What is an argument?

A strong argument tries to persuade the reader to accept a point of view. When writing an essay be sure to include the following in your argument:

  1. A declarative statement of idea or opinion
  2. Support for the statement: including relevant facts, opinions based on facts and/or careful reasoning.

When writing an argument is essential to both make a statement and then provide a foundation of evidence to back up this statement.

What is the Analysis of Argument?

Analysis of argument questions present a short argument on an issue. You are asked to analyze the argument and discuss how well it is reasoned. You will be looking for flaws in reasoning and weak use of evidence. You will have to consider the assumptions that underlie the writer’s thinking and what alternative explanations or counterexamples might weaken his or her conclusion. It is your job to come up with evidence that would strengthen or refute the argument, or what changes would make it more sound.

Here is an example of an Analysis of Argument question:

Toads cause warts. I touched a toad last week and now I have a wart, therefore the toad was responsible.

How would you rate the accuracy of the above statement? Support your position with reasons and examples.

How is it different than Analysis of Issue?

On Analysis of Issue questions you try to argue grand issues such as “Should China be in the WTO,” or “Should parents have vouchers to send children to the school of their choice”. Reasonable people could differ…

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