What Is an Argument?

Example One and Two are different primarily in the kind of support the premises provide for the conclusion. In example one, the lawyer is suggesting that the conclusion follows from the premises necessarily.

Note the word "must" in the conclusion. To say the conclusion follows necessarily present an argument that if the premises are true the conclusion must also be true. Or, to put it differently, it is impossible for the premises to be true and the conclusion false at the same time.

Look back at example one, can you think of any way or condition that would make it possible to have true premises with a false conclusion at the same time? Claims 2 and 3 rule out the possibility of suicide, while Claim 1 rules out the possibility that Mr. Watson was shot by algebra 2 questions outside the house. Unless we accept some very unusual possibilities -- ie, the gun went off by itself; Mr.

Watson's pet dog picked up the gun in his mouth and caused the gun to fire -- it would seem that the lawyer has presented an argument in which it is impossible for the premises to be true and the conclusion false at the same time. Arguments in which it is impossible for the premises to be true and the conclusion false at the same time are valid arguments. The term "valid" then is reserved only for arguments in which the conclusion follows necessarily from the premises, that is, if the premises are true, the conclusion must also be true.

This is a good way to test your ideas when drafting, while you still have time to revise them. And in the finished essay, it can be a persuasive and in both senses of the word disarming tactic.

It allows you to anticipate doubts and pre-empt objections that a skeptical reader might have; it presents you as the kind of person who weighs alternatives before arguing for one, who confronts difficulties instead of sweeping them under the rug, who is more interested in discovering the truth than winning a point.

Not every writing an argument is worth entertaining, of course, and you shouldn't include one just to include one. He may be right about that, but his arguments do not demonstrate that he is. Instead, in the absence of conclusive arguments, the rational thing to do is to look at the evidence for both sides.

Plausible arguments for deploying the criminal law against such behavior can be made from grievance morality. The chapters are carefully researched, and provide an engaging combination of substantial empirical detail with insightful larger arguments. See all examples of argument. Collocations with argument. Click on a collocation to see more examples of it.

How to win an argument

See all collocations with argument. Translations of argument in Chinese Traditional. You should linger over the parts that confused you most. Scribble your questions in the margins, and then try to answer them. To supplement her reading, she decides to read some professional criticism around the novel to see what scholars are talking about in this novel.

This is the key step in finding a topic. Consider elements of literary analysis: motifs recurring symbolspersonality traits of characters, turning points in the plot, who narrates the text and what it contributes, the writing style of the author, the historical context of the book, the way the text begins and the way it ends, etc.

You should care about your topic. Otherwise, your paper will feel like writing an argument chore.

Crafting an argument

What jumped out at you? What parts did you like? Keep your points factual, not general. Be the first to write a comment. You Click here to cancel reply. Your email address. Your website if you have one not required. Your comment. Accreedited by the British Council for the teaching of English. Why Study in the UK? Apply Now. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website.

Next time you state your position, formulate an argument for what you claim and honestly ask yourself whether your argument is any good. Next time you talk with someone who make an argument a stand, ask them to give you a reason for their view. Spell out their argument fully and charitably.

Forming an argument

Assess its strength impartially. Raise objections and listen carefully to their replies. This method will require effort, but practice will make you better at it. These tools can help you win every argument-not in the unhelpful sense of beating your opponents but in the better sense of learning about the issues that divide people, learning why they disagree with us and learning to talk and work together with them.

Contact us at editors time. Ideas society How to Win Every Argument. Before, in our neighborhood, you could go out at whatever time you wanted, you could go out to play. But now these gangs arrived, the men from the 18th Street Gang, they started to establish rules. Did you have any girlfriends who were attacked by boys, did you worry about that happening to you? Elena: Yes I know someone. She was dating someone from the 18th Street Gang. So that nothing would happen to her family she had to do it.

So they arranged to meet at the river. And she went to the river. She ended up getting raped. And when she left the river. Nick: So you saw her coming from the river, naked, bleeding from a gunshot wound in the stomach? Elena: I was just like this, and I was shocked. Nick: Did the gang members ever pay attention to you in ways that made you feel dangerous, that they might do the same thing to you? So I sent him a text message saying yes, agreeing to it. Nick: And how old were you when he wanted you to be his girlfriend?

Elena: Eleven and a half years old. Translator: Developing an argument dissertation years. Nick: And you were able to say no to him then? It constitutes an attack on the bias of a source. As with other types of ad hominem attack, circumstantial attack could be fallacious or not.

It could be fallacious because a disposition to make a certain argument does not make the argument invalid; this overlaps with the genetic fallacy an argument that a claim is incorrect due to its source. But it also may be a sound argument, if the premises are correct and the bias is relevant to the argument. A simple example is: a father may tell his daughter not to start smoking because she will damage her health, and she may forming an argument out that he is or was a smoker.

This does not alter the fact that smoking might cause various diseases. Her father's inconsistency is not a proper reason to reject his claim. Philosopher and pundit on informal fallacies Douglas N. Walton argues that a circumstantial ad hominem argument present an argument be non-fallacious.

This could be hook for a persuasive essay case when someone A attacks the personality of another person B making an argument a while the personality of B is relevant to argument a, ie B talks as an authority figure.

To illustrate this reasoning, Walton gives the example of a witness at a trial, if he had been caught lying and cheating in his own life, should the jury take his word for granted?The man assented to her argument, and went to look out the two beds she wanted. And always, in response to every argument, Mary shook her head in negation. Hidden category: Commons category with local link different than on Wikidata. Namespaces Page Talk. Views Read Change Change source View history.

In other projects Wikimedia Commons. Accessed 27 Feb. Please tell us where you read or heard it including the quote, if possible.

Make an argument

Test Make an argument Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way. Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search-ad free! Have some king cake on us. Here are examples of assertions:. Shakespeare wrote the play Hamlet. The Civil War was caused by disagreements over slavery. God exists. Prostitution is immoral. Doctors earn a lot of money. I want to earn a lot of money.

I should become a doctor. Just as you were taught in high school to do with essays, we support arguments which an essay basically is by using body paragraphs. The key is to have the data come from a source that is least exposed to scrutiny due to small sample sizes, faulty methodologies, or bias. Be careful to approach these counterarguments with respect, and to form a significant attack on your own idea when addressing the counterarguments.

To stand up a weaker version of the real counter, only to knock it down with ease, will cause many to dismiss your entire effort outright.

How to Build a Strong Argument

Also try to avoid rude, hostile, or deprecating language when addressing counterpoints; this tactic can easily result in the audience that you most care about those who disagree with you ignoring your argument due to adverse emotional reaction. Read More on This Topic. In logic an argument consists of a set of statements, the premises, whose truth supposedly supports the truth of a single statement called….

Learn More in these related Britannica articles: fallacy. Fallacywriting an argument logic, erroneous reasoning that has the appearance of soundness.



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