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1843 words - 8 pages

ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY
|
Definition | Refuting opposing arguments |
Organization | Language |
Supporting our ideas | Sample argumentative essay |

Definition: In this kind of essay, we not only give information but also present an argument with the PROS (supporting ideas) and CONS (opposing ideas) of an argumentative issue. We should clearly take our stand and write as if we are trying to persuade an opposing audience to adopt new beliefs or behavior. The primary objective is to persuade people to change beliefs that many of them do not want to change.

Choosing an argumentative topic is not an easy task. The topic should be such that
* it should be narrowed down
X Marijuana ...view middle of the document...

You can enjoy writing about such topics:
Cheating is beneficial for students.
Murat 124 is a very good choice for conscientious drivers.
Stress is good for the human body.
Polygamy is quite natural.
For women, there is no need for men.

Organization: All argumentative topics have PROs and CONs. Before starting writing, it is imperative to make a list of these ideas and choose the most suitable ones among them  for supporting and refuting.

There are three possible organization patterns:
Pattern 1:
Thesis statement:

PRO idea 1
PRO idea 2
CON(s) + Refutation(s)

Conclusion

Pattern 2:
Thesis statement:

CON(s) + Refutation(s)
PRO idea 1
PRO idea 2

Conclusion

Pattern 3:
Thesis statement:

CON idea 1 -----> Refutation
CON idea 2 -----> Refutation
CON idea 3 -----> Refutation

Conclusion

The sample essay has been written according to the third pattern.

Thesis: Do Reiki instead of taking medicine.

| Counter arguments | | Refutation |
1. | People should trust medicine since it is effective and scientifically proven. | -----> | Reiki is also scientifically proven and does not have side effects. (refutation method: insufficient claim) |
2. | Serious illnesses such as HIV/AIDS and cancer cannot be treated without medicine. | -----> | Medicine also cannot treat serious illnesses if not diagnosed at an early stage. (refutation method: opponents are partially correct) |
3. | Reiki, like alternative healing methods, requires a lot of time. | -----> | Reiki requires less time if done regularly. (refutation method: opponents are completely wrong) |

Supporting our ideas: This is the most important part when persuading others. We are asking some people to change their beliefs or actions. We should be supporting our ideas with such facts, statistics and/or authorities that there should not be room for any doubts. Here are some faulty supports we should avoid:

Thesis: Leaving the university and starting to work is good for the adolescent because …

* Feelings, emotional arguments (… it makes one feel much better.)
* Irrelevant examples (wandering off the topic) (… he would then be able to take his girlfriend to expensive restaurants.)
* Oversimplification (… only then would he understand what it means to be an adult.)
* Hasty generalizations (... it is a widely known fact that all adolescents look forward to earning money.)
* Unreliable, even false outside sources (… according to www.doubtme.com, 80% of working men wish they quit school when they were at university and started working at an earlier age.)

For more mistakes in the logic of arguments, see Fallacies.
 
Refuting opposing arguments: Before we start saying that the opponents are wrong, we should specify their opposing ideas. Otherwise, it would be like hitting the other person with eyes closed. We should see clearly what we are hitting and be prepared beforehand so...

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