A rhetoric of argument by Jeanne Fahnestock

By Jeanne Fahnestock

Whilst it used to be first released in 1982, A Rhetoric of Argument built a ground-breaking new method of educating argument. The stasis process pioneered by means of Fahnestock and Secor individual one of the 4 easy questions that arguments are written to answer:
What is it? (Definition arguments) How did it get that approach? (Causal arguments) Is it sturdy or undesirable? (Evaluation arguments) What may still we do approximately it? (Proposal arguments)
These 4 questions, now commonplace in lots of argument texts, supply scholars a optimistic, attractive method to research readings by means of different writers and to build their very own arguments.

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WHAT WE DO NOT ARGUE ABOUT are people either singly or in endless combinations. Put the same people in a different situation and you have a different audience. The kind of support an argument requires depends on its thesis, but the degree of support depends on audience and is therefore quite variable. You can also create innumerable theses because there are innumerable subjects for argument, but in a sense the thesis statement is the least variable of the four elements, because any arguable thesis can be classified into one of four major categories, according to what kind of fundamental question it answers.

WHAT IS IT? Subject Predicate , 1 Linking verb Complement A cat is a mammal That cat is malnourished Even if you do not understand the meaning of one of its terms, you can recognize a similarly constructed sentence like "Football is a homoerotic ritual" as a statement defining or describing its subject. You should also recognize this claim as arguable to most audiences. It is by no means a fact, although a fact could take the same grammatical form: 1. Football is a game played with eleven men on a team.

Whether the unit of argument is a paragraph or a book, that basic element, the thesis statement, must be discoverable. If you state a fact and verify it, you are demonstrating its truth, but you are not arguing. If you declare a personal taste and account for it, you are sharing an opinion, but you are not arguing. Argument concerns itself with neither fact nor taste, but with that vast middle territory of statements that are more or less probable. It is, for example, a fact that lakes are inland bodies of water; it is a matter of taste whether any individual likes to vacation by a lake; but it is a matter of argument whether the shore of a particular lake should be zoned for commercial or for recreational development.

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