ARGUMENT Definition An appeal to the readers’ intellect on issues that are complex and debatable
PERSUASION Definition To convince readers to think, act, or behave in a certain way
PERSUASION Test for Success Writers have successfully persuaded their readers if those addressed have changed their actions or behavior in favor of the writer.
PERSUASION Elements Most Likely To Convince Readers Writer’s credentials, which includes competence. Quality of the reasoning (sound logic and reasonable
3. Degree to which writers appeal to our self-interests
ARGUMENT/PERSUASION Important Points to Remember Both argument and persuasion are used, but one is a subdivision of the other. Persuasion is a purpose for writing; argument is an appeal to the readers’ intellect.
These are taught together because writers blend these appeals and adjust them to the purpose and audience.
PERSUASION Examples Appeal to logic – a lawyer who is arguing a case relies on making claims and using supporting evidence, such as testimony (statistics and reports), citing authorities, and arguing from precedent. He/ she uses analogies to make the presentation more concrete, and theorizes about cause and effect. Even though he/she de-emphasizes personal feelings, they are not totally eliminated. However,
the focus is on facts and research.
PERSUASION Examples Appeal to emotion – A writer uses this approach when his/her message appeals to the senses and to personal biases and prejudices. Connotative language (words that elicit certain feelings when the work is uttered) is used, as is figurative language (similes, metaphors, colorful phrases that make readers make associations, such as “environmental cancer” or industrial “Goliath”
that play on the readers’ emotions.
PERSUASION Definition of Appeals Ethics – This may be the most powerful tool because it comes from character and reputation, not words. As a writer, it depends on one’s ability to convince readers
he/she is intelligent, committed and knowledgeable about the issues, and cares about others’ welfare. Writers using this technique must show readers they respect them and that they have done their homework. The writing cannot be exaggerated or make excessive claims. If so, a writer will lose his/her credibility. If the image and presence the writer projects is favorable, the arguments are likely to be well received.
PERSUASION Writing the Essay Begin with an assertion or a proposition , stating your view on the issue (for or against), which is debatable.
2. The essay should support the thesis, using a variety of techniques, such as facts, statistics, examples, expert opinions, contrasts, or cause/effect studies.
PERSUASION Writing the Essay A writer should know as much as he/she can about his//her audience’s opinions, feelings, and background before writing. The body will consist of all three appeals, which lead to a final conclusion. The closing should clearly bring the argument to
an end in a final attempt to move the audience.
PERSUASION Organizing the Essay Organize evidence from least important to most important when the writer is likely to be confronted with a hostile audience so readers will see the reasoning process, step by step.
Organize evidence from most important to least important when a writer faces a supportive audience to build its loyalty and enthusiasm.
ARGUMENT Construction of a Logical Argument
ARGUMENT Inductive Reasoning Moves from specific (examples) to a single generalization Relies on anecdotes, case histories, facts, and statistics for Used most often by detectives, scientists, and lawyers Helps audience think logically, by moving from an assortment
of data to a rational conclusion
ARGUMENT Inductive Reasoning (cont.) Presents more of a challenge for writers and readers Thesis delayed until the end
Holds the readers’ attention for a longer period of time
ARGUMENT Deductive Reasoning Moves from a broad generalization to specific examples that support the statement Used in beginning composition classes States a thesis, which is proven by some method Easier and more direct than inductive reasoning
Allows audience to see main idea right away
A three-step form of reasoning based on a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion
ARGUMENT Example Major premise : Some people are murderers. Minor premise: Criminals are murderers. Conclusion: Therefore, criminals are murderers .
ARGUMENT Important Facts It is only as accurate as its original premise. A writer must be careful with the truth and
validity of his/her argument .
ARGUMENT Purposes To support a cause. Example: To urge people to make a donation to a charitable organization. To use people to take action. Example: To get people to vote in the national election in November 2004. To promote change. Example: To get higher quality security cameras in business establishments to allow more precise identification of robbers and shoplifters. To refute a theory. Example: Writing a history paper claiming that
antislavery sentiment was not the chief cause of the Civil War.
ARGUMENT Purposes (continued) To arouse sympathy. Example: Having more stringent laws against men and women who are abused. To stimulate interest. Example: Having more student participation in student government in colleges. To win agreement. Example: To get apartment owners to provide an alarm system in apartments. To provoke anger. Example: To arouse outrage against a proposed
tax or an increase in an existing tax.
ARGUMENT Definition of a Fallacy
Faulty reasoning used to reach a conclusion.
ARGUMENT Avoiding a Fallacy Giving too few examples to support an
Citing examples that misrepresent the
ARGUMENT Potential Pitfalls to Avoid Don’t claim too much . As a writer, you cannot assert the solution you propose will solve all the problems involved; for example, implying that legalizing drugs would alleviate all drug-related crimes or that openly paying college football players would eliminate recruitment scandals.
State ideas that you believe are worth considering or suggest a new approach.
ARGUMENT Don’t oversimplify complex issues . When an issue is serious but interesting enough to debate, it is complicated, and the issues are difficult. Trying to make it simpler by Potential Pitfalls to Avoid (continued)
suggesting there is a ”plain” solution threatens your credibility. Instead, acknowledge the matter is not an easy one to solve, but suggest there are some possible solutions.
ARGUMENT Potential Pitfalls to Avoid (continued) Support arguments with concrete evidence and specific proposals, not with generalizations and commonly held beliefs . Because your argument is likely to be viewed by skeptical readers, they will expect you to demonstrate your case convincingly. Moreover, they will not be “swayed” by opinion alone. You can only expect to hold their attention and respect if you teach them something in
your argument and present an old problem in a new way.