Analysis of Argument
What is an
strong argument attempts to persuade the reader to accept a point
of view. As such, it consists of a proposition, a declarative
statement which is capable of being argued, and a proof, a reason
or ground which is supported by evidence. The evidence, in turn,
is composed of relevant facts, opinions based on facts and careful
reasoning. If you are analyzing an argument, you should look
for both of these: a proposition and the evidence supporting
the same way that an analysis of issue essay must start with
a thesis, so also an essay that analyzes an argument must start
with a topic sentence which provides for the analysis of a proposition.
Every argument should have a proposition, and the identification
of this proposition is crucial to the writing of an analysis
of an argument. For instance, the following could appear in the
analytical writing section of the GRE:
two clauses beginning with since provide evidence in support
of the proposition. In turn, the proposition itself is framed
by the second sentence.
Since the world population
will double to 11 billion people by the middle of the 21st century
and since food production will not show a corresponding increase,
efforts should be made to limit population growth. Governments
must institute population control policies to insure an adequate
food supply for future generations.
aspect of argumentation that needs special attention is the use
of terms. In an argument, all of the terms should be clear and
well-defined. If the terms are unclear, proof is likely to be
impossible, creating a weak argument. One type of weak term is
the emotionally loaded term. Terms such as "socialized medicine"
evoke emotional responses and, thus, obscure the argument. Thus,
anyone who writes an analysis of an argument should examine the
terms used and be sure that the writer avoids emotive, subjective
terms. To the extent of your ability, make sure that the writer
defines terms clearly and objectively.
addition, the people who write and grade the analysis of an argument
section for the GRE expect the following:
i) They want an essay that analyzes the several aspects of the
argument with critical insight.
ii) They want a cogently developed essay that is logical.
iii) They want a coherent essay with well-chosen transitional
iv) They also expect an essay that uses varied sentence structure
v) They expect an essay that is free of mechanical errors in
spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar and errors in
the use of standard written English.
As in the case of the analysis
of the issue, the topic sentence must contain the germ of the
idea that permeates the entire paragraph. Each example or illustration
must be connected to that idea with transitional markers such
as for example, furthermore, therefore,
thus or moreover.
>>continue to Analysis
of Issue: Dissect Arguments (page 2 of 5 of chapter 3)