3 5 B H S I L ENG

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3 5 B H S I L ENG S T N E M E

3 5 B H S I L ENG S T N E M E T A T S IS S E H T D N A ARGUMENT BLOG IN IB K ’S R E P P E T I M O A N ADAPTED FROM

ARGUMENT DEFINITION • WHAT DO WE MEAN BY THE TERM “ARGUMENT”? • OFTEN TIMES,

ARGUMENT DEFINITION • WHAT DO WE MEAN BY THE TERM “ARGUMENT”? • OFTEN TIMES, PEOPLE HAVE A NEGATIVE CONNOTATION ASSOCIATED WITH THE TERM—AS IN, “I HAD AN ARGUMENT WITH MY BEST FRIEND. ” • IN THE ACADEMIC SENSE, HOWEVER, ARGUMENT HAS MUCH MORE TO DO WITH THE RATIONAL EXPLORATION OF IDEAS TO PROMOTE FURTHER UNDERSTANDING OF A PARTICULAR ISSUE OR PROBLEM.

ARGUMENT STRUCTURE • IN ITS MOST BASIC FORM, AN ARGUMENT CONSISTS OF A POSITION

ARGUMENT STRUCTURE • IN ITS MOST BASIC FORM, AN ARGUMENT CONSISTS OF A POSITION OR STANCE SUPPORTED BY REASONS. • I THINK WE SHOULD GET CHINESE FOOD FOR DINNER TONIGHT (CLAIM) SINCE YOU GOT TO PICK LAST TIME (REASON).

EXAMPLE ARGUMENT • ARGUMENT, THEN, HAPPENS EVERY DAY, ALL AROUND US. • THINK OF

EXAMPLE ARGUMENT • ARGUMENT, THEN, HAPPENS EVERY DAY, ALL AROUND US. • THINK OF A RECENT ARGUMENT YOU MADE—WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU WANTED TO CONVINCE SOMEONE OF SOMETHING? WHAT WAS THE SCENARIO? • TURN AND SHARE WITH A PARTNER

IMPORTANCE OF ARGUMENT • WHY DO YOU THINK WE PUT SO MUCH EMPHASIS ON

IMPORTANCE OF ARGUMENT • WHY DO YOU THINK WE PUT SO MUCH EMPHASIS ON ARGUMENT AND PERSUASION? WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT? • THE ABILITY TO SUCCESSFULLY PERSUADE PEOPLE PUTS YOU IN A POSITION OF POWER. YOU ARE MORE LIKELY TO DO WELL IN SCHOOL, AT WORK, AND EVEN WITH FRIENDS IF YOU ARE ABLE TO CONSTRUCT CONVINCING ARGUMENTS. • YOU ARE ALSO LESS LIKELY TO BE TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF IF YOU ARE ABLE TO DECONSTRUCT AND EVALUATE THE ARGUMENTS OF OTHERS.

THESIS STATEMENTS • IN THE ESSAYS YOU WILL WRITE FOR OUR CLASS, YOUR CLAIM,

THESIS STATEMENTS • IN THE ESSAYS YOU WILL WRITE FOR OUR CLASS, YOUR CLAIM, OR POSITION, WILL BE CONVEYED IN YOUR THESIS STATEMENT • THESIS STATEMENT IS THE CONTROLLING IDEA OF YOUR ESSAY, AND WHAT YOU HOPE TO CONVINCE YOUR AUDIENCE OF • IT MUST BE A SENTENCE WITH A SUBJECT AND A VERB (NOT MERELY A TOPIC) • IT MUST BE AN IDEA THAT YOU CAN DEFEND (NOT MERELY A STATEMENT OF FACT).

PRACTICE • IN GROUPS OF 4, DECIDE WHETHER THE FOLLOWING SENTENCES ARE FACTS (NOT

PRACTICE • IN GROUPS OF 4, DECIDE WHETHER THE FOLLOWING SENTENCES ARE FACTS (NOT APPROPRIATE FOR A THESIS STATEMENT) OR THESIS STATEMENTS. RECORD YOUR ANSWERS ON A SINGLE SHEET OF PAPER WITH EACH GROUP MEMBERS’ NAME WRITTEN ON THE TOP. BE PREPARED TO SHARE YOUR ANSWERS AND TURN IN YOUR PAPER WHEN YOU ARE FINISHED. • GASOLINE PRICES ARE FALLING. • PLAGIARISM IS A MISUNDERSTOOD “CRIME”. • HOME SCHOOLING HAS ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES. • READING FICTION IS BENEFICIAL BECAUSE IT MAKES PEOPLE MORE OPEN-MINDED. • ON JULY 20, 1969, NEIL ARMSTRONG PLANTED AN AMERICAN FLAG ON THE MOON.

WRITING A THESIS • WHEN WRITING A THESIS STATEMENT YOU SHOULD REMEMBER THAT IT

WRITING A THESIS • WHEN WRITING A THESIS STATEMENT YOU SHOULD REMEMBER THAT IT MUST BE • FOCUSED (NOT TOO BROAD) • DEBATABLE (NOT A STATEMENT OF FACT) • CHOOSES A SIDE (NOT SIMPLY INFORMATIVE) • AND MAKES A CLAIM (STATES THE POSITION CLEARLY)

FOCUS IT’S IMPORTANT TO STAY FOCUSED! DON’T TRY TO ARGUE AN OVERLY BROAD TOPIC

FOCUS IT’S IMPORTANT TO STAY FOCUSED! DON’T TRY TO ARGUE AN OVERLY BROAD TOPIC IN YOUR ESSAY, OR YOU’RE GOING TO FEEL CONFUSED AND UNSURE ABOUT YOUR DIRECTION AND PURPOSE. • BAD EXAMPLE: “EATING FAST FOOD IS BAD AND SHOULD BE AVOIDED. ” • THIS STATEMENT IS TOO GENERAL AND WOULD BE NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR YOU TO DEFEND. IT LEAVES A LOT OF BIG QUESTIONS TO ANSWER. IS ALL FAST FOOD BAD? WHY IS IT BAD? WHO SHOULD AVOID IT? WHY SHOULD ANYONE CARE? • GOOD EXAMPLE: “AMERICANS SHOULD ELIMINATE THE REGULAR CONSUMPTION OF FAST FOOD BECAUSE THE FAST FOOD DIET LEADS TO PREVENTABLE AND EXPENSIVE HEALTH ISSUES, SUCH AS DIABETES, OBESITY, AND HEART DISEASE. ” • IN THIS EXAMPLE, I’VE NARROWED MY ARGUMENT TO THE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES RELATED TO A DIET OF FAST FOOD. I’VE ALSO CHOSEN TO FOCUS ON AMERICANS RATHER THAN EVERYONE IN THE UNIVERSE. (BECAUSE, AS WE ALL KNOW, INHABITANTS OF THE FARAWAY PLANET DOUBLEPATTY 5 REQUIRE THE STARCHES AND FATS INHERENT IN FAST FOOD TO SURVIVE).

DEBATABLE • A GOOD ARGUMENTATIVE THESIS IS CENTERED ON A DEBATABLE TOPIC. • BAD

DEBATABLE • A GOOD ARGUMENTATIVE THESIS IS CENTERED ON A DEBATABLE TOPIC. • BAD EXAMPLE: “THERE ARE HIGH NUMBERS OF HOMELESS PEOPLE LIVING IN BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA. ” • NO ONE CAN ARGUE FOR OR AGAINST THIS STATEMENT. IT’S NOT DEBATABLE. IT’S JUST A FACT. • GOOD EXAMPLE: “HOMELESS PEOPLE IN BERKELEY SHOULD BE GIVEN ACCESS TO SERVICES, SUCH AS REGULAR FOOD DONATIONS, PUBLIC RESTROOMS, AND CAMPING FACILITIES, BECAUSE IT WOULD IMPROVE LIFE FOR ALL INHABITANTS OF THE CITY. ” • OPPONENTS COULD EASILY ARGUE THAT HOMELESS PEOPLE IN BERKELEY ALREADY RECEIVE ADEQUATE SERVICES (“JUST LOOK AT ALL THOSE LUXURIOUS SIDEWALKS!”), OR PERHAPS THAT THEY SHOULDN’T BE ENTITLED TO SERVICES AT ALL (“GET A JOB, YA LAZY LOAFERS!”).

PICK A SIDE JUST AS YOU CAN’T ROOT FOR BOTH THE YANKEES AND THE

PICK A SIDE JUST AS YOU CAN’T ROOT FOR BOTH THE YANKEES AND THE METS, YOU CAN’T ARGUE BOTH SIDES OF A TOPIC IN YOUR THESIS STATEMENT. • BAD EXAMPLE: “SECONDHAND SMOKE IS BAD AND CAN CAUSE HEART DISEASE AND CANCER; THEREFORE, SMOKING SHOULD BE OUTLAWED IN PUBLIC PLACES, BUT OUTLAWING SMOKING IS UNFAIR TO SMOKERS SO MAYBE NON-SMOKERS CAN JUST HOLD THEIR BREATH OR WEAR MASKS AROUND SMOKERS INSTEAD. ” • A WISHY-WASHY STATEMENT LIKE THIS WILL MAKE YOUR READER SCRATCH HIS HEAD IN PUZZLEMENT. ARE YOU FOR SMOKING LAWS OR AGAINST THEM? YANKEES OR METS? METS OR YANKEES? • GOOD EXAMPLE: “SECONDHAND SMOKE IS JUST AS HARMFUL AS SMOKING AND LEADS TO A HIGHER PREVALENCE OF CANCER AND HEART DISEASE. WHAT’S WORSE, PEOPLE WHO INHALE SECONDHAND SMOKE ARE DOING SO WITHOUT CONSENT. FOR THIS REASON, SMOKING IN ANY PUBLIC PLACE SHOULD BE BANNED. ” • PICK A SIDE AND STICK WITH IT!

MAKING CLAIMS • • A GOOD THESIS MAKES CLAIMS THAT WILL BE SUPPORTED LATER

MAKING CLAIMS • • A GOOD THESIS MAKES CLAIMS THAT WILL BE SUPPORTED LATER IN THE PAPER. IT’S IMPORTANT TO FIRST INCLUDE A SUMMARY OF YOUR CLAIMS IN YOUR THESIS STATEMENT. DURING THE COURSE OF YOUR ESSAY, YOU WILL BACK EACH OF YOUR CLAIMS WITH WELL-RESEARCHED EVIDENCE. BAD EXAMPLE: “HUMANS SHOULD RELOCATE TO MARS. ” • THIS STATEMENT DOESN’T INCLUDE ANY SUPPORTING CLAIMS. WHY SHOULD HUMANS MOVE TO MARS? WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MOVING TO A PLANET WITHOUT OXYGEN OR TREES? GOOD EXAMPLE: “IT IS TOO LATE TO SAVE EARTH; THEREFORE, HUMANS SHOULD IMMEDIATELY SET A DATE FOR THEIR RELOCATION TO MARS WHERE, WITH PROPER PLANNING, THEY CAN AVOID ISSUES OF FAMINE, WAR, AND GLOBAL WARMING. ” • THIS STATEMENT INCLUDES SOME THOUGHT-PROVOKING CLAIMS. THE READER WILL WONDER HOW THE AUTHOR PLANS TO DEFEND THEM. (“FAMINE, WAR, AND GLOBAL WARMING CAN BE EASILY AVOIDED ON MARS? GO ON…”)

PRACTICE • IN YOUR GROUPS (AND ON YOUR SAME SHEET OF PAPER), WRITE A

PRACTICE • IN YOUR GROUPS (AND ON YOUR SAME SHEET OF PAPER), WRITE A THESIS STATEMENT FOR EACH OF THE FOLLOWING TOPICS. USE THE GUIDELINES WE’VE DISCUSSED. BE PREPARED TO SHARE YOUR ANSWERS WITH THE CLASS. • MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION • STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS • GOVERNMENT SURVEILLANCE • MANDATORY VACCINATION • CYBERBULLYING

EXAMPLES • MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION: “MARIJUANA HAS NUMEROUS MEDICAL APPLICATIONS, SUCH AS TREATING SYMPTOMS OF

EXAMPLES • MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION: “MARIJUANA HAS NUMEROUS MEDICAL APPLICATIONS, SUCH AS TREATING SYMPTOMS OF EPILEPSY, CANCER, AND GLAUCOMA. LEGALIZING THE USE OF MARIJUANA IN THE U. S. WILL GREATLY BENEFIT THE MEDICAL SECTOR BY GIVING PHYSICIANS EASIER ACCESS TO THIS HELPFUL DRUG. ” • STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENENESS: “CRIPPLING STUDENT DEBT IS STIFLING THE GROWTH OF THE U. S. ECONOMY BECAUSE IT INHIBITS GRADUATES FROM BEING ABLE TO SPEND MONEY ON CONSUMER GOODS AND HOME PURCHASES. TO ALLEVIATE THIS, LENDERS SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO FORGIVE STUDENT LOANS IN CASES WHERE STUDENTS ARE UNABLE TO REPAY THEIR DEBTS. ”

EXAMPLES • GOVERNMENT SURVEILLANCE: “GOVERNMENT SURVEILLANCE PROGRAMS DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD BECAUSE THEY

EXAMPLES • GOVERNMENT SURVEILLANCE: “GOVERNMENT SURVEILLANCE PROGRAMS DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD BECAUSE THEY INVADE CIVIL LIBERTIES, LEAD INNOCENT PEOPLE TO SUFFER UNFAIR PUNISHMENTS, AND ULTIMATELY FAIL TO PROTECT THE CITIZENS THEY ARE DESIGNED TO SAFEGUARD; FOR THESE REASONS, PROGRAMS SUCH AS PRISM, OPERATED BY THE NSA, SHOULD BE DISCONTINUED. ” • MANDATORY VACCINES: “TODAY, NEARLY 20% OF AMERICAN PARENTS REFUSE TO VACCINATE THEIR CHILDREN DU TO A VARIETY OF UNFOUNDED FEARS. HOWEVER, VACCINATIONS AGAINST DISEASES SUCH AS POLIO, RUBELLA, AND MEASLES SHOULD BE MANDATORY FOR ALL CHILDREN OF THE U. S. WHO WISH TO ATTEND PUBLIC SCHOOL BECAUSE THESE VACCINATIONS ARE CRITICAL TO THE CONTROL AND ERADICATION OF DEADLY INFECTIOUS DISEASES. ”

EXAMPLES • CYBERBULLYING: “BULLYING HAS EXTENDED FAR BEYOND SCHOOL AND INTO CYBERSPACE. EVEN THOUGH

EXAMPLES • CYBERBULLYING: “BULLYING HAS EXTENDED FAR BEYOND SCHOOL AND INTO CYBERSPACE. EVEN THOUGH THESE ACTS OF AGGRESSION TAKE PLACE OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL BOUNDARIES, SCHOOL OFFICIALS SHOULD HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO DISCIPLINE STUDENTS WHO ENGAGE IN CYBERBULLYING WITHOUT FEAR OF REPRISAL. DOING SO WILL HELP IMPROVE THE ONLINE BEHAVIOR OF STUDENTS AND DECREASE INCIDENCES OF CYBERBULLYING RELATED SUICIDE ATTEMPTS. ”