Ellen eng 102 (6) being a writerPresentation Transcript
Persuasion and Argumentation
Breaking Down an Argument
The point that the writer is strongly arguing for. Make it a well thought out sentence. Look at the two examples:
“ Terrorism can be countered without violence.”
“ Terrorism can be reduced if the democratic nations of the world take certain firm actions.”
Which is more compelling to you?
Make sure to identify what the main reasons you are arguing for the main claim. Summarize each reason into a simple short sentence .
For a three-page essay you can choose three main reason or ten. It’s about how much detail and examination you want to include.
For each reason, what support is given?
Support can take the form of evidence, illustrative examples, anecdotes, or other small reasons you didn’t mention in your major reasons.
Looking at Assumptions
Read over your argument for any unstated reasons or assumptions you may have made. What is the writer taking for granted?
Finding assumptions in your own writing can be difficult and you may need to find someone to prove read for the specifics of finding assumptions.
An example of an assumption could be, “What is modern is better than what is old-fashioned”.
Think about Readers or Audience
What is the implied audience? Is the writer talking to people who agree or disagree? To large or small audiences?
How adversarial is the writer? Does he take an either/or stand, insisting that others have to be wrong if he’s right? Des he use a lot of energy in showing that others are wrong?
How does the writer treat his audience? Is he respectful?
Break! Where do you focus to stop the moving wave?
To the Editor:
The woman’s magazine editors whose Sept. 25 letters criticize Elizabeth Whelan’s Sept. 8 Op-Ed article on their health reporting ignore the main point: it is contradictory for magazines presumably concerned about woman’s health to carry advertising for product, namely, cigarettes, that brings disease, miscarriages, premature widowhood or death to woman.
They declare “we have cautioned woman repeatedly about the hazards of smoking,” but how can anyone take them seriously when their advertising promotes smoking? If these magazines have women’s best interest at heart, they will drop their cigarette ads.
What do you think?
Did the writer make a strong point?
What is the main claim?
Are there any claimed or unclaimed assumptions?
Do you believe that the writer has a strong argument?
The next persuasive or argumentative paper you write keep these things in mind and see if you reduce the amount of assumptions you add and if you can remove any from your paper.
Make the paper as sound as possible with the least amount of ‘holes’ in your argument.
Also, arguments don’t have to be aggressive or confrontational.