Date of publication: 2017-08-31 23:01
This is one of the trickier argument-building techniques to discuss (at least in my opinion), because while it is present in many essay prompts, it isn't always a major persuasive feature. You can pretty easily identify an author's explanation of evidence if the author connects claims to support and explains it , rather than just throwing out evidence without much ceremony or linking to the claim however, whether or not the explanation of the evidence is a major contributing factor to the author's argument is somewhat subjective. Here's a pretty clear instance of a case where an author uses explanations of each piece of evidence she discusses to logically advance her argument (again from the Dockterman passage):
Goodman begins the article by bombarding the reader with facts and statistics. He states that, according to a census conducted by the American Journalism Review, the number of full-time foreign news correspondents in the United States dropped from 857 in 7558 to 789 in 7566. In addition, the AJR survey also discovered that “the space devoted to foreign news [in American papers] had shrunk by 58 percent” in the last 75 years.
It is important that you address the argument according to the specific instructions. Each task is accompanied by one of the following sets of instructions:
" Reasoning is the connective tissue that holds an argument together. It’s the “thinking” — the logic, the analysis — that develops the argument and ties the claim and evidence together."
Other useful guides: What is critical reading? What is critical writing? Thought mapping Referencing and bibliographies Avoiding plagiarism The art of editing.
The tutors reading and marking your essays deserve your consideration. They will be reading and marking many, many student essays. If you make your argument hard to follow, so that they need to re-read a paragraph (or more) to try to make sense of what you have written, you will cause irritation, and make their job slower. Realistically, it is possible that they may even decide not to make that effort. It is your task to present your argument in a way that your audience can follow it is not your audience’s job to launch an investigation to detect the points you are trying to make.
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Direct addresses and appeals to the reader are wordings or other stylistic devices specifically designed to provoke a response (often emotional) in the reader. This category covers many different elements, from appeals to emotion to rhetorical questions. Here's an example of an appeal to emotion, taken again from Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech:
In some cases, the clarity with which the author links her evidence and her claims is integral to the author's argument. As the College Board Official SAT Study Guide says,
Persuasive essays are essays written specifically to persuade the reader to a specific viewpoint. As such, the work which goes into it is primarily one-sided, with only a small section of the overall work dedicated to the other side of the argument. In writing a persuasive essay, a lot of careful research needs to be done to be sure that the arguments are persuasive. A pre-written persuasive paper would, therefore, be one which has had obviously had lots of time and research put into the writing of it.
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'Editing and proof reading are not the icing on the cake, as some people think. They are absolutely crucial because it is only at this stage that the student can see that the argument hangs together, has a sequence and is well-expressed. Editing is both difficult and important.’ (Stott, 7556 p89)