Chapter 2 How Do We Argue As

How Do we Argue?

Arguments are defined in 2 ways:

  1. By their function
  2. By their form

We build arguments that respond to significant, practical or theoretical controversies.

Inquiry based Arguments
Inquiry guides argument and is often used to fuel or discover a thesis statement to answer a question. Using a question creates opportunity to fuel a thesis with research which in turn makes the thesis more certain and convincing by the end of the study.

All well written arguments come with implications that challenge how the reader, or the writer themselves views the question or argument at hand. Significant implications are there to inspire follow up questions and to create a more important discussion and to leave the reader without the "So what?" question at the end.

How do we build Arguments?

  • theisis
  • support
  • linkage

Thesis: the claim of the argument, can be implied or stated. Usually found in the opening argument but often seen in the conclusion more clearly explained.

Supporting Claims
Claims are paired with support, usually seen like: [Claim] because [support]..
3 most common categories of support are

  • Evidence (primary source)-anything that can be observed, anything from personal experience or quotations.

ex: observing a chemical reaction

  • Verification (secondary source)-Things we can look up- often determines the credibility of the argument.

ex: lawyers referencing laws or legal procedures

  • Illustrations (original source)- Things we imagine

ex: analogies or metaphors

Arguments that anticipate the skeptics and assumptions are usually more successful in persuading the reader.

3 Rookie Mistakes

  • Arguing the obvious. Wasting time explaining and arguing something most readers already know or agree with.

To Avoid: Read More. Do some research to find an original argument and thesis
Ask an Expert: Run your idea past a mentor or instructor, they will have better feedback towards a good thesis.

  • Arguing Without Support: Assuming the reader knows more about the subject than they really do.

To Avoid: Highlight the Argument- read over the unhighlighted section, does it need more support?
Consult a reader. Have someone review your paper, ask their advice on your argument and claims.

  • Supporting without Arguing. Assuming the reader will come to the same conclusion that you have in your head, without explicitly stating the argument.

To Avoid:Use Topic Sentences. They can help keep your thoughts organized and your argument in tact.
Search for Stranded Support. Make sure your claims are all connected to your support.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License