Answered By: Rachel Willard Last Updated: May 02, 2017 Views: 888
When you use argument in your writing, you are giving a position or making a claim that connects to a specific topic. Arguments must be (a) supported by evidence and (b) allow others to agree or disagree in part or as a whole. In other words, an argument must allow for scholarly conversation.
Argument versus Statement
An argument is different than a statement. For example, consider the following sentences.
- Statement: This paper is about childhood obesity and the use of electronic devices.
- Argument: The use of electronic devices in childhood is the biggest factor in childhood obesity.
An argument makes a claim and supports it with strong evidence.
- Evidence: According to Stevens (2012), 89% of children who played video games for more than 2 hours a day had a BMI of over 30.
Avoiding Logical Fallacies
However, as you make claims, be sure to avoid using opinion or logical fallacies (false logic) in place of scholarly evidence.
- Logical fallacy: Video games cause obesity.
- Are all people who play video games obese? Are there other factors? Correlation does not mean that one action causes the other.
- See other Writing Center resources on using and critiquing arguments.
- View a recorded and archived webinar: "Building and Organizing Academic Arguments."
- View some tips on avoiding logical fallacies.
- See more information on how to use evidence effectively.
Would you like a current or future assignment to be reviewed by the Writing Center? If so please visit the Writing Center's Paper Review Website and make an appointment with us!
Do you have other general writing questions? E-mail the Writing Center at email@example.com.
Other questions about your doctoral capstone or the Form & Style review? E-mail the Dissertation Editors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to peruse other writing resources? Go to the Writing Center’s homepage.