What do we mean by an Argument?

An Introduction

An Argument is Not a Fight or a Quarrel

Academic arguments do not come out of anger or hostility

Arguing is creative and productive

An argument can be engaging and develop critical thinking skills.
Respectful, informative, exploration of a concept or issue

An Argument is Not a Pro-Con Debate

Unlike presidential candidate, this isn't a pro-con debate

  • Explanations
  • It's not about proving someone wrong
  • It's about opening a discussion
  • Exchanging ideas
  • Finding Truths
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Arguments Can be Explicit or Implicit

Explicit Arguments

  • Directly state its controversial clam and supports it with reasons and evidence

Implicit Argument

  • May not look like an argument, it is an item that promotes a certain view point
  • T-Shirt, bumper sticker, pin, etc.

Defining Features of an Argument

Justifications and Claims

  • A set of two or more conflicting assertions
  • The attempt to resolve the conflict through appeal or reason
  • Use established logic and reason to support these ideas

An Argument is a Process and a Product

  • Process of two (or more) seeking a solution
  • Product of the contribution brought to the conversation

Combines Truth Seeking and Persuasion

  • Seeking a truth based on our values
  • Persuading others to share our values

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