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The argument paper 2013


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  • 1. The Argument Paper Karen S. Wright
  • 2. The argument paper must present a debatable point. Mere knowledge of the truth will not give you the art of persuasion. Plato
  • 3. Think Hmm Yep! When choosing a topic for written argument, be sure it is open for debate. Facts are a matter of information, not debate. An essay becomes an argument when it takes a position concerning the facts.
  • 4. ? ? Fact: Open Debate: Opposite Position: Students at Washington College should be required to take physical education. Students at Washington College should not be required to take physical education. Students at Washington State College are required to take physical education.
  • 5. •A claim is a statement that gives a position about a topic that can be supported by evidence, reasons, and examples. •The thinking process that moves you from a topic to a defensible position calls for you to first make an claim.
  • 6. The exact wording of a claim often does not find its way into your essay, but it serves as a focus for your thinking and writing. Topic: The commercialization of holidays. Claim: Holidays have become too commercialized. Claim: Holidays have not become too commercialized.
  • 7. Claim: Holidays have become too commercialized. Thesis: The spirit of the holidays is being destroyed by commercialism. Claim: Holidays have not become too commercialized. Thesis: Commercial uses of holidays benefit the nation’s economy and lift people’s spirits.
  • 8. Develop a thesis statement for a written argument on the following topic: Topic: Book censorship in libraries. Thesis (For): Thesis (Against):
  • 9. Structuring Written Argument • No one structure fits all written arguments. • Most college writing uses a structure based on the classical pattern of argument developed by the Greeks and Romans, which is still highly respected today.
  • 10. Elements in Written Argument • Introductory Paragraph • Thesis Statement • Background Information • Reasons or Evidence • Solutions—past and present • Anticipation to Likely Objections • Rebuttal of Objections • Concluding Paragraph- Call to Action
  • 11. • Sets the stage for the paper; • Uses a story or anecdote; • Gives a pertinent statistic; • Asks a provocative question; • Uses an appropriate quotation; • Makes an analogy; • Defines terms used; • Identifies the situation. Introductory Paragraph
  • 12. Thesis sTaTemenT • It states the position being argued. • It states the essay’s subject. • It reflects the essay’s purpose. • It includes a focus—a claim that conveys your point of view. • It uses specific language where vague words are avoided. Don’t be upset— Just think logically Oh no!!
  • 13. Background Information  Gives the reader basic information needed for understanding the position being argued.  This information can be part of the introductory paragraph.  It can also appear in
  • 14. Reasons or Evidence Supports the position being argued. The core of the essay. The reasoning must be logical and solid as a rock. Each reason consists of a general statement backed up with specific examples--and don’t forget---develop these ideas. One or two paragraphs are devoted to each reason.
  • 15. What has been done? What can be done?
  • 16. •This section mentions possible oppositions to the argument and rebuts it briefly. •In classical argument, this “refutation” appears in its own paragraph, immediately BEFORE the concluding paragraph. Anticipation of Objections and Responses
  • 17. • An alternative placement of the rebuttal is immediately after the introductory paragraph, as a “bridge” to the rest of the essay. • With the “bridge,” the essay’s thesis statement falls either at the end of the introductory paragraph or at the end of the “refutation” paragraph. An Alternative Placement
  • 18. Concluding Paragraph Brings the essay to an end that flows logically and gracefully from the thesis. Does not cut reader off abruptly. Call for awareness, action, or similar type of resolution. Look ahead to the future—a call to action
  • 19. Use Effective Reasoning  Be logical: use sound reasoning.  Enlist the emotions of the reader: enlist the values and beliefs of the reader by arousing “the better self” of the reader.  Establish credibility: show that you, as the writer, can be relied upon as a knowledgeable person with good sense.
  • 20. Establish a Reasonable Tone • Be fair to opposing arguments. • Don’t ignore other positions. • This kind of respect provides a reasonable tone. • Choose your words carefully. • Don’t exaggerate. • Use similes and metaphors cautiously. • Never insult the other side.
  • 21. 1. Does the thesis statement have a debatable topic? 2. Is the material properly structured for a written argument? 3. Do the reasons and evidence support the thesis statement? 4. Are the generalizations supported by specific detail? 5. Are opposing positions mentioned and responded to? 6. Is the tone reasonable? Revision Checklist for argument