Argument terms
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Argument terms PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Argument terms. Claim: . The main point being argued; usually controversial. Boo Radley is morally right in killing Bob Ewell . . Evidence. Data that supports your claim. Boo realizes that someone is trying to hurt Jem and Scout.

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Argument terms

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Argument terms

Argument terms



  • The main point being argued; usually controversial.

  • Boo Radley is morally right in killing Bob Ewell.



  • Data that supports your claim.

  • Boo realizes that someone is trying to hurt Jem and Scout.

  • He observes that no one else is there to help the children.

Warrant general rule

Warrant/general rule

  • General truth that is typically accepted.

  • Often during the Great Depression, the mentally handicapped were institutionalized and experimented on.

Words like usually, sometimes, often, and most are called qualifiers, words that help strengthen your argument

The toulmin model

The Toulmin Model:

  • Claim: (stance)

    • The school district should go to a 4-day school week.

  • Evidence: (proof)

    • Closing District buildings for a day each week would save millions.

  • Warrant: (rule that proves your claim is true)

    • The current economy has caused many school districts to make drastic cuts. (Notice how this statement is not controversial.)



  • The opposing side’s argument.

  • Boo took the law into his own hands.



  • Your response to the opposing argument.



  • Admitting to a flaw or exception in your argument or admitting that your opponent has at least one valid point.

Two stances

Two stances:

  • Objective: free of any bias or prejudice caused by personal feelings. Based on facts rather than thoughts or opinions.

  • Subjective: based on somebody's opinions or feelings rather than on facts or evidence.

Argument appeals

Argument Appeals

  • LOGICAL APPEAL (LOGOS): use of statistics, historical accounts, studies, etc.

  • EMOTIONAL APPEAL (PATHOS): use of images, words, music, etc., that appeal to one’s emotions.

  • ETHICAL APPEAL (ETHOS): (a). use of words or images that appeal to one’s morals/values or (b). the writer/speaker shows why he is believable/credible.

Fallacies avoid these techniques when arguing they are examples of illogical reasoning

FALLACIES = avoid these techniques when arguing. They are examples of illogical reasoning.

1 personal attack

1. Personal Attack

  • Definition = personal attack(s) on an opponent while ignoring his argument or distracting attention from it

  • Example = “I don’t want him as President. He’s so old and warty that I can’t stand to watch him on TV.”

  • AKA: ad hominem (to the man)

2 circular reasoning

2. Circular Reasoning

  • Definition = a writer assumes as evidence for his argument the very conclusion he is attempting to prove

  • Example: Nancy Pelosi said, “We have to

    pass the bill to find out what’s in the bill.”

3 doublespeak equivocation

3. Doublespeak (Equivocation)

  • Definition = use of vague language to mislead; changing the meaning of terms

  • Example: “I did not have sex with that woman.” –Bill Clinton

4 either or

4. Either/Or

  • Definition = speaker poses a choice between two alternatives while overlooking other possibilities

  • Example: America—love it or leave it!

  • AKA: Black and White Fallacy

5 faulty analogy

5. Faulty Analogy

  • Definition = an illogical, misleading comparison between two things

  • Example: People are like dogs. They respond best to clear discipline.

6 guilt by association

6. Guilt by Association

  • Definition = speaker creates or suggests a negative association through innuendos to tear down an opponent

  • Example: The Pope is the leader of the Catholic Church which carried out the Inquisition; so he must agree with torturing others.

7 jumping to conclusions hasty generalizations

7. Jumping to Conclusions (Hasty Generalizations)

  • Definition = writer leads somebody to a conclusion by providing insufficient, evidence

  • Example: Golf is a dangerous sport. Just look at what happened to Adam Sandler in Happy Gilmore or Tiger Woods!

8 false cause

8. False Cause

  • Definition = makes the assumption that an event is the result of something that merely came before it.

  • Example: Violent crime among teens has risen in the past decade, and that is the result of increased sales of violent video games.

9 slippery slope

9. Slippery Slope

  • Definition = suggestion of horrible consequences from relatively minor causes

  • Example: You should never buy a lottery ticket; once you start, you will find it hard to stop. Soon you will be spending all your money on gambling, and eventually you will turn to crime to support your addiction.

10 poor use of appeals

10. Poor Use of Appeals

  • Appeal to (False) Authority = speaker tempts one to agree with him because of an authority figure (celebrity or an unreliable source).

  • Appeal to Emotion = an emotional appeal concerning a logical issue.

  • Appeal to Tradition = something must be true because people have always believed it.

11 straw man

11. Straw Man

  • Definition = attacking an exaggerated version of your opponent’s position

  • Example: President Obama said that we must “spread the wealth”; so he must mean that it’s okay to get money from the wealthy and give it to the poor even if it means robbing them.

12 dogmatism

12. Dogmatism

  • Definition = speaker does not allow for discussion because he presumes that his beliefs are beyond question

  • Example: You’ll do it because I said so.

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