Chapter I. What is Argument?

Although you may not realize it, anytime you e-mail your professor asking for an extension on an assignment or asking to miss class, you are engaging in the art of argumentation. You are using persuasive techniques to plead your case, hoping that your professor will see your plight and grant you what you’ve asked for. The art of argumentation, or rhetoric, is used anytime you communicate. While it is more visible in some situations over others, argumentation is abundant in our everyday life. In this College Composition II class, you will write in multiple argumentative genres, each paper geared toward a specific audience, with the hopes of allowing them to see and believe your point of view. This introduction chapter focuses on the art of argumentation, starting with the basics of what it is, then diving into the specifics of how one can use language to persuade their audience.

In this chapter, we’ll discuss some of the following concepts:

  • Argumentation

  • Inductive/deductive reasoning

  • Main claim

  • Thesis/thesis-seeking

  • Evidence

  • Rhetorical situation

  • Rhetorical analysis

  • Rhetorical appeals (ethos, pathos, logos)

  • Stakeholders

  • Diverse perspectives




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College Comp II Copyright © 2019 by Jude Miller is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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