- Slides: 21
ARGUMENTATIVE WRITING The Persuasive Essay
ARGUMENTATION/PERSUASION • Writing that attempts to convince the reader to agree with the writer’s point of view; to make a particular decision; to pursue a particular course of action
Argumentation frequently uses rhetorical strategies in order to argue convincingly • Some strategies are • Definition • Compare and contrast • Analyze cause and effect • Classification • Description • Narration
• Argumentation is the writer’s attempt to convince, NOT EXPLAIN, that is of primary importance in an argumentative (persuasive) essay.
TWO ESSENTIAL CATEGORIES OF ARGUMENTS • Persuasion & Logic • Persuasive style is written in a way that appeals to the audience’s emotions, at their subconscious, even at their biases and prejudices • These appeals are built on • Diction • Slanting • Figurative language • Analogy • Rhythmic patterns of speech • Tone that will encourage a positive response
• Logical style is written in a way that appeals to the audience’s intellectual faculties, understanding, and knowledge. • These appeals are built on • Reasoned movement from assertion to evidence to conclusion • System of proof and counterproof • Generally do not audience to take action (simply take their side as truth) • Commonly found in • Scientific or philosophical articles • Legal decisions • Technical proposals
SEVEN STEPS TO FOLLOW WHEN WRITING ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAYS • Determine thesis or proposition • Take account of your audience • Gather the necessary supporting evidence • Settle on an organization pattern • Consider refutations (opposite opinions) to your argument • Avoid faulty reasoning (fallacies) • Conclude forcefully
LOGICAL FALLACIES • Oversimplification (drastically simple solution) • Hasty generalization (too little evidence) • Post hoc, ergo propter hoc (confusing chance or coincidene w/causation) • Begging the question (assuming something needs to be proven) • False analogy (misleading ideas between unconnected ideas) • Either/or thinking (Seeing only two alternatives) • Non sequitur (inference or conclusion that is not clearly related to the evidence) • (example sentences can be found on page 544 in Models for Writers)
OVERSIMPLIFICATION (DRASTICALLY SIMPLE SOLUTION) • We have a balance-of-trade deficit because foreigners make better products than we do.
HASTY GENERALIZATION (TOO LITTLE EVIDENCE) • My grandparents eat bran flakes for breakfast, just as most older folks do.
POST HOC, ERGO PROPTER HOC (I DID THIS, SO THIS HAPPENED) • I went to the hockey game last night. The next thing I know I had a cold.
BEGGING THE QUESTION (ASSUMING SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE PROVEN) • Lying is wrong because people should always tell the truth.
FALSE ANALOGY (MISLEADING IDEAS BETWEEN UNCONNECTED IDEAS) • If we can clone mammals, we should be able to find a cure for cancer.
EITHER/OR THINKING (SEEING ONLY TWO ALTERNATIVES) • Either you love your job, or you hate it.
NON SEQUITUR (INFERENCE OR CONCLUSION THAT IS NOT CLEARLY RELATED TO THE EVIDENCE) • She is very sincere. She must know what she’s talking about.
TAKE A STAND • With a strong stand, you can argue vigorously and convincingly
CONSIDER ETHOS, PATHOS, AND LOGOS Three elements of argumentation Ethos – which is related to the speaker/writer Pathos – which is related to the audience Logos – which is related to the subject
ETHOS (RELATED TO THE SPEAKER/WRITER) • Greek word for “character” • Has to do with the authority, credibility, and to a certain extent to the morals of the speaker/writer • To gain credibility you must present your argument reasonably, sincerely, and in language free from too much emotionalism and always respect your audience in your writing.
PATHOS ( RELATED TO THE AUDIENCE) • Greek word for “emotion” • Has to do with maximizing appeal for a given audience • To be successful at this you must use artful and strategic diction • Certain buzzwords, slanted diction, or loaded language may become either rallying forces or causes of resentment in an argument. • You need to know your audience before making decisions about diction
LOGOS (RELATED TO THE SUBJECT) • Greek for “word” • Has to do with the subject and the effective presentation of the argument itself. • This aspect of argumentation is the most difficult to accomplish because of the following requirements: • The claim is worthwhile • Paper is logical, consistent, well supported by evidence • Evidence is factual, reliable, convincing • Argument is thoughtfully organized and clearly presented in a way that will convince the audience to see things your way
MODELS FOR WRITERS • Refer to pages 539 -641 for more information on Argument