Chapter 2 Katie

Chapter 2: How Do We Argue

Where Do We Find Arguments

  • Arguments originate from a catalyst: a gap or imperfection, an unknown answer, or an unsolved problem that matters to the writer
  • Scholars use arguments to explain and improve our world
  • Government and military intelligence experts use arguments to inform politicians
  • Analysts piece together information from limited or incomplete sources, compare different versions of what might be happening, make judgments, and drew conclusions about what they think
  • Their answers help to justify foreign policy actions of all kinds
  • Criminal trial lawyers use arguments to establish guilt or innocence
  • The justice system seeks the truth about the case, but regardless of what actually happened, the verdict determines a defendants fate
  • Scientist discover evidence through research, which others use to build compelling cases for new laws or regulations
  • All arguments whether they intend to solve particular problems or simply deepen our understanding of iussue begin with a question or uncertainty and use some method of investigation and case building to arrive at a conclusion

Inquiry-Based Arguments

  • Scholars often don't know their thesis when they begin writing, but rather discover it through investigation and research
  • When scientists initially questioned the health effects of cigarette smoking they began their research process with a question or a hypothesis
  • arguments mad by civil tights leaders who changed how we think about equality
  • arguments made by feminists who influenced the way American families function
  • Arguments made by activists who demanded health care reform
  • Arguments made by respected mentors who inspired you to questions a previously held opinion
  • The best arguments are the ones that have important implication, consequences or effects
  • A change can occur in the audience if they become willing o adjust their thinking, to compromise, to find a new solution, to investigate further, and so on
  • Compelling arguments have significant implications that not only change what audiences think but also inspire follow up quetions

How Do We Build Arguments

  • Imagine an argument as a bridge between a writer and reader
  • The thesis is the roadway, built by investigation and thinking
  • In everyday arguments, we call this kink of support a reason but a reason is actually another kink of claim that our audience might question
  • evidence includes anything we can observe
  • verification includes things we can look up
  • illustration involve things we imagine
  • evidence is a primary source something that you can collect and analyze yourself
  • illustration is an original source one that you create or borrow for a particular argument

An Everyday Argument

  • everyday arguments like this are actually claims stacked on top of other claims
  • we must eventually base the argument on something that we agree about
  • assumptions are any elements of the argument that either the writer or the audience are thinking bu not saying
  • assumptions make up the bulk of the total argument
  • one way to avoid making assumptions is to make our unstated assumptions

Find The Right Mix

  • Arguing the obvious
    • that is arguing about something the audience already nows or agrees with
  • Arguing without support
    • is underestimating how controversial a statement is
  • To avoid arguing the obvious
    • Read more
    • Ask an expert
  • To avoid arguing without support
    • highlight your argument
    • consult a reader
  • To avoid supporting without arguing
    • Use topic sentience
    • Search for stranded support
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License