Presentation on theme: "2012. You must assume that your reader will disagree with you, or be skeptical; therefore, your tone must be reasonable, professional, and trustworthy."— Presentation transcript:
You must assume that your reader will disagree with you, or be skeptical; therefore, your tone must be reasonable, professional, and trustworthy. However, this does not mean you must maintain objective. You may still “frame” your essay in a way that promotes your position.
It's usually wise to think of your audience in an academic setting as someone who is perfectly smart but who doesn't necessarily agree with you. You are not just expressing your opinion in an argument ("It's true because I said so”). In most cases, your audience will know something about the subject at hand—so you will need sturdy proof.
Remember, you must change your style, tone, diction when presenting to different audiences. For example: If you are writing a research paper about ethanol as an alternative energy source, would you write it with an audience of 12 year olds in mind? No, you would write it with an audience of engineers and scientists in mind. You would assume a certain educational level and you would not waste time defining familiar terms and concepts.
Making a claim The thesis statement tells your reader what you want them to think about the issue and why. The thesis must be something that people could reasonably have differing opinions on. If your thesis is something that is generally agreed upon or accepted as fact then there is no reason to try to influence people to agree with you.
The goal of an Argumentative Essay is persuasion, which means the topic should be controversial or debatable. For example, it would be difficult for a student to successfully argue in favor of the following thesis statement: Cigarette smoking poses medical dangers and may lead to cancer for both the smoker and those who experience secondhand smoke.
A better thesis would be: Although it has been proven that cigarette smoking may lead to health problems in the smoker, the social acceptance of smoking in public places demonstrates that many still do not consider secondhand smoke as dangerous to one’s health at firsthand smoke. In this sentence, the writer is not challenging the current accepted stance; rather she is posing that the social acceptance of the latter over the former is indicative of a cultural double-standard of sorts. She would support this with evidence to persuade her audience that her interpretation is viable.
Forecasting is always a good idea because it gives your reader an understanding of the path and organization of your essay. Know where your argument is going: Forecast it in terms of how you will define your argument.
Do not stop with having a point. You have to back up your point with evidence. The strength of your evidence, and your use of it, can make or break your argument. Examples: Facts, Statistics, Examples.
By considering what someone who disagrees with your position might have to say about your argument, you show that you have thought things through, and you dispose of some of the reasons your audience might have for not accepting your argument.
When you are summarizing opposing arguments, be charitable. Present each argument fairly and objectively, rather than trying to make it look foolish. You want to show that you have seriously considered the many sides of the issue and that you are not simply attacking or caricaturing your opponents.
Examples of Outline Patterns: (Basic Outline) Introduction Presentation of Issue (Explanation of Topic) Thesis Statement (Take a Position) Body Supporting Argument Opposing Positions - Refutation Conclusion
Examples of other Outline Patterns: (if your readers are likely to disagree with you!) Introduction Presentation of Issue Some Aspect Opposing Position Thesis Statement Body Supporting argument for your position Conclusion
Examples of other Outline Patterns: (if your readers are likely to agree with you!) Introduction Presentation of Issue Thesis Statement Body Opposing idea >Refutation Conclusion