Communication Skills: Argument Analysis

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Writers present in all public media use arguments to assert their opinions based on factual evidence, and this lesson will teach students how to analyze the characteristics of good arguments.
Argument Analysis
® An argument is a set of assertions,
one of which is intended to follow
from or be supported by the
® Since the pursuit of happiness
requires health and knowledge, and
the pursuit of happiness is a
Constitutional right, access to
health care and education is a
constitutional right.
2. ° A passage ® Every argument
contains an contains both a
argument when factual claim (or
there is an claims, the
attempt to premises) and an
establish that a inferential claim
claim is true by (a claim about
offering reasons what the facts
or evidence for imply, the
its truth. conclusion).

Argument or non-
©The fool has said in his heart,
there is no God. (Psalms 14.1)
®/If God does not exist, everything is
permitted. (Ivan Karamazov)
©The house burned down because
the Halogen bulb was touching the
®You should support the president
because we need to appear united.
4. © Premises: The ® Since hiring a
i ublic relations
dollars that could
charitable causes
® Conclusion: The
claim that the
remises are


® Conclusion Signals:
Therefore; so;
hence; thus;
consequently; it
follows that;
accordingly; etc.
® Pedophiles can’t be
therefore, they
should not be
released from
© Premise signals:
Since; for;
inasmuch as; etc.
© Since spanking
teaches children
to use violence to
resolve conflict,
parents should
not spank their

© Cumulative contrary, it is

devices: possible | am thus
furthermore serving my God,
/ moreover, in who | believe wants
iti his children to pra
|e Contrastive to him of their own

devices: however; freewil! and not
the contrary, etc forced (P. Wa ker)


8. ® Neither a borrower nor lender be.
For loan oft loses both itself and
friend, and borrowing dulls the edge
of husbandry. (Shakespeare)
oetuinn jie nataniy caving whatienat Lying i . hat i
true. It is also and especially saying
more than is true, and, as far as the
human heart is concerned, saying
more than one feels. (Albert Camus)

© A person never Check it out!

things, ie is

(B.F. Skinner)


® Just because one
says he has a
weapon... it still
does not give the
officers the right to
use deadly force
unless they can
reasonably assume
that deadly force is
being used upon
them." Jeffrey M.
© When a person decides to
engage officers in a pursuit,
refuses police orders to
end the threat they are
posing to the safety of
officers and the public,
tells the police that they
have a gun, exits a vehicle
and takes an aggressive
shooting stance, extends
their arms out and points
an unknown object at the
officers, they are subjecting
themselves to the
consequences of their
actions, which may include
being shot." Tyler Izen
© Carlos won’t ® | should spend
become a great more time
golfer, he focuses studying, since it
too much on is either that or
technique. prepare myself to
© You shouldn’t use accept failure.
immoral means to ©& Cheating is
get the things you immoral because
want in life. It you don’t want to
may come back to live in a society of
haunt you later. cheaters.

Casting Arguments
© A method of *lItis raining. You
diagramming are sick. You
arguments to hate Yanni. So,
exhibit their you should not
logical structure. go to the concert.
° Premises may ® It is raining and
provide the concert is
independent or outdoors, so it
interdependent will probably be
support for the canceled.

or career

Casting Example
© [The feds raised interest rates] (1)
tThis means that credit card rates
and mortgage rates will
increase.] (2) [We can barely pay
our bills as it is.] «3) You'd better
1 supports 2
2 and 3 together
are needed to
support 4

© [There is no doubt
that humans
hallucinate.] (1)
considerable doubt
about whether aliens
exist, abduct, or
molest us.] (2) [So
reports of alien
abduction are
probably imagined]

1 and 2 together support

appearance stories] 1 [Jesus is elusive] 2
[because he was not flesh and blood,] 3[he
was not restricted by space,] 4[and his
appearances took place over an extended
period.] 5 [However, as time passed and the
tradition grew, the reported appearances
become more palpable, more corporeal.] 6
[They gradually lose their luminous quality and
take on aspects of a resuscitated corpse.] 7
[For these reasons, the stories of the
appearances need to be examined closely for
clues to their history and function.] 8 (Robert Funk)
20. ssibility of ” :
/ ~~ of capital punishment does not deter sy
them. Since justice requires only that
the punishment fit the crime, not that it
ake a specific form, capital punishment
eals are more costly than
a life sentence, capital punishment does
/- | ~~ not save money. Capital punishment, |

dubious. Quiet meditation calms the
patient. The belief that others care
about the patient’s welfare may also
reduce stress. Developing a positive,
hopeful outlook improves prognosis.
None of these psychological benefits of

prayer requires a supernatural