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Everything’s An Argument

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Presentation on theme: "Everything’s An Argument"— Presentation transcript:

1 Everything’s An Argument
Chapter 1: Everything Is an Argument

2 Everything is an Argument
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 Arguments to… Inform Convince Explore Make Decisions Meditate/Pray

4 Arguments to INFORM Presenting specific information to inform readers
Focus is on the information Political poster or advertisement: informs us as readers as to: Mr. X is running for a certain office Tells us his stand on issues picture might show us what he looks like (recognition): physical to name

5 Arguments to INFORM Obama for President 2008

6 Arguments to INFORM

7 Arguments to INFORM

8 Arguments to CONVINCE 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 Arguments to convince aren’t necessarily set up to be persuasive, but by using facts, stats, you show readers you present a perspective that is worth serious consideration. example: writing a report to identify the causes of soil erosion in Southeast Alabama. You are necessarily trying to win an argument over an opponent, rather you are persuading others to agree with your findings.

9 Arguments to EXPLORE 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. Read the example by William F. Buckley Presents a subject he finds troubling: Not suggesting a solution - just points out a problem is there.. Wants his audience to think about the problem, which is the first step in addressing a solution (Have to realize there is a problem before it can be solved)

10 Arguments to EXPLORE “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 Arguments to EXPLORE Problem does exist – writer or reader needs to solve it. Example: “We have a problem with litter on campus.”

12 Arguments to MAKE DECISIONS
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. Or: could be multiple solutions to a problem and you provide the most feasible one.

13 Arguments to MEDITATE/PRAY
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. Purpose: writer is hoping to transform something within to reach a peace of mind. Think about your favorite devotional song or hymn sung at worship. Words are used to convey a particular argument.

14 God is the fountain whence ten thousand blessings flow; To Him my life, my health, my friends And every good, I owe. Argument: In plain English: All blessings come from God. I owe everything to Him: my life, my health, my friends, and every good thing. If you sing a song like this at church, you are arguing That there is a God God is the source of all blessings and goodness I owe every blessing in my life to Him. (I owe Him thanks and gratitude.)

15 Occasion for Argument Past Future Present
Consider the occasion that calls for an argument. Art of persuasion in ancient rhetoric classifies arguments on basis of time. Some arguments can overlap categories (argument about present might include implications for future) If we don’t solve the current problem of soil erosion, in 10 years, we may be looking at total destruction of prime farm land.

16 Arguments about Past 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.” Years of clear cutting timber without replanting has led to the current problem of soil erosion in SE Alabama.

17 Arguments about Future
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 Deliberative – make some kind of decision Often rely on forensic arguments b/c what happened in the past usually decides what will happen in future.

18 Arguments about Present
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 Epideictic or Ceremonial Arguments Tend to be heard at public occasions Inaugurals addresses, sermons, eulogies, graduation speeches, civic remarks.

19 Status of Arguments 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? These kinds of arguments are rooted in ancient rhetorical thought Organize arguments as to their status or STASIS – the kinds of issues they address. (STASIS THEORY) Related to a series of questions (pg. 14) Read example: pg. 14 – case that happened a couple of years ago

20 Arguments of Fact Facts can be proved or disproved with evidence or testimony. Concern: if something can easily be proven, it can’t be argued. A Hyundai is significantly lower in price than Toyota. Global warming is rapidly destroying the rain forests of South America.

21 Arguments of Definition
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 Hotly contested argument based on definition. Look at example by Bob Costas: in his eulogy of Mickey Mantle, one of the greatest baseball players of all time, he distinguishes between a ROLE MODEL and a HERO. Pg. 24 Many times, an argument stems from how society or a term is defined. Most ludicrous attempt at argument of definition was Bill Clinton debating the meaning of the word “is”.

22 Arguments of Evaluation
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) Arguments of quality (comparison/contrast of car, for example – must be fair basis for comparison to make fair evaluation – Can’t compare a Toyota Corolla with a Hummer Parks evaluates King according to her definition of true leader. .

23 Proposal Arguments Present evidence to show there is a problem; then, propose a solution. Recommend most viable course of action. Some problems are obvious and do not need to be proven. Focus on solution for most of the argument.

24 Stasis Questions 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? These kinds of arguments are rooted in ancient rhetorical thought Organize arguments as to their status or STASIS – the kinds of issues they address. (STASIS THEORY) Related to a series of questions Read example: pg. 14 – case that happened a couple of years ago

25 Audiences for Arguments
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 Making a Connection to Reader
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 Making a Connection to Reader
“Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me. And ain’t I a woman?... I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me. And ain’t I a woman?” Sojourner Truth “Ain’t I a Woman?” The Sojourner Truth quote is a good example of how we as readers perceive her statements. That we know she was a former slave who was pleading for justice, not just as a black but as a woman. In fact, her audience was predominately white; therefore, in her argument, to show her humanity, she focused on herself as a woman first of all. Once they realized that she was a real person, not just a former slave, then she could show that a woman is a woman is a woman, no matter what color. She had to establish that connection with her reader in order for them to listen and be persuaded to what she had to say about justice.

28 Appealing to Audiences
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 writer’s authority and credibility Logos Logical appeals or appeals to reason

29 Emotional Appeals 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 Be wary because emotions can lead to unwise judgments. A lot of advertising is emotional argumentation: Companies want to appeal to your feelings – make you want to buy a particular product. (buying a certain car will make you feel good.) Wearing a certain brand of clothing – make you feel fashionable/stylish.

30 Ethical Appeals 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 writer’s agenda? Does writer acknowledge and address opposition? Are sources documented? REMEMBER: these same questions will be used to analyze your writings. As you read, look for evidence of these traits

31 Ethical Appeals As author, you must consider Language
Organization & structure Sense of authority As you read, look for evidence of these traits Look at example pg .36 Edward Abbey Bottom of pg. 36: facts and figures borrowed from the congressional website will carry more weight than stats from Jason’s Gonzo homepage.

32 Logical Appeals 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 Making a Claim 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 Claim must be backed by reason; author has to prove the claim. Is argument based on reasonable premises? Does the writer provide sufficient evidence to prove claim?

34 Shaping an Argument 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 Giving an Argument Style
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 END OF CHAPTER TWO

36 READERS & CONTEXT Must always think about audience or readers when you present arguments. Must always address an intended audience. See figure on pg. 53

37 READERS & CONTEXT Different kinds of readers
Ideal reader (exists in author’s mind) Invoked reader (represented in the text) Real reader (ones who actually read text) See figure on pg. 53

38 READERS & CONTEXT 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 Establish Credibility
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 Establishing Credibility
Demonstrate Knowledge Show readers you know what you are talking about Facts/statistics

41 Establishing Credibility
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 Establishing Credibility
Respect Readers Do not speak down to readers Do not use offensive language

43 Rhetorical Situation Argument exists in a particular context of some kind that influences how it can be shaped and how others receive it. Topic/Subject (Logical Appeals) CONTEXT Context It’s important to think about your rhetorical situation as dynamic, since each element of it has the potential to affect all the other elements. A change of audience, for example, can lead you to reconsider all of your appeals. If you begin to this in this dynamic way, you’ll be developing a rhetorical turn of mind: you’ll find yourself viewing any topic from a number of perspectives (What might a different audience think of this?) developing a greater critical engagement with the issues and ideas. Audience/Readers (Emotional Appeals) Author (Ethical Appeals)

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

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