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Argument. Arguments. Verbal Arguments : usually arrive spontaneously and can’t be planned or researched. Can be frustrating when you might fail to make your position understood or you may feel that your opponent has been stubborn and unreasonable. Argumentation. Written arguments :

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  • Verbal Arguments: usually arrive spontaneously and can’t be planned or researched.
    • Can be frustrating when you might fail to make your position understood or you may feel that your opponent has been stubborn and unreasonable.
  • Written arguments:
    • Attempt to convince the reader to agree with a particular point of view
    • Attempt to convince the reader to make a particular decision
    • Attempt to convince the reader to pursue a particular course of action.
  • Writers of arguments must:
    • Imagine their probable audience and predict the sorts of objections that may be raised.
    • Choose in advance a specific, sufficiently detailed thesis or proposition.
    • Be extremely organized and choose the best style that will best suit the argument’s subject, purpose, and thesis.
categories of argumentation persuasion and logic
Categories of Argumentation: Persuasion and Logic
  • Persuasive Appeals: are directed at reader’s emotions, at their subconscious, even at their biases and prejudices.
    • They involve diction, figurative language, analogy, rhythmic patterns of speech, and the establishment of a tone that will encourage a positive response.
    • Attempt to get the audience to take action.
categories of argumentation persuasion and logic1
Categories of Argumentation: Persuasion and Logic
  • Logical Appeals: are directed primarily at the audience’s intellectual faculties, understanding, and knowledge.
    • Depend on the reasoned movement from assertion to evidence to conclusion and on an almost mathematical system of proof and counterproof.
    • Do not normally impel its audience to action.
    • Commonly found in scientific articles, legal decisions, and technical proposals.
categories of argumentation persuasion and logic2
Categories of Argumentation: Persuasion and Logic
  • Most arguments are a combination of persuasion and logic.
  • For example, a well-written editorial will present a logical arrangement of assertions and evidence, but will also use persuasive patterns of language to reinforce its effectiveness.
  • The kind of appeal a writer focuses on depends on the nature of the topic, support, and audience.
  • True arguments make assertions about which there is a legitimate and recognized difference of opinion.
  • For example, readers do not need to be convinced that crime rates should be reduced or computers are changing the world. Although, not everyone would agree that the death penalty reduces the incidence of crime—this could be argued.
  • In argumentation, writers frequently use other strategies to prove their point. They may: define, compare and contrast, analyze causes and effects, classify, and describe.
  • It is the writer’s attempt to convince, not explain, that is of primary importance in an argumentative essay.
patterns of thinking induction and deduction
Patterns of Thinking: Induction and Deduction
  • Inductive Reasoning: the more common type of reasoning, moves from a set of specific examples to a general statement.
    • In doing this, the writer makes an inductive leapfrom the evidence to the generalization.
    • For example, after examining enrollment statistics, we can conclude that students do not like to take courses offered early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
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Patterns of Thinking: Induction and Deduction
  • Deductive Reasoning: moves from a general statement to a specific conclusion.
  • For example, you may know from experience that as a general rule bad weather reduces the business at the golf course. You may also learn that today’s weather will be cold and rainy. From these two pieces of knowledge, you can produce a third, more specific piece: Business at the golf course will be slow today.
patterns of thinking induction and deduction2
Patterns of Thinking: Induction and Deduction
    • It works on the model of syllogism, a three-part argument that consists of a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion.
  • Syllogisms:
    • A. All women are mortal. (Major premise)
    • B. Sally is a woman. (Minor premise)
    • C. Sally is a mortal. (Conclusion)
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Patterns of Thinking: Induction and Deduction
  • A syllogism will fail to work if either of the premises is untrue:
    • A. All living creatures are mammals. (Major premise)
    • B. A butterfly is a living creature. (Minor premise)
    • C. A butterfly is a mammal. (Conclusion)
  • The problem is the major premise: many living creatures are not mammals, and a butterfly happens to be one of the nonmammals. The conclusion is invalid.
three elements of argumentation ethos logos pathos
Three Elements of Argumentation: Ethos, Logos, Pathos
  • According to Aristotle, a person who wants to convince another may appeal to that person’s reason (logos), ethics (ethos), or emotion (pathos).
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Three Elements of Argumentation: Ethos, Logos, Pathos
  • Ethos (character): has to do with the authority, credibility, and morals of the speaker/writer.
  • It is important for the speaker/writer to be credible and to argue a worthwhile cause.
  • Present your argument reasonably, sincerely, and in language untainted by excessive emotionalism.
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Three Elements of Argumentation: Ethos, Logos, Pathos
  • Logos (word): related to the subject and is the effective presentation of the argument itself.
  • Is the claim worthwhile? Is it logical, consistent, and well supported with evidence? Is the evidence factual, reliable, and convincing? Is the argument thoughtfully organized and clearly presented that it will affect the audience?
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Three Elements of Argumentation: Ethos, Logos, Pathos
  • Pathos (emotion): has most to do with the audience.
  • As long as the argument is carefully reasoned and honestly presented, a little emotional appeal may help.
  • To build pathos: illustrate or dramatize an idea by folding short descriptive and narrative examples into the argument.
the 5 elements of argument
The 5 Elements of Argument
  • Claim: states your position on the issue you have chosen to write about. It answers the questions: what point will your paper try to make? And What belief or opinion will you be defending?
    • A good claim is not obvious. Why bother proving a point nobody could disagree with?
    • A good claim is not overly vague. Attacking enormous issues leads only to generalizations and vague assertions.
    • Good claims must be debatable, defensible, and insight-yielding.
the elements of argument
The Elements of Argument
  • Which of the following sentences makes a good claim?
  • Teachers are posed with many problems today.
  • We must strive with every ounce of our national vigor to ensure that America has a bright future and that truth and justice will abide with us forever.
  • Ophelia is my favorite character in Hamlet because she is the most interesting.
  • Though they seem innocuous, Hollywood movies are partially responsible for reinforcing cultural stereotypes in America.
the elements of argument1
The Elements of Argument
  • Evidence: the data which you cite to support your claim. Like a lawyer presenting evidence to a jury, you must support your claim with facts.
    • Answers the question: “what makes you say so?” or “what do you have to go on?”
    • Evidence can include: facts, statistics, or expert opinion.
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The Elements of Argument
  • Warrant: interprets the data and shows how it supports your claim. Warrants are the reasoning and the thinking about the data. Without warrants, there is no argument.
    • Answers the question: “So what?”
    • Explains why the data proves the claim.
    • For example, in trials lawyers for opposing sides often agree on the data but dispute the warrants.
the elements of argument3
The Elements of Argument
  • A good warrant will be a reasonable interpretation of facts.
  • A good warrant will not make illogical interpretive leaps.
  • A good warrant will not assume more than the evidence supports.
  • A good warrant may consider and respond to possible counter-arguments.
elements of argument
Elements of Argument
  • Claim: Any American can grow up to be the President.
  • Evidence: John Doe came from a poor town in a poor state to become president.
  • Warrant:
elements of argument1
Elements of Argument
  • Backing: The support for the warrants.
    • Usually consists of evidence to support the type of reasoning employed by the warrant.
    • Answers the question “How do you know (that the warrant) is something we should value/believe?
    • Backing is required until the point that the audience shares the value of the warrant.
    • Example: Studies of the development of beetles in corpses. This is used as the backing for warrants concerning the length of time a corpse has been dead.
elements of argument2
Elements of Argument
  • Qualifications and Rebuttals: counterarguments that refute competing claims.
    • Good arguments proactively consider what someone might say who disagrees with any portion of the argument.
    • The response cites the reservation and addresses it.
logical fallacies
Logical Fallacies
  • Slippery Slope: A conclusion based on the premise that if A happens, then eventually through a series of small steps, through B, C,…X, Y, Z will happen, too, basically equating A and Z. So, if we don’t want Z to occur, A must not be allowed to occur either.
  • Example: If we ban Hummers because they are bad for the environment eventually the government will ban all cars, so we should not ban Hummers.
logical fallacies1
Logical Fallacies
  • Hasty Generalization: A conclusion based on insufficient or biased evidence. In other words, you are rushing to a conclusion before you have all the relevant facts.
  • Example: Even though it’s only the first day, I can tell this is going to be a boring course.
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Logical Fallacies
  • Post hoc ergo propter hoc (Coincidental Correlation): This is a conclusion that assumes that if A occurred after B, then B must have caused A.
  • Example: I drank bottled water and now I am sick, so the water must have made me sick.
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Logical Fallacies
  • Begging the Question: The conclusion that the writer should prove is already validated within the claim.
  • Example: Lying is wrong because people should always tell the truth.
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Logical Fallacies
  • Circular Argument: This restates the argument rather than actually proving it.
  • Example: George Bush is a good communicator because he speaks effectively.
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Logical Fallacies
  • Either/Or Thinking: A conclusion that oversimplifies the argument by reducing it to only two sides or choices.
  • Example: Either you love your job, or you hate it.
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Logical Fallacies
  • False Analogy: Making a misleading analogy between logically unconnected ideas.
  • Example: If we can clone mammals, we should be able to find a cure for cancer.
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Logical Fallacies
  • Red Herring: A diversionary tactic that avoids the key issues, often by avoiding opposing arguments rather than addressing them.
  • Example: The level of mercury in seafood may be unsafe, but what will fishers do to support their families?
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Logical Fallacies
  • Straw Man: This move oversimplifies an opponent’s viewpoint and then attacks that hollow argument.
  • Example: People who don’t support the proposed state minimum wage increase hate the poor.
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Logical Fallacies
  • Oversimplification: A drastically simple solution to what is clearly a complex problem.
  • Example: We have a balance-of-trade deficit because foreigners make better products than we do.
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Logical Fallacies
  • Ad populum: This is an emotional appeal that speaks to positive or negative concepts rather than the real issue at hand.
  • Example: If you were a true American you would support the rights of people to choose whatever vehicle they want.
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Logical Fallacies
  • Ad hominem: this is an attack on the character of a person rather than his or her opinions or arguments.
  • Example: Green Peace’s strategies aren’t effective because they are all dirty, lazy hippies.
writing arguments
Writing Arguments
  • 1. Determine the thesis or proposition
  • 2. Take account of your audience.
  • 3. Gather the necessary supporting evidence.
  • 4. Settle on an organizational pattern.
  • 5. Consider refutations to your argument.
  • 6. Avoid faulty reasoning.
  • 7. Conclude forcefully.