The argument paper must present a debatable point.Mere knowledge ofthe truth will notgive you the art ofpersuasion.Plato
When choosing a topicfor written argument, besure it is open for debate.Facts are a matter ofinformation, not debate. ThinkA paragraph becomesan argument when it takes Hmma position concerning thefacts. Yep!
? ? Students at Washington State College areFact: required to take physical education.Open Students at Washington College shouldDebate: not be required to take physical education.Opposite Students at Washington CollegePosition: should be required to take physical education.
Idea: Holidays have Thesis: The spirit ofbecome too the holidays is beingcommercialized. destroyed by commercialism. Thesis: CommercialIdea: Holidays have uses of holidays benefitnot become too the nation’s economycommercialized. and lift people’s spirits.
Take out paper and develop an idea and thesisstatement for a written argument on the followingtopic:Topic: Book censorship in libraries.Idea for it:Idea against it:Thesis:Thesis:
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.
Elements in Written Argument• Introductory Sentences• Questions to Consider• Thesis Statement• Background Informationif needed.• Reasons, Examples, or Evidence• Anticipation to Likely Objections and Rebuttal• Concluding statement- Call to Action/Suggest an action
First few sentences• Sets the context for the position that is argued.• Gives a pertinent statistic or statistics.• Asks a provocative question or questions.• Uses an appropriate quotation.• Makes a useful analogy.• Identifies the situation.
Thesis sTaTemenT Oh no!! • It states the position being argued. • It states the paragraph’s subject. • It reflects on the purpose. • It includes a focus—your idea that will convey your point of view. • It uses specific languageDon’t be upset— —vague words areJust think logically avoided.
Background Information Gives the reader basic information. Adds needed information for understanding the position being argued.
Reasons, Examples, or Evidence Supports the position being argued. The core of the paragraph. 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.
Anticipation of Objections and Responses• This section mentions possible oppositions to the argument and rebuts it briefly.• In classical argument, this “refutation” appears immediately BEFORE the concluding sentences and summation.• An alternative placement is immediately after the introductory sentence, as a “bridge” to the rest of the paragraph.
Concluding Sentences Brings the paragraph to a logical end that flows gracefully from the topic sentence/thesis. Does not abruptly cut off reader. Calls for awareness. Looks ahead to the future—a call to action.
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.
How to Establish a Reasonable Tone• Be fair to opposing arguments.• When you alert your readers to other ways of thinking about the issue, you demonstrate that you have not ignored other positions.• This kind of respect for the other side makes the tone more reasonable.• Choose your words carefully.• Don’t exaggerate.• Use similes and metaphors to enhance your argument rather than distort it.• Never insult anyone.
Revision Checklist for argument1. 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?