Presentation on theme: "Strategies for Written Argument English 102 Becky Cooper."— Presentation transcript:
Strategies for Written Argument English 102 Becky Cooper
Take a systematic approach: n Choose a significant issue. n Make sure that you have an arguable claim. n Identify your purpose and audience. n Tailor your argument to purpose and audience. n Define the issue and provide background. n Explain your position on the issue. n Support your position with ample evidence. n Use language to enhance your argument. n Use organization to strengthen your support. n Present a balanced perspective. n Check the logic of your argument
Choose a significant issue: n Think about how it affects your life or the lives of others. n Ask yourself why it matters or is interesting to you. n What other persons or groups would care about this issue? n Why are people still debating the issue? n Freewrite on what you already know about it and on what you would like to learn about it.
Make sure that you have an arguable claim: n Are there those who would disagree with your claim about the issue? n Write down your claim. n Write down the opposing viewpoint.
Identify your purpose and audience: n Whom do you want to influence? n How do you want to influence them?
Tailor your argument to purpose and audience: n Is your style and tone appropriate for your audience and purpose? (Style refers to the choices you make with regard to sentence structure, diction, literary devices, etc. Tone is your attitude toward the topic--angry, reflective, somber, etc.)
Audiences n Supportive: trusts the writer’s credibility and agrees with the position (can use emotional appeal as the primary appeal) n Wavering: may lack information on the subject but are willing to listen (ethical and logical appeals are useful) n Hostile: may have a very strong emotional investment in the opposing view (logos is most effective)
Types of Appeals n Logical (logos): based on logical evidence n Emotional (pathos): based on the reader’s needs, values, and attitudes n Ethical (ethos): based on the credibility of the writer or authority
Define the issue and provide background: n Provide a context for the claim. n Define any terms in your claim that might mislead the reader.
Explain your position on the issue: n Assert a clear position on the issue. Don’t “waffle” (agree with both sides) or merely report opposing positions.
Support your position with ample evidence: n Provide convincing reasons and evidence (data, reports of personal experience, views of experts) to support your claim. n Make sure that your evidence is up to date, sufficient, credible, and relevant.
Use language to enhance your argument: n Recognize the power of language. n Recognize the power of emotive language to influence feelings and attitudes. n Identify the connotations of key words and how they contribute to tone. n Avoid loaded terms that may offend readers. n Avoid exaggerating or slanting the argument. n Use abstractions carefully and effectively. n Eliminate cliches and slogans.
Use organization to strengthen your support: n The emphatic approach saves the most important evidence for last. n The “simple to complex” approach presents basic concepts before moving on to complex ideas, easing the reader into difficult material.
Present a balanced perspective: n Don’t insult the reader by ignoring the opposing viewpoint and presenting a slanted argument. n Accommodate or refute opposing views.
Check the logic of your argument: n Think through your position using induction or deduction. n Identify the warrant (underlying assumption that links support and claim) and make it explicit if it is implied.