Argumentation in academic writing
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ARGUMENTATION IN ACADEMIC WRITING. EN 112 BMCC Fall, 2009. What is argumentation?. http://www.longleaf.net/ggrow/cartoons1.gif/argument.gif HERE ARE SOME COMMON SENSE BELIEFS: Argumentation is a form of fight It is something that has winners and losers

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ARGUMENTATION IN ACADEMIC WRITING

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Argumentation in academic writing

ARGUMENTATION IN ACADEMIC WRITING

EN 112

BMCC Fall, 2009


What is argumentation

What is argumentation?

http://www.longleaf.net/ggrow/cartoons1.gif/argument.gif

HERE ARE SOME COMMON SENSE BELIEFS:

  • Argumentation is a form of fight

  • It is something that has winners and losers

  • “Every issue has two sides”; one side has to be right, and the other side has to be wrong

  • The purpose of argumentation is to win

  • Argumentation is the same as persuasion


Academic argumentation

ACADEMIC ARGUMENTATION

  • http://www.longleaf.net/ggrow/cartoons1.gif/argument.gif

  • ACADEMIC ARGUMENTATION IS DIFFERENT

  • The purpose is to learn the truth and to avoid errors

  • Academic arguments describe multiple arguments and multiple perspectives

  • The counterargument is an important component of the argument

  • Unbiased language is used

  • Logic, reason and solid evidence are preferred over emotion

  • Logical errors (fallacies) are to be avoided

  • The purpose of persuasion is opening minds first (change of opinion may follow)


Three models of argumentation model one classic aristotelian

THREE MODELS OF ARGUMENTATIONMODEL ONE: Classic Aristotelian

Aristotle (BC 384-322)

  • Our knowledge is not absolutely certain (=most of what we know is a well-informed opinion at best)

  • Argumentation is necessary in court, politics and science, and young people need to be trained in argumentation just like they need to be trained in athletics

  • Arguments rely on three elements

    ethos (values, credibility)logos pathos (emotions, compassion, suffering)

    (knowledge,

    facts, statistics, evidence, logic, reasoning)


Three models of argumentation model two modern toulminian 1958

THREE MODELS OF ARGUMENTATIONMODEL TWO: Modern Toulminian (1958)

Stephen Toulmin (1922 - 2009)

  • Toulmin’s argumentative structure was designed to serve practical purposes, to value scientific evidence and to find common ground for ethical arguments

  • It is primarily based on evidence (facts, statistics, reasoning, research)

  • “Warrant” is the assumption that connects the facts with the claims


Three models of argumentation model three rogerian

THREE MODELS OF ARGUMENTATIONMODEL THREE: Rogerian

Carl Rogers (1902-1987)

  • The purpose of argumentation is to build bridges between human beings, to find the common ground, to reach a win-win situation and practice emphatic listening

  • Rogerian argument is used in counseling, advising, business, recruitment, etc.


Rogerian argumentation in 4 easy dance moves

Rogerian argumentation in 4 easy dance moves:

  • Introduce problem: I know you all love your steak, and I myself have eaten my fair share of meat in life.

  • Acknowledge opposition: I understand that you think meat is necessary for growth, but I am telling you that there are other sources of protein, not just meat.

  • Present position: On the other hand, if we don’t reduce our meat consumption, the Earth will face a disaster, and our health will deteriorate rapidly.

  • Explain why your position benefits opposition: We need to eat less meat. Right now, we consume seven times more than what is recommended. I am sure you don’t want to be sick, and I know you care about the Earth, which right now is feeding too many cattle.


What else is there

What else is there?

  • ARGUMENT FROM ANALOGY:

  • Is A like B or not?

    The strengths of an argument from analogy depends on the level of similarity

EXAMPLES:

  • 9/11 was like Pearl Harbor (=a war attack)

  • Government supported health insurance is like socialism (=not good!)

  • A fetus is like an adult citizen (=should have full rights)

  • Food is medicine (=use it with moderation and to keep yourself healthy)

  • Animals are like people (=have feelings and need to be treated with respect)


Research papers are argumentative

Research papers are argumentative

  • They have an arguable claim (=something that not everybody agrees on)

  • The introduction explains the significance of the topic

  • The claim is supported by facts, by credible sources (experts, authorities), statistics, examples, personal experience (the writer’s or others), possible consequences (Atwan, 2009, pp. 17-18)

  • At least one “opposition” (or challenging opinion) is addressed (refuted)

  • Overly emotional or biased language is avoided


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