The Bedford Reader: Argument and Persuasion

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These are some of the words I have to know for an English quiz. Hope this helps anyone who wants it to...

Persuation

An aim to influence a person by emotional and ethical appeals.

Argument

An aim to win the reader's agreement by logical appeals.

Opinion

Stating the truth as you see it.

Thesis

The main position of an argument. The central contention that will be supported.

Thesis Sentence

The sentence where your thesis is stated.

Evidence

Anything that demonstrates what you are thinking/claiming.
This may include: facts, statistics, examples, expert opinions, and reported experience.

Emotional Appeal

An appeal to emotion.
Ex: She tried to take her reader's probable sympathy for child laborers and expand on it.

Ethical Appeal

Making your reader believe you are a reliable person- so as to also be believed.

Reason

We make statements that lead to a conclusion.

The Toulmin Method

1- THE DATA- the evidence to prove something.
2- THE CLAIM- what are you proving with the data.
3- THE WARRANT- the assumption/ principle that connects the data to the claim.
Ex: Drug abuse is a problem. South America produces much of the drugs that are smuggled into the US. Therefore, we should increase survailance.

Warrant

An assumption/ generalization that explains why a claim follows from the data. (The thinking that leads to the claim)

Inductive Reasoning

An inclusive leap from the evidence to the conclusion. (The smaller the leap the better.)
Ex:
All man is mortal.
Socrates is a man.
Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

Problem with Inductive Reasoning

If something is true, you can't say it's not simply because it doesn't fit the specific catergory.
Ex:
Animals, which move, have limbs and muscles.
The Earth has no limbs and muscles.
Hence, the Earth does not move.

Fallacies

Errors in reasoning that lead to wrong conclusions.

Non Sequitur

Stating a conclusion that does not follow from the 1st premise(s).
Ex: "I've lived in this town a long time- why, my grandfather was the first mayor- so I'm against putting flouride in the drinking water."

Oversimplification

Neat and easy explanation for a large and complicated phenomena.
Ex: "No wonder drug abuse is out of control! Look at how the courts have hobbled the police."

Hasty Generalization

Leaping to a generalization based on faulty evidence.
Ex: "Women are too emotional to fight in combat."

Either/Or Reasoning

Assuming that a reality may be divided into only two part extremes.
Ex: "Either we ban all imports from Asia, or the trade empire will collapse."

Argument from Doubtful Authority

To agree to something without the representative being knowledgable in the specific area.
Ex: "We ought to castrate all sex offenders: Uncle Oswald says we should."

Argumentum ad Hominem

Attacking views by attacking the representative's character.
Ex: "Mayor Burns is divorced and estranged by his family, don't listen to him."

Begging the Question

Ex: "I am going to college because it is the right thing to do. Going to college is the right thing to do because it is what is expected of me."

Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc

After this, Therefore because of this.
Ex: "Ever since the city suspended height restictions on skyscrapers, the city budget has been balanced."

False Ananlogy

The claim of pursuasive likeness when none exists.
Ex: "Enemy" and "War on Drugs"

Abuse of Logic

Introduction of irrelevant and irrational evidence

Argumentum ad Populum

Appeal to feelings, passion and predjudice, rather than the reason, of the group. This has a wider range than Argumentum as Hominem and the writer uses emotion to bias his audience.
Ex: "Wall-Street Monopolist" and "Rich gangsters"

Transfer Device

Depends on the reader's ability to inter-associate one idea with an other when the two ideas are not logically connected.
Ex: "You should not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold."

Argumentum ad Verecundiam

More general transfer device. It uses a name/ a brand to draw perspective buyers. To have a valid issue, the writer must prove the words of the authorities have logical bearing to the present issue. Competence in one area does not imply competence in an other.

False Analogy

Presenting a situation which is acknowledged to be true, and then, on the basis of it, commenting on an other situation that is similar. Usually makes an issue more simplistic/ vivid. The danger is that the writer will try to make a connection when none exists.
Ex: "Don't change horses in the middle of a stream."

Oversimplification

To oversimplify a situation. No hypothesis can be considered sound unless all the factors are related to it. It is easier to condemn than to understand. If people do not demand the truth, the providers don't feel like they should give them.
Ex: "Spectacular... Exhilarating..." when in all actuality it was "This could have been spectacular if they had an actual plot that made a lick of sense. This is as exhilarating as watching grass grow."

Distortion/Suppression

Card-stacking, laying heavy and insistent emphasis upon certain topics, discussion of which can probably do no harm.
Ex: "Boasting about the reduction of taxes without mentioning the blow to the economy because of it.

Red Herring

Irrelevant issue that if drawn across the path when tehir side has become embarrassing and they wish to change the subject.

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