TEJ: Arguing a Position

Nearly everything we say and do will have some sort of an argument, we are taking positions on things even if you don’t think you are. And everyone’s viewpoint an on the topic will be different. In writing you want your argument to be argued by someone else. Here are some key features of a well-rounded argument.

A clear and arguable position: 

Claims able to be disagreed on. “At the heart of every argument is a claim with which people may reasonably disagree” (NFGW, pg. 169). Your claim should be able to be disagreed on and if it’s not its probably because it’s not a claim and rather a well-known fact.

Necessary background information:

Provide background information for readers to understand your argument. “Sometimes we need to provide some background on a topic we are arguing so that readers can understand what is being argued” (NFGW, pg. 169). Its important for your audience to understand what you are writing about. A good way of doing this is by proving them with background information on the topic before and during your argument.

Good reasons:

Positions need to be backed up by reasons. “By itself, a position does not make an argument; the argument comes when a writer offers a reason to back up the position” (NFGW, pg. 169). A good argument is one that is well supported by reasons that back up all positions made by the writer.

Convincing evidence:

Your reasons need to be supported by evidence. “You then need to offer evidence for your reasons: facts, statistics, expert testimony, anecdotal evidence, case studies, textual evidence” (NFGW, pg. 169). The evidence you provide will support the reasons you have made, making your argument stronger.

Readers values:

While writing apple to the values and emotions of your audience. “Effective arguers try to appeal to readers values and emotions (NFGW, pg. 170). Your argument will be stronger if your argument appeals to readers values and emotions because they will see a common ground with a view.

Consider other positions:

Consider other positions that your audience may have on your argument. “No matter how reasonable and careful we are in arguing our positions, other may disagree to offer counterarguments” (NFGW, pg. 170). It’s important to consider other viewpoints because you need to be able to counter their arguments; which in turn makes your argument easier to believe.




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