Process Guide #8: Persuasive Arguments

So you want to get people to think like you? One of the best ways to do this is to present your argument in a way that convinces them your way is the right way.

In order to successfully argue your point, it is important that you not only show how good your idea is, but you need to refute the opposition. Research done needs to include topics and ideas that go against your argument.

Setting up a persuasive argument for either a presentation or paper can take many different forms. The following outline is simple, yet effective strategy to present and defend a persuasive argument.

  1. Introduction - Inform the reader/listener about the issue at hand. State the facts that surround the situation.

  2. State your case - Discuss why your way is the best way. Share evidence and expert opinions supporting your position.

  3. Examine and refute the opposition - It is vital that you recognize and discredit opposing views. Look for flaws, loopholes, and reasons to reject other suggestions. If there are positive aspects of the opposing view, point them out, but compare them to the overall benefit of your case.

  4. Reconfirm your position - Now it is time to review the main points of your arguments. Be sure to address any items that may have come while refuting the opposition.

  5. Conclude that your position is superior - Be confident in your closing that your way, is indeed, the only way based upon all the information just provided.

This page was designed by Dan McDowell for the Triton and Patterns Projects of San Diego Unified School District.
Last updated July 7, 1999.

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