English 104:  Arguments of Fact
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English 104: Arguments of Fact

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Presentation delivered to the English 104 class at Victor Valley College.

Presentation delivered to the English 104 class at Victor Valley College.

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    English 104:  Arguments of Fact English 104: Arguments of Fact Presentation Transcript

    • English 104 Arguments of Fact
    • Understanding Arguments of Fact • Factual arguments try to establish whether something is true. • For example: ▫ Are the claims of a scientist accurate? ▫ Is a historical legend real? ▫ Has a crime occurred?
    • Understanding Arguments of Fact • People don’t usually argue undisputed facts ▫ Examples:  The earth orbits the sun  George Washington was USA’s first president • Facts are used to support controversial arguments that challenge people’s lifestyles and beliefs ▫ Such as controversies about childhood obesity, endangered species, gay rights, gender roles
    • Developing a Factual Argument • Step 1: Identify an issue ▫ Choose a suitable topic of interest ▫ Do quick preliminary research and reading in order to arrive at a hypothesis, i.e. a tentative statement of your main claim/thesis statement  Examples of hypotheses:  “Having a dog is good for your health.”  “Americans really did land on the moon, despite what some people think.”
    • Developing a Factual Argument • Step 2: Research your hypothesis ▫ Libraries and the internet can provide you with many resources  Find and use the best sources for your paper  Check your facts ▫ Example: www.politifact.com and www.factcheck.org investigate the truths behind political claims  Use primary sources whenever possible ▫ If obtaining a quote indirectly from a secondary source, there’s a chance the quote has been taken out of context or misquoted  Determine which sources are the best fit for your essay and for your audience ▫ Some reputable sources may be too technical for a general audience. However, some accessible sources may not be factually accurate or may be inappropriate for an academic audience.
    • Developing a Factual Argument • Step 3: Refine your main claim/thesis ▫ As you learn more about your topic through research, you can revise your hypothesis accordingly, making it more specific.  Example:  Hypothesis: Americans really did land on the moon, despite what some people think! ▫ Revision: Since 1969, when the Eagle supposedly landed on the moon, some people have been unjustifiably skeptical about the success of the United States’ Apollo program. ▫ Final: Despite plentiful hard evidence to the contrary – from Saturn V launches witnessed by thousands to actual moon rocks tested by independent labs worldwide – some people persist in believing falsely that NASA’s moon landings were actually filmed on deserts in the American Southwest as part of a massive propaganda fraud. (Lunsford, Ruszkiewicz, and Walters 161)
    • Developing a Factual Argument • Step 4: Develop your main claim/thesis statement in-depth within the body of your essay. ▫ Do not simply list the evidence without discussing precisely how each piece of evidence supports your thesis statement ▫ Example:  Thesis statement: Despite plentiful hard evidence to the contrary – from Saturn V launches witnessed by thousands to actual moon rocks tested by independent labs worldwide – some people persist in believing falsely that NASA’s moon landings were actually filmed on deserts in the American Southwest as part of a massive propaganda fraud.  Body of the paper then goes into in-depth discussion of the Saturn V launches, moon rocks, and the claims of conspiracy theorists
    • Is Anatomy Destiny? • Historian Alice Dreger works with people at the edge of anatomy, such as conjoined twins and intersexed people. In her observation, it's often a fuzzy line between male and female.
    • Activity • Alice Dreger’s “Is Anatomy Destiny?” ▫ Comprehension and Discussion exercise
    • Activity • Alice Dreger’s “Is Anatomy Destiny?” ▫ Comprehension and Discussion exercise