A Rulebook for Arguments: Fourth Edition

By Anthony Weston

I wish this book had not been assigned in an upper-level political science class, but rather in some sort of required-for-life class at the beginning of high school, preferably one that also taught basic tax law and car maintenance. Alas, no such assignment was made, which this book actually comments on in the introduction. Apparently the author was initially inspired to write by the frustrating inadequacies he saw in his students, and thus the Rulebook was born.

Unfortunately, seeing as I did read this as a college junior and not a high school freshman, nothing in these pages was especially revolutionary. I had already learned these lessons the hard way via essays returned with bad grades circled at the top. Still, the book was a nice refresher, and written well enough that reading it was no chore. I’d suggest it to everyone who hasn’t formally put thought into the art of arguing.