The inclusion of “arguments” plus persuasive language gives rise to a broader approach; if used well, it can provide a firmer foundation for a structured discussion.
Once again, in English, when writing essays, follow the simple and the logical path first and build from there! Do not make a complete “meal” of the “argument” side, which may lead to too much summarising of main points.
You must be able to “identify and analyse the intent and logical development of an argument”. You must show a knowledge of “the ways authors construct arguments to position audiences”.
Please use the following points to focus on the “most important” aspects of “arguments”. You must begin with the most obvious starting point.
- Clearly state the author’s main contention (for/against), the style of argument and the author’s intentions. (Development of argument) Where is the main contention: does the author begin with lengthy background material to place the issue in a (moral/political/social) context? Or to increase credentials of trustworthiness?
First body paragraph:
- Topic sentence: identify the author’s first supporting reason (for/against a scheme (on what grounds?); be clear and explicit); include a tonal reference. How does the author defend or criticise; condemn or support a scheme or policy?
- Upon what (types of ) evidence does the author base his/her viewpoint? (What points does s/he make?) What is their perspective? (first-hand/professional commentator.) Group together two types, or a combination of, evidence in order to interpret the author’s intentions. (where appropriate).
- What does the author do with the evidence? How does he or she use the evidence (to sharpen the attack, or to defend/justify/rationalise a scheme: this helps you think about “logical development” and use of “reason/logic”.) What complementary persuasive words does the author use?
Second body paragraph:
- Another Key idea: author’s rebuttal-style attack?
Use metalanguage for “arguments”: comparative depictions; rebuttal-style attack; cause-and-effect reasoning strategies; assumptions; compare-and-contrast style of argument; problem-solution style of argument; cause-and-effect reasoning strategies.
Use metalanguage for persuasive language: tone; persuasive techniques (comparisons; appeals etc; word connotations etc.)
Sample paragraph: start with “bare bones” and add persuasive words and impacts
Exercise 25, “Race hate laws” by Ms Holly Winter, p. 67
Ms Holly Winter draws upon her professional experience as a counsellor at the Social Unity Office to defend the current laws relating to 18C. She presents a solution-style contention at the end of her article that clearly sums up her view that the current system provides the best protection from racial and ethnic abuse. In this regard, she includes throughout her argument both hypothetical and real life examples that encourage readers to foreground social justice principles. The failure to do so, she would suggest, shows a failure to care, and such an attitude is designed to shame thoughtless individuals. Specifically, the anecdotal example relating to Mitsy Jenkins invites readers to imagine the victim’s humiliation and the pain of discriminatory and intolerant comments. Contrastingly, she encourages fair-minded members of the audience to recognise that the changes proposed by Senator Brandis would lead to social division and make it almost impossible for cases to proceed. As a result, using cause-and-effect reasoning strategies, her professional advice to clients would be “not to proceed” and this option, she hopes concerned readers would recognise, will compound their sense of desperation and hopelessness.
- For the best use of exercises and responses, please see Arguments and Persuasive Language
- Please see “Now turn to exercises”: Arguments and Persuasive Language