You are here

Due to a disruption with our fulfilment partner, we are unable to take print book orders on our website. We recommend purchasing via retailers and online via

Digital inspection copies are still available to request. If you require a print inspection copy, please contact your local Academic Sales Consultant.

For further assistance please visit our Contact us page. Thank you for your patience and we apologise for the inconvenience.

Argumentation in Everyday Life

Argumentation in Everyday Life


June 2022 | 344 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

“Good coverage of concepts with understandable explanations of theory. Very user friendly with exercises to use in and out of class. Connects well with other communication classes through the application of other communication concepts to argumentation.”

—Christopher Leland, Azusa Pacific University

Argumentation in Everyday Life provides students with the tools they need to argue effectively in the classroom and beyond. Jeffrey P. Mehltretter Drury offers rich coverage of theory while balancing everyday applicability, allowing students to use their skills soundly. Drury introduces the fundamentals of constructing and refuting arguments using the Toulmin model and ARG conditions (Acceptability, Relevance, and Grounds). Numerous real-world examples are connected to the theories of rhetoric and argumentation discussed—enabling students to practice and apply the content in personal, civic, and professional contexts, as well as traditional academic debates. Encouraging self-reflection, this book empowers students to find their voice and create positive change through argumentation in everyday life.

Unique resources to help students navigate this complex terrain of argumentation:

  • “The Debate Situation” offers students a birds-eye view of any given debate (or exchange of arguments between two or more people) organized around three necessary components: arguments, issues, and the proposition. The visual model of the debate situation illustrates how these features work together in guiding a debate and it lays the groundwork for understanding and generating arguments.
  • Easy to Use Standards for Evaluating Arguments combine a prominent argument model (named after logician Stephen Toulmin) with a standards-based approach (the ARG conditions) to test of quality of an argument. The ARG conditions are three questions an advocate should ask of an argument in determining whether or not it is rationally persuasive. These questions are best served by research but don’t necessary require it, and thus they provide a useful posture for critically assessing the arguments you encounter.
  • Multiple “Everyday Life” examples with an emphasis on context help students to connect the lessons more fully to their everyday life and encourages them to grapple explicitly with dilemmas arising in different contexts.
  • “Find Your Voice Prompts” focus on choice & empowerment to offer strategies for students to choose which arguments to address and how to address them—empowering students to use argumentation to find their voice.
  • “Build Your Skill Prompts” use objective applications to test how well students have learned the information. They offer a chance to apply the material to additional examples that students can check against the answers in Appendix II.
  • Two application exercises at the end of each chapter encourage students to think critically about the content, discuss their thoughts with their peers, and apply the material to everyday situations.


Part I: A Framework for Argumentation and Debate
Chapter 1: Introduction to Argumentation and Debate
Argument, Debate, and Controversy

Why Study Argumentation?

Audiences and Co-Arguers

Spheres of Argument


Application Exercises

Chapter 2: The Debate Situation

A Proposition


The Debate Situation


Application Exercises

Chapter 3: Argumentation Ethics & Stances
Argumentation and Debate Ethics

Argumentation Stances


Application Exercises

Part II: Constructing Arguments
Chapter 4: Understanding Argument Structures
Formal Logic vs. Everyday Argumentation

Strategies for Identifying Arguments

Strategies for Understanding Arguments


Application Exercises

Chapter 5: Effectively Supporting Claims
The Allure of “Evidence” and the Significance of “Support”

Gathering and Testing Information

Types of Support

Strategies for Using Support


Application Exercises

Chapter 6: Common Argument Types
Applying the Types of Argument to Everyday Life

Argument from Classification

Argument from Generalization

Argument from Cause and Consequence

Argument from Sign

Argument from Analogy

Argument from Authority

Additional Argument Types


Application Exercises

Chapter 7: Building Effective Cases
Debating Fact Propositions

Debating Value Propositions

Debating Policy Propositions


Application Exercises

Part III: Contesting Arguments
Chapter 8: Generating Productive Clash
A Productive Posture for Clash



Ending Productively


Application Exercises

Chapter 9: Evaluating Arguments & Cases
The A Condition: Acceptability

The R Condition: Relevance

The G Condition: Sufficient Grounds

Applying the ARG Conditions through Refutation

Argument Fallacies & The ARG Conditions

Evaluating Cases and Controversies with the ARG Conditions


Application Exercises

Chapter 10: Evaluating Argument Types
Evaluating Argument from Classification

Evaluating Argument from Generalization

Evaluating Argument from Cause and Consequence

Evaluating Argument from Sign

Evaluating Argument from Analogy

Evaluating Argument from Authority

Uncovering the ARG Conditions in Everyday Argumentations


Application Exercises

Part IV: Applied Argumentation And Debate
Chapter 11: Crafting Verbal and Oral Arguments
Audience Analysis and Adaptation


Oral Delivery


Application Exercises

Chapter 12: Formats for Everyday Public Argumentation
Op-Eds and Letters to the Editor

Public Online Argumentation

Public Deliberation


Application Exercises

Appendix I: Formats for Academic and Competitive Debate
Parliamentary Debate

Policy Debate

A Note about Notetaking (or “Flowing”)

Moot Court

Appendix II: Answers to Build Your Skill Prompts
Appendix III: Glossary
About the author

“A good option that might provide students more direct support in crafting arguments.”

Susan P. Millsap
Otterbein University

“Good coverage of concepts with understandable explanations of theory. Very user friendly with exercises to use in and out of class. Connects well with other communication classes through the application of other communication concepts to argumentation.”

Christopher Leland
Azusa Pacific University

Everyday applications and appropriate exercises.

Dr Susan Millsap
Communication Dept, Otterbein University
August 22, 2019

For instructors

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781506383590

SAGE Knowledge is the ultimate social sciences digital library for students, researchers, and faculty. Hosting more than 4,400 titles, it includes an expansive range of SAGE eBook and eReference content, including scholarly monographs, reference works, handbooks, series, professional development titles, and more.

The platform allows researchers to cross-search and seamlessly access a wide breadth of must-have SAGE book and reference content from one source.

SAGE Knowledge brings together high-quality content from across our imprints, including CQ Press and Corwin titles.