Argument and Analysis
You are already fabulous at presenting an argument!
Think of writing a persuasive argument the same way you would try to persuade anyone of anything: present your main point (thesis statement), offer supporting reasons backed by evidence, and ensure that the way you present your argument makes sense to your audience (any educated layperson). Here is a real-world scenario:
"Let's go try the new Chinese restaurant since we don't have plans for dinner."
- (thesis statement + significance/"so what")
"Ummm ... well, I am hungry, but I don't know ..."
- (Your argument matters to me, but I still need some convincing.)
"It has good Yelp reviews [4.9 stars with 136 reviews!], it's relatively inexpensive [$11 entrees], and George really enjoyed it and he went again for lunch today!."
- (reasons + evidence)
"That does sound good..."
"I know you might be thinking we just had Chinese food last week, but the Weekly says their potstickers are the best on the Peninsula."
- (Address counterargument and rebut it with strong evidence.)
In a paper, you would finish with a conclusion here; in real life, you might just hear the following: "Sold!" (you won!)
- Handout (printable): "Argument," UNC Chapel Hill Writing Center
- Handout (printable): "Writing an Argument," UC-Riverside Graduate Writing Center
- Webpage with 11-minute "Science of Persuasion" video and many more resources: "Persuasive Writing," Mater Christi
- Book: Statistical Reasoning for Everyday Life, 4th ed., Jeffrey O. Bennett, et al., Pearson Education
The following index makes searching for a specific topic easier and links to the appropriate place in the sequenced material. We think we have most of them, but please email us at email@example.com if we are missing something!