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 Argumentation- Is the action or

process of reasoning systematically

in support of an idea, action or

Reasoning Skill Development

Your position must be supported by the following:

 Facts;

 Examples;

 Physical Description

 Statistics and;

 Support from an authority

Your position paper will only be valid if:

 It convinces the reader to take action

 Convinces the reader to agree to your position or,

 Your position is at least worth considering

Developing sound and logical reasoning

I. Use reasoning from specific instances

 Beware of hasty generalizations based on
insufficient evidence
 Don’t overstate the facts
 Reinforce arguments with statistics or
 Use reasoning from principle
 Move from a general principle to a specific
2.Use casual reasoning
 Establish a relationship between causes
and effects
 Post hoc ergo propter hoc
a. Most events have various causes
b. Avoid oversimplification
3. Use analogical reasoning
 Compare two similar cases. Make the
analogy show that what is true for one
thing is true for another.

 Make sure the two cases being compared

are essentially alike
 To ensure the effective ness of your position paper,
you need to prepare your counterarguments to the
thesis. Deeply understanding the issue and being
ready for counterarguments shows that your
argument is solid.

Generating Counterarguments

I. Identify the strength of the opposition.

II. Anticipate the counterarguments to your thesis
III. Identify how to refuse these arguments
IV. See if some of their points are worth
V. Identify which of your arguments can be
VI. Assess how closely the target readers identify
with the counterarguments.
VII. Build on the weaknesses of the opposition’s
Refuting Counterarguments
-Refuting an argument is the discrediting the arguments
of the opposition against your thesis statement.

Refuting Counterarguments is done by claiming that their

arguments are:
I. Incorrect- due to incorrect information or a misleading

II. Irrelevant-a counterargument will be deemed irrelevant

if it is inappropriate or not related to the subject or its
key points.

III. Insufficient-It is easy to refute a counterargument with

insufficient info to back it up because their arguments
are weak and can be easily proven wrong.
Drafting your Position Paper:

 In drafting your position paper, you have to

make sure that all parts (introduction, body
and conclusion) are in-synch and coherent to
contribute to the over-all content of the
paper. The following questions serve as your
guide in finally writing the initial draft of
your position paper,
The Beginning:
I. How shall I open the essay to engage reader's
attention immediately? Should I begin by
identifying the controversy and stating my thesis?
Should I use a rhetorical question, a surprising
example, a personal anecdote, or startling
statistics to draw readers into the argument?

II. How much do I need to explain about the

controversy and define the terms before
proceeding with my arguments? Should I
summarize the facts? Should I summarize both
Your Argument:
I. If I have more than one reason, how should I
order the reasons? From strongest to weakest?
From the most to the least predictable? From
simple to hardest? Can I sequence them logically,
so that one leads inevitably to the next?

II. Which counterarguments should I mention, if

any? Shall I acknowledge and rebut them all?
Shall I focus on one that I can easily dismiss? Can
I concede anything? What would I gain from
conceding? What would I lose?
Avoiding logical Fallacies:
 Can I avoid making sweeping generalizations (offering broad
statements without providing specific details to support them)

 Will I be able to avoid oversimplifying the issue (concentrating on

only one or a few aspects of an issue and ignoring (ts complexity)?

 Will I be able to avoid committing an either/or fallacy (unjustly

limiting the issue to only two alternatives).

 Can I avoid an ad hominem argument (making personal attack

against my opponent rather than addressing the issue)?

 How can I avoid building a straw man (representing the

opposition's argument unfairly so that I can knock it down
The Ending:

I. How can I conclude my argument effectively?

Should I repeat my thesis? Shall I look to the
future, possibly to redefine the issue?

II. Can I end on a note of agreement by reminding

readers of the common concerns and values we
share? Shall I look forward to a new way of
understanding the issue that transcends our