Putting It Together: Academic Argument

Now that you have learned the keys to a successful argument, apply them in your own writing.  As you compose an argument, remember to do the following:

  • Construct a thesis that is focused, debatable, assertive, reasonable, and able to be supported with evidence;
  • Avoid logical fallacies, such as post hoc, straw man, false dichotomy, bandwagon, ad hominem, hasty generalization, slippery slope, and begging the question;
  • Build common ground with readers, paying attention to tone, language, and rhetorical appeals;
  • Incorporate rebuttal and refutation, fairly acknowledging counterargument while still arguing the strengths of your claim.

Remember that academic argument, as well as effective persuasion in the professional and personal arenas, is guided by careful research and reasoned discourse.

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