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A good argument answers these questions: Why am I provoked to make this argument? Why is this issue important right now? Why is this issue controversial?

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Presentation on theme: "A good argument answers these questions: Why am I provoked to make this argument? Why is this issue important right now? Why is this issue controversial?"— Presentation transcript:

1 A good argument answers these questions: Why am I provoked to make this argument? Why is this issue important right now? Why is this issue controversial? What are others saying on this issue? Who is on my side? What are their credentials? Who is on the other side? Why are they wrong? How are they right? Adapted from They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing. Gerald Graff and Kathy Birkenstein. Norton

2 A good argument is a response to opposition:

3 A good argument embeds all or some of these components: Acknowledgement of the opposing side Quotations and paraphrases (references to authority) Anecdotes (little stories) A combination of objective (academic) and subjective (emotional) language Rhetorical questions Facts and figures Summaries Cause and effect statements Variety of perspectives (I, we, you, he, she, they)

4 A good argument refers to all or some of the following values: Note: These are overlapping: Democratic Principles: Personal freedom, expression of individuality, promotion of democracy, the right to be left alone, civil liberties, honoring the past Sense of Community: Helping others, sharing resources, considering future generations; establishing sense of belonging; caring for loved ones Desire for safety and security: Protection against enemies, protection of resources, having sufficient food and shelter, avoiding and responding to natural disaster, maintaining health Economics: Maintaining sufficient resources for now and the future, protecting personal fortunes while offering opportunities to everyone Beauty, Pleasure, Convenience

5 Sentence Frames for Argumentation Use these frames at the outset of your argument to establish what others have been saying on this topic: In recent __________, we have been hearing a great deal about __________________________ by ______________________. _______________________ has been in the news recently because ________________________________________.

6 Sentence Frames for Argumentation Use this frames at the outset of your argument to introduce an ongoing debate: In discussions of _____________, one controversial issue has been ___________________________. People who believe____________ claim that________________________________. On the other hand, those who believe _____________________________ assert that ______________________________________________________. My own view is __________________________________________.

7 Sentence Frames for Argumentation Use this frame to establish common ground on a controversial issue: When it comes to the topic of ______________________, most of us would agree that ____________________________. Where this agreement ends, however, is on the question of _____________________. Whereas some are convinced that _______________________________. others maintain that___________________________________________. My own view is that____________________________________________.

8 Sentence Frames for Argumentation Use these frames as you acknowledge that the opposing side has a certain degree to validity: While at one time it may have been true that__________________, we can now state that____________________________________. ___________________ makes sense when he/she/they say________ ________________, but _____________________________________. Despite the validity of ______________________’s claim about ____________, he/she/they miss the mark when it comes to________________________ because___________________________________________________.

9 Sentence Frames for Argumentation Use these frames to establish working definitions of key terms: For the purpose of this discussion, I will define _______________________ as __________________________________________________________. Although you might think of ______________________as being just another_________________________, I define it as_______________________ _________________________________________________________________.

10 Sentence Frames for Argumentation Use these frames to establish or deny a comparison: _______________________ is like ___________________________. They both _______________________________________________. __________________________(s) may say that ___________________ is like _______________________________, but the comparison is false because while _________________________________________ is______________________________, it is not as ________________ as they claim.

11 Sentence Frames for Argumentation Use these frames to establish the importance of this topic: ______________ is important because__________________. We should care about______________because if_____________, then_________________________. Ultimately, what is at stake here is____________________________. My discussion of _________________ addresses the larger matter of _____________________.

12 Sentence Frames for Argumentation Use these frames to trace the development of your own views on the subject: I’ve always believed that____________________________________ When I was a child, I used to think that______________________________, but/and now I realize that____________________________________________. At the same time that I believe____________________, I also believe__________________________________. After careful consideration and as a result of my experience, I have/have not changed my mind about__________________________________.

13 Sentence Frames for Argumentation Use these words and phrases to establish cause and effect: Because (of)_____________, _______________________. Result As a result (of) resulting from resulting in consequence of consequently as a consequence Accordingly If…then… hence it follows, then since so then therefore thus

14 Sentence Frames for Argumentation Use these noun phrases to negatively characterize your opponents: Use these noun phrases to positively characterize your supporters: progressive thinkers prudent thinkers those who think about proactive people those who care about civic-minded people those who know about serious people those who understand people with regard for optimists realists those who disregard those who take a narrow view pessimists people who live in the past naysayers people who are unaware those who would have us believe those on the sidelines those who live only for the moment hardliners


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