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What is an
More than information
Lecture 9 You must
select a point of view
Argument provide evidence
1. Establish a stance interpret to support

2. Defend it with evidence Persuade

Paragraph I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.
3. Outline an argument
Chapter (Introduction, Discussion, Conclusion)
William S. Warner William S. Warner

How to argue?
Claim: What you are trying to prove
1. Logic: asserts condition on facts or data
Norway will experience extreme weather before 2020.
2. Emotion: desirable/undesirable value
Female circumcision is dehumanizing.

REASON EVIDENCE 3. Both logic & emotion: policy solves problem

because of based on this Human trafficking should be abolished because it generates crime.
I claim that…
these reasons… evidence:  should
 must
 ought to

William S. Warner William S. Warner

What to argue? Interpret

Questionable idea
Controversial – strong stance
Impact – justifies study Citizens United v. A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a
Federal Election Commission free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall
Significant issue not be infringed.
Minor points often lead to major (research) issue
Corporations are individuals, and individuals have the right to free speech.
US Supreme Court: clause amplifies does not restrict
Relationships show understanding and insight Only amplifying clause in US Constitution
Cannot argue facts 2011-2013 mass killing tripled: 2 to 6
2015-2016 mass killings doubled: 6 to 12
but interpretation of facts Daily: 35 murdered
50 kill themselves
200 injured but survive

William S. Warner


Gun Control in USA

One National Under God Gun
out of 216


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Spurious Correlation 95% Correlation = Causation

Department of Energy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

US Dept. of Agriculture
99.79 % (r = 0.99789126)
William S. Warner William S. Warner

Diabetes correlates with Climate Change

Interpret Statistics
 Persuade through emphasis: end of sentence
Abstract number so reader responds (logic)
A vaccine that protects children from a fatal disease carries
permanent-disability risk of 0.001%. Highly unlikely.
Concrete image so reader reacts (emotion)
791 articles One of the 100,000 vaccinated children will be permanently
disabled. The impact of certainty.
since 2017
Emphasize probability
Abstract decimal: think chance slowly (how likely)
Concrete image: see certainty fast (how often)

William S. Warner William S. Warner


Court trail Persuasive Statistics

DNA evidence Gambling: Out of sight, out of mind
Show certainty: how often
Prosecutor emphasizes certainty Concrete images strike emotion
The chance of a false match is 0.01%. See frequency of winning
Defense shows reasonable doubt Hide probability: how likely
A false match occurs in 1 in 10,000 cases. Numbers require logic
Think chance of winning
Jurors hear. . . 48,410 winners out of how many losers?
Prosecutor: certain guilt, evidence is data.
Lottery: tax on those who don’t know numbers.
Defense: imagine a man wrongly convicted
because of the flawed DNA evidence.
William S. Warner William S. Warner

112 million self-reported

Nudge drunk driving
10,228 killed by drunk driving
We manipulate facts 0.01 % of drunk drivers cause fatal
to get a rational response 99.99 % drunker drivers do not
by presenting information 15-20% heavy smokers… Lawmakers:
men 60 years old Alcohol is responsible for nearly a
that strictly speaking pack/day for 40 years third (31%) of all traffic related
is not relevant to the decision. will die of lung cancer deaths.
80-85 % will not
Health authorities:
Smoking raises the chances of
Sunstein, C. 2008. Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness
2014. Why nudge?The Politics of Libetarian Paternalism getting lung cancer.

William S. Warner William S. Warner

Scientific Argument Evidence

Stance: literal not implied Facts versus Opinion
Goal: based on evidence Opinions: subjective statement
Claim must Beliefs, attitudes, personal experience
1. Prove you understand You may not use opinion
2. Demonstrate reason logically Facts: objective truth
3. Construct development with evidence Need proof: Women live longer than men.
Evidence is objective, creditable Specific support: examples, data, quotations
Not anecdotes (short entertaining story)

William S. Warner William S. Warner


Where to begin?
Quality – objective, unbiased
Quantity – fair sample size
Accuracy = valid
Precision = reliable
Reliable + valid = solid

William S. Warner
William S. Warner

Outline your persuasion

Scholarly literature Familiar New Expand
Different fields
Data and statistics General Introduction
Logical development of points
Consensus of policies or theories
Be consistent: do not blitz Specific Body
Logic must be coherent
Cannot convince confused reader
Thesis statement clarifies argument Conclusion

William S. Warner William S. Warner

Argumentative Outline
Introduction forms your argument
Topic: Visual portrayal of Islam in Danish high-school textbooks
Establish reason for study: problem/question
State position/answer (thesis statement) Interesting versus vital information
Key concepts Ask a question, then answer it
Make concessions
Question: verb specifies relationship
Body Which (groups of) Muslims are depicted in religious studies textbooks?
Develop reasons to defend stance Has the visual representation changed between 1995 and 2015?
Analyze evidence Partial answer in question
Conclusion How has immigration affected Islam’s portrayal in Danish textbooks?
Reinforce position logically from analysis What has caused the change in portrayal of Islam in Danish textbooks?
Direct analysis to thesis

William S. Warner William S. Warner


Question Answer

Analytical: patterns, trends, cause-effect Analytical Argumentative

Have GMO policies affected farm profits? Does not take stance Takes a stance
What GM mechanisms decrease biodiversity? May be debatable Unifies the paper
Question can form hypothesis – test with empirical data Explore and evaluate Points development
GM crops increase the application of herbicides.
Re-search issue Does not ask question
Predictive: based upon theory Solidifies while writing answers it
Will DNA be inserted in GMOs and into our cells? More fluid than argumentative fills a gap
In accordance with Smith’s (2009) theory of DNA ingestion, Does not negate other views shows insight
DNA cannot be integrated into our cells. Weak I will argue
DNA of GM crops is similar to DNA of non-GM crops.

William S. Warner William S. Warner

Research question: Develop thesis statement

How should NMBU educate? Claim: military force necessary in 1st Gulf War (1991)
Analytical Thesis Argumentative Thesis 1. support Gulf states opposing Iraq – political
Although NMBU educates NMBU students should be 2. UN sanctions not effective – economic & political
through lectures and readings, required to spend one term 3. ability to "take out" WMD – military
education might also expand abroad as an intern in an 4. deter other aggressors – political & military
learning through experience, organization to increase their Narrow thesis: combine 3 & 4
such as internships and working knowledge and global Even if the US could have liberated Kuwait without a military
abroad. awareness. strike, no other option would have been as effective in wiping
Answer question with insight out Iraq's deadliest weapons, nor in deterring other nations
Evidence supports claim who might want to use force against their neighbors.
Not necessarily debate Debatable
Think like a detective. Think like a lawyer Reason? Who cares? What’s the issue?
Does this relate to the war in Syria?
William S. Warner William S. Warner

Questions to consider Adjust your

Why is the issue important? thesis statement
What is your claim?
Reason supported with evidence? Does thesis
Are code words explained? 1. Express a claim, not a question
Public health: holistic medicine 2. Based reason on evidence
Economics: green economy 3. Point to a conclusion
Landscape architecture: green building
What if you discover different evidence?
Biology: fluctuating asymmetry
Agronomy: smart agriculture
IR: asymmetrical warfare
William S. Warner William S. Warner


Thesis Statement Not

Title: Poverty and Corruption
Counter Argument
Poverty is the cause not the effect of corruption.
Fact: The Second Amendment says, “A well regulated militia. . .”
Announcement: I argue the incompetence of the Supreme Court.
Strengthens position
The Supreme Court’s ruling misinterprets the Constitution. Shows understanding
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Seventh Edition Therefore, anticipate and address objections
"A thesis statement is a single sentence that formulates both your topic and
your point of view" (p. 42). How to respond?
Complex subject may require combination of sentences Concede, but explain why your stance is stronger, or
The Supreme Court’s ruling misinterprets the Constitution. Corporations Reject, and explain why counter argument is mistaken, or
are not individuals; therefore, are not entitled to freedom of speech
through political contributions. Revise if counter argument changes your position

William S. Warner William S. Warner

Opposing view Building an argument

Opposing view (subordinate clause) reveals argument
Writer’s view (independent clause) activates reason with evidence 1. Make claim
Despite claims that population growth prohibits sustainable
development (Brown 2012), demographics show no correlation
2. Back with reason
between growth and sustainability (Fig. 3). 3. Provide evidence
Although Smith (2001) argues that synthetic fertilizers degrade
the environment, recent tests suggest that such fertilizers both 4. Recognize other views
promote soil quantity and protect water quality (Ike 2014).
5. And respond

William S. Warner William S. Warner

Simple as 1, 2, 3 4 and 5
Anticipate counter arguments and respond
Basing a claim on reasons with supporting evidence To be sure, the mass media can be useful as a provider of information,
The past half-century has been the age of electronic mass media. Television education, entertainment, and even political awareness. But too much of it
has reshaped society in every corner of the world. Now an explosion of new is confronting us with dangers that we need to avoid.
media devices is joining the TV set: DVDs, computers, game boxes, smart
phones, and more. A growing body of evidence suggests that this media
proliferation has countless ill effects.
Conclude: Reinforce your position logically from analysis
At the very least, we can minimize those dangers. Successful approaches
around the world include limits on TV advertising, especially to young
The United States led the world into the television age (supports claim 1), and
children; non-commercial, publicly-owned TV networks like the BBC; and
the implications can be seen most directly in America’s long love affair with
free (but limited) TV time for political campaigns.
what Harlan Ellison memorably called “the glass teat”. (supports claim 2) In
1950, fewer than 8% of American households owned a TV; by 1960, 90% had Of course, the best defense is our own self-control. We can all leave the TV
one. That level of penetration took decades longer to achieve elsewhere, and off more hours per day and spend that time reading, talking with each
the poorest countries are still not there. other, and rebuilding the bases of personal health and social trust.

William S. Warner William S. Warner


Is any reason
Children exposed to violent entertainment tend to become adults
who think violence is acceptable behavior, because as children
they tend to adopt the violent values they see (reason).
Why should children who adopt violent values necessarily become
adults who accept violent behavior?
Warrant shows why
Whenever children adopt particular values, those values tend to
become “acceptable” behavior in adulthood.

William S. Warner William S. Warner

Warrant – probable cause
General general • Assumption, principle taken for granted
principle circumstance general
conclusion. • If reader doubts principle, explain
claiming that a draws a
Claim: Marijuana should be legal.
Violence on television can have a harmful psychological
effect. Few of us question that when children are repeatedly Reason: People should have the right to use any
exposed to particular values in attractive form, they use substance they wish.
those values to structure their understanding of the world. Warrant: Laws should not prevent citizens from
In the same way, children constantly exposed to violent exercising their rights.
entertainment tend to adopt the values they see.

William S. Warner William S. Warner

Legalize marijuana Tips

Reader’s knowledge  Think hard with others before working hard alone
Topic should be debatable or controversial
Cigarette smoking poses medical dangers and might lead to
cancer for both the smoker and those who experience
secondhand smoke.
Reader’s Although it has been proven that cigarette smoking leads to
Friendly Hostile I’m not convinced.
value health problems in the smoker, the acceptance of smoking in
Persuade me. public places demonstrates that lawmakers do not consider
secondhand smoke dangerous.
Do not over simplify
Warrant No serious question has a simple answer
No complex problem has a simple solution
I don’t know. Show me.
William S. Warner William S. Warner


You are ready evidence

Argumentative Outline
reason objection
to outline
respond Introduction
when you can… claim Establish problem/issue/question
State stance/answer (thesis statement)
Develop reasons to defend stance
1. Explain why one should care about the issue Support evidence with scholarly sources
2. Answer question that fills gap of knowledge Address objections and respond
3. Support your claim with reasons and evidence Conclusion
Reinforce position logically from analysis
4. Anticipate objections and respond
Direct analysis to thesis

William S. Warner William S. Warner

Introduce logical transition from issue to thesis
Assignment 9 – Part 1
Body provides supporting evidence Read in Fronter/Literature
• Argumentative Paper Format.pdf
Conclusion re-addresses thesis in light of evidence
• Sample argument outline.pdf
As Tanzania’s highest-ranking wildlife official, Our findings suggest that the role of
I ask on behalf of my country and all of our environmental influence is stronger Watch TED Talk Steven Pinker
wildlife: do not list the African lion as than previously believed. Future
endangered. Instead, help us make the most research should look at how other
from the revenues we generate. Help us environmental influences work, and
make trophy hunting more sustainable and to what extent any observed changes  Transitions of thought
more valuable. In short, please work with us are introduced as permanent  Slides = paragraph topics
to conserve wildlife, rather than against us, mutations in future generations.  Integrates theory with evidence
which only diminishes our capacity to
protect Tanzania’s global treasures.

William S. Warner William S. Warner

Assignment 9 – Part 2 Analyze Research

Outline an Argument
• Select topic to argue Introduction
Research controversy Issue/Reason
Meet an advisor for approval
Thesis bold
• Draft outline Body
700 word paper
4 scholarly references
Reasons & Evidence Take notes
Counter argument & Rebuttal
• Layout Include references (Warner, 2016)
Title Conclusion Do not tell intent
Name – Assignment 9
• Save: Last name – 9.doc Show results
William S. Warner William S. Warner


Detail Is Vital
for Your Audience Business as Usual
• Big problems in business stem from ignoring small details
Sweat the small stuff • Broken Windows Theory
Business owners must monitor the tiny details or risk failure.
The details are not the details. They make the design. Restaurant's dirty bathroom a good indicator the kitchen is not clean
Charles Eames • Big = Stupid: the larger the organization, the stupider
Big companies couldn't care less if you wait two minutes or two hour.
Content is the detail Fine if there's no competition
Detail is not fine print Government bureaucrats
Detail is strong supporting evidence Your competition is sweating the small stuff
Reason, logic, data Research
Cover letter
Nouns, verbs CV

Course Outline
Job Interview Week
Lecture - Topic
1 – Introduction
Expository first draft
6 2 – Cohesion Expository second draft
I wonder why he
• All work requires wrote, “I sweet 7 3 – Clarity 1-4 Expository final paper
Thinking Discuss the details.” 8 4 – Analysis Compare & Contrast research
Writing importance 9 5 – Outline Compare & Contrast outline
of details… and why you’re 10 6 – Thesis Compare & Contrast first draft
Numbers detail-oriented.
11 7 – Clarity 5-8 Compare & Contrast second draft
• Absence = ignorance 12 8 – Coordination Compare & Contrast final paper
• Would you hire a 13 9 – Argument Argumentative research & outline
10 – Movement
careless worker? 14 Argumentative outline revised
15 Spring break
16 11 – Fig/Tables Argumentative first draft
17 12 – Concision Argumentative second draft
18 13 – Punctuation Argumentative final paper
19 14 – What’s next? Bring Final paper to class

W. S. Warner