M06 Discussion: “Arguing to Convince – Making Your Case”
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Arguing to convince is all about making your case–pitting your argument against another in order to convince your audience to agree with you. For this module’s discussion, you will explore possible thesis statements and counter arguments on your research topic, and reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of these arguments.
INITIAL POST (due by mid-module deadline)
1. In one or two sentences, very briefly summarize your research topic, sketching the major problem or issue you intend to focus on.
2. Follow this brief summary with two (2) possible thesis statements for the argument or case you might to answer your research question. Write this in the form of an enthymeme*. In total, you will write two (2) enthymemes: one in support of YOUR view and one in support of an opposing view.
*An enthymeme is a type of argumentative reasoning in which the claim (X) is directly connected to its reasons (Y). In other words, your reasons for making the claim must be relevant to the claim you are making. In this type of thesis statement the claim (X) is a debatable point, and the reasoning (Y) consists of one or more points which both you and your audience will agree upon. In its simplest form an enthymeme might look like this:
I believe ____X____, because _____Y .
Weak enythmeme: “I believe I should get an A in ENGL 215, because I tried my hardest.” While you and your audience may agree that you tried your hardest in the course, that alone is unfortunately not enough to earn you a grade of A (and therefore your reason is not relevant to the claim you are making).
Stronger enthymeme: “I believe I should get an A in ENGL 215, because I followed all directions, submitted all work on time and received about a 90 % score on all assignments.” (If you and your audience agree on all of these reasons then you have a high likelihood of convincing your reader that you should receive an A in the course. The implied reason is that these things fulfill the criteria of the course enough to receive an A).
3. Lastly, reflect on the creation of your two possible thesis statements. Comment on all of the following questions:
What do you think are the strengths of each thesis statement you developed? Why?
Which thesis was the hardest to come up with, and which was the easiest? Why?
Which thesis do you think could be supported most effectively in an argument essay? Why?
Which thesis statement do you think would make the most interesting paper to read? What kinds of audiences do you think would be most interested in it? Why?
Which thesis statement would take the most additional research to support? What kinds of information or sources would you need to support it?
Comment on anything else you learned about forming an argument on your topic.