Effective Arguments

Topics: Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason Pages: 3 (943 words) Published: November 9, 2008
Many important events in our nation's history were influenced by persuasive arguments. Many sides have gained support due to the writings or speeches gave by an effective speaker. These arguments take a lot to be effective. There are three key components, and if an argument lacks any one of them, it is not effective. Organization, diction, and bias words are all important aspects to any effective argument. Using these three elements, Thomas Paine was able to make a triumphant case, whereas James Chalmers' writing did not and was therefore ineffective.

Good organization is key to an effective argument because a bad argument can lead to confusion and boredom. In Common Sense, Paine has a very clearcut, organized argument, which makes it much easier to understand, and less boring. When an author has a well-formulated argument, the reader is more likely to be persuaded. This is because the author is stressing similar points over and over, and driving it into the readers mind. In Common Sense Paine included points made by the Loyalists, and counterpoints, supporting the Patriots. A large majority of his argument was set in this format. This makes the reader want to support the Patriots because every reason why the colonists should not separate from Britain is disputed. He also has well thought out support for his counterpoints, which make sense to the reader. This makes it easier for the reader to understand, which in turn makes it more convincing. Chalmers on the other hand, wrote a poorly constructed rebuttal. Instead of having clear organization, with either topics or points and counterpoints, he sort of randomly threw out insults at Paine and the Patriots. His refutation included insulting Paine's intelligence, insulting the general intelligence of all Patriots, and bragging about the superiority of the British sovereignty. This had little effect on the intended audience because his points were so scattered around the paper, that by the time the Chalmers makes...
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