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Presentation on theme: "Argumentation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Argumentation

2 Definition An argument is a statement that is supported by other statements. The argument is your essay’s thesis. The back-up or support statements are usually called premises, or topic sentences of your body paragraphs.

3 Why am I writing? Purposes: To support a cause To promote a change
To refute a theory To stimulate interest To win agreement To arouse sympathy To provoke anger

4 Audience – The reader Who are they What do they know
What do they believe What do they expect How can I (or should I) use jargon How will they disagree with me What will they want me to answer or address Should my writing be formal, casual, factual, personal, objective or anecdotal

5 Appealing to your Audience
Logical Appeal- relying on audience’s intelligence and offering credible evidence to support your argument. (Logos) Evidence includes Facts – not debatable; represents truth Examples – events or circumstances that your audience can relate to in life Precedents – specific examples from the past Authority – must be timely & qualified to judge the topic (testimony) *Use of deductive or inductive reasoning should be considered.

6 Logos Use a rational strategy
Define terminology or qualify definitions revealed Cite traditional culture/common beliefs (classical allusions to history, great literature, or mythology) Deemphasize personal feelings

7 Deduction A kind of reasoning which assumes a general principle (major premise) and applies that to a specific application (minor premise). I am allergic to cats. This cat wants me to pet him. *Adding a conclusion makes this syllogism. If I pet this cat, I will have an allergic reaction.

8 Deductive Reasoning If you accept both the major and minor premise, then you have to grant the conclusion. However, the syllogism does not always work, because if a premise is incorrect, then the conclusion is also incorrect. The value of induction is to select premises that you know your audience will accept.

9 Inductive Reasoning Involves making a generalization based on numerous facts: “Every time I pet a cat, I have an allergic reaction. I must be allergic to cats.”

10 Induction First you have to question. Then gather all the evidence
Finally you draw a conclusion based on the evidence you have assembled. The more evidence you gather, the better chance you have of establishing your conclusion.

11 Ethical Appeal Involves convincing your audience that you are intelligent and can be trusted. Perhaps the most difficult to establish because you have to prove yourself by demonstrating that you understand what you are arguing via: personal experience, knowing someone else who has had that experience, or thoroughly researching the issue

12 Ethical Appeal cont… Treat your audience respectfully
Establish a common ground Establish credibility by acknowledging that you agree with the opposite side on some aspect of the issue being argued Cite recognizable authorities in the field.

13 Emotional Appeal You should engage your audience emotionally.
You must have a balance with logical or ethical appeals when using emotion (pathos).

14 Pathos Language Strategies: Use Sensory Language
Consider Diction - Connotative language Figurative Language Tone

15 General Guidelines Don’t claim too much.
Suggest to the reader that your ideas should be considered or that you have a new approach. Don’t oversimplify complex issues. Support your evidence with concrete evidence and specific proposals, not with generalizations and conventional sentiments.

16 Common Fallacies As a critical reader, you must be alert to an author’s interpretation of information. Authors sometimes make mistakes in their arguments which destroy the validity of those comments. A fallacy is a statement which may appear to be an argument but is not logical and may be misleading. You must recognize them so that you will not make those mistakes you will be aware of unethical persuasion.

17 Common Fallacies cont…
Ad hominem – attacking a person’s motive or character instead of his/her stand on an issue Often used to prejudice the audience against the opponent and his view. Called “mud slinging” in politics Begging the question – presenting a premise as if it were a fact when it is debatable. “The new tardy policy which goes into effect tomorrow will insure that students get to class on time.”

18 Fallacies… 3. Either/or Fallacy- assets that a situation can have only 2 possible outcomes, one of which is definitely preferable. “If you, the voters, do not elect me, the budget will be completely out of control and the town will go bankrupt.” 4. Hasty Generalization – basing a conclusion on too little evidence Ex- dropping a class after the first day when you get the syllabus because you jump to the conclusion that you can’t possibly pass the class.

19 Fallacies… 5. Non sequitur – an attempt to relate 2 or more ideas which are not related; 1 idea does not logically lead to the next. “If I can pass AP Language, I can pass calculus.” 6. Oversimplification – trying to provide a simple solution to a complex problem “If we prohibit smoking on campus, we won’t have students smoking at school.” 7. Red Herring – something that is used to distract attention from the real issue

20 Fallacies… 8. Post hoc – the assumption that an earlier event causes a later event, when there may be no connection between them. “Because we allowed smoking in the dormitory, students are now bringing alcohol into their rooms.” 9. Misleading Statistics – the use of statistical evidence in order to mislead “Fifty percent of the boys in the cooking class failed the course. The school should not encourage boys to take the class because they don’t have the ability to be good cooks.” This is purposefully misleading if the speaker does not mention only 2 boys were in the class!

21 Fallacies… Circular Reasoning – using two ideas to prove each other
False Analogy – making a misleading comparison between logically unconnected ideas. False Dilemma – when too few of the available alternatives are considered, and all but one are assessed and deemed impossible to unacceptable.

22 Fallacies… 13. Pedantry – a display of narrow-minded and trivial scholarship or arbitrary adherence to rules and forms. 14. Post hoc ergo propter hoc – assuming that an incident that precedes another is the cause of the second incident. “after this, therefore because of this”

23 Terms Position- the opinion of the writer; the stand or stance he/she takes on an issue Qualify- to alter or modify according to available evidence; qualifying words include sometimes, many, most, often, few, usually, some etc… Challenge/refute/dispute – to argue against to prove wrong, based on evidence Defend – to take a stand in support of something. Rebuttal- final opposition to an assertion/ refute, disprove


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