how do you identify an argument in an article
There are three steps to argument identification:
The other essential part of the argument that one must identify are the reasons. These are claims that support the conclusion—as their name suggests, they give you reason to believe it. Without them, there is no argument—just a claim. Thus, it is a mistake to respond to a request for your argument by saying, “Bush will win in 2004!” This may be your conclusion, but without reasons, it is no argument.
- My car will not start. I realize that I left the interior lights on overnight (“you stupid idiot”)—no analysis necessary.
- My car will not start. The battery is fairly new, and the engine started right up yesterday. So, I open the hood. As soon as I begin probing to search for the reason, I am analyzing (whether or not I find the answer).
When asked to analyze an argument, you are expected to explain how and why something works or does not work.
Because a journal article is not laid out like a traditional paper in which there are topic sentences throughout that build to support the claim, you may find these reasons spread across multiple sections of the article, whether directly stated or just implied. For instance, the literature review, in synthesizing sources on the topic, may address the relationship between cyberbullying and the development of depression, whereas the discussion and conclusion sections may highlight the other reasons. Similarly, the evidence to support the reasons may appear in the literature review, the findings/results, the discussion, and/or the conclusion sections.
As you can tell, each section of the article serves a specific purpose, and you can use that to help guide you in your reading for argument.
What Not to Address in Your Response
4) Think of what specific additional evidence might weaken or lend support to the claims.
If we analyse this brief conversation, there appear to be two incompatible assertions. One person says: “You must make dinner.” The other person says: “No, you must make dinner.” So who will make dinner? Let’s have a look at the arguments.
It is possible to analyse this short conversation more precisely and thoroughly than we have done here. (For example, we could ask whether the statement “I made supper yesterday” is true. If it is not, this is not a valid argument). But this is not necessary. The point is that we are analysing the discussion when we encounter contradictory arguments. What do the arguments support? What are the arguments? Why are they effective? Or not very effective? Or even completely ineffective?