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  • 1. THE STRUCTURE OF ARGUMENT ANNETTE ROTTENBERG DONNA WINCHELL Chapter 1 Understanding Argument
  • 2. Discussion Questions
    • How have you written papers or writing assignments containing Argument, in the past? E .g. plans, supporting ideas, research, data etc.
    • Were your Arguments convincing for the audience?
    • What process did you use?
    • When you listen to an argument – what are the factors that convince you the argument is valid?
  • 3. A definition of Argument
    • Definition:
    • “ Argumentation is the art of influencing others, through the medium of reasoned discourse, to believe or act as we wish them to believe or act”
  • 4. Stages of a thesis argument
    • There are three parts to an argument in thesis writing
    •  
    • 1. Claim
    • 2. Support
    • 3. Warrant
  • 5. The Claim
    • The Claim
    • Can be a proposition - what you are trying to prove.
    • Can be the “ thesis statement” of an essay.
    • In some arguments it may not be stated directly, or immediately.
  • 6. Types of Claim
    • 3 principle types of claim
    • Claims of fact
    • Claims of value
    • Claims of policy
  • 7.
    • Claims of fact:
    • Assert that a condition did, does or will exist
    • Based on facts or data that the audience can verify
    • e.g. HORSE RACING IS THE MOST DANGEROUS SPORT
    • This claim must be supported by facts or data to be credible with the audience
    Claims of fact
  • 8.
    • Claims of value:
    • Attempt to prove something is more or less desirable than others
    • Express approval/ disapproval of standards of taste/ morality
    • Exhibited in advertising and cultural reviews
    Claims of Value
  • 9.
    • FOOTBALL IS ONE OF THE MOST DEHUMANISING EXPERIENCES A PERSON CAN FACE.
    • - Dave Meggyesy
    • ENDING A PATIENTS LIFE INTENTIONALLY IS ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN ON MORAL GROUNDS
    • - Presidential Commission on Medical Ethics, 1983
    Claims of Value - Examples
  • 10.
    • Claims of policy:
    • Assert that specific policies should be instituted as solutions to problems
    • Usually contain expressions such as ‘should, must or ought’
    • Call for analysis of both fact and value
    • e.g. PRISONS SHOULD BE ABOLISHED BECAUSE THEY ARE CRIME-MANUFACTURING CONCERNS
    Claims of policy
  • 11. The Support
    • The support:
    • Includes evidence and motivational appeals to convince the audience
    • Evidence is data – including facts, statistics, experts testimonials
    • Motivational appeals are arguments to the values and attitudes of the audience
    • ‘ Motivational’ as a word implies movement of an audience to accept an idea and take action
  • 12.
    • The Warrant:
    • The assumption that underlies all claims we make
    • Can be stated or unstated, if the arguer believes the audience backs the assumption
    • Can be stated for a doubting audience
    • The ‘Warrant’ enables the reader to make the same connection between claim and support as the author.
    The Warrant
  • 13. Warrant ( unstated) - example 1
    • Claim: Adoption of a healthier diet leads to healthier and longer life.
    • Support: The authors of becoming a healthy family say so.
    • Warrant: Unstated because.....
    • The authors are published experts which presupposes their opinion is tested and valid, and reliable sources of information
  • 14. Warrant ( stated ) – Example 2
    • Claim: Laws making marijuana illegal should be repealed
    • Support: People should have the right to use any substance they wish
    • Warrant: No Laws should prevent citizens from exercising their rights 
    • The warrant here is stated because it appeals to ethical and legal issue/ values implicit in Western Society. It also clearly links the warrant with the claim by using the topic word ‘laws’.
  • 15. Warrants can be broad statements
    • Note: The warrants are in many cases more broader statements of belief than the claim.
    • i.e. they can be used to support many different claims.
    • e.g. Warrant: “No Laws should prevent citizens from exercising their rights” can be used to justify claims against many laws
  • 16. The Audience
    • All arguments are composed with the audience in mind
    • Often an argument is made in response to another writer or speaker whose claims needs to be supported or opposed
    • Writers of arguments should always anticipate a disagreeing reader.
  • 17. Authors audience question check list
    • Self- check questions about the audience for the writer
    • Why/ Has this audience requested this report?
    • What do they want to get out of it?
    • How much do they already know about the subject?
    • Are they divided or agreed on the subject?
    • What is their emotional involvement with the issues?
  • 18. Importance of Credibility
    • Credibility - the key issue in winning over an audience
    • “ intelligence, character and goodwill” attributes which produce credibility
    • Ethos, Aristotle
    • The writer must convince the audience of their following
    • attributes
    • knowledgeable and well informed
    • Truthful, morally upright and dependable
    • Good intentions, taking into account the needs of others, as well as himself.
  • 19. Other factors in successful argument
    • Other issues in Argument Discourse:
    • Defining key terms
    • Choosing an Appropriate Claim
    • Choosing and documenting Appropriate sources
    • Analysing assumptions
    • Avoiding logical errors
    • Editing for appropriate language
  • 20. Defining Key Terms
    • Defining Key Terms
    • Many controversial questions will be primarily of definition
    • For example, topics such as.....
    • Racism, Pornography, Poverty, Freedom of Speech etc. must be defined before solutions are proposed.
    • This is vital so the audience understands how you are using the key term
  • 21. Choosing an appropriate claim
    • Choosing an appropriate claim
    • Clarify to audience what the change in thought/ action you want to achieve is
    • Consider audiences current thinking
    • Be realistic about the extent of change you hope to achieve
    • Be realistic about how far the audience is able to effect that change
  • 22. Sources for support
    • Choosing and Documenting appropriate sources:
    •  
    • Submit evidence of careful research
    • Demonstrate you have been conscientious in....
    • Finding the best authorities
    • Giving credit
    • Attempting to arrive at the truth
  • 23. Analyzing Warrant assumptions
    • Analyzing Assumptions
    • Consider the warrant or assumption carefully
    • The warrant need not be expressed if the audience will reasonably not need proof
    • Be prepared to defend any other warrant you include
  • 24. Avoiding Logical Errors
    • Avoiding Logical Errors
    • Understand how to use.....
    • - Inductive reasoning processes
    • - Deductive reasoning processes
    • These will help you to determine truth and validity of yours and other arguments
    • Identify and correct faulty reasoning
  • 25. Editing for appropriate language
    • Editing for Appropriate Language
    • Careful use of language necessary to .....
    • - Define terms
    • - Express personal style
    • - Reflect clarity of thought
    • - Avoid clichés
    • Avoid word choices that turn your audience off your ideas
  • 26. And Finally......
    • Good luck with your Argumentative Discourse!