An Argument is: A reasonable claim that can be backed up with evidence or support. Unlike facts & opinions, arguments can be reasonably opposed.
Example: Teachers should be held accountable for student achievement on standardized tests.
It can be reasonably opposed. Teachers should not be held accountable for student achievement on standardized tests.
You might not agree with the statement, but it fits the requirement of a reasonable claim that opposes the premise of the original argument
Let’s Review An Argument: Is a reasonable claim Can be backed up with evidence & support Has reasonable opposition
The Argumentative Essay: is structured around the writer’s claim so that all of the written material is designed to persuade the readers that the claim is valid.
There are Four Basic Types of Claims Substantiation Evaluation Policy Definition
Substantiation: Claim of Cause/Effect Video Games cause violent behavior.
Evaluation: Claim of Judgment Scuba Diving is the best form of exercise.
Policy: Claim of Recommendation The school should institute a ban on cell phones.
Definition: Claim of Category Protesting the President of the United States is an act of treason.
A Good Way to Remember the First Three Categories: Substantiation: Contains words similar to “cause” Examples: result of, reason for, effect, etc. Evaluation: Contains a judgmental adjective Examples: beneficial, superior, inferior, harmful, etc. Policy: Contains words like “should” or “should not” Examples: must, must not, need, do not need
Definition Claims Contain a linking verb Example Linking Verbs: is, are, was, were, have been, is being The linking verb acts as an equals sign Protesting the President=an act of treason The claim is an equation with two equal sides Does not contain judgment words Typically re-categorizes something—gives it a NEW definition
Examples of Definition Claims Watching television is a form of learning. Cooking is an art. Political debates are designed for entertainment. “Religion is […]an opium of the people”---Karl Marx All of these statements contain a linking verb that acts as an equals sign, separating the sentence into two equal parts where one side re-categorizes the subject.
WHY do we use argument? To Convince WHAT is an argument? A reasonable claim backed up with evidence or support WHICH types exist? Evaluation, Judgment, Cause/Effect, Definition Now, let’s talk about--How?
Know Your Audience Who are they? What appeals to them? What information do they know? What are their possible objections?
Make a Clear & Specific Claim You should be able to state the basic premise of your argument in a few words
Use Evidence & Explain It You must use a combination of facts, statistics, and anecdotal examples. You must also explain how that evidence proves your point.
Stay on Track Don’t get bogged down in details and side tracks. If you get lost, so will your reader.
Use a Combination of Appeals Logos=Reason Pathos=Emotion Ethos=Practicality, Ethics, & Goodwill
Reinforce Your Position If you do not emphatically remind your reader of your position and its importance & validity, your reader will lose interest.
The Argument Essay: Purpose: To prove an argument An argument is not a fact or opinion Argument=claim that can be backed up with evidence and support Four Types of Claims: Substantiation, Evaluation, Policy, & Definition