Persuasion and argument in writing

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Persuasion and argument in writing

  1. 1. REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVAMINISTRY OF EDUCATION―ION CREANGA‖ STATE PEDAGOGICAL UNIVERSITYFACULTY OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES AND LITERATUREENGLISH PHILOLOGY CHAIRMASTER‘S DEGREE PAPERPERSUASION AND ARGUMENT INWRITINGSubmitted by:Ceban CristinaScientific adviser:E. Sagoian, Ph.D.associate professorChişinău - 2012
  2. 2. 2CONTENTS:INTRODUCTION ………………………………….………………….………... 3Chapter I. WRITING AS A PROCESS IN LANGUAGE STUDY …….......... 61.1The Importance of Writing …………………………………….………..….… 71.2 Five Steps of the Writing …………………………….…………….…….… 121.3 Principles of Effective Writing …………….………………………...……... 20Chapter II. PERSUASION AND ARGUMENT IN WRITING ……………. 272.1 Using Rhetorical Strategies for Persuasion …………………………….….. 322.2 Logical Fallacies ……………………………………………………….…… 472.3 Types of Evidence ………………………………………………………..… 522.4 Argumentation ………………………………………………………….…... 592.4.1Presenting an Argument …………………………………………………… 662.5 Persuading Effectively ………………………………………………….…... 71Chapter III. EXPERIMENTAL ANALYSIS OF PERSUASION ANDARGUMENT IN TEACHING WRITING …………………………………... 823.1 Description of the course of the experimental work …………………..….… 823.2 Results of the experiment ………………………………………….………. 109CONCLUSIONS ……………………………………….……………………... 114BIBLIOGRAPHY …..……………………………………….….…………..… 117APPENDIX …………………………………………….……….…..... 121
  3. 3. 3INTRODUCTIONThe Master‘s Paper is devoted to the topic ―PERSUASION ANDARGUMENT IN WRITING‖. The conducted investigation is from the field ofmethods of teaching foreign languages.Writing is the active thinking process of understanding the author`s ideas,connecting those ideas to what you already know, and organizing all the ideas soone can put them on paper. Writing is a complex developmental challenge to beintertwined with many other developmental accomplishments: attention, memory,language, and motivation. Being a good writer in English means that a student hasgained a functional knowledge of the principles of the English grammar andwriting system. Most teachers agree that writing skills are increasingly importantand often not adequately taught, writing instruction often takes a backseat tophonics, handwriting skills, and reading comprehension. Many scholars find thatteaching writing may be more challenging than other subjects where there is ananswer key. Effective writing is one of the most important abilities that an English-speaker needs. Such ability is a crucial tool that aids the learning process and it isimportant in the nowadays ever-changing world. Additionally, a lot of internationalstandardized tests increasingly contain a writing component, and in some casesthese include a requirement to write an essay on a timed test.Writing is usefully described by scholars as a process, something whichshows continuous change in time like growth in organic nature. Different thingshappen at different stages in the process of putting thoughts into words and wordsonto paper. Todays world requires that the goal of teaching writing shouldimprove students communicative skills, because, only in that way, students canexpress themselves and learn how to follow the social and cultural rulesappropriate in each communicative circumstance.Many successful language learners know that one of the most importantabilities to possess is the ability to persuade and influence others. Persuasion iswidely perceived as a skill reserved for social influence, the process of guidingothers toward the adoption of an idea, attitude or action by rational and symbolic,
  4. 4. 4though not always logic, means. It is also commonly seen as just another form ofmanipulation – devious and to be avoided. But persuasion can be a force forenormous good, it can pull people together, move ideas forward, galvanize change,and forge constructive solutions. To do all that, however, people must understandpersuasion for what it is – it means to win others over, not to defeat them.Furthermore, it must be seen as an art form that requires commitment and practice,especially as today‘s world makes persuasion more necessary than ever.The actuality of the research work is to understand better teaching writingconcepts and strategies for developing persuasive and argumentative skills.Second, it is quite useful to enrich our knowledge on methods of teaching aimed atdeveloping writing skills when we teach English. Third, this research is quiteuseful and can have practical value for teaching and studying English as a foreign(second) language.The main objectives of the Work are the following:1. to give general notion on writing concepts, presenting the process of writing,strategies forming writing skills while studying English.2. to describe in details activities which are used in teaching persuasivewriting.3. to show the practical use of different writing activities.4. to show principles and stages in developing persuasive writing skills.While writing this Master’s Paper the following research methods wereused:1) Analysis.2) Comparison.3) Description.4) Generalization.5) Selection.6) Synthetical method.The analytical method has been applied for making an overview of theexisting teaching writing concepts. Comparison was used for finding out common
  5. 5. 5features and distinctions in the viewpoints of professional teachers who dealt withthe problem of teaching writing. Descriptive method is the leading one for thewriting of this Paper and is used within each point both in theoretical and practicalparts. Selection is also widely used for the writing practical part, namely when allthe selected activities, methods and strategies were collected and described. Formaking general conclusions we have applied synthetical method.While writing this Paper different scientific works were used. The Workconsists of the Introduction, three Chapters, Conclusion, Bibliography andAppendix.The Introduction includes the main goal and objectives of the investigation,the actuality of the topic and the motives for its choice.Chapter І presents the general idea of what writing is and the teachingwriting components. It also contains the description of methods, activities andstrategies for developing writing skills.Chapter ІІ contains an overview of persuasive and argumentative writing,and such activities used in mastering persuasive skills. The main focus is made onpractical use of the writing activities during the lesson.Chapter ІІІ contains Experimental Analysis of ―Persuasion and ArgumentTechniques in Writing‖ and its results.The Conclusion contains the results of the investigation on the topic.Bibliography presents the materials that helped the researcher in the overallstudy of the certain topic and finally to realize the objectives of investigation.
  6. 6. 6Chapter I. WRITING AS A PROCESS IN LANGUAGE STUDYWriting which was once considered the domain of the elite and welleducated, has become an essential tool for people of all walks of life in today‘sglobal community. Whether used in reporting analyses of current events fornewspapers or web pages, composing academic essays, business reports, letters, ore-mail messages, the ability to write effectively allows individuals from differentcultures and backgrounds to communicate. Furthermore it is now widelyrecognized that writing plays a vital role not only in conveying information, butalso in transforming knowledge to create new knowledge. It is thus of centralimportance to students in academic and second language programs throughout theworld. In many of these settings, the assessment of writing ability is of criticalimportance. Employers, academic instructors and writing teachers need to makedecisions about potential employees and students, based on how well they cancommunicate in writing.Writing is normally a continuing and sustained act of communication. Thisis not true of most spoken contexts especially those most commonly experiencedby children, who are most accustomed to ‗short burst‘ utterances and the give andtake interruptions, questioning and replies from their listeners. Writing is incontrast a more solitary and demanding activity. The writer seeks to maintain anindependent and if possible uninterrupted flow of language sometimes over anextended period of time before the final written product is achieved. Compared tospeech writing is ‗painfully slow‘. In contrast to speaking, writing is normallymuch more organized and coherent. The writer is expected to edit out digressionsand repetitions. In most written texts there is no place for ‗fillers‘ and only verylimited opportunities exist to communicate the subtleties of intonation, facialexpression and gesture (by means of underlining, for example, exclamation marksor block capitals). In fact in creating a written text of any length the writer isnormally expected to choose language forms that are more concise than those used
  7. 7. 7in spoken contexts, but at the same time expression is often more complex in itssyntax and more varied in its vocabulary.Since writing is a complex and cognitively demanding activity, to besuccessful, writers need an understanding of the components of a qualitytest as well as knowledge of writing strategies that can be used to shapeand organize the writing process. The following subchapters examine thenature of writing as a process which involves a variety of activities, as wellas analyse writing components in order to increase the reader’s awarenessof what appears to happen when a student attempts to create a written text.[31, pp.10-16]§1.1 The Importance of WritingThe ability to write effectively is becoming increasingly important in ourglobal community, and instruction in writing is thus assuming an increasing role inforeign-language education. As advances in transportation and technology allowpeople from nations and cultures throughout the world to interact with each other,communications across languages becomes ever more essentials. As a result, theability to speak and write a second language is becoming widely recognized as animportant skill for educational, business, and personal reasons. Writing has alsobecome more important as tenets of communicative language teaching-that is,teaching language as a system of communication rather than as an object of study-have taken hold in both second-and foreign-language settings. The traditional viewin language classes that writing functions primarily to support and reinforcepatterns of oral language use, grammar, and vocabulary, is being supplanted by thenotion that writing in a second language is a worthwhile enterprise in and of itself.Wherever the acquisition of a specific language skill is seen as important, itbecomes equally important to test that skill, and writing is no exception. Thus, asthe role of writing in second- language education increases, there is an ever greaterdemand for valid and reliable way to test writing ability, both for classroom use
  8. 8. 8and as a predictor of future professional or academic success. Writing is put bypeople in different situations are so varied that no single definition can cover allsituations. For example, the ability to write down exactly what someone else saysis quite different from the ability to write a persuasive argument. Instead ofattempting an all-encompassing definition, then, it may be more useful to begin bydelineating the situations in which people learn and use second languages ingeneral and second-language writing in particular, and the types of writing that arelikely to be relevant for second-language writers. While virtually all children areable to speak their native language when they begin school, writing must beexplicitly taught. Furthermore, in comparison to speaking, listening, and reading,writing outside of school settings is relatively rare, and extensive public writing isreserved for those employed in specialized careers such as education, law, orjournalism. In first-language settings, the ability to write well has a very closerelationship to academic and professional success.Writing as compared to speaking, can be seen as a more standardized systemwhich must be acquired through special instruction. Mastery of this standardsystem is an important prerequisite of cultural and educational participation and themaintenance of one‘s rights and duties. The fact that writing is more standardizedthan speaking allows for a higher degree of sanctions when people deviate fromthat standard. Thus, in first-language education, learning to write involves learninga specialized version of a language already known to students. This specializedlanguage differs in important ways from spoken language, both in form and use,but builds upon linguistic resources that students already possess. The ultimategoal of learning to write is, for most students, to be able to participate fully inmany aspects of society beyond school, and for some, to pursue careers thatinvolve extensive writing. [52, pp.32-46]The value of being able to write effectively increases as students‘ progressthrough compulsory education on to higher education. At the university level inparticular, writing is seen not just as a standardized system of communication butalso as an essential tool for learning. At least in the English-speaking world one of
  9. 9. 9the main functions of writing at higher levels of education is to expand one‘s ownknowledge through reflection rather than simply to communicate information.Writing and critical thinking are seen as closely linked, and expertise in writing isseen as an indication that students have mastered the cognitive skills required foruniversity work. Or to phrase it somewhat more negatively, a perceived lack ofwriting expertise is frequently seen as a sign that students do not possess theappropriate thinking and reasoning skills that they need to succeed. In first-language writing instruction, therefore, particularly in higher education, a greatdeal of emphasis is placed on originality of thought, the development of ideas, andthe soundness of the writer‘s logic. Conventions of language {voice, tone, style,accuracy, mechanics} are important as well, but frequently these are seen assecondary matters, to be addressed after matters of content and organization. Whilethe specific goals of writing instruction may vary from culture to culture, it is clearthat writing is an important part of the curriculum in schools from earliest gradesonward, and that most children in countries that have a formal education systemwill learn to write, at least at a basic level, in that setting. In this sense, we can saythat first language writing instruction is relatively standardized within a particularculture. [27, pp.44-61]In contrast, the same cannot be said of second-language writing because ofthe wide variety of situations in which people learn and use second languages, bothas children and as adults, in schools and in other settings. We can distinguishbetween at least five main groups of second- language learners {adapted fromBernhardt, 1991}. The first group consists of children from a minority languagegroup receiving their education in the majority language. These children need tolearn to read and write in a language that is not spoken in their home in order tosucceed in school and ultimately in the workplace. A second group of children aremajority language speakers in immersion programs or otherwise learning a secondlanguage in school. In this case, mastery of the second language enhances theireducation but is not critical to ultimate educational success, in contrast to the firstgroup. A common factor for both groups of children is that their first language id
  10. 10. 10drill developing, and that, like first- language writers, writing is very much aschool-based and school-oriented activity.There are also three distinct groups of adult second-language learners. Thefirst group consists of immigrants to a new country, who are frequently from alower-prestige language background and may or may not be literate in their firstlanguage. For these learners, writing at a basic functional level is essential forsurvival in the workplace. In marked contrast to this group is a second group ofadults: those who have left their home countries to seek an advanced universitydegree. These adults are already highly educated and literate in their first language,and their writing needs are very sophisticated. Finally, there is a third group of L2learners: majority language group members who are learning a second language forpersonal interest and/ or career or educational enhancement. Like the secondgroup, this third group is generally well educated; unlike the second group,however, they may not have as great a need to write in their second language, andcertainly the writing that they will do is less complex and demanding than that ofthe second group. To summarize, then, groups of second-language learners can bedistinguished by age, by level of education and first-language literacy, and by thereal-world need for writing outside of the classroom. In addition to these factors,the ability and opportunity to write in a second language are also determined byother considerations. An additional factor is the relative similarity or differencebetween the two languages: writing in a language that is closely related to one‘snative language in terms of grammar, vocabulary, and writing system is clearlyeasier than writing in a language that is vastly different. Finally, an importantconsideration, which is related to the real-world need for writing discussed above,is the role of the second language as a language of wider communication: someonelearning English as a foreign language will probably have more realistic needs forwriting in that language than someone learning Russian.Effective writing skills are to a writer what petrol is to a car. Like the petroland car relationship, without solid skills writers cannot move ahead. These skillsdon‘t come overnight, and they require patience and determination. You have to
  11. 11. 11work smart and hard to acquire them. Only with experience, you can enter therealm of effective, always-in-demand writers.Of course, effective writing requires a good command of the language inwhich you write or want to write. Once you have that command, you need to learnsome tips and tricks so that you can have an edge over others in this hard-to-succeed world of writers. There are some gifted writers, granted. But gifted writersalso need to polish their skills frequently in order to stay ahead of competition andearn their livelihood. [41, pp.212-242]Good writing stays sharply focused. The writer knows what the subject is,and never veers far away from that subject. Think of the writer as a rower of a boattrying to row ashore. That rower must keep his eyes acutely focused on an objecton the shore in order to row straight. If he shifts focus, hell shift course and missthe dock. The same holds true for the writer. Good writing is also simple and clear,one should leave no doubt in the minds of his readers about what he or she is tryingto say to them. Unfortunately, some people seem to forget this principle, especiallywhen they write.In academic writing, students struggle to achieve a style of writing that doesnot come naturally to them. Learners imagine that they must follow a convolutedstyle based on vague impressions of what they read in the scientific literature.Nothing could be further from the truth and it is here that many of the models thatthey use in the literature let them down.There are just three immutable characteristics of good academic writing thatdistinguish it from all other literature. It must always be:• precise• clear• brief... and in that order.If it is vague, it is not academic writing; if it is unclear or ambiguous, it isnot academic writing and if it is long winded and unnecessarily discursive, it ispoor academic writing. But precision or clarity should not be sacrificed in order to
  12. 12. 12be brief. So, if it has to take a few more words to make the thoughts crystal clear toas many readers as possible, then one should use those words. The good news isthat, if one is precise, clear and brief, then he or she does not have to conform toany other specific rules to be a good scientific writer. The style of academicwriting is plain and simple English, similar to that one would use in a conversationwith a colleague. [30, pp.24-51]§1.2 Five Steps of WritingWriting is a complex process that allows writers to explore thoughts andideas, and make them visible and concrete. It encourages thinking and learning forit motivates communication and makes thought available for reflection. Whenthought is written down, ideas can be examined, reconsidered, added to,rearranged, and changed. Writing is most likely to encourage thinking and learningwhen students view writing as a process. By recognizing that writing is a recursiveprocess, and that every writer uses the process in a different way, studentsexperience less pressure to ‗get it right the first time‘ and are more willing toexperiment, explore, revise, and edit. Yet, novice writers need to practice ‗writing‘or exercises that involve copying or reproduction of learned material in order tolearn the conventions of spelling, punctuation, grammatical agreement, and thelike. Furthermore, students need to ‗write in the language‘ through engaging in avariety of grammar practice activities of controlled nature. Finally, they need tobegin to write within a framework ‗flexibility measures‘ that include:transformation exercises, sentence combining, expansion, embellishments, ideaframes, and similar activities. [59]Writing may be described as a five-step process: generating ideas,organizing ideas, writing a draft, revising and rewriting, and proofreading.
  13. 13. 13Generating IdeasWhatever type of writing a student is attempting, the prewriting stage canbe the most important. This is when students gather their information, and begin toorganize it into a cohesive unit. Prewriting is the most creative step and moststudents develop a preferred way to organize their thoughts. Step 1, GeneratingIdeas, may be accomplished by using one or more of the following activities:FreewritingThis term was used by Peter Elbow (Writing Without Teachers, Oxford,1973) to describe what is essentially free - association writing, where the writerstarts in one direction or another but lets the writing take whatever direction itseems to want. In freewriting, the teacher sets a page limit or time limit, and thenstudents simply write about the general topic until the time limit is expired or untilthey have met the page limit. Start a class in either composition or literature byinviting the students to write for five minutes in response to a prompt that hassomething directly to do with the days agenda (What makes writing hard? When isit easy for you? What is the best [or worst] writing you‘ve ever done? Etc.)Directions for freewriting are simple and students usually do it easily thefirst time they try:1. Write fast for a limited period of time (five or ten minutes).2. Dont stop moving your pen or typing on the keyboard to make sure new wordshelp generate ideas.3. Write for the whole time period since good ideas often come late in the writingprocess.4. Don‘t worry about spelling, punctuation, organization, or style since you are theaudience.As learners write, they do not have to worry about spelling, grammar,punctuation, etc. They simply write down whatever comes to mind regarding the
  14. 14. 14general topic. Once students have free written, it s a good idea to have them sharewith nearby classmates and simply talk about what they were writing about. Theycan also examine what was written, looking for categories into which ideas may begrouped, ideas that show a cause-effect relationship, and so on. The informationgenerated in this manner may form the basis for developing your topic. Once theclass fills up with student voices, you can interrupt and ask for volunteers to sharethoughts with the class as a whole.When students free write as a regular part of each writing class, instructorscommonly ask that these informal writings be kept in "journals"--so that each freewrite becomes, in essence, a journal entry. If you plan for students to keepjournals, ask them to buy loose-leaf notebooks, so that the first writing they do inclass can be inserted as the first entries in their journals.BrainstormingOn a given topic, students simply list ideas as they occur to them instead ofengaging in continuous writing ideas in a limited time. Depending on the context,either individual or group brainstorming is effective and learners generate ideasquickly and freely. The good characteristics of brainstorming are that the studentsare not criticized for their ideas so students will be open to sharing new ideas.BranchingWith branching, you use a large sheet of paper and write the general topicin the center of the paper and draw a circle around it. Then, as new ideas related tothe general topic come to mind, you draw a short line extending outward from thecenter circle; at the end of the line, you draw another circle and write the relatedidea in this new circle, forming what resembles a spoked wheel. Each new ideamay, in turn, cause new related ideas to come to mind. If so, simply draw newspokes outward from the circle containing the related idea, draw a new circle at theend of the line, and write the new, related idea in the circle. At some point in the
  15. 15. 15process, you may identify a main topic for your essay in a center circle andsupporting ideas in the surrounding, spoked circles.QuestioningQuestioning works very well when you have a general topic in mind. Inthis case, you simply find answers to questions such as: Who? What? When?Where? Why? How? The answers to these questions are the supporting detailsused to develop the main topic.Other sources of ideas may include:JournalsIf you maintain a personal journal/diary, this may be a tremendous sourceof ideas. After all, the events and observations you record reflect things that youknow and things about which you have not only knowledge, but also strongfeelings.Conversations with FriendsRecalling recent conversations with friends may be an excellent source ofideas for topics. The topics you discuss with friends will be topics of interest toyou and your audience. Selecting interesting topics is a very important aspect oftopic selection; it will help you keep the reader involved.ReadingsRecalling things you have read recently may provide ideas for topics justas recalling recent conversations with friends.Organizing IdeasStep 2, Organizing Your Ideas, is a two-part step. First, it involvesnarrowing the number of supporting details to a reasonable size. As you do this,
  16. 16. 16remember to select an appropriate number of details to accomplish your purpose inwriting. You should also ensure your supporting details are specific, relevant, andtypical. Then, arrange the selected details in a reasonable order. If you are writinga narrative essay, then arrange details in chronological order. If you are writing adescriptive essay, then spatial (geographical) order may be best (e.g. left-to-right,top-to-bottom, near-to-far, etc.). For a persuasive essay, arranging detailsaccording to importance (least-to-most or most-to-least) may work best. Whenworking with examples, work from general to specific or from least complex tomost complex.Writing the First DraftThe actual writing stage is essentially just an extension of the prewritingprocess. The student transfers the information they have gathered and organizedinto a traditional format. This may take the shape of a simple paragraph, a one-page essay, or a multi-page report. Up until this stage, they may not be exactlycertain which direction their ideas will go, but this stage allows them to settle onthe course the paper will take. Teaching about writing can sometimes be as simpleas evaluation good literature together, and exploring what makes the pieceenjoyable or effective. It also involves helping a student choose topics for writingbased on their personal interests. Modeling the writing process in front of yourchild also helps them see that even adults struggle for words and have to work atputting ideas together. [20, p.38]Unlike freewriting or journal writing, the writers aim drafts at audiencesother than themselves. Most drafting is done by a writer alone, most often outsideof class-- though sometimes class time is allotted for writers to start or work ondrafts in class—a quiet, supportive environment. It is fair to expect early drafts tobe rough; when reading these, instructors usually attend to larger intentions (topic,organization, evidence) and skip over surface problems (spelling, punctuation,wordiness), since students will go beyond these language constructions in
  17. 17. 17subsequent drafts; to attend to matters of editing too early is a waste of bothinstructor and student time.In the third step, Writing a Draft, the goal is to express your ideas in anorganized, focused form. A simple way to begin is to first construct a sentenceoutline of your essay. To accomplish this, you write one sentence that expressesyour main idea (this is the thesis). Then, you write one sentence for eachsupporting/developing idea in the order you have already determined. From thisoutline, you can easily construct a simple draft of your essay.Begin the draft with a general introduction. This may be backgroundinformation, a quotation from an expert on the topic, a personal anecdote, orwhatever else will allow you to lead into the thesis statement. Once you haveintroduced the subject and included your thesis, you are ready for the draft of thebody of the essay.In the body, you will write one paragraph for each supporting idea. Thesentences you wrote for the supporting details in the sentence outline will serve astopic sentences for the paragraphs in the body. Generally, each paragraph of thebody will begin with a topic sentence, which will be followed by additionalclarification/explanation. If you have doubts about an idea‘s value in the body,include it. If new ideas come to mind while you are writing the draft, includethem. You can always eliminate unwanted items later.Once the body is drafted, you are ready for the final part of the essay, theconclusion. In the conclusion, you need to provide a sense of closure. This isoften accomplished by summarizing the main elements of the body, restating themain point from the thesis, and/or adding any final observations about the topic(such as a warning or a statement to urge the reader to action).
  18. 18. 18Revision and RewritingRevising and Rewriting, the fourth step in the writing process, generallybegins with a review of the supporting details in your essay. First, review thethesis (sentence that expresses the main idea of the essay) to make sure it is clear,direct, and complete. Next, reread the topic sentences for the paragraphs in thebody to ensure they relate to the main idea contained in the thesis. Review thesupporting details to make sure they are specific, relevant, typical, and sufficient innumber to accomplish your purpose. Then review the order of presentation toensure it is reasonable.Next, make sure paragraphs have beginnings and endings. Transitions(linking expressions such as first, second, next, later, above, and below) arecommonly used to introduce new paragraphs. Also, make sure sentences withinparagraphs are connected to each other. Introduce examples used to illustratesupporting ideas with transitions (such as for example, in contrast, also, therefore,and consequently). Then, review all sentences with each paragraph. Delete, revise,or combine sentences that say the same thing.Replace vague, unclear words with more descriptive ones.Finally, revise wording, grammar, spelling, and punctuation to ensure theyare in Standard English form and are appropriate for the audience and purpose ofthe essay. You should continue to revise your essay until you are satisfied withwhat you have said and how you have said it.Rewriting implies returning to a draft one or more times to make sure thatthe language says exactly what the writer intends it to say. After some number ofdrafts, the writer lets the piece go and calls it finished. It is common in writingclasses for students to actually finish only a small number of formal papers (3-5) inseveral drafts each, since many instructors believe that its the in-depth
  19. 19. 19involvement with a single topic that lets a writer master and advance that topic--and in the process learn the tricks of the writers trade.Revision is conceptual work. It is attending to the larger conceptual matters ofwriting: organization, ideas, how an argument works, whether its well supported,what to include and exclude from a paragraph or paper. Editing is primarilysentence level work, making sure that ideas are articulated clearly, precisely, andcorrectly for a given audience.Revising, or editing is usually the least favorite stage of the writing process,especially for beginning writers. Critiquing one‘s own writing can easily createtension and frustration. But as you support your young writers, remind them thateven the most celebrated authors spend the majority of their time on this stage ofthe writing process. Revising can include adding, deleting, rearranging andsubstituting words, sentences, and even entire paragraphs to make their writingmore accurately represent their ideas. It is often not a one-time event, but acontinual process as the paper progresses. When teaching revision, be sure to allowyour child time to voice aloud the problems they see in their writing. This may bevery difficult for some children, especially sensitive ones, so allow them to startwith something small, such as replacing some passive verbs in their paper withmore active ones. [69]ProofreadingIn the fifth step in the writing process, Proofreading, check for errors withmechanics. Your final essay is to be in Standard English form, so you shouldreview it a final time to ensure it does not contain any errors in English usage.Run-on sentences and fragments should be eliminated. You should also ensurethere are no errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar, and capitalization. [54]Proofreading - is a chance for the writer to scan his or her paper formistakes in grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Although it can be tempting forparents to perform this stage of the writing process for the child, it is important that
  20. 20. 20they gain proofreading skills for themselves as this improves a student‘s writingover time. And because children want their writing to be effective, this can actuallybe the most opportune to teach some of the standard rules of grammar andpunctuation. When students learn the rules of mechanics during the writing processthey are much more likely to remember to use them in the future. [1, pp.48-62]§1.3 Principles of Effective WritingWriting is the art of making an utterance perfectly natural through theperfectly unnatural process of making every word and phrase again and again,cutting here and adding there, until it is just so. It is contrived spontaneity. Whatthe writer wants is something just like speech only more compressed, moremelodic, more economical, more balanced, more precise.According to Aristotle: ―To write well, express yourself like the commonpeople, but think like a wise man.‖ What makes a good writer is that he knows thedifference between those of his sentences that work and those that don‘t; betweenthose he gets nearly right and those he nails; between those that sing and swing andthose that mumble and fail. Sentences fail for many reasons. You may not knowenough about what a sentence is, for instance, to reach the end with poise. Or youmay know more than enough, but you give them too much weight to carry; youwork them too hard. And they break. [18, pp.3-55]Students must express their ideas clearly, concisely, and completely whenspeaking and writing. If their written messages arent clear or lack importantdetails, people will be confused and will not know how to respond. In addition, iftheir written messages are too lengthy, people simply dont read them.The process of good writing involves three basic steps - preparing, writing, andediting. Practicing the following 16 principles will help anyone be a more effectivewriter.
  21. 21. 21Know your objectiveThink before you write. Whats your goal? Make sure you fully understandthe assignment. Are you writing a one-paragraph executive summary or a five-page report? Try answering this question: What specifically do I want the reader toknow, think, or do?Make a listWrite down the ideas or points you want to cover. Why? This helps you getstarted in identifying the key ideas you want to discuss. If you have trouble gettingstarted, try discussing your ideas with someone else. "Kicking an idea around"often helps you clarify your objective and fine-tune what you are trying toaccomplish.Organize your ideasJust as its difficult to find what you want in a messy, disorganized deskdrawer, its hard to find important ideas in a poorly organized message. Here are afew ways you can organize your ideas:Importance - Begin with the most important piece of information and thenmove on to the next most important.Chronological order - Describe what happened first, second, third.Problem-Solution - Define the problem, then describe possible alternativesor the solution you recommend.Question-Answer - State a question and then provide your answer.Organize your ideas so the reader can easily follow your argument orthe point you are trying to get across.Back it upHave an opinion but back it up - support with data. There are a number ofways you can support your ideas, including explanations, examples, facts, personal
  22. 22. 22experiences, stories, statistics, and quotations. Its best to use a combination ofapproaches to develop and support your ideas.Separate main ideasEach paragraph should have one main point or idea captured in a topicsentence. The topic sentence is normally the first sentence in the paragraph. Eachparagraph should be started by an indentation or by skipping a line.Use bullets or numbersIf you are listing or discussing a number of items, use bullets or numberyour points like I have done in this paper. Heres an example of using bullets.Join the Business Club to:Increase salesGain new marketing ideasMake new friendsGive back to your professionWrite complete sentencesA sentence is about someone doing something - taking action. The‗someone‘ may be a manager, employee, customer, etc. The "doing something -taking action" can include mental processes such as thinking, evaluating, anddeciding, or physical actions such as writing and talking. A good rule to practice isto have subjects closely followed by their verbs.Use short sentencesSentences should be a maximum of 12 to 15 words in length. Accordingto the American Press Institute, sentences with 15 or fewer words are understood90% of the time. Sentences with eight or fewer words are understood 100% of thetime.
  23. 23. 23Be precise and accurateWords like "large", "small", "as soon as possible", "they", "people","teamwork", and "customer focus" are vague and imprecise. The reader mayinterpret these words to mean something different than what you intended.Reduce communication breakdowns by being specific and precise. Defineterms as needed. The reader may not understand certain acronyms andabbreviations.Use commas appropriatelyA comma should be used: to separate the elements in a series of three or moreitems: His favorite colors are red, white, and blue; to set off introductoryelements: After coffee and donuts, the meeting will begin; to separateadjectives: That tall, distinguished, good-looking professor teaches history.Use the correct wordHere are several words that cause confusion.Youre is a contraction for "you are" Your means possession, such as "yourcoat."Its is a contraction for "it is." ‗Its‘ indicates possession.Their means possession/ownership-"their house." There means location.Theyre is a contraction for "they are."Avoid redundanciesIt is a redundancy to use multiple words that mean or say the same thing. Forexample, consider the following:Redundant - My personal beliefs… Beliefs are personal, so just state, Mybeliefs...Redundant - I decided to paint the machine gray in color. Gray is a color,so just state, I decided to paint the machine gray.
  24. 24. 24NumbersWhen using numbers in the body of your paper, spell out numbers onethrough nine, such as "Three men decided…" When using numbers 10 or above itsproper to write the number, such as "The report indicated 68 customers…"Have a conclusionWould you really enjoy watching a movie or sporting event that had noconclusion? No. The conclusion ties your points together. The reader wants toknow the final score - the bottom line message.Edit your workRead what you have written several times.On your first read, focus on organization and sentence structure. Shortenlong sentences. Cross out unnecessary words and phrases. Reorganizematerial as needed.Read it again and make sure commas are used appropriately and that there isa punctuation mark at the end of every sentence.Read it a third time and focus on word choice. Are there certain words thatare vague or unclear? Replace them with specific words.Read what you have written aloud to yourself or to a friend to see if he orshe (and you) can understand it and improve it in any way.A significant part of good writing involves editing. Very few people can sitdown and write a perfect paragraph on their first try. It requires multiple rewrites.Get helpThere are several web sites that can help improve students‘ writingproviding useful articles and tips on good writing, other sites also offer help with
  25. 25. 25spelling and making sure the use of words is correct, and also have links to lots ofother resources.Good writers take almost too much care with their work. This led ThomasMann to say that ―a writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than itis for other people‖. To be a writer you don‘t have to be the smartest soul on earth;you don‘t have to know the biggest words. You just have to commit yourself tosaying what it is you have to say as clearly as you can manage; you have to listento it and remake it till it sounds like you at your best; you just have to makeyourself hard to please, word after word. Until you make it seem easy. Work hardto make your writing seem to have cost you no effort at all. Struggle gamely tomake it seem that your words came as naturally to you as the sun to the sky in themorning. Just as though you opened your mouth and spoke. ―The end of allmethod,‖ said Zeno, ―is to seem to have no method at all.‖ [26, pp.43-59]Of all the arts writing is the most vulgar — and the least like art. It makes artout of words, out of the stuff we conduct our lives in: it makes art, not out of paintor textiles, but out of speech, out of what we use to buy the paper and scold thechildren and write the report. The best writing sounds just like speech, only better.Good writing is a transcendent kind of talking. But because writing isn‘t, in fact,speaking, we have to take more care with it: writing lasts, and we have only thewords with which to make our point and strike our tone. [23, pp.24-52]To overcome the fear that you don‘t know how to write, the best thing to dois the most important writing step of all — start writing, uncomfortable though itmay feel, as though you were talking. Don‘t think of it as writing at all — think ofit as talking on paper, and start talking with your fingers. Once you‘ve trickedyourself into trusting the words your ―speaking mind‖ suggests, once you‘vestopped thinking about it as writing, you‘ll be surprised how much more easily thewriting comes to you, and how much better it works.
  26. 26. 26Writing, as Carol Gelderman put it, is the most exact form of thinking. Itexacts — from those of us who want to do it well — precision, discernment,fineness of observation and detachment. By its nature, true writing practicescritical thinking. ‗Critical’ has come to mean to most people something like―negative.‖ It also means ―very important.‖ But its primary meaning is ―exacting,‖―skeptical,‖ ―disinterested,‖ ―discerning,‖ ―analytical.‖ We take it from the Greekword ‗kritikos’, meaning ―one who is skilled in judging; one who takes thingsapart.‖ The writer is the ‗kritikos’, but she‘s also skilled at putting things backtogether again. Good, sustained critical thinking underlies good, clear writing: youcould almost say that good writing is critical thinking. It is critical thinkingresolved and put down on paper — elegantly.―What you‘re saying is that you want it said short and right and nice.‖ Thesentences, though they may still work, lose their life and their capacity to inform,let alone delight, anyone, including ourselves, who makes them. The shapelier andelegant one‘s sentences are, the sounder they are structurally, the better one‘swriting will be. The leaner and clearer and livelier one‘s sentences are, the biggeris their effect and paragraphs will simply rock and roll. Writing is both creativityand discipline; it is freedom within bounds. You need to know the constraints inorder to know how to be free within them. [38, p.37-88]Summing all up, one doesnt have to be a great writer to be successful.However, he or she must be able to clearly and succinctly explain his/hers thoughtsand ideas in writing. Strive to be simple, clear, and brief. Like any skill,"good writing" requires practice, feedback, and ongoing improvement.
  27. 27. 27Chapter II. PERSUASION AND ARGUMENT IN WRTITINGEvery day we are confronted by persuasion. Food makers want us to buytheir newest products, while movie studios want us to go see the latestblockbusters. Because persuasion is such a pervasive component of our lives, it iseasy to overlook how we are influenced by outside sources. Due to the usefulnessof influence, persuasion techniques have been studied and observed since ancienttimes, but social psychologists began formally studying these techniques early inthe 20th-century. The goal of persuasion is to convince the target to internalize thepersuasive argument and adopt this new attitude as a part of their core beliefsystem. When we think of persuasion, negative examples are often the first tocome to mind, but persuasion can also be used as a positive force. Public servicecampaigns that urge people to recycle or quit smoking are great examples ofpersuasion used to improve people‘s lives. [55]Every single human requires the art of persuasion at some point in theirlives. As a child, one might use persuasion for the attainment of a toy or as an adultfor the acquiring of other objects. A person might whine, throw tantrums, but thisbehavior never seems to attain what is wanted by the person and just makes thingsworse. What one needs is persuasion as it is the only method that can be pursuedby one to achieve what he wants. While the art and science of persuasion has beenof interest since the time of the Ancient Greeks, there are significant differencesbetween how persuasion occurs today and how it has occurred in the past. [70]In his book The Dynamics of Persuasion: Communication and Attitudes inthe 21st Century, Richard M. Perloff outlines the five major ways in which modernpersuasion differs from the past:1. The number of persuasive message has grown tremendously. Think for amoment about how many advertisements you encounter on a daily basis.According to various sources, the number of advertisements the average U.S.adult is exposed to each day ranges from around 300 to over 3,000.
  28. 28. 282. Persuasive communication travels far more rapidly. Television, radio andthe Internet all help spread persuasive messages very quickly.3. Persuasion is big business. In addition to the companies that are in businesspurely for persuasive purposes (such as advertising agencies, marketing firms,public relations companies), many other business are reliant on persuasion tosell goods and services.4. Contemporary persuasion is much more subtle. Of course, there are plentyof ads that use very obvious persuasive strategies, but many messages are farmore subtle. For example, businesses sometimes carefully craft very specificimage designed to urge viewers to buy products or services in order to attainthat projected lifestyle.5. Persuasion is more complex. Consumers are more diverse and have morechoices, so marketers have to be savvier when it comes to selecting theirpersuasive medium and message. [32, pp.45-58]All of the written texts have to a greater or lesser degree stressed persuasion,or what language scholars call rhetoric, the use of persuasive language to influencereaders or listeners. For example, asking readers to accept your interpretation of adescription or your idea about how two things compare or contrast involves a mildform of persuasion even if the discussion is largely factual and objective. So toodoes having someone accept your definition of an important idea or term or ofwhat you think is comparable or analogous to that term. The point is that almostevery form of writing except the listing of purely factual information tries topersuade the reader to some degree. Furthermore, even a completely objective listmay try to be persuasive if those facts have been carefully selected with theultimate goal of changing the reader‘s mind. Imagine a list of ‗top restaurants intown‘ published by the local restaurant owners association: Would the eateries ofnon-members be included? Some less reputable newspapers and magazines dofavorable features stories on establishments in their pages. Persuasion, even inseemingly objective forms, is all around us.
  29. 29. 29According to definition, ―Persuasion is a form of influence. It is the processof guiding people toward the adoption of an idea, attitude, or action by rational andsymbolic (though not only logical) means. It is a problem-solving strategy andrelies on ―appeals‖ rather than force‖. Dictionary.com site describes the verb‗persuade‘ as to induce to believe by appealing to reason or understanding;convince; a symbolic process in which communicators try to convince other peopleto change their attitudes or behaviors regarding an issue through the transmissionof a message in an atmosphere of free choice. Put simply, persuasion isconvincing another person of your conclusions. You want to agree with you, evenchampion your cause. The key elements of this definition of persuasion are that:Persuasion is symbolic, utilizing words, images, sounds, etcIt involves a deliberate attempt to influence others.Self-persuasion is key. People are not coerced; they are instead free to choose.Methods of transmitting persuasive messages can occur in a variety of ways,including verbally and nonverbally via television, radio, Internet or face-to-facecommunication. [15, pp.49-78]Persuasion of the type required in many college and university courses issimilar to these forms of persuasion, but is more forceful, more argumentative.Tailored definitions, example and classification categories, and carefully chosencause/effect relationships are common developmental methods used in persuasivearguments.When describing serious writing, the word ‗argument‘ does not mean ‗verbaldisagreement‘ but rather the logical steps or reasons given in support of a positionor a series of statements or ideas in an essay or a discussion. In formal writing andin oral presentations in law courts, in scientific and medical seminars, and informal business meetings, a special discipline is imposed on discussions. Thediscipline is the discipline of argument or argumentation, and its purpose is todiscover the truth or at least the closest possible approximation to the truth.
  30. 30. 30In Western cultures, argumentation has been heavily influenced by theclassical rhetorical tradition of ancient Greece and Rome. Thus, even todayfreshman English students may study the logic of the Greek philosopher Aristotle,who lived over 2000 years ago. However, whether an argument follows the strictclassical rule or whether it is more modern and casual, its goal is to use language topersuade readers to a particular point of view.One may find the concept of argument-to-discover-the-truth very similar towhat is practiced in different cultures, and one may think it alien and peculiar. TheWestern tradition underlies the legal, political, and social systems of a greatnumber of European-influenced countries, and especially the US. The idea goesback, in part, to ‗trial by combat‘, the practice of allowing medieval knights toliterally fight in defence of their positions, with God and fate determining thewinner. Argument-to-discover-truth also reflects the capitalist notion of the‗marketplace of ideas‘, where competing theories and philosophies are tested in anopen ‗market‘ to see which will be ‗bought‘ and which will be left ‗bankrupt‘ andfailed. Presumably, this testing by a wide variety of ‗consumers‘ allows thestrongest and most promising ideas to survive and succeed, although whether thisis always true is a good question. What is certain is that the practice is highlyculture-bound, determined by Western tradition and history.From the point of view of the individual student writer, the importance ofunderstanding ‗argument-to-discover-truth‘ lies in accepting the role of advocateand forceful defender of a position. In many cultures, especially those influencedby Confucian and other Asian traditions, the role of aggressive advocate may seemrude and egotistical, the placing of individual interests before those of the group.The acceptance of such a role is sometimes psychologically painful for studentsfrom cultures that stress cooperation and group satisfaction. In fact, evenAmericans sometimes become upset with lawyers who defend unpopular positions;therefore, it is worth repeating the rules of the game. A person presenting anargumentative position, whether that position is freely chosen or assigned, issupposed to argue as forcefully and as energetically as possible.
  31. 31. 31Rhetorical modes are based on the ways human brains process information.Choosing the one mode that matches your topic helps you organize your writingand helps the reader process the information you want to discuss. Using key wordsthat emphasize the chosen mode helps reinforce your essays coherence.[19, pp.24-67]What is Persuasive Writing?The purpose of persuasive writing is to convince the reader to accept aparticular point of view or to take a specific action. If it is important to presentother sides of an issue, the writer does so, but in a way that makes his or herposition clear. The unmistakable purpose of this type of writing is to convince thereader of something. In well-written persuasion, the topic or issue is clearly statedand elaborated as necessary to indicate understanding and conviction on the part ofthe writer. [60]Persuasive writers use persuasion to make people conform to their ideas thathe or she presents in his work. To write persuasively, first of all the writer needs tohave an argument. The argument has to be one-sided and the other side of theargument or the opposite answer is disregarded, but another fact is that persuasivewriting is never related to the pros and cons of the topic, but general facts related toits factuality. According to sources, ―It can‘t be a fact. If you were to choose asyour topic, ―Vipers are dangerous,‖ you wouldn‘t have to persuade anyone of that.However, if your topic was, ―Vipers should be eliminated from the animalkingdom,‖ then you would have presented an opinion that could be debated. Yourpersuasive work/essay will focus on only one side–your chosen side–of theargument. This will not be a pros-and-cons essay. Also, it won‘t be a personalopinion essay. You must be prepared to back up your logic with evidence collectedin research that supports your position‖. [74]Persuasive writing moves the reader to take an action or to form or changean opinion. This type of writing is assessed for three reasons:
  32. 32. 321) it requires thinking skills such as analysis, synthesis and evaluation;2) it requires writers to choose from a variety of situations and to take astand; and 3) it is a skill frequently used in school and the workplace.Persuasive writing has several functions: to state and support a position,opinion or issue; to defend, refute or argue. A persuasive writing chart is presentedin the Appendix 1.Early rhetoricians dealt with persuasive writing and oration. Cicero mostnotably defined persuasive writing as the grand style in his work ‗Orator‘. Cicerostated, ―This eloquence has power to sway man‘s mind and move them in everypossible way‖. He also stated, however, that the most effective orator, or in thiscase, writer, uses a combination of the plain, middle, and this grand style to suit thecontext.2.1Using Rhetorical Strategies for PersuasionAristotle defines the rhetorician as someone who is always able to see whatis persuasive. Correspondingly, rhetoric is defined as the art of discovering, theability to see what is possibly persuasive in every given case. This is not to say thatthe rhetorician will be able to convince under all circumstances. Rather he is in asituation similar to that of the physician: the latter has a complete grasp of his artonly if he neglects nothing that might heal his patient, though he is not able to healevery patient. Similarly, the rhetorician has a complete grasp of his method, if hediscovers the available means of persuasion, though he is not able toconvince everybody.There are three types of rhetorical appeals, or persuasive strategies, used inarguments to support claims and respond to opposing arguments. A good argumentwill generally use a combination of all three appeals to make its case.
  33. 33. 33✦ LogosLogos or the appeal to reason relies on logic or reason. Logos often dependson the use of inductive or deductive reasoning.Inductive reasoning takes a specific representative case or facts and thendraws generalizations or conclusions from them. Inductive reasoning must bebased on a sufficient amount of reliable evidence. In other words, the facts youdraw on must fairly represent the larger situation or population.Example: Fair trade agreements have raised the quality of life for coffeeproducers, so fair trade agreements could be used to help other farmers as well.In this example the specific case of fair trade agreements with coffee producers isbeing used as the starting point for the claim. Because these agreements haveworked the author concludes that it could work for other farmers as well.Deductive reasoning begins with a generalization and then applies it to aspecific case. The generalization you start with must have been based on asufficient amount of reliable evidence.Example: Genetically modified seeds have caused poverty, hunger, and adecline in bio-diversity everywhere they have been introduced, so there is noreason the same thing will not occur when genetically modified corn seeds areintroduced in Mexico.In this example the author starts with a large claim, that genetically modified seedshave been problematic everywhere, and from this draws the more localized orspecific conclusion that Mexico will be affected in the same way.Logic is a formal system of analysis that helps writers invent, demonstrate,and prove arguments. It works by testing propositions against one another todetermine their accuracy. People often think they are using logic when they avoidemotion or make arguments based on their common sense, such as "Everyone
  34. 34. 34should look out for their own self interests" or "People have the right to be free."However, unemotional or common sense statements are not always equivalent tological statements. To be logical, a proposition must be tested within a logicalsequence. Winkler & McCuen said that ‗your argument is logical when you candemonstrate that anyone using the same reasoning process and the same evidencemust inevitably come to the same conclusion.‖The most famous logical sequence, called the syllogism, was developed bythe Greek philosopher Aristotle. His most famous syllogism is:Premise 1: All men are mortal.Premise 2: Socrates is a man.Conclusion: Therefore, Socrates is mortal.In this sequence, premise 2 is tested against premise 1 to reach the logicalconclusion. Within this system, if both premises are considered valid, there is noother logical conclusion than determining that Socrates is a mortal.Logic is a very effective tool for persuading an audience about the accuracyof an argument. However, people are not always persuaded by logic. Sometimesaudiences are not persuaded because they have used values or emotions instead oflogic to reach conclusions. But just as often, audiences have reached a differentlogical conclusion by using different premises. Therefore, arguments must oftenspend as much time convincing audiences of the legitimacy of the premises as thelegitimacy of the conclusions.For instance, assume a writer was using the following logic to convince anaudience to adopt a smaller government:Premise 1: The government that governs least, governs best.Premise 2: The government I am proposing does very little governing.Conclusion: Therefore, the government I am proposing is best.
  35. 35. 35Some members of the audience may be persuaded by this logic. However,other members of the audience may follow this logic instead:Premise 1: The government that governs best, governs most.Premise 2: The government proposed by the speaker does very little governing.Conclusion: Therefore, the government proposed by the speaker is bad.Because they adhere to a different logical sequence, these members of theaudience will not be persuaded to change their minds logically until they arepersuaded to different values through other means besides logic.It is important to remember that logic is only one aspect of a successfulargument. Non-logical arguments, statements that cannot be logically proven ordisproved, are important in argumentative writing, such as appeals to emotions orvalues. Illogical arguments, on the other hand, are false and must be avoided.Understanding how to create logical syllogisms does not automatically meanthat writers understand how to use logic to build an argument. Crafting a logicalsequence into a written argument can be a very difficult task. Dont assume that anaudience will easily follow the logic that seems clear to you. When convertinglogical syllogisms into written arguments, remember to:lay out each premise clearly;provide evidence for each premise;draw a clear connection to the conclusion.Supposing a writer was crafting an editorial to argue against using taxpayerdollars for the construction of a new stadium in the town of Mill Creek. Theauthors logic may look like this:Premise 1: Projects funded by taxpayer dollars should benefit a majority of thepublic.Premise 2: The proposed stadium construction benefits very few members of the
  36. 36. 36public.Conclusion: Therefore, the stadium construction should not be funded by taxpayerdollars.This is a logical conclusion, but without elaboration it may not persuade thewriters opposition, or even people on the fence. Therefore, the writer will want toexpand her argument like this:Historically, Mill Creek has only funded public projects that benefit thepopulation as a whole. Recent initiatives to build a light rail system and anew courthouse were approved because of their importance to the city. Lastelection, Mayor West reaffirmed this commitment in his inauguration speechby promising "I am determined to return public funds to the public." This isa sound commitment and a worthy pledge.However, the new initiative to construct a stadium for the local baseballteam, the Bears, does not follow this commitment. While baseball is anenjoyable pastime, it does not receive enough public support to justifyspending $210 million in public funds for an improved stadium. Attendancein the past five years has been declining, and last year only an average of400 people attended each home game, meaning that less than 1% of thepopulation attends the stadium. The Bears have a dismal record at 0-43which generates little public interest in the team.The population of Mill Creek is plagued by many problems that affect themajority of the public, including its decrepit high school and decaying waterfiltration system. Based on declining attendance and interest, a new Bearsstadium is not one of those needs, so the project should not be publiclyfunded. Funding this project would violate the mayors commitment to usepublic money for the public.Notice that the piece uses each paragraph to focus on one premise of the syllogism(this is not a hard and fast rule, especially since complex arguments require far
  37. 37. 37more than three premises and paragraphs to develop). Concrete evidence for bothpremises is provided. The conclusion is specifically stated as following from thosepremises.Consider this example, where a writer wants to argue that the state minimumwage should be increased. The writer does not follow the guidelines above whenmaking his argument.It is obvious to anyone thinking logically that minimum wage should beincreased. The current minimum wage is an insult and is unfair to the peoplewho receive it. The fact that the last proposed minimum wage increase wasdenied is proof that the government of this state is crooked and corrupt. Theonly way for them to prove otherwise is to raise minimum wageimmediately.The paragraph does not build a logical argument for several reasons. First, itassumes that anyone thinking logically will already agree with the author, which isclearly untrue. If that were the case, the minimum wage increase would havealready occurred. Secondly, the argument does not follow a logical structure. Thereis no development of premises which lead to a conclusion. Thirdly, the authorprovides no evidence for the claims made.In order to develop a logical argument, the author first needs to determinethe logic behind his own argument. It is likely that the writer did not consider thisbefore writing, which demonstrates that arguments which could be logical are notautomatically logical. They must be made logical by careful arrangement.The writer could choose several different logical approaches to defend this point,such as a syllogism like this:Premise 1: Minimum wage should match the cost of living in society.Premise 2: The current minimum wage does not match the cost of living in
  38. 38. 38society.Conclusion: Therefore, minimum wage should be increased.Once the syllogism has been determined, the author needs to elaborate each step inwriting that provides evidence for the premises:The purpose of minimum wage is to ensure that workers can provide basicamenities to themselves and their families. A report in the Journal ofEconomic Studies indicated that workers cannot live above the poverty linewhen minimum wage is not proportionate with the cost of living. It isbeneficial to society and individuals for a minimum wage to match livingcosts.Unfortunately, our states minimum wage no longer reflects an increasingcost of living. When the minimum wage was last set at $5.85, the yearlysalary of $12,168 guaranteed by this wage was already below the povertyline. Years later, after inflation has consistently raised the cost of living,workers earning minimum wage must struggle to support a family, oftentaking 2 or 3 jobs just to make ends meet. 35% of our states poor populationis made up of people with full time minimum wage jobs.In order to remedy this problem and support the workers of this state,minimum wage must be increased. A modest increase could help alleviatethe burden placed on the many residents who work too hard for too little justto make ends meet.This piece explicitly states each logical premise in order, allowing them to build totheir conclusion. Evidence is provided for each premise, and the conclusion isclosely related to the premises and evidence. Notice, however, that even thoughthis argument is logical, it is not irrefutable. An opponent with a differentperspective and logical premises could challenge this argument. [28, pp.74-98]
  39. 39. 39Example of logos:‗Let us begin with a simple proposition: What democracy requires is publicdebate, not information. Of course it needs information too, but the kind ofinformation it needs can be generated only by vigorous popular debate. Wedo not know what we need to know until we ask the right questions, and wecan identify the right questions only by subjecting our ideas about the worldto the test of public controversy. Information, usually seen as theprecondition of debate, is better understood as its by product. When we getinto arguments that focus and fully engage our attention, we become avidseekers of relevant information. Otherwise, we take in information passively– if we take it in at all.‘Christopher Lasch, ‗The Lost Art of Political Argument‘✦EthosEthos or the ethical appeal is based on the character, credibility, or reliability ofthe writer. There are many ways to establish good character and credibility as anauthor:Use only credible, reliable sources to build your argument and cite thosesources properly.Respect the reader by stating the opposing position accurately.Establish common ground with your audience. Most of the time, this can bedone by acknowledging values and beliefs shared by those on both sides ofthe argument.If appropriate for the assignment, disclose why you are interested in thistopic or what personal experiences you have had with the topic.Organize your argument in a logical, easy to follow manner. You can use asimple pattern such as chronological order, most general to most detailedexample, earliest to most recent example, etc.
  40. 40. 40Proofread the argument. Too many careless grammar mistakes cast doubt onyour character as a writer.According to Aristotle, writers can invent a character suitable to an occasion--this is invented ethos. However, if writers are fortunate enough to enjoy a goodreputation in the community, they can use it as an ethical proof--this is situatedethos. [11, pp. 18-34]The status of ethos in the hierarchy of rhetorical principles has fluctuated asrhetoricians in different eras have tended to define rhetoric in terms of eitheridealistic aims or pragmatic skills. For Plato the reality of the speakers virtue ispresented as a prerequisite to effective speaking. In contrast,Aristotles Rhetoric presents rhetoric as a strategic art which facilitates decisions incivil matters and accepts the appearance of goodness as sufficient to inspireconviction in hearers. The contrasting views of Cicero and Quintilian about theaims of rhetoric and the function of ethos are reminiscent of Platos and Aristotlesdifferences of opinion about whether or not moral virtue in the speaker is intrinsicand prerequisite or selected and strategically presented. [10, pp.28-32]If Aristotles study of pathos is a psychology of emotion, then his treatmentof ethos amounts to sociology of character. It is not simply a how-to guide toestablishing ones credibility with an audience, but rather it is a careful study ofwhat Athenians consider to be the qualities of a trustworthy individual. [21, p.45]Some types of oratory may rely more heavily on one type of proof than another.Today, for example, we note that a great deal of advertising uses ethos extensivelythrough celebrity endorsements, but it might not use pathos. It is clear fromAristotles discussion in Rhetoric, however, that, overall, the three proofs work inconjunction to persuade. Moreover, it is equally clear that ethical character is thelynch pin that holds everything together. As Aristotle stated, moral character …constitutes the most effective means of proof. An audience is just not likely to
  41. 41. 41respond positively to a speaker of bad character: His or her statementof premises will be met with skepticism; he or she will find it difficult to rouse theemotions appropriate to the situation; and the quality of the speech itself will beviewed negatively. [49, pp.22-46]Fundamental to the Aristotelian concept of ethos is the ethical principle ofvoluntary choice: the speakers intelligence, character, and qualities comprehendedby good will are evidenced through invention, style, delivery, and likewiseincorporated in the arrangement of the speech. Ethos is primarily developed byAristotle as a function of rhetorical invention; secondarily, through style anddelivery. [61]The appeal of our good character can occur on one or more of the followinglevels in any given argument: Are you a reasonable person? (That is, are you willing to listen, compromise,concede points?) Are you authoritative? (Are you experienced and/or knowledgeable in the fieldyou are arguing in?) Are you an ethical/moral person (Is what youre arguing for ethicallysound/morally right) Are you concerned for the well-being of your audience? (To what extent willyou benefit as a result of arguing from your particular position?)The ethical appeal is based on the audiences perception of the speaker.Therefore, the audience must trust the speaker in order to accept the arguments.Dont overlook ethical appeal, as it can be the most effective of the three.Example of ethos:If, in my low moments, in word, deed or attitude, through some error oftemper, taste, or tone, I have caused anyone discomfort, created pain, orrevived someones fears, that was not my truest self. If there were occasions
  42. 42. 42when my grape turned into a raisin and my joy bell lost its resonance, pleaseforgive me. Charge it to my head and not to my heart. My head - so limitedin its finitude; my heart, which is boundless in its love for the human family.I am not a perfect servant. I am a public servant doing my best against theodds." (Jesse Jackson, Democratic National ConventionKeynote Address, 1984)✦PathosPathos, or emotional appeal, appeals to an audiences needs, values, andemotional sensibilities.Argument emphasizes reason, but used properly there is often a place foremotion as well. Emotional appeals can use sources such as interviews andindividual stories to paint a more legitimate and moving picture of reality orilluminate the truth. For example, telling the story of a single child who has beenabused may make for a more persuasive argument than simply the number ofchildren abused each year because it would give a human face to the numbers.The logical appeal is certainly an extremely persuasive tool. However, ourhuman nature also lets us be influenced by our emotions. Emotions range frommild to intense; some, such as well-being, are gentle attitudes and outlooks, whileothers, such as sudden fury, are so intense that they overwhelm rationalthought. Images are particularly effective in arousing emotions, whether thoseimages are visual and direct as sensations, or cognitive and indirect as memory orimagination, and part of a writers task is to associate the subject with such images.[24, pp.128-136]Example (to my father who smokes): "I remember when Grandma died oflung cancer. It was the first time I had ever seen you cry Dad. I remember that youalso made me promise not to start smoking." You could also offer vivid examples
  43. 43. 43in support of your argument. Use language and images that are emotionallycharged: You might detail the pain of going through chemo therapy. You could use Xrays of diseased lungs, or photos of cancerous gums.Be careful, however, that when you use emotional appeal, you use it"legitimately." James D. Lester states that ―raw emotion cannot win the dayagainst opponents who demand factual evidence, yet the dull recitation ofstatistical facts may be meaningless unless you motivate readers and get theminvolved.‖ You should not use it as a substitute for logical and/or ethical appeals.Dont use emotional appeals to draw on stereotypes or manipulate our emotionalfears. Dont use emotional appeal to get an automatic, knee-jerk reaction fromsomeone. If you use emotionally charged language or examples simply to upset oranger an audience, you are using emotion illegitimately. Your use of emotionalappeal shouldnt oversimplify a complicated issue. [65]"The man who can carry the judge with him, and put him in whatever frameof mind he wishes, whose words move men to tears or anger, has always been arare creature. Yet this is what dominates the courts, this is the eloquence that reignssupreme. . . . Where force has to be brought to bear on the judges feelings andtheir minds distracted from the truth, there the orators true work begins." takenfrom Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria, c. 95 A.D.Hillary Clinton used a moment of brilliantly staged emotion to win the NewHampshire Democratic primary. As she answered questions in a diner on themorning before the election, Mrs. Clintons voice began to waver and crack whenshe said: Its not easy. This is very personal for me. Emotions can be anelectoral trump card, especially if one can show them as Mrs. Clinton did, withouttears. The key is to appear stirred without appearing weak. [62]
  44. 44. 44It is perilous to announce to an audience that we are going to play on theemotions. As soon as we apprise an audience of such an intention, we jeopardize, ifwe do not entirely destroy, the effectiveness of the emotional appeal. It is not sowith appeals to the understanding. [57]A brilliant young woman was asked once to support her argument in favorof social welfare. She named the most powerful source imaginable: the look in amothers face when she cannot feed her children. Can you look that hungry child inthe eyes? See the blood on his feet from working barefoot in the cotton fields. Ordo you ask his baby sister with her belly swollen from hunger if she cares abouther daddys work ethics?Only use an emotional appeal if it truly supports the claim you are making,not as a way to distract from the real issues of debate. An argument should neveruse emotion to misrepresent the topic or frighten people.Emotional and ethical appeals prompt your audience to care about an issueon more than an intellectual level. As with introductions, conclusions are anexcellent place to do this because it reminds your audience that your position is notmerely an academic one, but one that has consequences for real people.Concluding on emotional and ethical grounds provides an opportunity tostrengthen the appeal of you position.For example:The safety of our society is directly influenced by the correct handling of ourhousehold hazardous waste. Everyone uses dangerous chemicals every dayand the dangers are astounding when they arent disposed of in a proper andprofessional manner. In an age of many chemicals, we must be careful not toput each other, our pets, and our environment in harms way: We do not needsanitation workers losing their lives or are pets poisoned. In a country with apopulation the size of the United States, it is necessary that everyhomeowner ensure a healthy environment for everyone-plants and animalsincluded-by taking precautions when disposing of hazardous waste. It is the
  45. 45. 45job of every responsible citizen to ensure that others are not put at risk whendisposing of chemicals. [64]Examples of pathos:"This is the lesson: Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never--in nothing, great or small, large or petty--never give in, except toconvictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to theapparently overwhelming might of the enemy. We stood all alone a year ago,and to many countries it seemed that our account was closed, we werefinished. All this tradition of ours, our songs, our School history, this part ofthe history of this country, were gone and finished and liquidated. Verydifferent is the mood today. Britain, other nations thought, had drawn asponge across her slate. But instead our country stood in the gap. There wasno flinching and no thought of giving in; and by what seemed almost amiracle to those outside these Islands, though we ourselves never doubted it,we now find ourselves in a position where I say that we can be sure that wehave only to persevere to conquer."Below are three quotes from President Clintons 1996 State of the Union speechto consider as an example which includes all three types of appeals. Here Clintoncombines all of the available means of persuasion for his given thesis:Ethical appeal (ethos)"Before I go on, I would like to take just a moment to thank my own family,and to thank the person who has taught me more than anyone else over 25years about the importance of families and children — a wonderful wife, amagnificent mother and a great First Lady. Thank you, Hillary" — showinghimself to be a sensitive family man;Emotional appeal (pathos)
  46. 46. 46"I have heard Mrs. Gore say that its hard to be a parent today, but its evenharder to be a child" — reminding listeners of the challenges children face;andRational appeal (logos)"To the media, I say you should create movies and CDs and televisionshows youd want your own children and grandchildren to enjoy. I call onCongress to pass the requirement for a V-chip in TV sets so that parents canscreen out programs they believe are inappropriate for their children. Whenparents control what their young children see, that is not censorship; that isenabling parents to assume more personal responsibility for their childrensupbringing. And I urge them to do it."Those three examples above appeared early in the address. To get a bettersense of how Clinton used those appeals, look at the whole passage from whichthose examples were drawn:"Our first challenge is to cherish our children and strengthen Americas families.Family is the foundation of American life. If we have stronger families, we willhave a stronger America. Before I go on, I would like to take just a moment tothank my own family, and to thank the person who has taught me more thananyone else over 25 years about the importance of families and children — awonderful wife, a magnificent mother and a great First Lady. Thank you, Hillary.All strong families begin with taking more responsibility for our children. I haveheard Mrs. Gore say that its hard to be a parent today, but its even harder to be achild. So all of us, not just as parents, but all of us in our other roles — our media,our schools, our teachers, our communities, our churches and synagogues, ourbusinesses, our governments — all of us have a responsibility to help our childrento make it and to make the most of their lives and their God-given capacities.
  47. 47. 47To the media, I say you should create movies and CDs and television shows youdwant your own children and grandchildren to enjoy. I call on Congress to pass therequirement for a V-chip in TV sets so that parents can screen out programs theybelieve are inappropriate for their children. When parents control what theiryoung children see, that is not censorship; that is enabling parents to assume morepersonal responsibility for their childrens upbringing. And I urge them to do it.The V-chip requirement is part of the important telecommunications bill nowpending in this Congress. It has bipartisan support, and I urge you to pass it now.To make the V-chip work, I challenge the broadcast industry to do what movieshave done — to identify your programming in ways that help parents to protecttheir children. And I invite the leaders of major media corporations in theentertainment industry to come to the White House next month to work with us ina positive way on concrete ways to improve what our children see on television. Iam ready to work with you." [63]2.2 Logical FallaciesFallacies are common errors in reasoning that will undermine the logic ofyour argument. Fallacies can be either illegitimate arguments or irrelevant points,and are often identified because they lack evidence that supports their claim. Avoidthese common fallacies in your own arguments and watch for them in thearguments of others.Slippery slopeThis is a conclusion based on the premise that if A happens, then eventuallythrough a series of small steps, through B, C,..., X, Y, Z will happen, too, basicallyequating A and Z. So, if we dont want Z to occur A must not be allowed to occureither.
  48. 48. 48Example: If we ban Hummers because they are bad for the environmenteventually the government will ban all cars, so we should not ban Hummers.In this example the author is equating banning Hummers with banning allcars, which is not the same thing.Hasty GeneralizationThis is a conclusion based on insufficient or biased evidence. In other words,you are rushing to a conclusion before you have all the relevant facts.Example: Even though its only the first day, I can tell this is going to be aboring course.In this example the author is basing their evaluation of the entire course ononly one class, and on the first day which is notoriously boring and full ofhousekeeping tasks for most courses. To make a fair and reasonable evaluation theauthor must attend several classes, and possibly even examine the textbook, talk tothe professor, or talk to others who have previously finished the course in order tohave sufficient evidence to base a conclusion on.Post hoc ergo propter hocThis is a conclusion that assumes that if A occurred after B then B musthave caused A.Example: I drank bottled water and now I am sick, so the water must havemade me sick.In this example the author assumes that if one event chronologically followsanother the first event must have caused the second. But the illness could havebeen caused by the burrito the night before, a flu bug that had been working on thebody for days, or a chemical spill across campus. There is no reason, without moreevidence, to assume the water caused the person to be sick.
  49. 49. 49Genetic FallacyA conclusion is based on an argument that the origins of a person, idea,institute, or theory determine its character, nature, or worth.Example: The Volkswagen Beetle is an evil car because it was originallydesigned by Hitlers army.In this example the author is equating the character of a car with thecharacter of the people who built the car.Begging the ClaimThe conclusion that the writer should prove is validated within the claim.Example: Filthy and polluting coal should be banned.Arguing that coal pollutes the earth and thus should be banned would belogical. But the very conclusion that should be proved, that coal causes enoughpollution to warrant banning its use, is already assumed in the claim by referring toit as "filthy and polluting." [29, pp.165-176]Circular ArgumentThis restates the argument rather than actually proving it.Example: George Bush is a good communicator because he speakseffectively.In this example the conclusion that Bush is a "good communicator" and theevidence used to prove it "he speaks effectively" are basically the same idea.Specific evidence such as using everyday language, breaking down complexproblems, or illustrating his points with humorous stories would be needed toprove either half of the sentence.
  50. 50. 50Either/orThis is a conclusion that oversimplifies the argument by reducing it to onlytwo sides or choices.Example: We can either stop using cars or destroy the earth.In this example where two choices are presented as the only options, yet theauthor ignores a range of choices in between such as developing cleanertechnology, car sharing systems for necessities and emergencies, or bettercommunity planning to discourage daily driving.Ad hominemThis is an attack on the character of a person rather than their opinions orarguments.Example: Green Peaces strategies arent effective because they are all dirty,lazy hippies.In this example the author doesnt even name particular strategies GreenPeace has suggested, much less evaluate those strategies on their merits. Instead,the author attacks the characters of the individuals in the group.Ad populumThis is an emotional appeal that speaks to positive (such as patriotism,religion, democracy) or negative (such as terrorism or fascism) concepts ratherthan the real issue at hand.Example: If you were a true American you would support the rights ofpeople to choose whatever vehicle they want.In this example the author equates being a "true American," a concept thatpeople want to be associated with, particularly in a time of war, with allowing
  51. 51. 51people to buy any vehicle they want even though there is no inherent connectionbetween the two.Red HerringThis is a diversionary tactic that avoids the key issues, often by avoidingopposing arguments rather than addressing them.Example: The level of mercury in seafood may be unsafe, but what willfishers do to support their families.In this example the author switches the discussion away from the safety ofthe food and talks instead about an economic issue, the livelihood of those catchingfish. While one issue may effect the other, it does not mean we should ignorepossible safety issues because of possible economic consequences to a fewindividuals.Straw ManThis move oversimplifies an opponents viewpoint and then attacks thathollow argument.Example: People who dont support the proposed state minimum wageincrease hate the poor.In this example, the author attributes the worst possible motive to anopponents position. In reality, however, the opposition probably has morecomplex and sympathetic arguments to support their point. By not addressing thosearguments, the author is not treating the opposition with respect or refuting theirposition.
  52. 52. 52Moral EquivalenceThis fallacy compares minor misdeeds with major atrocities.Example: That parking attendant who gave me a ticket is as bad as Hitler.In this example, the author is comparing the relatively harmless actions of aperson doing their job with the horrific actions of Hitler. This comparison is unfairand inaccurate. [12, pp.227-286]2.3 Types of EvidenceEvidence is the information that helps in the formation of a conclusion orjudgment. Whether we know it or not, we provide evidence in most of ourconversations – they‘re all the things we say to try and support our claims. Forexample, when you leave a movie theater, turn to your friend, and say ―That moviewas awesome! Did you see those fight scenes?! Unreal!‖, you have just made aclaim and backed it up.Evidence is required so as to support the claim made by the writer. Theevidence cannot be general statements but have to be valid with good sources.Apart from evidence, persuasion needs to be sequential with one fact of the topicleading to the other for the betterment of the reader, as this would help him or herin understanding the topic as well as the claim. For example, if one is writing anessay on the above mentioned statement that is, ―Vipers should be eliminated fromthe animal kingdom,‖ the writer needs to begin by the dangers posed by the vipersand then move on to numerical data as to how much disaster is caused by them andthen carry this argument forward.The effectiveness of such arguments – whether they are persuasive or not –depends on two main factors, the credibility of the evidence and the validity of theargument itself, with ‗validity‘ meaning how well the argument is put together.Most people think of ―evidence‖ as numbers and quotes from famous
  53. 53. 53people. While those are valid types of evidence, there are more to choose fromthan just statistics and quotes, though. Before you make a choice, review thepoints you made and decide if your statements can be backed up by evidence.Types of evidence include:Facts - a powerful means of convincing, facts can come from your reading,observation, or personal experience. Note: Do not confuse facts with truths. A"truth" is an idea believed by many people, but it cannot be proven. Nancy R.Comley writes that ―facts do not speak for themselves, nor do figures add up ontheir own. Even the most vividly detailed printout requires someone to make senseof the information it contains.‖Statistics - these can provide excellent support. Be sure your statistics comefrom responsible sources. Statistical evidence is the kind of data people tend tolook for first when trying to prove a point. That‘s not surprising when youconsider how prevalent it is in today‘s society. Remember those McDonald‘ssigns that said ―Over 1 billion served‖? How about those Trident chewing gumcommercials that say ―4 out of 5 dentists recommend chewing sugarless gum‖?Every time you use numbers to support a main point, you‘re relying on statisticalevidence to carry your argument. [8, pp.83-95]Quotes - direct quotes from leading experts that support your position areinvaluable.Examples - Examples enhance your meaning and make your ideas concrete.They are the proof. Sometimes making an argument can be strengthened by beingspecific. If I tell you in class that not having insurance is a problem, this is a claim,but does not have any evidence supporting it. I may then go on and describe thatpeople without insurance often delay going to the doctor, go to emergency roomsfor routine care instead of to clinics or doctors offices, or go without care at all.These last points are examples. The examples could further be strengthened bystatistics on how often uninsured people delay care, go to the emergency room, orgo without care. The information could be strengthened yet further by comparingthese statistics to similar statistics on people who have insurance. And so on.
  54. 54. 54Expert Testimony – Testimonial evidence is another type of evidence thatis commonly turned to by people trying to prove a point. Commercials that usespokespersons to testify about the quality of a company‘s product, lawyers whorely on eye-witness accounts to win a case, and students who quote an authority intheir essays are all using testimonial evidence. You will probably run acrossstudies conducted by clinicians, economists, or other types of researchers. Theinformation they provide will be one of three types: facts, informed opinions, andspeculation. Factual information is incontrovertible; anyone could find the sameinformation. Informed opinions and speculation will be the interpretation that theresearcher applies to the information. For instance, a researcher might concludethat treatment Y is cost-effective, based on a cost-effectiveness ratio of $50,000per quality of life year saved. Another researcher might think that an appropriatecut-off for "cost-effectiveness" is $10,000 per QUALY, and would disagree. Theconclusion that the treatment is cost-effective is an informed opinion. Speculationis another form of interpretation. Often, the answers many economists get arebased on information from a select sample of individuals, lets say middle-agewomen. Applying these results to another group of the population, for example,elderly women, would call for "out-of-sample" predictions, and these are really justspeculation. Another potential problem is that predictions might be based on aparticular statistical technique and using a different method might give onedifferent predictions. I dont expect you to know all of these nuances in statistics,but be aware that the conclusions you read in others research are not hard-and-fastrules. The first thing to do is to check the credentials of the expert. Check forpossible conflicts of interest (did a pharmaceutical company fund the research?) Ifyou find many different researchers coming to the same opinion, that lends greaterweight to the evidence.Personal/anecdotal experience - Often dismissed as untrustworthy andmeaningless, anecdotal evidence is one of the more underutilized types ofevidence. Anecdote is evidence that is based on a person‘s observations of theworld. It can actually be very useful for disproving generalizations because all

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