Day 2 - Tuesday
- names and sign-in sheet
- course packets? Did you get them? How was the
reading? Tough/easy? Entertaining? Always read with a pen in
II. Argument Background
A. Our goal today: argument anatomy and
We break things down for ease of understanding and
B. Brainstorming re: intuitions about and
cultural attitudes toward argument
On a scratch sheet, note words we use to
- when someone wins an argument
- when someone resists an argument (of someone
- when someone uses evidence in an argument
We tend to understand argument as warfareŠ hard,
dirty, painful ground warfare, in particular. How does this attitude
shape the way we argue?
- two sides only; a right and a wrong
- no compromise
- winning is better than truth
- lack of respect for opponent; to blow him/her
away is best
C. Academic argument is different
What are the goals of argument in the academy (at
- to increase readers'/thinkers' understanding of a
- to gain attention/appreciation for a
- to put forth new views
What are the ramifications of these different goals
on the way academicians execute their arguments?
- academic writers compromise
- academic writers respect their opponents and
acknowledge their strengths
- academic writers search for truth but recognize
that the truth is likely to be complex, comprised of a variety of
- Academic argument, in other words, is DIALOGIC.
Academic argument resembles a conversation, not a war. We're a
III. So let's converse
You've read some material for today; let's discuss
it and make some academic arguments about it. From our conversation,
we'll glean the parts of argument; we'll work backwards from our
discussion to determine the anatomy of our argument.
- How would you characterize the creator?
- What do the similarities amongst these creation
stories suggest about the way humans conceive of creation?
- How do these creation stories applicable to
artistic creation? How do they help us understand the process of
IV. The Parts of Argument
We discover them through the natural questions of
- Claim: What do you think?
- Reasons: What makes you think so?
- Warrant: What's that (reason/evidence) got to do
with it (claim/evidence)? Often a question of definition, often
implied. eg: What does the fact that the creator can fling
boulders have to do with his strength? Boulders are extremely
heavy, and to be able to fling them is, therefore, to have
- Evidence: How do you know?
- A/R: But what aboutŠ?
Homework: Read the rest of the creation stories.
Construct a skeletal argument (brief, parts labeled) re: the most
compelling creation story.