Chapter Six: How Do We Support Arguments?

Building Credibility
Before an audience can trust new information that is being presented to them, they must consider us or our arguments to be credible.

  1. Verification: Relies on "secondary" sources, which means someone else has already analyzed or interpreted the evidence. By integrating verification into our arguments, we demonstrate that we have already read and understand what experts have already said. We assume that our audience will trust us only after we prove that we know what we are talking about.
  2. Reputation: What the audience already knows or thinks about the author before they start reading. Readers trust authors whom they recognize as experts. Similarly, readers will trust arguments that appear in respected publications even before they begin reading.
  3. Presentation: Involves using a style that is suitable for your audience and purpose. You probably would not wear cutoff jeans and flip flops to a formal business interview. Similarly, we can project credibility in scholarly writing by using an appropriate style and by adhering to scholarly genres. Careful editing also demonstrates that we care about our writing and our audience. Additionally, we demonstrate trustworthy character by considering different perspectives, by acknowledging weaknesses in our own arguments, by treating sources respectfully and so forth.

Activating Reasoning or Logic with Evidence

  • Evidence provides the strongest foundation for arguments
  • Audiences respond to evidence more reliably that they respond to credible and emotional appeals
  • We are most certain of what we can observe and count on because observing and counting do not seem like acts of interpretation

Quantitative Evidence

  • Scholars who engage in quantitative investigation use statistical analysis to test the quality of their results, which helps make statistics much more persuasive.

Qualitative Evidence

  • Whatever the discipline may be, scholars are careful to design reliable and precise methods for collecting, analyzing, and reporting evidence.

Link Evidence to Claims

  • Scholars state or imply how their evidence supports their conclusions.
  • Connections between a thesis and its support demonstrate linkages
  • Linkages provide the bridge that connects the claim with the evidence
  • Writing is also case building and we want to be able to show our trail that the audience can follow along

Reader-Centered Writing
One way to show our is to transform our arguments from author-centred writing to audience centred writing.

  • Help readers see the logical pathway that guides our thinking

Scrutinize Your Linkages
Linkages between evidence and claims are typically evaluated according to two criteria: Relevance and Sufficiency

Relevance: Indicates the quality of the linkages. For example, grades are supposed to measure learning, but are they a relevant measure?

Sufficiency: reflects the quantitative strength of the linkage. We cannot claim more than we have evidence to support. Example, a courtroom and the defendant is innocent until proven otherwise.

Incorporating My Own Research

  • Interviews: Be courteous and respectful of your subject's time and expertise. Plan extensively beforehand, with carefully constructed questions, a clear sense of your purpose and background knowledge about your interviewee. Record the interview, with permission, so that you can quote and paraphrase accurately.
  • Surveys: Write clear and calculated questions that get your research questions but do not lead your audience too much. invite a few peers to read over a survey before your distribute it in order to catch confusing phrases, misleading questions, or errors.
  • Observations: When possible, remain inconspicuous and limit the amount of influence your presence creates.

Representing Results Graphically

  • Line charts can show the relationship between two variables, such as the effort you invest in studying this book versus how much your writing improves.
  • Pie Charts can show relationships among elements of a whole through percentages and proportionality.
  • Bubble charts allow writes to illustrate three dimensions of data.


You can begin to analyze data by asking yourself:

  • What does this evidence suggest? What might it mean?
  • How could this information help me answer my research question?
  • Do these responses align with what other scholars have found, or are the results different?
  • What questions remain? What else needs to be studied?

Your claim can only be as strong as your evidence

Drawing Conclusions
Explaining the methods that were used to collect data, and the precise linkages between their claims and their evidence can be said as the following:

  • What i mean by that is…
  • The point I'm trying to make is…
  • I'm not saying_. What I am saying is…
  • The gist of the matter is…
  • In other words…..

Evoke an Audience's Emotions

  • As long as you build the core of your argument with evidence and verification, you could consider adding a touching example in your introduction or conclusion that arouses your audience's emotions.
  • Use vivid language and concrete imagery to illustrate your argument. Precise, fresh, lively words can stop interest and evoke an emotional response, even is the content isn't pulling at anyone's heart strings.
  • Perhaps the most efficient means to invoke emotion is to use symbolic cultural references that you know will resonate with your audience.
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