The Rhetoric of Argument


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The Rhetoric of Argument

  1. 1. The Rhetoric of Argument White and Billings The Well-Crafted Argument
  2. 2. Monty Python's "Argument Clinic"
  3. 3. Nature and Process <ul><li>The more we know about argument – what it involves, how a strong argument is constructed, and what a weak argument lacks – the more likely we are to benefit from this liberty. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Informal versus Formal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Casual arguments often consist of little more than exchanges of opinions or unsupported generalizations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Formal arguments are expected to include evidence in support of generalizations if they are to succeed in making strong points, solving real problems, or changing minds. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Three basic ingredients </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pattern of Reasoning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relevant information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Convincing Evidence </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Definition of Argument </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An argument is a form of discourse in which the writer or speaker presents a pattern of reasoning , reinforced by detailed evidence and refutation of challenging claims, that tries to persuade the audience to accept the claim . </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Opinion versus Argument </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Opinion = Public flogging of robbers would be a more effective deterrent than jailing them. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opinion = “yeah, probably.” or “No way – that would contribute to a culture of violence.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Argument = Supporting the statement with statistics that show a correlation between public punishment and the crime rate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>*A good argument takes time to prepare and also guides the audience through a logical step-by-step line of reasoning from thesis to conclusion. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Definition of Argument Breakdown </li></ul><ul><li>“… a pattern of reasoning” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>logical progression that leads the reader from thesis to support of thesis to conclusion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>unfamiliar terms or concepts are carefully defined or explained and background information is given to enable audience to understand larger context </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>EX: SUVs are selling better than subcompacts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>EX: The enormous popularity of SUVs is rapidly increasing gasoline consumption nationally, which in turn is leading to greater dependence on foreign oil. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Definition of Argument Breakdown </li></ul><ul><li>“… reinforced by detailed evidence” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>any assertion must be backed up with specific, compelling evidence that is accurate, timely, relevant, and sufficient. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evidence can be data derived from surveys, experiments, observations, firsthand field investigations (statistical evidence), or from expert opinion (authoritative evidence). </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Definition of Argument Breakdown </li></ul><ul><li>“… that tries to persuade the audience to accept the claim” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the ultimate goal: to convince the audience that arguer’s point of view is a sensible one, worthy of serious consideration if not outright acceptance. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often times Pathos, Ethos appeals are used to reinforce evidence </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Exercise 1.1 </li></ul><ul><li>Formulate an answer for 2 a,b,c,d </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Communicating with Purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Communication (Aristotelian) Triangle (Audience, Writer, Subject) </li></ul><ul><li>Rhetorical Rhombus (Audience, Writer, Subject, Purpose) </li></ul><ul><li>Three Basic Kinds of Communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Referential (Expository) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expressive (Narrative) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Argumentative </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Purpose in an Argumentative Context </li></ul><ul><li>The purpose is the reason why you want your audience to agree with your claim and take whatever actions is necessary to carry it out. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Role Play: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher X: Student X, your support seems a little limited – doesn’t seem to be any umpf to your argument, where can we add more to this paper? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Student: I don’t know. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher X: Well, what was your purpose for writing this paper? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Student: You assigned it. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>-------PROBLEM!------- </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You should find a professional or intrinsic purpose for writing on the topic. This is how your scope will be limited and your essay will be full of passion and energy. </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Audience in an Argumentative Context </li></ul><ul><li>Your audience for all papers, unless otherwise noted, is Academic. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The purpose of academic writing is knowledge-sharing or idea-sharing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Here is what scholars have said, now here is my two-bits </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Academic Arguments </li></ul><ul><li>Specialized precise language </li></ul><ul><li>Formal or semi-formal tone </li></ul><ul><li>All primary or secondary sources explicitly cited and documented, using standard formats </li></ul><ul><li>Contributions by other scholars in the field are discussed formally and in detail </li></ul><ul><li>Scholarly audience </li></ul>
  16. 16. Reading <ul><li>The Perils of Obedience by Stanley Milgram (Well-Crafted 691-703) </li></ul><ul><li>Find Evidence of Academic Tone </li></ul><ul><li>Answer Questions 1, 2, & (4) Support, Refute, Qualify </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Writer in an Argumentative Context </li></ul><ul><li>The Writer’s role is determined by the other elements in the Rhetorical Rhombus. </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Subject in an Argumentative Context </li></ul><ul><li>The role of subject differs in each argument based on the other elements of the Rhombus </li></ul>
  19. 19. The Process of Composing <ul><li>Read, Read, Read – Immerse yourself in the subject then you may be reading to work through the writing process. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Exercise 1.3 <ul><li>Question 2: What appeals are at work in each of the following passages? </li></ul>
  21. 21. Organizing the Argument <ul><li>Introduce the topic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The situation in the narrative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The subject matter to be explained in an exposition or explanation; the problem in an argument </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Present the particulars of the situation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the sequencing of incidents in a narrative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>elements of a phenomenon in an exposition or explanation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the nature of the problem, followed by the body of evidence, in an argument </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conclude </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The outcome in a narrative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The whole picture in an explanation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The interpretation, assessment, and recommendations in an argument </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Organizing the Argument <ul><li>Classical Model </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Begins with introduction that establishes the problem and states the thesis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Analyzes the evidence and refutes opposing views in light of the evidence collected </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Draws conclusions and provides recommendations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Toulmin Model </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Value Dependent, truth tested according to the values </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rogerian Model </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One shifts the emphasis to the social act of negotiating difference through argument </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Value Dependent but it must be negotiated cooperatively </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Composing Openings <ul><li>Occasional Opening </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reference to current event </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Startling Opening </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of unexpected information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Anecdotal Opening </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brief story to engage the reader’s attention </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Analytical Opening </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Launches immediately into a critical discussion </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Exercise 1.4 <ul><li>Question 1,2,3 </li></ul>
  25. 25. Composing the Body of the Argument <ul><li>The Promise made to the readers is fulfilled in the body </li></ul><ul><li>The subject portion of the Rhombus: the detailed support – facts, examples, illustrations – as well as the emotional, logical, ethical appeals. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Composing Conclusions <ul><li>A good conclusion enables readers to grasp the full impact of the argument. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If the intro states the claim, the body argues for the validity of the claim by citing evidence for it, the conclusion encapsulates all those points of evidence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflect back on the paper </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Broaden the scope beyond your paper </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reinforce the readers’ emotional involvement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Feelings of security, hope, happiness, self-confidence, optimism, or overall well-being </li></ul></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Exercise 1.5 <ul><li>Discuss the weakness/strengths of Body and Conclusion </li></ul>
  28. 28. Revising the Argument <ul><li>Checklist </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Attend closely to the ways you … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Presented the problem </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Stated your claims </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reported evidence and testimony </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Represented challenging views </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Drawn inferences </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reached conclusions </li></ul></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Revision Tasks <ul><li>Holistic (start a different draft) </li></ul><ul><li>Content (ideas and evidence) </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational (logical progression) </li></ul><ul><li>Stylistic (syntax, tone, diction) </li></ul><ul><li>Proofreading (line-by-line error check) </li></ul>
  30. 30. Visual Aids <ul><li>Headings and subheadings </li></ul><ul><li>Images (must contribute) </li></ul>
  31. 31. Read Plato 650-657 Interrupted Reading