How to make an effective argument
Think through the issue.
- What’s the problem?
- Who’s involved?
- What’s at stake for the people involved?
- Have other people examined the problem? What solutions have they come up with?
- Are those solutions valid or not in the situation you are involved in? Why or why not? Are you taking an objective (arm’s length) view of the problem or are you taking it personally and subjectively?
Think about what life would be like for you and the people involved in this problem if it didn’t exist.
- What do you think could and should be done to solve the problem?
- Who else has worked to solve the problem? Have their solutions been effective or not? How? Why? Could you use their solutions in your own situation?
Who should you be talking to about this problem?
- Reflect again on the stakeholders (above). Get a clear picture of them.
- How can you use the arguments that others have made to solve the problem that you’re seeing? What’s the good stuff from them that you can use solve the problem?
- What will those stakeholders respect? What authorities will they listen to?
- Focus on who you’re arguing with and use sources appropriate to your audience.
What kind of credible, authoritative sources should you use?
- Ivy Tech Library databases: keyword search, limit to the last five years, full-text published articles authored by credible writers who are knowledgeable in their field. Articles should have references.
- Online databases: must be published in reputable newspapers or professional journals. Articles must be authored by credible writers who are knowledgeable in their field. Articles should have references.
Once you start using your sources you must quote, paraphrase, and summarize from your knowledgeable and credible sources in order to support your argument. APA format is required.