If You Like to Argue, it is Better to Do it by Means of Argumentative Essays

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To argue means to try to persuade someone to draw certain conclusions from evidence that is presented. An argumentative paper strives courteously by reason and logic to address a disputed issue so convincingly that readers will accept the writer’s point of view. A good argument is stated so carefully, wisely and in such confident good humour that it wins friends instead of making enemies.

The importance of an Argumentative Essay

Arguments originate from claims, which are statements that need defending. The evidence for a claim includes the specific facts or data on which the claim rests. Effective arguments support general claims with specific evidence: facts and examples, figures and statistics, sources and authorities. A reasoned argument is one that attempts to convince readers by the use of two common forms of reasoning: induction and deduction.

Induction is the working out of the meaning by considering specific instances. Here are some induction application tips:

  • Use inductive arguments to solve problems;
  • Use knowledge as a key to argument;
  • Learn to form plausible conclusions;
  • Remember that arguments often have two or more sides.

Deductive argument is the application of a general truth to a specific case in order to draw a conclusion. Deductive reasoning proceeds through a syllogism.

There are two variations of argument:

  • argument from authority
  • argument from testimony or personal experience

To argue from authority means to quote or cite someone considered to be an authority on a certain subject. In testimony, we say that something happened to us and that this happening proves a point that we wish to make in an argument or that it proves an entire argument.

While writing, you are to observe the following checklist for making good arguments:

  • Choose a limited topic that you can argue well;
  • Choose a topic that lends itself to debate;
  • A good argument considers contrary evidence;
  • A good argument is carried on in a courteous tone;
  • Avoid fallacious reasoning. Fallacies can be:
    • arguing from cause to effect
    • generalising from too little information
    • inappropriate Either/Or reasoning
    • attacking straw man
    • begging the question
    • red herring fallacy
    • arguing by association
    • shifting the meaning of a key term
    • false alternative, analogy or cause
    • personal attack
    • irrelevant conclusion

There are some other tips on writing argumentative essays:

  • Use argumentative words (therefore, for, since, because, so, consequently, hence, accordingly);
  • Reckon with the opposition (by making concessions or defining the position you plan to oppose);
  • Appeal to the emotions.

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