Developing an Argument of Your Own Planning, Drafting, and Revising an Argument.
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Developing an Argument of Your OwnPlanning, Drafting, and Revising an Argument
Getting IdeasFreewriting Think on paper.Feel free to write badly.ListingJottingGistingDiagrammingClusteringBranchingColumns
Asking QuestionsWhat is X?What is the value of X?What are the causes and effects of X?What should we do about X?What is the evidence for my claims about X?
The ThesisState it early and clearlyA claimA central pointA chief position
Imagining an AudienceWho are my readers?What do they believe?What common ground do we share?What do I want my readers to believe?What do they need to know?Why should they care?
Checklist for a Thesis StatementDoes it make an arguable assertion?Not and unarguable fact.Not a topic announcement.Not an unarguable opinion.Is the statement broad enough to cover the entire argument?Is the statement narrow enough to cover the topic in the space provided?
Audience as CollaboratorWho are my readers?What do they believe?What common ground do we share?What do I want them to believe?What do they need to know?Why should they care?
A Rule for WritersIf you wish to persuade, youll have to begin by finding premises you can share with your audience.
Checklist for Imagining an Audience: 1Who are my readers?How much about the topic do they know?Have I provided necessary background information?Are they likely to be neutral, symathetic or hostile?
Checklist for Imagining an Audience: 2If they are neutral, have I offered good reasons to persuade them?If they are sympathetic, Have I enriched their views or encouraged them to act?If they are hostile, have I taken account of their positions, recognized their strengths, but also called attention to their limitations, and offered a position that may persuade them to modify their position?
The TitleImply your thesis in the title.It gives information about the thesis.It suggests the topic.It is informative.Do not turn off your reader with your title.
The Opening ParagraphsAttract the readers interest (often with a bold statement of the thesis, an interesting fact, quote, or anecdote.Prepare the readers mind by giving some idea of the topic and often of the thesis.Give the reader an idea of how the essay is organized,Define a key term.
A Rule for WritersIn writing or at least in revising these paragraphs, keep in mind this question:What do my readers need to know?Remember that your aim is to write reader-friendly prose, and to keep the needs and interests of your audience constantly in mind.
Organizing and Revising the Body of the EssayStatement of the problemStatement of the structure of the essayStatement of alternative solutionsArguments in support of your positionArguments answering possible objectionsA summary, resolution, or conclusion
Statement of the ProblemState the problem objectively (thereby gaining the trust of the reader) and indicate why the reader should care about the issue.
Statement of the Structure of the EssayAfter stating the problem at the appropriate length, the writer often briefly indicates the structure of the rest of the essay.
Arguments in Support of the Proposed SolutionThe evidence offered will, of course, depend on the nature of the problem. Relevant statistics, authorities, examples, or analogies may come to mind to be available. This is usually the longest part of the essay.
Arguments Answering Possible ObjectionsThese arguments may suggest that:The proposal wont workThe proposed solution will create problems greater than the difficulty to be resolved.
A Summary, Resolution, or ConclusionThe writer may seek to accommodate the views of the opposition but suggest that the writers own position makes good sense.A conclusion ought to provide a sense of closure.A conclusion should be more than a simple restatement of the writers thesis.
Checking ParagraphsOmit short paragraphs except for rare points of transition.
Checking Transitions Make sure that the reader can move easily through the flow of the essay.Illustrate (for example, for instance)Establish a sequence (a more important objection, a stronger example)Connect logically (thus, as a result, therefore, so, it follows that)Amplify (further, moreover)Compare (similarly, in like manner, just as)Contrast (on the other hand, however, but)Summarize (in short, briefly)Concede (admittedly, granted, to be sure)
When Writers ReviseThey unify the essay by eliminating irrelevancies.They organize the essay by keeping in mind an imagined audience.They clarify the essay by fleshing out thin paragraphs, by making certain thatTransitions are adequateGeneralizations are supported
The EndingGood writers provide a sense of closure byReturning to something in the introductionGlancing at the wider implications of the issueIllustrating the thesis with a closing anecdoteSummarizing without tediously repeating the introduction.
Outlines: Two UsesAs Preliminary GuideHelps planning a tentative organizationA means of getting goingAs A Way of Checking a DraftIs the sequencing reasonable?Are any passages irrelevant?Is something important missing?
Formal Outline StructureI. A. 1. 2. B. 1. 2.
Tone and Writers PersonaEstablish your ethos (character) to create trust with the reader.You must appear informed.You must appear intelligent.You must appear benevolent.You must appear honest.Present yourself so that your readers see you as knowledgeable, honest, open-minded, and interested in helping them think about an issue of significance.
Last Words on ToneIn writing an argument you must:Recognize opposing views.Assume they are in good faithState them fairly.Be temperate in arguing your own position.
We, One, or I?If you are simply speaking of yourself, use I, to avoid stiff and wordy usages like This writer thinksAvoid the needless introductory phrase, I think.
Sexist Language vs. PCHow do we write good prose without seeming either sexist or awkwardly pc?Use common sense.What does not work wellHe/shes/heHe or sheEasier alternativesPlural (they)Recasting (readers will find that)
Peer ReviewShare your Buzzdocs with a dedicated Reviewer, who will make at least three comments on your paper.ReviewersOffer two comments that highlight what is working.Offer two comments that highlight what is not working.