Argumentative and Persuasive Writing. The Basics of Argumentative Writing. What is an Argument?. When you write an argument, you are trying to convince a reader to agree with you on a topic open for debate. Arguments are supported by… Factual data Logic Evidence, reasons, and examples
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The Basics of Argumentative Writing
Example: If you arrived at a gathering of friends and one of them was sitting in front of a decorated cake and blowing out candles, you would make the inference that it was a birthday celebration and the person celebrating the birthday was the one blowing out the candles.
-- René Descartes, Meditations
* Source: Perdue Online Writing Lab
Offers only two alternatives when more exist.
i) Either you're for me or against me.(ii) America: love it or leave it.(iii) “Yeah, but if I don’t pass math, there goes my chance at a good career and a happy life, like you always say.”
--George Michael Bluth, Arrested Development
(iv) Every person is either wholly good or wholly evil.
Arguments of this form assume that since something has not been proven false, it is therefore true. Conversely, such an argument may assume that since something has not been proven true, it is therefore false.
(i) Because it hasn’t been proven that eating food X does not cause cancer, we can assume it does.
(ii) Since scientists cannot prove that global warming will occur, it probably won't.
(i) Immigration to Alberta from Ontario increased. Soon after, the welfare rolls increased. Therefore, the increased immigration caused the increased welfare rolls.
(ii) I took EZ-No-Cold, and two days later, my colddisappeared.
(i) Fred, the Australian, stole my wallet. Thus, all Australians are thieves. (Of course, we shouldn't judge all Australians on the basis of one example.)
(ii) I asked six of my friends what they thought of the new spending restraints and they agreed it is a good idea. The new restraints are therefore generally popular.