Notes on Writing Arguments (ch. 1-4)

(Intro) Principles of Argument:
“Core, Logical Structure, Accommodating Your Audience, Evidence, Legos, Ethos, & Pathos”
(Intro) Six types of argument essays are
1. Definition of argument
2. Casual argument
3. Resemblance of argument
4. Evolution of argument
5. Proposal argument
6. Ethical argument
(Ch.1) Argument:
not a fight or quarrel, nor does it apply anger
(Ch.1) Explicit argument
directly states a claim and supports it with reasons and evidence.
(Ch.1) Implicit argument
can be a poem or a short story, a photograph or cartoon, or an autobiographical narrative.
(Ch.1) Example of implicit argument
Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath that argues for unionization of farm workers (4-5)
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(Ch.1) The product
contributions from each party
(Ch.2) Strategies for Reading Arguments
1. Reading as a believer
2. Reading as a doubter
3. Seek out alternative views and analyze sources of disagreements to clarify why participants in the conversation disagree with each other.
4. Evaluate various positions.
(Ch.2) Reading as a believer
This is what psychologist Carl Rogers calls empathetic (sympathetic) listening.
(Ch.2) Some disagreements over assumptions arise from…
differences of opinion regarding definition of terms.
(Ch.3) (set 1 starting points) Task 1:
Make an inventory of issues that interest you. (Dominant task)
(Ch.3) One question you would ask yourself
What do my friends and I disagree about?
(Ch.3) (set 1 starting points) Task 4:
Deepen your response to readings. Why do writers disagree? Identify “hot spots” that evoke strong agreement, disagreement, or emotion.
(Ch.3) (set 2 exploration and rehearsal) Task 1:
Plan to address the selected issue in a one-sentence question.
(Ch.3) (set 2 exploration and rehearsal) Task 2:
Explore the reason(s) for disagreement. Is there sufficient evidence to resolve the issue? What different values, beliefs, and assumptions do disputants hold to? Is there disagreement about key definitions?
(Ch.3) (set 2 exploration and rehearsal) Task 3:
Do you have personal connection with the issue? If so, what is it? What effect, if any, does the issue have on your life?
(Ch.3) (set 2 exploration and rehearsal) Task 4:
Decide your current position on the issue and write the major claim as a single declarative statement in response to the issue question you wrote in Task 1.
(Ch.3) (set 2 exploration and rehearsal) Task 5:
Free write or map ideas thinking of possible reasons and evidence supporting your position. By gathering reasons and evidence, gaps in personal knowledge ,ay surface. How can those gaps be filled in? Interview? Library research? Internet or Worldwide Web? Could additional data bolster the argument?
(Ch.4) Legos:
Refers primarily to the internal consistency and clarity of the message and to the logic of its reasons with support.
(Ch.4) Ethos:
Refers to the credibility of the writer/speaker. Ethos is mostly a function of the tone and style of the message and the care with which alternate views are considered.
(Ch.4) Pathos:
Associated with emotional appeal – more to our audience’s imaginative sympathies – their capacity to feel and see what the writer feels and sees.
(Ch.4) Difference between an information question and an issue question
An issue question can evolve into more questions; whereas, an information question is merely asking for facts.
(Ch.4) Pseudo Argument
An argument degenerates when disputes are fanatically committed to their positions (think of the bible).
(Ch.4) Rational Argument
Requires two additional factors to a featured issue question with alternative answers.
(Ch.4) A reasonable (or rational) argument assumes the possibility of
growth and change.
(Ch.4) Fanatical Believer:
Believes their claims are true because they say so period.
(Ch.4) Fanatical Skeptic:
Dismisses the possibility of proving anything
(Ch.4) (Have to know word for word) Therefore, fanatical believers say this is the way it is, period,
while in a pseudo argument, a fanatical skeptic says “you can’t prove anything” therefore, the argument is fallacious.
(Ch.4) A claim should provide
one-sentence answer to the issue question.
(Ch.4) Reason:
A claim used to support another claim, usually linked to their claims with words like- because, thus, since, consequently, and therefore…