Chapter 6 Hamnes

Chapter 6: How Do We Support Arguments?

Building Credibility

1. Verification, borrowed from trustworthy sources. Verification relies on "secondary" sources, which means someone else has already analyzed or interpreted the evidence.

2. Reputation, or what the audience already knows and thinks about the author before they start reading. Readers trust authors whom they recognize as experts.

3. Presentation, which involves using a style that's suitable for your audience and purpose.

  • Audiences respond to evidence more reliably than they respond to credible and emotional appeals.
  • Linkages provide the bridge that connects the claim with the evidence.
  • Relevance indicates the quality of the linkage.
  • Sufficiency reflects the quantitive strength of the linkage.

Research Methods

  • Interviews. Be courteous and respectful of your subject's time and expertise. Record the interview, with the permission, so that you can quote and paraphrase accurately.
  • Surveys. Write clear and calculated questions that get at your research question but don't lead your audience too much.
  • Observations. When possible, remain inconspicuous and limit the amount of influence your presence creates.
  • Your claim can only be as strong as your evidence.
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