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A brief overview of argumentation and persuasion as well as coverage of some logical fallacies.

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  1. 1. Argumentation: A Primer “Happiness is when everyone agrees that I’m right!”
  2. 2. What is Argumentation? <ul><ul><li>Argumentation -- clear thinking, logic to convince reader of the soundness of a particular opinion on a controversial issue. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Persuasion -- emotions used to convince reader to take a particular action. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Persuasion and argumentation are often combined. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Arguments must have the following: <ul><li>Logos </li></ul><ul><li>Ethos </li></ul><ul><li>Pathos </li></ul>
  4. 4. Logos <ul><li>&quot;Logos&quot; or soundness of argument -- facts, statistics, examples, and authoritative statements to support viewpoint. </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence must be: unified, specific, sufficient, accurate, and representative. This is the main strength of the argument. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Pathos <ul><li>&quot;Pathos&quot; -- appeals to readers' needs, values, and attitudes, encouraging them to commit themselves to a viewpoint or course of action. </li></ul><ul><li>Pathos is derived from language (connotative -- strong emotional overtones). </li></ul>
  6. 6. Ethos <ul><li>&quot;Ethos&quot; -- credibility and integrity. Prove to the reader that you're knowledgeable and trustworthy. </li></ul><ul><li>Give a balanced approach, acknowledge differing points of view; give lots of support for your viewpoint. </li></ul>
  7. 7. There are two basic types of reasoning: <ul><li>Inductive reasoning -- draw a conclusion from using specific details. </li></ul><ul><li>(Small to big) </li></ul><ul><li>Deductive reasoning -- apply a generalization to a specific case. </li></ul><ul><li>(Big to small) </li></ul>
  8. 8. There are lots of things to consider. <ul><li>First: There are perfectly wonderful, reasonable, intelligent people who disagree with you absolutely. (And there are dunderheads who may agree with you.) The moral: judge the argument, not the person. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Know what you know. <ul><li>You need to be certain of what you know as well as of what you are uncertain -- that knowledge affects your use of proofs as well as your use of language. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Don’t offend. <ul><li>Goodwill -- readers are more likely to listen to an argument if it is reasoned, cool, calm, and relatively dispassionate. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on the issues, not the reader or opponent. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Know the history. <ul><li>Be able to identify the controversy of your issue and why there is a controversy in the first place. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Know all sides. <ul><li>You should be able to see the validity of both (all) sides of an issue. </li></ul><ul><li>Also, you should be able to determine what the two sides may agree on. </li></ul>
  13. 13. What can you do with both sides? <ul><li>Refutations -- restate opposing points of view, acknowledge the validity of some of the arguments given by opponents, point out common grounds, present evidence for your position. </li></ul><ul><li>You must be able to refute the opposition in order to have a strong argument (and get an “A” on your essay). </li></ul>
  14. 14. Things to avoid: <ul><li>faulty conclusions, post hoc fallacy (cause-effect sequential but not related); non sequitur fallacy (conclusion has no connection to evidence); ad hominem argument (attach person rather than point of view); </li></ul>
  15. 15. More things to avoid: <ul><li>faulty authority (when authority is in doubt); begging the question (reader expected to accept a controversial premise without proof); false analogy (two things share all characteristics if they share only a few); either-or fallacy (viewpoint can only have one of two solutions); red herring argument (deflect attention). </li></ul>
  16. 16. Structure <ul><li>There is no one “better” way to structure an argument. Whatever works, whatever is actually convincing, is the “right” way to do it. </li></ul><ul><li>Do consider the “Rogerian” method, however, because it does contain all elements of a strong argument. </li></ul>
  17. 17. More stuff to think about: <ul><li>Always be thorough. Find out what you don’t know -- do your research -- and don’t spout nonsense. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid loaded words and prejudicial statements -- generalizations that are vague and often misleading and inaccurate. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Language issues: <ul><li>Vary sentences structure. </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware of homonyms. </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware of transitions. </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware of connotations and denotations. </li></ul><ul><li>Have a clearly identifiable thesis. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Things to remember. <ul><li>Avoid announcements. Please never say something like, “In this paper I will discuss…” That is fine for papers written in science or math classes, but it is not acceptable in an English class. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Possible Beginnings <ul><li>Broad statement narrowing to a limited subject (end introduction with thesis statement) </li></ul><ul><li>Brief anecdote leading up to thesis </li></ul><ul><li>Comparative or opposite ideas leading up to thesis </li></ul><ul><li>Series of short questions leading to thesis </li></ul><ul><li>Quotes leading to thesis </li></ul><ul><li>Refutation of a common belief leading up to a thesis </li></ul><ul><li>Dramatic fact or statistic leading to thesis </li></ul>
  21. 21. Possible Conclusions <ul><li>Summary of information presented (useful if your argument is long and/or complicated) </li></ul><ul><li>Prediction based on information presented </li></ul><ul><li>Quotation leading to concluding statement </li></ul><ul><li>Statistics leading to concluding statement </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendation or call for action </li></ul>
  22. 22. Double Check These: <ul><li>Does the paper answer the assignment given? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the paper address your audience? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the paper have the appropriate tone? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the paper serve the purpose intended? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the thesis clear and easily understood? </li></ul><ul><li>Add information where it appears to lack adequate support. </li></ul>
  23. 23. More to remember: <ul><li>Delete useless or confusing information. </li></ul><ul><li>Do all of the supporting statements actually support the thesis? </li></ul><ul><li>Are clear transitions used between thoughts, ideas, paragraphs? </li></ul><ul><li>Are the introduction and conclusion adequate and appropriate? </li></ul><ul><li>Is your organization systematic and methodical (consistent throughout the paper)? </li></ul>
  24. 24. More to consider: <ul><li>Consider sentence structure and length. </li></ul><ul><li>Reconsider word choice. Never use profanity or slang. Always identify abbreviations. </li></ul><ul><li>Proofread for correct grammar, punctuation, typing errors. </li></ul><ul><li>REPEAT ALL OF THIS UNTIL YOU ARE SATISFIED (or cannot stand to look at it anymore). </li></ul>
  25. 25. Last Items <ul><li>Give your paper a title </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure that your paper is on correct paper stock, typed, and legible. </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure that your paper is properly identified with your name, course title, date, and paper title </li></ul><ul><li>Make a copy of your paper and keep it as a record for yourself </li></ul><ul><li>Turn in your paper on time </li></ul>