the media. For example, I noticed when my grandparents were watching Fox News, that they use fear as the lens to promote their agenda. They claim false information about crime rates and the danger we’re in. And it works. Framing works.

I don’t think this article changes how I think about anything, as most of the information was not new to me. If anything, it will be a good reminder as a writer, and as an audience member, to be acutely aware of the perspective that is being showcased. In my own writing, I try to present my information without appearing biased, examining the opposing points as well as my own.


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