Scientists and academics seek to advance knowledge by using data to argue a point. Indeed, academic writing often seeks to express a perspective and to support it with evidence. This has been the foundation for the development of human knowledge. Using either inductive or deductive reasoning, academics write argumentative essays using evidence to support their thesis statement.
Challenging dogma using argumentative research papers allows for the advancement of new theories and challenging antiquated ideas. Ultimately, argumentative research papers present the case for determining the validity of a hypothesis or thesis. Here, you can learn about what is in an argumentative research paper and how to best use evidence in support of your thesis.
What is an Argument Paper?
An argument paper simply serves to prove that a position is the correct one. As described, an argument paper contains a position and evidence in support of that position. The evidence used in an argument paper is usually curated carefully to ensure credibility. Using this evidence, authors then rely on deductive or inductive reasoning, emotional catharsis of the audience, and an assumed moral righteousness of the author (i.e., ability to take a morally just position).
What Do You Put into an Argument Paper?
An argument paper uses data to evidence their thesis. An argument paper contains an introduction, background information, evidence and analysis, and a conclusion. The argument paper contains the following components:
- A claim or thesis: A clear position that your audience is being asked to accept as being true
- Statement of reason: What rationale is used in support of this position, the purpose or reason for taking the position, an explanation of the reason
- Evidence/Logical Argument: The evidence used to take this position and what this evidence means
The argument can make use of facts, an omnipotent or authoritative opinion, or a logical proof, or a deductively reasoned argument. Ultimately, when deciding what to include, faithfully represent the contents of credible sources. Then, consider following the three canons of arguing, as described by Aristotle in Rhetorica: ethos, pathos, and logos.
- Ethos: The author exhibits good moral character such that the position appears to be coming from an appropriate position
- Pathos: The author uses emotions to convince readers of the correctness of the position
- Logos: The author, simply, appeals to reason by using a rational argument in support of their position
Finally, including a counter-argument or by anticipating these counter-arguments and rebutting them within your text advances the thoroughness of your position
Persuading and Arguing: Two Different Levels of Argument
Often times, people confuse a persuasive and argumentative essay. Yet, these two serve different purposes and ultimately reflect different levels of intensity. When considering whether to persuade or to argue, it is important to consider the specificity and urgency of your position.
Indeed, persuading uses evidence to convince someone generally to agree with your position. Meanwhile, arguing is not just about making a general case for your position; it is about presenting a well-reasoned argument as to why your position should be considered “fact.” The major difference is the desired outcome: persuading is to generate agreement for your position whereas arguing is to establish the truth on a particular subject matter
Ultimately, when writing an argumentative essay, be sure to use reasoning, whether inductive or deductive, to support your thesis statement. Arguments are important to advancing human knowledge. Using the above tips, you will be able to write a great essay that argues your thesis!
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