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STYLE IN ARGUMENT

PLUS, A REVIEW OF SOME OLD STUFF

ST YLE AND PRESENTATION IN YOUR RESEARCH PAPER

Word Choice Sentence Structure Punctuation Special Effects

WORD CHOICE
The words you use should match the tone you want to establish in your research paper, and they should match your subject and purpose. Slang and jargon can be useful to illustrate a point, but do not overuse or you risk alienating readers who dont understand. Be mindful of the connotations of the words you use and even the things you dont say (loaded words). Be as specific as possible for the greatest clarity and greatest argumentative impact.

WORD CHOICE IN THE 2 ND DEBATE

WORD CHOICE IN THE 2 ND DEBATE

WORD CHOICE IN OUR ASSIGNMENT SHEET

WORD CHOICE TOOLS


Wordle, a word cloud generator : http://www.wordle.net/ Wordcounter, a word counter: http://www.wordcounter.com/

SENTENCE STRUCTURE
Varying the structure of your sentences keeps the reader involved and interested. The main way to do this is by using sentences of dif ferent lengths seems obvious, but its something you should pay attention to. You also want to pay attention to the way sentences begin, and consider using parallel structures to give your argument a rhythm. (Rhythm helps drive your argument along and carries the reader with you.) See examples in Chapter 13

PUNCTUATION
Punctuation is what really builds rhythm in an argument. Since this is an academic research paper you want to consider the use of what you might think of as more formal punctuation: semicolons, colons, dashes.

THE OATMEAL
G u i de to semicolons: http://theoatm e a l . c o m/ c o mi c s / s e m i c o lo n

SPECIAL EFFECTS AKA FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE


Figurative language/figures of speech aid understanding by drawing by parallels between a known and an unknown, and it helps make your writing more interesting and memorable. Everythings an Argument classifies figurative language in two categories: Tropes and Schemes.

FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE
TROPES
Tropes represent a change in the ordinary meaning of words/phrases. Metaphor, simile, analogy, hyperbole, understatement, rhetorical questions, and irony are tropes of language.

SCHEMES
Schemes represent a special arrangement of words to create an effect. Parallelism, antithesis, inverted word order, anaphora, and reversed structures are schemes of language.

SCHEMES
Tropes are all pretty well -known to you. There are a few schemes we should address though: Antithesis is the use of parallel (similar or the same) structures to mark dif ference. (p. 437) Inverted word order simply means that a sentence is out of its usual subject-verb-object order, drawing attention to itself. Anaphora is repetition to achieve a desired ef fect usually good for driving a point home. (p. 438) Reversed structures: best to look at examples (p. 439)

IN-CLASS WORK
Read through the speech excerpts given to you. Identify the dif ferent figurative language ef fects being used by consulting the handout. Mark as many examples of figurative language as you can find. Also note any unique word choices, sentences structures, and punctuation usage. Compare your notes with your classmates & discuss. Why do you think the speaker chose to use those figures of speech (and that particular punctuation, wording, sentence structure). As a group try to rewrite the speech excerpt without any of the figurative language. Is it possible? What does the speech sound like now? (Youll share your rewrites with the class.)

YOUR VOICE

KEEPING YOUR VOICE IN YOUR RESEARCH PAPER


Find your thesis and let it direct you. Avoid using someone elses quotation in your thesis. Use signal phrase when you quote to identify which thoughts are your s and which are not. Question the critics/exper ts, and respond to them. Dont fool your self with too much paraphrasing. Avoid too many block quotes. You can use I when you are discussing your own opinion.

REVIEW SLIDES

WHEN TO START A NEW PARAGRAPH


(WHY DO PARAGRAPHS MATTER?)
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. When you have a new or slightly new idea To emphasize a point, or make a contrast between points In dialogue, when a dif ferent person speaks When your reader needs a pause When you are ending your intro or conclusion

From the OWL and Tim Fredricks ELA Teaching Blog

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ELEMENTS OF A PARAGRAPH

UNITY COHERENCE DEVELOPMENT

UCD BASICS
UNIT Y: The entire paragraph should concern itself with a single focus . No wandering around mentioning random things that have nothing to do with each other! COHERENCE: This means your paragraph is easy for a reader to follow and understand. You create coherence by building bridges between your sentences. DEVELOPMENT: Help your paragraphs reach maturity -dont abandon them in an awkward tween phase! Use examples and anecdotes Define terms Evaluate causes, examine ef fects
(There are more development methods but these are the most relevant to our narratives. See the OWL for more!)

BRIDGES
N OT J UST FOR T H E BLUE S BROT H E RS A N D SP I C E G I RLS OF T H E WORLD VERBAL BRIDGES Repeat key words in several sentences Use of synonyms in several sentences Pronouns referring to nouns in previous sentences Transition words linking ideas from dif ferent sentences
LOGICAL BRIDGES

Carrying your topic idea from sentence to sentence

Parallel sentence construction

ARGUMENT VS. PERSUASION

ARGUMENT uses
evidence and reason to discover some version of the truth.

PERSUASION
aims to change a point of view.

To INFORM: tell your audience something they dont know To CONVINCE: tell your audience that an issue merits their attention To PERSUADE: move your audience to action To EXPLORE: (self-)reflective analysis of a personal or societal issue that you think needs to be addressed To MAKE DECISIONS: stemming from exploratory argument, this type of arguments purpose is to enable the audience to make an informed decision To MEDITATE/PRAY: generally a personal argument/reflection aimed towards transformation ACADEMIC: academic arguments usually have one of the above purposes with the addition of being held to disciplinar y standards

PURPOSES OF ARGUMENT

OCCASIONS FOR ARGUMENT


PAST: Forensic arguments seek to determine the nature of past events they may be explorator y in nature, seeking to deepen existing knowledge FUTURE: Deliberative arguments seek to establish what should/will happen in the future. Theyre usually based on pre-existing information and of ten draw on forensic arguments. PRESENT: Epideictic/Ceremonial arguments seek to address current social issues/values describing the good and the bad of contemporary society (according, of course, to the opinion of the arguer).

KINDS OF ARGUMENT
FACT: Did something happen?
Provable/disprovable argument

QUALIT Y: What is the quality/cause of the thing?


Present criteria then measure the thing against those standards Why did something happen, what factors played into it, what will the consequences be?

DEFINITION: What is the nature of the thing?


Determining if one thing belongs in a second contested categor y

PROPOSAL: What actions should be taken?


Describe a problem, then a proposal for a solution