The Argument Essay Kim Miller-Davis
In recent years, pop culture has made arguing look like something reasonable people should avoid. Like this:
A Fact is: A statement that can be proven or disproven The Eifel Tower is located in Paris, France.
An Opinion is: A statement of personal preferenceI like chocolate chip cookies.
An Argument is: A reasonable claim that can be backed up with evidence or support.Teachers should be held accountable for student achievement on standardized tests.
You cannot argue facts or opinions Why Not?
Let’s Try: The Eiffel Tower is not located in Paris, France
Now try this one: Teachers should not be held accountable for student achievement on standardized tests.
You might not agree with the statement, but it fits the requirement of a reasonable claim that opposes the premise of the original argument
Let’s ReviewAn Argument: • Is a reasonable claim • Can be backed up with evidence & support • Has reasonable opposition
The Argumentative Essay: is structured around the writer’s claim so that all of the written material is designed to persuade the readers that the claim is valid.
There are Four Basic Types of Claims • Substantiation • Evaluation • Policy • Definition
Substantiation: Claim of Cause/Effect Video Games cause violent behavior.
Evaluation: Claim of Judgment Scuba Diving is the best form of exercise.
Policy: Claim of Recommendation The school should institute a ban on cell phones.
Definition: Claim of Category Protesting the President of the United States is an act of treason.
Claim 1: The 9/11 Attacks were not criminal actions; they were acts of war.
Claim 2: The United States should provide aid to the Syrian people.
Claim 3: This nation’s fascination with fast food is the reason for our high rates of obesity.
Claim 4: Returning to College is a good idea for returning veterans.
WHY do we use argument?WHAT is an argument?WHICH types exist?Now, let’s talk about--How?
Why was the Piper so successful? • He knew his audience • He made a specific, clear claim • He used evidence to support his claim • He stayed on track • He used a combination of appeals • He reinforced his position
Definition of a Piper • a charismatic person who attracts followers • offers strong enticement • a leader
Know Your Audience • Who are they? • What appeals to them? • What are their possible objections?
Clear & Specific Claim You should be able to state the basic premise of your argument in a few words
Use Evidence & Explain It You must use a combination of facts, statistics, and anecdotal examples. You must also explain how that evidence proves your point.
Stay on Track Don’t get bogged down in details and side tracks. If you get lost, so will your reader.
Use a Combination of Appeals • Logos=Reason • Pathos=Emotion • Ethos=Practicality, Ethics, & Goodwill
Reinforce Your Position If you do not emphatically remind your reader of your position and its importance & validity, your reader will lose interest.
The Argument Essay: • Purpose: To prove an argument • An argument is not a fact or opinion • Argument=claim that can be backed up with evidence and support • Four Types of Claims: Substantiation, Evaluation, Policy, & Definition • Use the Pied Piper as a Model
Structuring the Written Argumentthrough PIPER Prepare the Reader Introduce the Claim Provide the Evidence Explain & Connect the Evidence Reinforce the Claim
Don’t forget: To Be a PIPER, You must also avoid logical fallacies
Logical Fallacies A Fallacy is an error in reasoning. They tend to occur for three major reasons: • False or weak premises • Irrelevance • Ambiguity
Ad Hominem Attacking the character of the arguer rather than the argument http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ncw-acVB368
Bandwagon Suggesting that a person should agree to something because it is popular http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQPN3UKQM-U