Part 5: Taking a Stand

What is a good argument anyways? Classical argumentation is a topic that could take up an entire semester or two. In fact, many freshman composition courses cover only the form of the argument. This week you should begin to think about and notice the differences between good arguments and bad. Traditionally, an argument tends to follow this structure:

  • Introduction and Background (Get the audience up to speed.)
  • Summary of the Argument (Tell them what you’re going to tell them.)
  • Proof (Support for your argument and the bulk of your paper)
  • Refutation (Counter-arguments and weaknesses in your own argument)
  • Conclusion (Make the reader remember what you have to say.)

You probably recognize that structure if you were ever taught the “5 Paragraph’ formula for essays. The 5 Paragraph Essay has it’s roots in classical rhetorical arguments. Pay attention to your reading assignments this week to understand what makes a good argument.

Also, the best arguments are well-supported. That’s why Taking a Stand is tied to Part 4: Research. The persuasive essay you will do during this unit will be to connected to the research in your final research paper.

Click on the individual lessons to learn more:

Lesson 13

Lesson 14

Lesson 15