AT&D #3. Models of Arguments

What is your understanding of the different models of arguments? Give an example of how you might argue in each style.

After looking through and digesting the information I picked up from a reading piece, my understanding of the different types of arguments became a lot stronger. First, to note, I previously have studied the types of arguments (and fallacies) made during debates so the same models for arguments of writing should correlate. Anyhow, the two types I learned are the Rogerian argument and the classical argument.

The Rogerian argument is basically one that is made essentially in favor of the writer’s opinion on a controversial topic but with the writer’s full acknowledgement and respect of a reader’s own opinion/views, whatever they may be. This is done so that there wouldn’t be conflict between the writer and the reader in a manner which the writer doesn’t have to portray and/or evoke a sense of superiority or arrogance in their views. The writer goes about establishing this in a few ways. One such way is having the writer explore and exploit a common ground that they may share with their readers but in the end, to objectively state why the writer takes a specific side without utilizing any attacking language. Another way is having the writer explain the context of how their position on a subject is valid, at least from a standpoint that highlights the differences between the reader’s opinion from the writer’s.

Looking at a different approach to arguing in writing form, we look at the classical argument. The structure of a classical argument essentially consists of five parts, each of which contributes to making a persuasive case from and by a writer. The parts are as follows:

    • introduction (which provides some background information on a case being argued for or against to attract interest, commonly put into a thesis)
    • confirmation (where the writer demonstrates their points through research and factual evidence and how they reinforce the writer’s position)
    • concession (where the writer agrees to any points outside of their range of acceptance)
    • refutation (where the writer counter-argues any points on the opposition via fallacies, flawed views and vice versa), (which sums up a writer’s points but also leaves a good impression to those who do not agree with the writer by perhaps partially agreeing to certain points but with constructive criticism or suggestions to make such points better).

After analyzing both types of arguments, I would be inclined to use elements of both in writing a paper on a topic. Certainly with the Rogerian argument, I could and would be writing in a neutral tone that would cater to both sides of the issue I’m writing on (i.e. standardized testing). Even though I am arguing against it in this case, I would not leave out discussion regarding the pro side; in the case with a topic like standardized testing, I could see the theory behind its use and will not lash out unfairly to an audience who support the practice.
More likely however, I would be largely modeling a final paper centering on standardized testing through the classical argument because I believe it is the most effective in organizing my points (catering more sharply to one side of an issue) and with the extensiveness of that topic, the format allows for plenty of material to be used for the confirmation/concession/refutation sections.

Spread the good word and contribute to the community!

Facebook Comments

Recommended Articles