Argumentative Essay Tips

In: Argumentative essay

Argumentative Essay Tips

By presenting your argument as clearly and objectively as you can and by not overly exaggerating or misrepresenting your issue, your audience will more readily accept your line of reasoning. You should also be aware that argumentation is frequently used outside the classroom. In your personal life, you could find yourself trying to convince a friend to accompany you to the doctor or you may find yourself writing letters to the editor about issues of concern to you. In the workplace, argumentation is also frequently utilized in many different occupations. Travel agents will try to convince customers to participate in certain travel packages; attorneys will try to convince juries that their defendants are innocent; managers will work to convince their companies to hire additional personnel and purchase technological equipment; scientists will write grants to convince the government to fund their research; and so on

As you craft your essay, it’s important to balance the use of logos, pathos, and ethos. You can easily balance your essay by carefully analyzing the audience and assessing which of the following types of audience you’ll encounter:

  1. Agreeable audience: This type of audience believes in the same things you do, but a great deal depends of your purpose. For example, the parents of children in your local high school would probably be amenable to an argument for increasing funding to public schools. If you want them to support a certain political candidate, however, you have to clearly establish how the candidate supports funding increases for public schools.
  2. Uncertain audience: This type of reader stands in the middle of two sides and can be convinced if your evidence is strong enough. You need to carefully analyze this audience and decide whether they have been educated already on the subject, if they are uninterested in the issue, or if they are going back and forth between the two sides.
  3. Opposing audience: This type of audience will be the most difficult to convince. The readers that belong to this audience have already made up their minds in favor of your argument’s opposition and won’t readily receive your information or views. In this case, you need to be respectful of your readers’ opinions and create a realistic purpose. Pathos won’t be as effective with these readers, so you will have the most success if you clearly establish your credibility as a writer and rely more on facts and logic to present your case.

Knowing that these three types of audiences exist, then, you’ll need to raise and counter potential objections, especially if you know you will have an opposing audience. The Capital Community College Foundation’s Guide to Grammar and Writing includes some specific techniques for how to deal with potential objections to your argument. Specifically, it states that you’ll cheat if you only counter the most obvious or easiest potential objections. Instead, it counsels that the best technique you can use is the following: “prepare a chart that graphically represents your main points and the points that your opposition might try to make against you.”



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