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Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition ARGUMENT.

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Presentation on theme: "Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition ARGUMENT."— Presentation transcript:

1 Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition ARGUMENT

2 Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition Questions for Critically Reading an Argument  What claims does the writer make?  What kinds and quality of evidence does the writer provide?  What assumptions underlie the argument?  What is the writer’s tone? How does the writer use language?  Is the writer reasonable?  Is the argument logical? Or are there fallacies?  Are you convinced? Why or why not? 6.1

3 Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition ELEMENTS OF AN ARGUMENT Stephen Toulmin’s 3 main elements  Claims  Positive statements that require support  Evidence  The facts, examples, expert opinions, and other information that support the claims  Assumptions  The writer’s underlying beliefs, opinions, principles, or inferences that tie evidence to the claims. 6.2

4 Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition EVIDENCE FOR ARGUMENT  Facts  Verifiable statements  Statistics  Numbers showing data  Examples  Specific cases  Expert opinion  The judgments of authorities  Appeals to readers’ beliefs or needs 6.3

5 Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition CRITERIA FOR WEIGHING EVIDENCE  Is the evidence accurate?  Trustworthy, exact, undistorted?  Is the evidence relevant?  Authoritative, pertinent, current?  Is the evidence representative?  True to context?  Is the evidence adequate?  Plentiful, specific? 6.4

6 Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition GUIDELINES FOR ANALYZING ASSUMPTIONS  What are the assumptions underlying the argument?  How does the writer connect claims with evidence?  Are the assumptions believable?  Do they express your values? Do they seem true in your experience?  Are the assumptions consistent with each other?  Is the argument’s foundation solid, not slippery? 6.5

7 Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition TESTING CLAIMS The claims or assertions in an argument carry specific burdens  They should state arguable opinions  They should define their terms 6.5

8 Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition DISTINGUISHING Facts, Opinions, Beliefs, and Prejudices  Facts – verifiable  Opinions – judgment based on fact  Beliefs – a conviction based on cultural or personal faith, morality, or values  Prejudices – an opinion based on insufficient or unexamined evidence  Beliefs are not testable, prejudices are. 6.5

9 Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition FACTS  World War II ended in 1945  The football field is 100 yards long 6.5

10 Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition OPINIONS  Mandatory drug testing in workplaces is essential to increase employees’ productivity  Children’s on-line time should be monitored  Government funding for NASA should continue  Violence in computer games has no effect on people who play them 6.5

11 Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition BELIEFS  Abortion is legalized murder  Capital punishment is legalized murder  The primary goal of government should be to provide equality of opportunity for all 6.5

12 Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition PREJUDICES  Women are bad drivers  Fat people are jolly  Teenagers are irresponsible 6.5

13 Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition “Workplace alcohol use and impairment directly affects an estimated 15 percent of the U.S. workforce, or 19.2 million workers, according to a recent study conducted at the University at Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions” - “research indicates that between 10 and 20 percent of the nation's workers who die on the job test positive for alcohol or other drugs.” - x.html x.html Mandatory drug testing in workplaces is essential to increase employees’ productivity 6.5

14 Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition Defined Terms In arguments, especially those with abstract terms, defined terms are essential  Over the past few decades, justice has deteriorated so badly that it almost does not exist anymore.  The word justice is abstract – what, exactly, does justice mean?  A software policy is necessary for the overall efficiency of all systems. 6.5

15 Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition Weighing Evidence In arguments, evidence demonstrates the validity of the writer’s claims. Evidence for argument  Facts  Statistics  Examples  Expert Opinions  Appeals to a reader’s beliefs or needs 6.5

16 Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition Judging Evidence To support claims and convince readers, evidence must be reliable. Is the evidence  Accurate  Relevant  Representative  Adequate 6.5

17 Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition Judging Evidence Is the Evidence Accurate?  From trustworthy sources  Quoted exactly  Presented with the original meaning undistorted 6.5

18 Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition Judging Evidence Is the Evidence Relevant?  From sources with authority on the subject  Relates directly to the point the writer is making  It is current 6.5

19 Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition Judging Evidence Is the Evidence Representative?  Reflects the full range of the sample space  Does not over represent any element of the sample space 6.5

20 Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition Judging Evidence Is the Evidence Adequate?  Plentiful enough to support the assertions  Specific enough to support the assertions 6.5

21 Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition CHECKLIST OF FALLACIES Evasions 6.6a  Begging the question –Treating an opinion that is open to question as if it were already proved or disproved.  Non sequitar (“it does not follow”) –Drawing a conclusion from irrelevant evidence.  Red herring –Introducing an irrelevant issue to distract readers.  False authority –Citing as expert opinion the views of a person who is not an expert  Inappropriate appeals –Appealing to pity or fear, snob appeal, flattery, argument ad populum (“to the people”), argument ad hominem (“to the man”)

22 Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition CHECKLIST OF FALLACIES Oversimplifications 6.6b  Hasty generalization (jumping to a conclusion) –Asserting an opinion based on too little evidence.  Sweeping generalization –Asserting an opinion as applying to all instances when it may apply to some, or to none. Absolute statements and stereotypes are variations.  Reductive fallacy –Generally, oversimplifying causes and effects.  Post hoc fallacy –Assuming that A caused B because A preceded B.  Either/or fallacy (false dilemma) –Reducing a complicated question to two alternatives.  False analogy –Exaggerating the similarities in an analogy or ignoring key differences.

23 Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition TESTS FOR AN ARGUMENT SUBJECT 7.1  A good subject –Concerns a matter of opinion: a conclusion drawn from evidence –Can be disputed: others might take a different position –Will be disputed: it is controversial –Is something you care about and know about or want to research –Is narrow enough to argue in the space and time available  A bad subject –Cannot be disputed because it concerns a fact, such as the distance to Saturn or the functions of the human liver –Cannot be disputed because it concerns a personal preference or belief, such as a liking for a certain vacation spot or a moral commitment to vegetarianism –Will not be disputed because few if any disagree over it: the virtues of a secure home, for instance

24 Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition REASONING Inductively 7.2a Evidence Data and opinion on advertising media. Claim Generalization: Print is the most cost- effective advertising medium. Assumption What is true in one set of circumstances (one set of print ads) is true in a similar set of circumstances (other print ads).

25 Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition REASONING Deductively 7.2b Assumption A fact, a principle, a belief, or (as here) a generalization from induction: Print is the most cost effective advertising medium. Claim Conclusion: Companies on lean budgets should advertise in print. Evidence New information: Companies on lean budgets should advertise in the most cost- effective medium.

26 Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition Organizing an Argument’s Body and Response to Opposing Views 7.3 The traditional schemeThe problem-solution scheme Claim 1 and evidenceThe problem: claims and evidence Claim 2 and evidence The solution: claims and evidence Claim X and evidenceResponse to opposing views Response to opposing views Variations on the traditional scheme Use a variation if you believe your readers will reject your argument without an early or intermittent response to opposing views. Response to opposing viewsClaim 1 and evidence Claim 1 and evidenceResponse to opposing viewsClaim 2 and evidence Claim X and evidenceResponse to opposing views Claim X and evidence Response to opposing views

27 Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition CHECKLIST FOR REVISING AN ARGUMENT 7.4a  Thesis  What is your thesis? Where is it stated?  In what ways is your thesis statement an arguable claim?  Reasoning  If your thesis derives from induction, where have you related the evidence to your generalization?  If your thesis derives from deduction, is your syllogism both true and valid?  Have you avoided fallacies in reasoning?  Evidence  Where have you provided the evidence readers need?  Where might your evidence not be accurate, relevant, representative, or adequate?

28 Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition CHECKLIST FOR REVISING AN ARGUMENT (continued) 7.4b  Appeals  Where have you considered readers’ probable beliefs and values?  How are your rational appeals and emotional appeals appropriate for your readers?  What is your ethical appeal? How can you improve it?  Opposing views  What opposing views have you answered?  How successfully have you refuted opposing views?  Organization  How clearly does your argument move from one point to the next?  How appropriate is your organization given your readers’ likely views?

29 Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition EXERCISE Finding a subject for argument 7.5a Explain why each subject below is or is not appropriate for argument. 1.Granting of athletic scholarships 2.Care of automobile tires 3.Censoring the Web sites of hate groups 4.History of the town park 5.Housing for the homeless 6.Billboards in urban residential areas or in rural areas 7.Animal testing for cosmetics research 8.Cats versus dogs as pets 9.Ten steps in recycling wastepaper 10.Benefits of being a parent

30 Copyright © 1995–2004 by Pearson Education, publishing as Longman Publishers Fowler/Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, Ninth Edition ANSWERS TO EXERCISE 7.5b Possible answers Topics that are not appropriate for argument: 2.A matter of facts, and few people would disagree. 4.A matter of facts, and few people would disagree. 8.A matter of personal preference. 9.A matter of facts. 10.A matter of personal belief.


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