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Writing Arguments Argument as Inquiry Using Evidence Effectively Argument Synthesis

Argument is not a fight or a quarrel creative & productive activity engages high levels of inquiry and critical thinking often in conversation with liked and respected people

Argument is not a Pro-Con Debate desire for truth aims to find best solution to complex problem goal isnt to win a game; goal is to find and promote best belief or course of action

Arguments can be explicit or implicit explicit directly states its controversial claim and supports it with reasons and evidence implicit is opposite (pic, slogans, etc) both used to persuade

Arguments requires justification of its claims must meet two conditions 1. set of two+ conflicting assertions 2. attempt to resolve conflict through an appeal to reason must clarify and support reasons

Argument and the Problem of Truth does not mean finding right answer to disputed question means determining best answer or best solution for the good of entire community when all stakeholders are considered means argument does not prove claim but only makes reasonable case for claim opinion based upon examination of all evidence

Every thesis prompts an opposing thesis

(antithesis) Conflict between these views leads to a new claim (synthesis) Synthesis incorporates aspects of both views

Think of a creative way to illustrate/explain the relationship between thesis, antithesis, and synthesis

Using Evidence Effectively

Sufficiency Typicality Accuracy


Sufficiency The more contested a claim or the more an audience is skeptical, the more evidence is needed Dont make argument overly long and tedious with too much evidence Word your claim so that audience supports it

Typicality Evidence should be typical and representative rather than an extreme instance

Accuracy Evidence cant be used ethically unless it is accurate and up-to-date Evidence cant be persuasive unless the audience believes in the writers credibility (ethos)

Relevance Argument: I deserve an A because I worked exceptionally hard. Provides evidence of how hard he worked, but not why he deserves an A.

Data from Personal experience

Insufficient (hasty generalization), not typical, not

adequately scientific or verifiable

Observation/field research
Flaws in how observations were conducted, showing

how data are insufficient, inaccurate, or nontypical

Interviews, questionnaires, surveys
Raise doubts about research methodology,

questionnaire design, or typicality of interview subjects

Library or internet research
Raise doubts about sufficiency, typicality, or relevance

Question credentials of source, show sources bias, or

quotes a countersource
Statistical data
Question methods, research design, interpretation of

Hypothetical examples, cases, & scenarios
Show implausibility of scenario or offer an alternative

Reasoned sequence of ideas
Point to different values or outline different


What personal experiences have you had with this issue?

What details from your life or the lives of your friends, acquaintances, or relatives might serve as examples or other kinds of evidence? What observational studies would be relevant to this issue? What people could you interview to provide insights or expert knowledge on this issue? What questions about your issue could be addressed in a survey or questionnaire? What useful information on this issue might encyclopedias, specialized reference books, or the regular book collection in your university library provide?

What evidence might you seek on this issue using

licensed database indexing sources for magazines, newspapers, and scholarly journals? How might an Internet search engine help you research this issue? What evidence might you find on this issue from reliable statistical resources such as US Census Bureau data, the Centers for Disease Control, or Statistical Abstract of the US?

Written discussion that draws on multiple

sources Must infer relationships among sources

Before inferring relationships must be able to

summarize Must go beyond summary to make judgments (critique) Must be able to apply source information to topic (analyze)

Purpose is to persuade Thesis is a claim about which reasonable people

could disagree
Strategy is to find and use convincing support for

your claim

A. Introduction 1. background information 2. thesis statement B. Claim 1 1. argue 2. expert opinion 3. argue 4. expert opinion 5. argue 6. expert opinion 7. assumption (Repeat for each claim) D. Conclusion

A. Introduction 1. background information 2. According to popular media, the American Dream means providing for family, striving for equality, and getting rich quick. B. Cinderella Man providing for family 1. looking for work at the docks 2. find scholarly source about employment 3. we dont steal 4. find scholarly source about maintaining values 5. we are better off than most people 6. find scholarly source about financially raising a family 7. These prove that according to the movie, the American Dream means providing for family. (Repeat for each claim) D. Conclusion

4-5 pages 5 sources Introduction Organization Conclusion Grammar & Mechanics Writing Process In-text Citations References Page

APA Wednesday 4/23 synthesis rough draft

Friday 4/25 - Grammar Portfolio #2 Monday 4/28 synthesis final copy

APA online Critique mulligans Wed 4/16 Wednesday 4/23 synthesis rough draft

Wednesday 4/23 - Grammar Portfolio #2

Monday 4/28 synthesis final copy