Inductive Reasoning

Opinion Pieces
An opinion piece is not a neutral piece of writing. It expresses the author’s
point of view up front and tries to persuade the audience to accept that view.
Writers use emotional or rational arguments to defend their position – often a
mixture of both.
 The author provides some background information about the issue at
hand (which is why you will need to do some research). The kind of
information given, however, will likely present the issue in terms that
support the author’s point of view.
 Good organization is crucial in persuasive writing. The writing must
flow easily from one argument to the other, and the emphasis must be
placed on the strongest argument. Generally, writers begin and end with
their strongest points.
 A good argument must address opposing points of view: you cannot
merely ignore them. Some authors present arguments one by one,
disproving each as they go.
 The tone of an opinion piece can make the reader more or less willing to
consider the author’s arguments.
Terms and Techniques:
Thesis: The position or opinion the writer is trying to defend. It is usually
stated in one to two sentences, and everything else in the piece relates to it.
Inductive Reasoning: Drawing a general conclusion on the basis of several
specific incidents. The weakness of induction is that it is always possible that
more information will change the validity of the conclusion.
Deductive Reasoning: Applying a general principle to a specific statement.
For example: “We need food to live. Potato chips are food. Therefore, we need
potato chips to live.” As this example illustrates, a logical statement may not
always be true.
Facts: Statements that can be proved through direct observation or
Emotional Appeals: Technique used by writers to sway the emotions of their
Opinions: Statements that may or may not be supported by facts, but which
cannot usually be proved.
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