10 Reasons to Teach "The Art of Argument" to Your Middle Schooler

~ Written by Marissa Moldoch and Edited by Joelle Hodge ~

Informal logic is the study of reasoning as it occurs in everyday discourse and communication, rather than in formal systems like mathematics or symbolic logic. As middle schoolers explore The Art of Argument, they will begin to spot illogical claims in conversations, commercials, movies, music, and more. Why else should you teach The Art of Argument to your students? We’ve assembled a list of 10 reasons:

1. They’ll Receive a Solid Introduction to Logic

“This year, my daughter will use The Art of Argument to introduce her to logic,” says homeschool mom Cari. “I like how the material is . . . easy to understand but at the same time is challenging.” After they grasp the basics, students will be ready to transition to advanced logic curricula like The Discovery of Deduction, The Argument Builder, and Everyday Debate.

2. They’ll Learn from a Compelling Trio

Students will read delightful dialogues that feature Socrates and two inquisitive teenagers named Nate and Tiffany. “The logic and debate books are engaging,” says homeschool mom Melissa. “My middle and high school students loved the classes and thought the Socrates character was both intuitive and funny. What a great way to teach these skills.”

a cartoon version of Socrates

3. They’ll Master the Most Common Fallacies

“Sharon, you are a lazy slacker. No one is going to listen to your advice on how to study for the exam.” Yes, that statement is harsh, but it is also fallacious. Fallacies are common errors in reasoning that can lead to false beliefs and poor decisions. By studying The Art of Argument, students will learn to recognize the fallacies in their own thinking and in the arguments of others.

4. They’ll Enjoy the Supplemental Materials

With detailed explanations, numerous examples of the informal fallacies, chapter reviews, and cumulative review exercises, The Art of Argument acts as a clear, cohesive guide for both students and parents. “I have used CAP products for Spanish, French, Latin, logic, and writing. Their curriculum is well organized and teacher friendly,” homeschool mom Hayley says. While the book can stand alone, students will have even more fun with the supplemental flashcards, poster, and video series. Available in a DVD or streaming format, the videos feature 3 experienced logic teachers and 4 capable, engaged students discussing each fallacy presented in the text. Watch their video about the Straw Man Fallacy!

a page from The Art of Argument that explains the straw man fallacy

5. They’ll Improve Their Communication Skills

As they study The Art of Argument, students will learn how to analyze and understand various perspectives. This, in turn, will help them communicate and empathize with people who have different views than their own. When they communicate, students will be able to express their ideas clearly and persuasively, in a way that prevents confusion and misunderstandings. 

6. They’ll See Past the Fallacies and Find the Issues at Hand

Studying informal logic can help students become more innovative, as it encourages them to think outside the box, explore new ideas, and challenge conventional wisdom. The Art of Argument takes this sentiment one step further, inviting students to design ads and write and perform skits.

a page from The Art of Argument that asks students to draw and advertisement

7. They’ll Strengthen Their Reasoning Skills

Informal logic is closely related to critical thinking, a skill which gives students the ability to thoughtfully and rationally evaluate arguments and evidence. By studying informal logic, students can develop their critical thinking skills and become more effective problem solvers. “I was introduced to Classical Academic Press through The Art of Argument curriculum. I purchased it because I was sick and tired of not having a class that taught rational thinking skills,” says homeschool mom Yvonne. “My daughter seemed to be able to gloss through course after course and not have learned anything that impacted common-sense daily life or helped with theory of mind. After going through The Art of Argument, my 12-year-old has become a critical thinker and uses her grasp of fallacious thinking to her advantage more often than I could have hoped for. Even my 5-year-old will call others on committing a fallacy. It’s the best investment in education that I’ve ever made,” Yvonne concludes.

8. They’ll Learn that Rational Thinking is a Transferable Skill

Informal logic is a foundational subject by which other subjects are evaluated, assessed, and learned. When students master the logical fallacies presented in The Art of Argument, they will gain an essential lifetime framework for filtering good and bad reasoning. While they’re in school, students can apply their knowledge to subjects like science, math, and philosophy. As they continue to sharpen their skills, they’ll be more qualified to enter a wide range of career fields, including law, computer science, and business. “Classical Academic Press’ writing and logic programs offer the most comprehensive and engaging programming that I have seen in the K-12 market,” says Abigail from Oklahoma. “Students will be very well prepared to meet unique writing challenges in both university and workplace settings.”

9. They’ll Connect with the Lessons

Informal logic deals with the reasoning that we use in our daily lives, in fields such as business, politics, and personal relationships. As homeschool mom Julie learned, students can win simple cases with the principles they learn from The Art of Argument. “Our eldest recently put into practice what she has been learning in her logic courses. On her own, she researched and wrote an essay detailing her argument for why she should be allowed to watch a particular movie. When she presented it to us, her argument was so impressive and thought-out that she won the ‘argument’! Thank you for giving us the tools to help our children learn how to think and express themselves—skills that will serve them well the rest of their lives,” Julie says. 

10. They’ll Appreciate the Creative Graphics

Students will examine current social, commercial, and political issues, as well as nearly 60 relatable and clever phony advertisements, in The Art of Argument. “My family has enjoyed the Latin and logic programs created by Classical Academic Press because they are visually appealing, highly engaging, and effective,” says homeschool mom Molly.

fake advertisement for a concert

Thanks for reading! Now, save 10% when you use the discount code AA23 at checkout. *Some restrictions apply.

Looking for more information about our logic programs? Check out “Understanding the Classical Academic Press Logic and Rhetoric Sequence” by Joelle Hodge and listen to her speak on the topic in her 2020 webinar.

Looking for more curricula for your middle school student? Discover "10 Reasons to Teach Latin for Children to Your Middle Schooler."

*The AA23 coupon code is applicable to individual items only. Minimum purchase is 1 item. It will not be applied to already discounted programs or bundles, or to the following products: Ambrose Curriculum Guide, programs or bundles, online courses (such as Scholé Academy, St. Raphael School, or the Canterbury House of Studies), and some test packets or yearlong licenses (such as The Discovery of Deduction Quizzes & Assessments, Latin for Children and Latin Alive! Test Packets, and Well-Ordered Language Songs & Chants or Extra Practice & Assessment PDFs).

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