Argument and disciplinarity

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  • 1. Argument and Disciplinarity
    What do we have in common? What is specific to my discipline?
  • 2. Is literacy…
    Field dependent
    Field independent
  • 3. Formal Logic and AristotleThe Syllogism
    All male students will fail my class.
    Dan is male.
    Therefore, Dan will fail my class.
    If A is predicated of all B
    and B is predicated of all C,
    then A is predicated of all C.
  • 4. Formal Logic and AristotleThe Problem
    All tragic heroes fall from grace.
    Othello falls from grace.
    Therefore, Othello is a tragic hero.
    If A is predicated of all B
    and B is predicated of all C,
    then A is predicated of all C.
  • 5. Warrant
    Toulmin Model
    Who says?
    So what?
    What have you got to go on?
    What’s your point?
  • 6. So what?
    Who says?
    What’s your point?
    What have you got to go on?
    Toulmin Model
    This was the deal we set when I asked to go to the party.
    A daughter who completes her chores and does her work should be trusted to stay out past curfew.
    I completed my chores without prompting and received high scores on my schoolwork.
    I should be allowed to stay out past curfew.
  • 7. Warrant
    Toulmin Model
  • 8. Qualities of Good Claims
    Clearly stated
    What do each of these mean in your discipline?
  • 9. What counts as evidence?
    What counts as evidence depends in large part on the rhetorical situation. One audience might find personal testimony compelling in a given case, whereas another might require data that only experimental studies can provide.
  • 10. Hierarchy of Evidence
    Scientific law
    Statistical Data
    Expert Opinion
    Opinion of Noted Individual
    Anecdotal Experience or Observation
  • 11. What counts as evidence?
    Imagine that you want to argue for a national educational campaign for ending spousal and partner abuse, composed of television ads to air before and during the Super Bowl – and you want the NFL to pay for those ads. Make a list of reasons and evidence to support your claim, aimed at NFL executives. What kind of evidence would be most compelling to that group? How would you rethink your use of evidence if you were writing for the newsletter of a local women’s shelter? This is not an exercise in pulling the wool over anyone’s eyes; your goal is simply to anticipate the kind of evidence that different audiences would find persuasive given the same case.
  • 12.
  • 13. Disciplinary Tests of Evidence
    How do other writers in the field use precedence – examples of actions or decisions that are very similar – and authority as evidence? What or who counts as an authority in this field? How are the credentials of authorities established?
    What kinds of data seem to be preferred as evidence? How are such data gathered and presented?
    How are statistics or other numerical information used and presented as evidence? Are tables, charts, or graphs commonly used? How much weight do they carry?
    How are definitions, causal analyses, evaluations, analogies, and examples used as evidence?
    How does the field use firsthand and secondhand sources as evidence?
    How is personal experience used as evidence?
    How are quotations used as part of evidence?
    How are images used as part of evidence, and how closely are they related to the verbal parts of the argument being presented?
    from Lunsford, Ruszkiewicz, & Walters, 2004
  • 14. So what? The warrant…
    Warrants often go unstated.
    Stating a warrant explicitly can expose a fundamental flaw in an argument.
  • 15. Science Argument
    Distance = Rate x Time
    Carol throws a bowling ball at 6.79 miles per hour.
    The lane is 60 feet, and it takes Carol’s ball 6 seconds to reach the pins.
  • 16. Math Argument
    AA rule and RAR rule
    The two triangles cannot be proven similar.
    One triangle has an angle of 90 degrees and one of 30 degrees. The other has an angle of 90 degrees with no way of proving that it has a 30 degree angle.
  • 17. Humanities Argument
    Many educational institutions have cut opportunities for males, instead of raising the number of opportunities for females (InterMat Wrestling, Page 1).
    Title IX has created athletic options for females at a price.
  • 18. SO WHAT????
    Field dependent aspects of argumentation
    Field independent aspects of argumentation