Category: Argument

Strategies for Arguing: Logos, Ethos and Pathos

“The Greek philosopher Aristotle identified three fundamental strategies for persuading an audience—English teachers may call these strategies “rhetorical appeals.” Everyone who reads or writes arguments should be able to recognize these:
Logos is the appeal to logic or reason.
Ethos is the appeal based on ethics, which establishes the credibility of the author.
Pathos is the appeal to the emotions of the audience.”

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Include COMPETING Evidence into Your Argument

“Many beginning writers, especially when trying to write argumentatively, will include only evidence that supports their thesis. This is a beginner’s mistake.
Any intelligent reader will think up competing (contradictory) evidence on their own. And even if they don’t, they will have to assume that if you ignore all opposing evidence you have either, a) not done a proper research job or are, b) willfully hiding unflattering facts.”

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Avoid ‘Just’ Opinions

While everyone is entitled to their own opinions, facts are independent of anyone’s beliefs, feelings, or perspectives. When writing persuasively, try to avoid opinion statements as these can weaken your argument, particularly...

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Strengthen Your Argument by Including a COUNTERargument

Including a counterargument is one of the single-most effective strategies for becoming an academic writer. Your writing will be more detailed, dig deeper, and engage more thoroughly with the material – all by attempting one extra paragraph that takes on the primary opposing argument.

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Intro to the Rogerian Argument

Tired of same-old organization for your academic argument? Or wish there was a less confrontational, winner-take-all approach? Try organizing for CONSENSUS with Rogerian Argument.

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Fallacy: Cherry Picking Data

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” There are many potential pitfalls when working with data and statistics, but one common problem occurs when the data is not representative of the...

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Fallacy: Ad Hominem

It can be tempting, during an argument, to attack people who disagree with you, but people aren’t necessarily wrong simply because they have flaws. Name-calling and insults are not one of Aristotle’s rhetorical appeals for a...

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Avoid a VAGUE Thesis

The more specific your writing, the more successful you will be at convincing others and communicating your ideas. Set yourself up for success in academic writing by crafting a specific thesis. Not a vague one. What is a vague...

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Write a More ORIGINAL Thesis

One of the largest challenges to moving from middle-school and early high school writing to more advanced work is the challenge to write something original. This doesn’t mean you have to invent some whole new theory of life, the universe, and everything. Rather, it means you have to make your reader think.

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Write a More SPECIFIC thesis

You will probably receive, or have received, the following feedback at some point: “Try to narrow your thesis.”
This may seem odd; a thesis isn’t something you can squeeze and shape. Can a thesis be ‘fat’?
The comment is an attempt to explain that you have bitten off more than you can chew.”

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