In English Composition I, you learned how to analyze an argument for effectiveness, specifically looking at the use of logos (logic), ethos (credibility), and pathos (emotion). This week, you’ll learn how to craft your own arguments. Starting with this week’s Discussion, we’ll take a closer look at constructing logic (logos), which includes using both deductive and inductive reasoning. With inductive reasoning, you move “from a set of specific examples to a general statement,” making the “inductive leap from evidence to generalization” (Rosa & Eschholz, 2012, p. 540). For instance, after looking at a month’s worth of sales receipts, you could determine that Saturday afternoons are when most patrons prefer to shop in your store. Deductive reasoning “moves from a general statement to a specific conclusion” and works from the model of a “syllogism, a three-part argument that consists of a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion” (Rosa & Eschholz, 2012, p. 540). Please note that in order to accept your conclusion/argument, your audience should accept the major and minor premises as truths. See the below example, which could be the start of one argument in support of a vegetarian diet: Major premise: Beef contains cholesterol.
Minor premise: Too much cholesterol is bad for one’s health. Conclusion: To remain in good health, people should eat less beef. For the Discussion this week, you’ll practice creating argumentative statements, including your own syllogism.
In this week’s Assignment, you’ll take it a step further and write detailed and supported arguments, either for or against the thesis of a professional essay. This will be the first draft of your Synthesis Essay, which you’ll revise in Week 4. It’s important to remember that in a Synthesis Essay, you need to add something new to the conversation. You start with existing knowledge on an issue (in this case, a professional essay), and then create new knowledge (your argument), making unique and insightful points.
Practice the stages of the writing process: drafting.
Practice critical reading techniques.
Practice the method of APA citation.
Course Text: Lunsford, A. A. (2012). The everyday writer (5th ed.). New York, NY: Bedford/St. Martin’s.
Ch. 14, “Constructing Arguments”
Course Text: Rosa, A., & Eschholz, P. (2012). Models for writers: Short essays for composition (11th ed.). New York, NY: Bedford/St. Martin’s.
Chapter 21, “Argument”
Tangney’s, “Condemn the Crime, Not the Person”
Kahan’s, “Shame Is Worth a Try”
Please proceed to the Discussion.