Argumentation uses clear thinking
and logic to convince the reader of
the soundness of an opinion on a
Persuasion uses emotional and
dramatic language to appeal to the
readers’ concerns, beliefs and
• Argumentation-persuasion involves more
than presenting a point of view and
providing evidence. It assumes controversy
and addresses opposing opinions.
• i.e.In parts of the country, communities
established for adults refuse to rent to
families with children. How do you feel
• School athletic leagues have a “no pass, no
play” policy. Explain why this policy is
appropriate or not appropriate.
Your main concern is with the soundness
or logos of your argument: facts, statistics,
examples and authoritative statements to
support your argument.
• Your readers will dismiss your argument if you
cannot support your claim with logos.
• Sensitivity to the pathos,or emotional
power of language, is another key
consideration for argumentation-
– Pathos appeals to the readers’ sense of needs,
values, attitudes, encouraging them to commit
themselves to a viewpoint or course of action.
– Connotative language- words with strong
emotional overtones- can move readers to
accept a point of view and may spur them on to
• Advertising uses pathos to the exclusion of logic to
influence and manipulate.
Finally, establish your ethos, or credibility
• Convince your readers you know what you’re
• Over emotionalism undermines your credibility.
Writing an effective argumentation-
persuasion essay involves in interplay
of logos, pathos, and ethos in balance.
• Your argument may rely primarily on pathos
• Don’t be too emotional; concentrate on ethos and
• Avoid emotional appeal; rely heavily on logos
1--Identify the controversy surrounding the
issue and state your position at the
beginning of the paper. This is your
--Avoid a proposition that is simply factual.
Take a stand on a controversial issue.
--Be sure your proposition that is narrow and
specific enough to debate completely.
--Your thesis should state your opinion or call
2– Offer readers strong support for your
(unified, adequate, specific, accurate,
dramatic and representative)
1st person is your personal observation or
3rd person focuses on the issue: statistics,
facts from another source, examples,
Whatever sources you use- document
3—Seek to create goodwill.
Do not antagonize your reader.
Focus on the issue not the people
Find common ground- some points on
which you can agree.
4– Organize the supporting evidence
Choose a pattern of development
5—Acknowledge differing points of view
First- acknowledge the opposing points of
view in a two part proposition.
e.g.Although some teachers think that
standardized tests restrict academic
freedom, such exams are preferable to
those prepared by individual teachers.
Second- in the introduction provide a brief
summary of the opposing viewpoint.
Third– take one or two paragraphs to
present the opposing point of view, then go
on to present your view point. (nevertheless.
. ., however. . .)
6- Refute differing viewpoints
State your proposition
Cite opposing evidence one point at a
State your proposition
Cite opposing evidence all at the same
Be sure to provide clear transition signals
so your reader isn’t confused
7--Use inductive or deductive reasoning
Inductive reasoning involves examining
specific cases, facts or examples, then draw
a generalized conclusion based on these
Scientists do this when they examine
evidence then draw a conclusion.
e.g. My head aches. My nose is stuffy.
I’m coming down with a cold. I should take
Your evidence must be recent and accurate
Deductive reasoning begins with a
generalization then applies that to a
This three-step process is called a
Major premise- a general statement
Minor premise- a statement about an
item within the group
Beware of faulty conclusions
Your reasoning is invalid if your conclusion
reverses the “if…then” relationship
implied in the major premise.
Major premise- Students who cheat must
go see Dr. Sheard
Minor premise- Yesterday Jen was called to
Dr. Sheard’s office
Conclusion- Jen must have cheated.
8- Recognize logical fallacies
Post hoc fallacy- you conclude that a cause-
effect relationship exists because one
event precedes another
The cafeteria hired a new cook and
the price for meals increased.
Non sequitur fallacy- a conclusion is drawn
that has no logical connection
Millions of Americans own cars, so
there is no need to fund public
Ad hominem argument- attacking the
person instead of the point of view
Dr. Smith, who does abortions, was
involved in a messy divorce last year.
Appeals to questionable authority
“Sources say. . .”
“Research shows. . .”
“Experts claim. . .”
Begging the question- failure to establish
proof for a debatable point
Trying to ban prayer in public places
by saying that violates the U.S.
False analogy disregards significant
dissimilarities and wrongly implies that
because the two share some
characteristics, they are alike in all
Driving while smoking cigarettes is
not illegal, so driving while smoking
marijuana should not be illegal either.
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