Answered By: Rachel Willard Last Updated: May 02, 2017 Views: 1103
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.
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