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Preparing your argument

To prepare to make an effective argument you must first:

  • translate your topic into a Problem Statement;
  • frame a situation that is debatable or contestable;
  • formulate a question about which reasonable people might disagree; and
  • find a claim your analysis has led you to assert.

Now you can begin to imagine what it will take to convince your audience. What evidence, methods, or models do they expect? What conventions must you follow to win approval?

Sketch your approach

  • What do you want to show?
  • Why should readers agree?
  • Based on what evidence?
  • What are some possible alternatives or objections?
  • What conclusion will you offer, and why should your readers accept it as valuable?

The five parts of argument

The questions that lead to your topic, broadly conceived, also steer you toward what The Craft of Argument formalizes in the Five Parts of Argument.

  • Claims
  • Reasons
  • Evidence
  • Warrants
  • Acknowledgement and Response

These correspond to the williams’ and colomb’s five questions of argument:

  • What are you claiming?
  • What reasons do you have for believing your claim?
  • What evidence do you base those reasons on?
  • What principle connects or makes your reasons relevant to your claims?
  • What about such-and-such potential disagreement/difficulty?

Constructing claims

We learn that, at bottom, an argument is just a claim and its support:

REASON therefore CLAIM

or

CLAIM because of REASON.

Your claim is your main point. It should either be clearly conceptual (seeking to change how we think) or clearly pragmatic (seeking to change how we act). Claims should, by definition, require good reasons. Audiences should be able to disagree with your claim and, by extension, to be convinced and converted by your evidence.

More about claims

  • Make sure your readers can recognize why your claim is significant
  • Ensure that your claim is clear and concise. Readers should be able to tell what is at stake and what principles you intend to use to argue your point
  • Confirm that the claim accurately describes the main tenets of the argument to follow
  • Moderate your claim with appropriate qualifiers like “many,” “most,” “often,” in place of “all,” “always,” etc.

Evaluating good claims

  • Your solution is possible.
  • Your solution is ethical (moral, legal, fair, etc.)
  • Your solution is prudent-- it takes into consideration both the problem you seek to resolve and the possible ramifications of your proposal.

Reasons and evidence

Most arguers know from experience that reasons and evidence help to convince audiences. In the simplest terms, reasons answer the question: “Why are you making that claim?” Evidence offers tangible support for reasons. When stating reasons, always be aware of your audience. You will need to choose the reasons that support your evidence that are also the most likely to convince your specific readers or listeners. Knowing the general values and priorities of your readers will help you to determine what they will count as compelling reasons. Knowing what kind of arguments and evidence they will expect from you will guide you in choosing reasons that meet those expectations. Tailor your appeal to the specific needs and acknowledged concerns of your reading community, because arguments are always audience specific. Evidence should be reliable and based upon authoritative and trustworthy research and sources. It should be appropriately cited, and ample enough to convince. Evidence should also be designed to appeal to your target audience’s values and priorities.

Questions & Answers

are nano particles real
Missy Reply
yeah
Joseph
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
Lohitha
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
Ali
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
learn
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
learn
Google
da
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Bhagvanji
hey
Giriraj
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
revolt
da
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
Kamaluddeen
yes
narayan
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
Bhagvanji
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
Alexandre
nanocopper obvius
Alexandre
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
Rafiq
if virus is killing to make ARTIFICIAL DNA OF GRAPHENE FOR KILLED THE VIRUS .THIS IS OUR ASSUMPTION
Anam
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Anam
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
Hafiz
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Three modules on clear writing style: an introduction to the craft of argument, by joseph m. williams and gregory colomb. OpenStax CNX. Jul 17, 2008 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10551/1.1
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