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Informational Text Evaluating Arguments: Pro and Con. Feature Menu. Informational Text Connecting to the Literature Introducing the Informational Text Vocabulary Informational Reading Focus: Evaluating Arguments Evaluating an Argument Assignment. Connecting to the Literature.

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Informational TextEvaluating Arguments: Pro and Con

Feature Menu

  • Informational Text

    • Connecting to the Literature

    • Introducing the Informational Text

    • Vocabulary

  • Informational Reading Focus: Evaluating Arguments

    • Evaluating an Argument

    • Assignment


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Connecting to the Literature

Rolf Carlé in “And of Clay Are We Created” and the selfless hero in “The Man in the Water” are examples of people helping others in situations of extreme danger. The two articles “If Decency Doesn’t, Law Should Make Us Samaritans” and “Good Samaritans U.S.A. Are Afraid to Act” discuss whether such help should be required by law.

[End of Section]


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Evaluating an Argument

An argument is a series of statements designed to convince you of something. You usually encounter arguments in

politicians’ speeches

newspaper editorials

persuasive speeches

public debates


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CON: I’m against the issue!

PRO: I support the issue!

Evaluating an Argument

Often you are faced with opposing arguments (pro and con) on an issue.


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Evaluating an Argument

When faced with pro and con arguments, you need to evaluate the arguments to figure out if they are

  • believable, or credible

  • backed by evidence


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Evaluating an Argument

To evaluate the credibility, or believability, of an argument, ask yourself the following questions:

  • 1. What’s the claim, or opinion?

  • 2. What’s the support?

  • 3. Is the evidence comprehensive?

  • 4. What’s the author’s intent?


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Evaluating an Argument

What’s the claim or opinion?

A claim/opinion is the position on the issue; the purpose behind the argument.

  • The claim represents the position the arguer is advocating.

  • Basically, the claim is the essence of the argument.

People have a moral responsibility to help those in need.



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Evaluating an Argument

Quick Check

What is the author’s claim in this paragraph?

The real reason people don’t reach out is because they feel disconnected from strangers in need. Yet the child at risk, the injured motorist, the choking restaurant patron could be any one of us or our loved ones. If each of us recognized a moral responsibility to come to the aid of others, we would all gain the benefits of a stronger and safer community.

from “If Decency Doesn’t, Law Should Make Us Samaritans” by Gloria Allred and Lisa Bloom (from the Houston Chronicle, September 18, 1997)


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Logical appeals use reasons and evidence to convince readers.

Emotional appeals use language and stories to stir readers’ feelings.

Reader

Evaluating an Argument

What’s the support?

Authors use logical and emotional appeals to

support their views and convince the reader.


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Evaluating an Argument

Logical Appeals

Reasonsare statements that explain why an author holds an opinion or view. Reasons must always be supported by evidence.


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decency . . . depraved . . . criminal . . . grievous . . .

“My best friend was a victim. He suffered greatly.”

Evaluating an Argument

Emotional Appeals

Loaded words have strong emotional connotations or associations.

Anecdotes are brief stories or personal accounts of an event or happening.

Note


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Evaluating an Argument

Quick Check

What types of appeals do the writers use to support their claim?

The real reason people don’t reach out is because they feel disconnected from strangers in need. Yet the child at risk, the injured motorist, the choking restaurant patron could be any one of us or our loved ones. If each of us recognized a moral responsibility to come to the aid of others, we would all gain the benefits of a stronger and safer community.

from “If Decency Doesn’t, Law Should Make Us Samaritans” by Gloria Allred and Lisa Bloom (from the Houston Chronicle, September 18, 1997)


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Evaluating an Argument

Is the evidence comprehensive?

Authors must provide enough evidence to back up their claims and to make convincing arguments.

  • Does the author support the claim with relevant reasons and evidence?

  • Does the author use a good balance of logical and emotional appeals?


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Evaluating an Argument

Quick Check

How well have the authors supported their claim?

The real reason people don’t reach out is because they feel disconnected from strangers in need. Yet the child at risk, the injured motorist, the choking restaurant patron could be any one of us or our loved ones. If each of us recognized a moral responsibility to come to the aid of others, we would all gain the benefits of a stronger and safer community.

from “If Decency Doesn’t, Law Should Make Us Samaritans” by Gloria Allred and Lisa Bloom (from the Houston Chronicle, September 18, 1997)


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Evaluating an Argument

What’s the author’s intent?

When an author’s intent, or purpose, is to persuade readers to accept his or her view on an issue, be sure to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the author biased or prejudiced?

  • Is the author trying to be fair and balanced?

  • What is the author’s tone, or attitude toward the subject?


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Evaluating an Argument

Quick Check

What is the authors’ intent here? What is their attitude and tone?

The real reason people don’t reach out is because they feel disconnected from strangers in need. Yet the child at risk, the injured motorist, the choking restaurant patron could be any one of us or our loved ones. If each of us recognized a moral responsibility to come to the aid of others, we would all gain the benefits of a stronger and safer community.

from “If Decency Doesn’t, Law Should Make Us Samaritans” by Gloria Allred and Lisa Bloom (from the Houston Chronicle, September 18, 1997)

[End of Section]


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Assignment

Use the chart below to evaluate the arguments presented in “If Decency Doesn’t, Law Should Make Us Samaritans” and “Good Samaritans U.S.A. Are Afraid to Act.”

[End of Section]



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