Sunday, January 9, 2011

Argumentation Terms


claim
something asserted or maintained, the main point or position of your argument

subclaim
a subordinate point

support/evidence
support or evidence used to help strengthen your argument

refutation
to prove to be false

concession
conceding, acknowledging or admitting an opponent’s point

fact
an actual occurrence

statistic
a collection of data

example/experience/anecdote
taken to be representative of general pattern

opinion
a judgment, view formed in the mind

analogy
a comparison to a directly parallel case

autority/expertise
support from an authority on the subject

shared beliefs
when a writer argues that if something is widely believed or valued, then readers should accept it

causal relationship
a writer asserts that one thing results from another

emotional appeal
appeal based on emotion

logical appeal
appeal based on logic or reason

ethical appeal
appeal based on character of the speaker

sentimental appeal
evoking sorrow or pity

classical
the most common tool for developing an argument is the syllogism: major proposition, minor proposition followed by conclusion

rogerian arrangement
solve a problem by compromise not to win an argument

deductive reasoning
reasoning in the form of if A, then B

inductive reasoning
organization which starts specific, and then goes general. If B then A.

ad hominem
attacks the personality of the individual

ad populum
a proposition is held to be true because it is widely held to be true

ad vericundium
to wisdom or belief that something said by a great person is true

nonsequitur
it does not follow

false analogy
when two cases are not sufficiently parallel

post hoc
circular reasoning which attempts to prove something by showing that because a second event followed a first event, the second event is a result of the first event

over generalization
too few examples needed to reach a valid conclusion

stereotyping
oversimplified conception that one is regarded as embodying a set type

begging the question
assumes something to be true that needs proof

false authority
fallacy committed when the person in question is not a legitimate authority

slippery slope
fallacy in which one asserts that some event must inevitably follow from another without any argument for the inevitability of the event in question

equivocation
use of expressions susceptible of a double signification

oversimplication
a writer obscures or denies the complexity of the issues

double standard
set of principles permitting greater opportunity or liberty to one

either/or reasoning
does not allow for any shades of meaning

smoke screen
similar to a “straw man”/ an opponent creates a weakened, incompleted often distorted version of an argument, then destroys it

red herring
a distraction

purple patch
a passage that stands out from the prose because of its overuse of lit. devices

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