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Making an argument. What is an Argument?. Definition: An argument presents logical reasons and evidence to support a viewpoint Purpose: To persuade others to share ones opinions and beliefs by supporting these beliefs with evidence and examples. Argument Example. Claim:

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what is an argument
What is an Argument?
  • Definition:
  • An argument presents logical reasons and evidence to support a viewpoint
  • Purpose:
  • Topersuade others to share ones opinions and beliefs by supporting these beliefs with evidence and examples.
argument example
Argument Example
  • Claim:
    • Smoking cigarettes is dangerous to one’s health
  • Support:
    • Cigarette smoking causes more than 440,000 deaths each year in the United States. This is about one in five deaths
    • Smoking causes about 90% (or 9 out of 10) of all lung cancer deaths in men and 80% (or 8 out of 10) of all lung cancer deaths in women.More women die from lung cancer each year than from breast cancer.
    • Cigarette smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in your body, including: Bladder, bone marrow, blood, esophagus, kidneys and ureters, larynx (voice box), lungs, mouth, nose, and throat, pancreas, stomach and trachea
    • Source:http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/
parts of an argument
Parts of an Argument
  • ISSUE - problem or controversy about which people disagree (eg. Parents giving minors alcohol)
  • CLAIM- the position on the issue (eg. Parents should be charged for giving minors alcohol)
  • SUPPORT- reasons and evidence that the claim is reasonable and should be accepted
  • COUNTER-ARGUMENT- opposing viewpoints
types of support how an author supports his or her viewpoint
Types of Support: How an author supports his or her viewpoint
  • REASON - a general statement that supports a claim.
  • EVIDENCE - consists of facts, statistics, experiences, comparisons, and examples that show why the claim is valid.
  • EMOTIONAL APPEALS - ideas that are targeted toward needs or values that readers are likely to care about.
your turn
Your turn!
  • In your group, come up with as many reasons to support your claim as you can!
  • In other words, why should we agree with YOU and not the other team?
thinking of the counter argument
Thinking of the counter argument
  • When you counter-argue, you consider a possible argument againstyour thesis or some aspect of your reasoning.
    • It presents you as the kind of person who weighs alternatives before arguing for one
  • Ask these three questions when you are trying to write counterargument:
    • Who might disagree with my position? Why?
    • What reasons do people have for disagreeing with me? (weaknesses in argument, opposing viewpoints…)
    • What would support an opposing argument?
your turn1
Your turn!
  • In your group, brainstorm as many reasons AGAINST your claim as you can
  • In other words, why should we agree with THE OTHER TEAM and not you!
time to build support for your argument
Time to build support for your argument
  • Strengthen your argument with facts.
  • Research the topic of your essay and use the appropriate facts that will make a strong argument.
  • Only use what is relevant to your topic.
    • For instance, if you are writing an essay about how organic farming is better for the environment, then use relevant facts, such as farming practices, use of organic materials and the way they are used in the farming environment, to bolster your argument.
time to build support for your argument1
Time to build support for your argument
  • Verify that the facts you use come from reliable sources.
  • Any facts or information from unreliable sources or information that has been debunked will sink any argument in a debate!
    • Is the source outdated?
    • Has it been debunked by more reliable sources or updated due to new research or scientific discoveries?
    • What type of source are you using?
      • Sources such as Wikipedia are not as reliable as the latest edition of an almanac or scientific journal since the content is user-generated and may not be verified.