how to formulate an argument

how to formulate an argument

How to formulate an argument
Be sure you know exactly what point you want to prove. Brainstorm a number of reasons why your point of view is the right one, and think of proof for those reasons.
For our purposes, an argument has three basic parts, and, if you want to get full credit in a persuasive speech or essay, you will address each one. Look at the color-coding to see how it all fits together:

How to formulate an argument

  • A “premise” is any statement you hold to be true.
  • A conclusion is a position that follows from the truth of the premises.

Part of knowing how to argue involves knowing what kind of argument you’re making. And there are two main types of argument – deductive and inductive – though both follow the basic formula set out above.

Before getting all your research material in order, you want to come up with arguments that:

  1. Define a finite set of premises that illustrate the line of reasoning for the argument. This will constitute your main points, which should act as the main topic for each of your paragraphs.
  2. Gather evidence that will validate those premises. Evidence can be hard facts, statements from authority sources or real-world illustrations that establish the validity of each of your main points.
  3. Acknowledge opposing arguments, while managing to refute them.

Almost every assignment you complete for a history course will ask you to make an argument. Your instructors will often call this your “thesis” — your position on a subject.
You are the best (and only!) advocate for your thesis. Your thesis is defenseless without you to prove that its argument holds up under scrutiny. The jury (i.e., your reader) will expect you, as a good lawyer, to provide evidence to prove your thesis. To prove thesis statements on historical topics, what evidence can an able young lawyer use?

How to formulate an argument
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Proving your point with logic and reason includes having good, factual data as well as presenting your viewpoint in ordered steps that are easy for your reader to understand and follow.


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