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Chapter 1: Everything Is an Argument. Our text is based on the following presumption: an argument can be any text (whether written, spoken, or visual)

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 1: Everything Is an Argument. Our text is based on the following presumption: an argument can be any text (whether written, spoken, or visual)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 1: Everything Is an Argument

2 Our text is based on the following presumption: an argument can be any text (whether written, spoken, or visual) that expresses a point of view. (p. 4)

3 Inform Convince Explore Make Decisions Meditate/Pray

4 Presenting specific information to inform readers Focus is on the information

5 Obama for President 2008



8 Focuses on readers – trying to satisfy or convince them that you have thoroughly examined and presented information that merits attention. Example: Writing a research essay on the causes of soil erosion in southeast Alabama

9 Usually show that there is merit in looking into a subject – that there is an argument to be made. Opponent can be the status quo or current trend. Problem does exist – writer or reader needs to solve it.

10 This is an exploratory column, its purpose to encourage thought on a question that badly needs thinking about. The Problem: The birth every year of one million babies to unwed mothers. The Consequence: One million children who, on reaching the age of 13, tend to run into difficulties. The statistics tell us that a child raised by a single parent is likelier by a factor of 600 percent to commit crimes, consume drugs, quit school, and bear, or sire, children out of wedlock. Assume – if only to be hopeful – that the problems diminish after age 19; we are still left with six million teenagers who are a heavy social burden, as also, of course, a burden to themselves. William F. Buckley Should There Be a Law?

11 Problem does exist – writer or reader needs to solve it. Example: We have a problem with litter on campus.

12 Closely allied with exploratory arguments Argue for a particular decision Example: From the essay addressing soil erosion in Southeast Alabama, you might write a proposal which focuses on a possible solution to the problem.

13 Arguments can take form of meditation on a theme or of prayer. Pausing to consider or to gain peace of mind. Purpose: Writer is hoping to transform something within to reach a peace of mind.


15 Past Future Present

16 Forensic arguments: debates about what has happened in the past. Present evidence from past to justify conclusions. Rely heavily on precedents – actions or decisions in past that influence policies or decisions in the present. Example: Years of clear-cutting timber without replanting has led to the current problem of soil erosion in SE Alabama.

17 Deliberative argument Often rely on forensic arguments because what happened in the past usually decides what will happen in the future. Make some kind of decision (proposals) try to establish policies or project future outcomes

18 Epideictic or Ceremonial Arguments Its aim: to condemn or to eulogize an individual, cause, occasion, movement, city, or state. Often about contemporary values Ethical premises/assumptions widely held within a society

19 Arguments of Fact Arguments of Definition Arguments of Evaluation Proposal Arguments Did something happen? What is its nature? What is its quality? What action should be taken?

20 Facts can be proved or disproved with evidence or testimony. Concern: if something can easily be proven, it cant be argued. A Hyundai is significantly lower in price than Toyota. Global warming is rapidly destroying the rain forests of South America.

21 Often involves categorizing or defining terms. Is a human embryo a human being? Is abortion murder? Bob Costas example (pg. 24) : Mickey Mantle eulogy ROLE MODEL HERO

22 Common type of argument Argument of quality Makes some kind of judgment about topic Tahoe vs. Expedition: which is the better SUV for the price? Parks evaluation of Martin Luther King Jr. (pg. 26)

23 Present evidence to show there is a problem; then, propose a solution. Recommend most viable course of action.

24 Argument of Fact Argument of Definition Argument of Evaluation Proposal Argument Does global warming exist? What is global warming? Should global warming be a concern to us today? What action should be taken to stop global warming?

25 Making a Connection to Reader Writers do not write in a cultural vacuum. Writers works are influenced by who they are. Race Religion Gender Ethnicity Class Intelligence

26 Readers perceptions of writer influence their reception of what has been written. Must think about readers perceptions, values, possible prejudices. Establish some connection with readers. Familiarity Presenting yourself as authority

27 Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me. And aint I a woman?... I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mothers grief, none but Jesus heard me. And aint I a woman? Sojourner Truth Aint I a Woman?

28 Aristotle identified 3 key ways writers can appeal to their audiences in arguments. Pathos Emotional appeals or appeals to the heart Ethos Ethical appeals or appeals based on the writers authority and credibility Logos Logical appeals or appeals to reason

29 Designed to appeal to the readers emotions and feelings. Can cause readers to think more carefully about subject. Persuading reader not to drink and drive telling a story of a teen or young mother killed by drunk driver

30 As writer, must seem honest, sincere, and trustworthy. Look for evidence of character in arguments Who is the author? Is writer an authority on topic/knowledgeable about topic? Is evidence presented full/complete, not slanted to writers agenda? Does writer acknowledge and address opposition? Are sources documented? REMEMBER: these same questions will be used to analyze your writings.

31 As author, you must consider Language Organization & structure Sense of authority

32 Writer must provide enough evidence to support argument. Test all assumptions and claims. Question every source and authority cited. data and information from reliable sources

33 Claim: statement of belief or truth Can be plainly stated (more traditional arguments). Can be inferred (in stories, anecdotes, etc.). Claims must be attached to reasons that support it and premises that uphold it to be an argument. Can have several claims in one essay. Look at relationship among them

34 Arguments must have logical structure, even if appeal uses emotion, values, or character. Aristotle asserted arguments had only 2 parts: Statement (claim) Proof (evidence)

35 Have to think of the way the evidence is presented. Even logical, well-planned argument can be boring. Have to tailor your style to the topic What is most appropriate Style can tell readers what to expect

36 Must always think about audience or readers when you present arguments. Must always address an intended audience.

37 Different kinds of readers Ideal reader (exists in authors mind) Invoked reader (represented in the text) Real reader (ones who actually read text)

38 If potential readers do not feel connected to text in some way, then… They will (probably) not be affected by your argument or They will not even continue to read.

39 Ways to establish credibility: Demonstrate you are knowledgeable Highlight shared values Refer to common experiences Use language to build common ground Respect reader Almost impossible to guarantee credibility because readers are varied.

40 Demonstrate Knowledge Show readers you know what you are talking about Facts/statistics

41 Highlight Shared Values Find common values with the potential readers What community do you share? Refer to Common Experiences Build Common Ground Closely related to common experiences Establish a connection with readers Use pronouns

42 Respect Readers Do not speak down to readers Do not use offensive language

43 Argument exists in a particular context of some kind that influences how it can be shaped and how others receive it. CONTEXT Context Topic/Subject (Logical Appeals) Audience/Readers (Emotional Appeals) Author (Ethical Appeals)

44 Context Topic/Subject (Logical Appeals) LOGOS Audience/Readers (Emotional Appeals) PATHOS Author (Ethical Appeals) ETHOS

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