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Formal Argument Structure

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Brenda Mair

on 26 October 2017

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Transcript of Formal Argument Structure

What is an argument?
Not an Argument
"Argument Clinic" from
Monty Python's Flying Circus
Claim = The opinion, position, or viewpoint being argued.
Counterclaim = The opposite side of your opinion, position, or point of view.
Formal Argument Structure
An argument is just people yelling at each other
True arguments are supposed to be very calm. Arguments in writing are silent.
You have to totally believe what you are arguing.
True argument has nothing to do with how you feel.
Every argument has a right or a wrong side.
Most of the time, the two sides of an argument are just different points of view. Neither side is really right or wrong.
School uniforms are needed in middle schools.
The legal driving age should be 18.
Cats make better pets than dogs.
School uniforms are
needed in middle schools.
The legal driving age should
be 18.
Cats do
make better pets than dogs.
Why do you need the counterclaim?
A good argument acknowledges or even argues against the opposite side, the counter-claim. Why do you think it is important to address the opposing side?
Addressing the counter-argument is called a
. You refute, or argue against, the other side.

The Refutation can be an excellent persuasive technique:

It makes you look like you're well thought-out because you've thought about both sides of the argument

Your audience might have doubts about what you have to say, and it helps get rid of those by tearing down the other side
Warrants = the reasons for taking the position you have.
In formal argument, claim statements should be backed up by at least 3 warrants.
Students should not have to go to school on Saturday (
) because they need rest (
Warrant 1
), some students have jobs (
Warrant 2
), and family time is important (
Warrant 3
Hey Science Teachers, Make It Fun
Incarcerating for Drug Use
The Moral Argument
Evidence = the facts, examples, data, or stories you use to support the WARRANTS.
Students should not have to go to school on Saturday (
) because they need rest (
Warrant 1
). A study by Blakenship in 2013 shows that 70% of teenagers are sleep-deprived (
Evidence A
). Blakneship points out that this sleep deprivation is due to many factors, such as late nights playing video games or insomnia. Many teens use the weekend to catch up on sleep that they do not get during the school week. If we require students to go to school on Saturday, then students will become even more sleep deprived. Another reasons students should not have to go to school on Saturdays is that students need emotional rest, as well as physical rest (
Evidence B
). School can be both mentally and emotionally exhausting. The traditional weekend is a time to recharge mentally and emotionally by participating in other activities that are not related to school, such as church, family time, and friends. Requiring students to attend school on Saturday will reduce the amount of time students have to pursue other activities that make them more well-rounded, and emotionally healthy individuals.
Responsible for Your Actions
Full transcript