Chapter 8 How Do We Develop And Organize Arguments As

How do we create and organize arguments?

Organizing Rhetorically
-Things to think about when organizing

  • What's my purpose? What am I trying to accomplish?* Who is my audience going to be?
  • What kind of organization will be best for this topic/what will my readers react to the best? Do I want to stick with these expectations or surprise my reader?
  • Am I conducting research or collecting data? How will I organize my findings or present my results?

Techniques for organizing your thoughts

  • Visualization
    • Envision your writing as a building. Each room is a idea or paragraph and each hallway is a linkage between your ideas/causes and they connect the building together.
    • Thinking metaphorically and visually helps to see how parts fit together and avoid getting lost in the writing.

Experiment with Maps, Graphics, and software

  • Use a mind map or drawing to map out the ideas that you have in order to organize them better. This may also lead to new paths and ideas.
  • Reverse outline
    • after a draft is writen, outline the components to see if the organization is logical. This helps to focus the paragraphs and evaluate our claims.

Developing your arguments

  • Use the controversy categories as building blocks for larger arguments
    • Arguments about existence and fact
    • Arguments about definition
    • Arguments about cause and consequence
    • Arguments about evaluation
    • Arguments about policy

Selecting Scholarly Arguments

  • Scholarly inquiry proceeds from a catalyst to an answer or conclusion
  • The scholarly model
  • Intro
    • identify the catalyst
    • create common ground with readers
    • arouse attention and interest in the topic
    • state the thesis
    • give background to the argument
  • Background
    • Summarize important research
    • describe history and foundation of the subject
    • give an overview
    • explain your analysis process
  • Support
    • Present verification, evidence etc that support the thesis
    • link all sub-claims back to the thesis
    • report all research findings
  • Consideration of alternative arguments
    • Examine alternative points of view
    • note advantages and disadvantages
    • acknowlege limitations present in your argument
    • explain why your argument is better
  • Conclusion
    • Summarize the overall argument
    • identify the implication of the research
    • Clearly state what you want your readers to think or do about the subject
    • add emotional or ethical appeal
    • raise further questions.

Scholarly Moves

  1. Start with what others have said
  2. Highlight agreement before disagreement
  3. Put your best food forward

Organize your revision

  • Add transitions
  • Unify your argument
  • Design your document (headings, sub headings, indentations, quotes)

Structure your writing process

  • Break the assignment into a series of manageable tasks; then assign a deadline for each one
  • Break a long assignment into parts
  • Get feedback along the way
  • Don't just follow a linear or fixed plan
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License