The structure of the argumentative essay

Argumentation basically consists of an assertion and evidence. One claim is what the sender is seeking to convince the recipient. The claim is substantiated by a coating. The evidence is the rationale for the claim.

It is important to pay attention to the word ‘claim’. In everyday speech, an assertion is perceived as being uttered without any evidence. They say, “He claims to have been out walking the dog”, implied that he is lying. When working with reasoning, one should be aware that assertion should not be understood in the same way as in everyday speech. In Danish academic context, assertion is a term that denotes the point of view, point or message that a sender of a text wants to convince its recipient. Whether the claim is true or false is inferior in that respect. Furthermore, it is important to distinguish between assertion and postulate. An allegation always has a coating attached to it. If the sender does not use a cover, this is a postulate.

Claim Postulate

  • with coating no coating
  • Analysis of argumentation
  • Analyzing reasoning is therefore about finding assertion and evidence.
  • “You have to protect freedom of speech as it is a pillar of a democracy.”
  • Claim: Freedom of expression must be protected
  • Coverage: Because freedom of speech is a cornerstone of a democracy
  • But it is not always easy to find claims and evidence, because often the evidence is not explicit.

“Freedom of speech is fundamental to democracy, as it is through the free exchange of opinion that one finds the foundation to be able to make the right decisions that benefit the people as a whole.”

Claim: Freedom of speech is absolutely central to democracy

Occupation: Because it is through the free debate that politicians become acquainted with all positions

An argument can be built on a structure where a coating is supported by a new coating. Such a structure is called hierarchical in that the assertion is supported by a coating, which is then again supported by another coating.

“I think it is imperative to make restrictions on the opening hours of bars, because it will reduce the opportunity for people and especially the young people to drink completely in the fence, as there will be less time to drink alcohol.”

Claim: It is necessary to make restrictions on how long bars must be open

Coverage: Because it will cause people to limit their alcohol intake

Subordinate evidence: Because people can’t drink that much

As an alternative to a hierarchical argument, one can also find a parallel structure where there are several parallel evidence for the same claim.

“I think it is imperative to make restrictions on the opening hours of bars because it will diminish the ability of people and especially the young people to drink fully in the fence, and in addition, people will be more healthy in their study and work on Mondays. will also get into fights and make vandalism. “

Claim: It is necessary to have restrictions on bar opening hours

Coating: It will reduce alcohol intake

Occupancy: People will be less devastated this weekend and more efficient during the first working days of the new week

Occupation: There will be fewer fights and generally less turmoil in the nightlife

The advantages of a hierarchical structure are that it is easy to follow the sender’s logic and reasoning, and if the recipient cannot therefore doubt the coatings, then the recipient can only agree with the sender. On the other hand, a hierarchical structure is vulnerable, because if a claim can be doubted, then the whole argumentation collapses.

The advantage of a parallel structure is that many coatings for the same claim increase the power of conviction, as there will be more coatings for the same claim. The disadvantage may be that the coatings are not supported by other coatings and can therefore lose weight and thereby the power of conviction.

In chronicles and reader letters there will typically be a hierarchical structure, but with a parallel structure at the 1st floor level and / or the 2nd floor level. In oral discussions, there is typically a parallel structure.

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