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1 Purdue University Writing Lab Organizing Your Argument A presentation brought to you by the Purdue University Writing Lab

2 Purdue University Writing Lab What is an argument? An argument involves the process of stating a claim and then proving it with the use of logical reasoning, examples, and research.

3 Purdue University Writing Lab Why is organization important in building an argument? Takes your audience through your thought process to know why you think as you do Explains each argued point A logical progression of ideas shows you know what you’re talking about

4 Purdue University Writing Lab Organizing your argument Title Introduction  Thesis statement Body Paragraphs  Contain Topic Sentences  Details that support topic sentence  Tells why opposition is wrong Conclusion

5 Purdue University Writing Lab Title--why do you need one? Introduces the topic of discussion to the audience Generates reader interest in the argument

6 Purdue University Writing Lab Creating a Title Try to grab attention  Get the audience curious  Choose words or examples from the paper  Ask a question Avoid titles that are too general or lack interest

7 Purdue University Writing Lab Considering Titles Imagine you just wrote a paper offering solutions to the problem of road rage. Which do you consider to be the best title? Road Rage Can’t Drive 55 Road Rage: Curing Our Highway Epidemic

8 Purdue University Writing Lab What is an introduction? Introduces the reader to the topic and purpose of the paper through its thesis Gets the audience interested in the topic Gives an overview of the argument

9 Purdue University Writing Lab Methods for Constructing an Introduction personal anecdote example-real or hypothetical question quotation shocking statistics striking image

10 Purdue University Writing Lab What is a thesis statement? The MOST IMPORTANT SENTENCE in your paper Lets the reader know the main idea of the paper

11 Purdue University Writing Lab What is a thesis statement? Answers the question: “What am I trying to prove?” Not a factual statement, but a claim (opinion) that has to be proven throughout the paper

12 Purdue University Writing Lab Job of the thesis statement The thesis statement should guide your reader through your argument. The thesis statement is usually located in the introduction of the paper.

13 Purdue University Writing Lab Which thesis statement is the most effective for an argument about the need for V-chips in television sets? Parents, often too busy to watch television shows with their families, can monitor their children’s viewing habits with the aid of the V- chip. To help parents monitor their children’s viewing habits, the V-chip should be a required feature for television sets sold in the U.S. This paper will describe a V-chip and examine the uses of the V-chip in American-made television sets.

14 Purdue University Writing Lab Body Paragraphs and Topic Sentences  Each topic sentence should directly support the thesis.  Body paragraphs support the claims made in the introductory paragraph(s).  Make sure you inform the audience about your topic before you explain what should be done about it.

15 Purdue University Writing Lab Incorporating research into the body paragraphs Researched material can help you prove why your opinion is right. Research material shows you know what you’re talking about Research material MUST be documented OR YOU ARE PLAGIARIZING!

16 Purdue University Writing Lab Document In Text In Among the Hidden, Haddix shows that population policy can lead people to confuse right from wrong. Luke shows he understands this has happened when he realizes “it wasn’t truly wrong for him to exist, just illegal” (137). Since it is usually considered wrong to do something illegal, he has always considered it wrong for him to be alive. He has learned that the law is wrong, not him.

17 Purdue University Writing Lab Documenting In Text When documenting in text, the writer must  introduce the information to make it “fit in” the paragraph, create context for your source material  identify the author with a tag or include the author’s name with the page number  explain why the source material is important to the topic being supported

18 Purdue University Writing Lab Document In Text In Among the Hidden, the reader sees how the population policy can lead people to confuse right from wrong. Luke shows he understands this has happened when he realizes “it wasn’t truly wrong for him to exist, just illegal” (Haddix 137). Since it is usually considered wrong to do something illegal, he has always considered it wrong for him to be alive. He has learned that the law is wrong, not him.

19 Purdue University Writing Lab End Test Documentation This lets the reader know where you got your information so he can see that you used credible sources.

20 Purdue University Writing Lab End text documentation Web article Author (last name and first). “Article title.” Site Title. Date posted or last updated. Sponsor. (if available) Date accessed.

21 Purdue University Writing Lab End text documentation Book Author’s last name, first name. Book title. City: Publisher, Copyright date.

22 Purdue University Writing Lab End text documentation  Called the Works Cited  Lists sources in alphabetical order according to the author’s last name.  Listed according to source title if the author’s name is unknown.

23 Purdue University Writing Lab Conclusion -- The Big Finale Your conclusion should reemphasize the main points made in your paper.

24 Purdue University Writing Lab Conclusion -- The Big Finale Let your reader know why this topic is important to him and why he should do something about it. Don’t bring up any new topics.

25 Purdue University Writing Lab Organizing your argument Title Introduction Body Paragraphs  Constructing Topic Sentences  Building Main Points  Countering the Opposition Conclusion

26 Purdue University Writing Lab Where can you go for additional help with organizing your argument? Purdue University Writing Lab Heavilon 226 Grammar Hotline: (765) Check our web site: brief questions: Purdue University Writing Lab


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