What makes for a SUCCESSFUL argument?

Have you ever had to
PLEA your case to
mom & dad before?
What makes for a SUCCESSFUL
What makes for an UNsuccessful
The Structure of Argument
*Classical Argumentative Scheme (parts II and III may be interchanged)
Part I: Introduction
 Catch interest (hook)
 Present issue with concrete image or anecdote
 Provide relevant background information/Define terms
 State claim (thesis)
Part II: Concession and Refutation
 Acknowledge opposing viewpoints (speaks to credibility)
 Recognize and argue against opposing viewpoints (“yes, but”-> concession, refutation)
Part III: Confirmation Paragraphs (longest and most important section)
 Provide reasons and evidence
 Show logical development of the argument
 Include logical reasons as well as emotional appeals to human needs or values
Part IV: Conclusion
 Wrap up the argument but refrain from repeating information
 Restate the claim or thesis
 Provide a new appeal to needs or values & enrich
 Voice a final plea to readers/listeners to take action or to change thinking
Parts of the Argument
Claim(s) / Thesis / Position Statement
A claim is a statement of a position.
A claim is an arguable statement, not a statement of verifiable fact. Someone could disagree with another’s
 Limit the claim and protect the credibility of the writer
 In the real world, there are few absolutes. Words such as everyone, all, never and always are problematic
because the audience can typically find exceptions
 Qualifiers are usually adverbs that modify the verb in the claim or adjectives that modify a key noun; some
common ones are typically, usually, for the most part, some, several, few, and sometimes.
The examples, facts, and data that aid in proving the claim's validity
Depending on the audience, this evidence could also include emotional appeals, quotations from famous
people or recognized experts, or statements based on the writer’s personal credibility.
Concession / Conceding a Point
Bring differing opinions together by acknowledging a part of the opposing argument that cannot be refuted
Conceding that an opposing point is valid and then building upon it to further one's own claim allows a writer
to make the audience feel appreciated without giving up her or his own position.
Rebuttal/ Refutation
If the writer can discredit the opposition’s claims by showing that the opposition’s logic is faulty or its support
is weak, he or she has created a rebuttal that supports his or her own original position and furthers his or her