• Elements of Argument

    Elements of Argument

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Building a formal argument is not simply a matter of saying what one thinks; it is a process of choosing effective strategies for supporting an arguable claim and influencing readers. Choosing the appropriate forms of support to advance a position with the audience is a critical stage in the building process. Effective writers know which persuasive strategy or combination of strategies to use in particular situations.   

Building an Argument

The gurus select tools to build a doghouse to illustrate the importance of selecting effective strategies for constructing a solid argument through evidence, examples, and appeals.

Video Focus Points

Look for answers to these questions when watching the video:

  • What forms of evidence are typically used in building arguments?
  • What determines the type of evidence a writer chooses?
  • How can analogies and appeals be used to support an argument?

 

Choosing the Right Tools

Appeals frame an argument in ways that engage the reader’s opinions, beliefs, and sense of reason. With this in mind, Mitch conducts an interview to develop support for his working thesis. The interview provides him with examples, an appeal to emotion, an appeal to logic, and an allusion as he works on his first draft.

Video Focus Points

Look for answers to these questions when watching the video:

  • What factors influence Mitch’s choice of strategies to use in building his argument?
  • How do these strategies help Mitch connect with his readers in meaningful ways?

 

A Good Counterargument

In well-written arguments, writers anticipate opposing positions and deal with them, thereby making their argument more persuasive. The gurus continue building a doghouse to illustrate the use of opposing positions – counterargument, concessions, and qualifiers – in developing an argument.

Video Focus Points

Look for answers to these questions when watching the video:

  • What strategies are commonly used to acknowledge and respond to opposing positions in an argument?
  • How does acknowledging and responding to opposite viewpoints build credibility for a writer’s position?

 

 

Strategies at Work

Supporting a debatable claim requires a good working knowledge of available strategies. This activity tests your ability to recognize strategies that support the specific claim made in Mitch’s argument.