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Lyman Beecher Brooks Library Virtual Assistance (ENG 102.45A): Argumentation

This guide will show you how to search for various library resources to support your assignment..  Click on one of the tabs below to get more information 

What is it You Will Argue For?


In your opening sentence, make your point. This is also known as the topic sentence.

A. Topic Selection --  What is it you will argue for? What makes you angry, sad, empathetic? What are current problems in society I would like to see changed?

B. Claim Selection --  What is the claim you wish to argue/present?

C. Narrowing Your Purpose --  While the general purpose is to persuade, narrow it more specifically in light of what your listeners already know and do, how they feel, and what they value."

Information summarized from Chapter 17 of Clella Jaffe's Public Speaking: Concepts and Skills for a Diverse Society. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Thomas Wadsworth, 2007. Print.

Argument or Persuasion


Argument: In most cases, you'll want to use articles from scholarly journals to support your arguments because these are written by experts, include references you can consult, and have been carefully edited. Sometimes, depending on your topic, you'll need to use articles from popular magazines.

Debate & AdvertisingAdvertising is a communication strategy designed to convince consumers to buy a company's products. Argument and debate are related terms used to describe speaking about a topic and providing support to their opinions on it.

Useful Guides to Check Your Facts

Examine the Existing Argument and Where to Look for Information

The next step in researching your argument is to investigate, read, and evaluate any current points of view around your topic.  As you do this, you will develop your own argument. Reading others' views and arguments may help you, but the argument must be yours. 

Pro/Con, Statistics, Charts and Graphs

Independent research organizations and government agencies are good sources for statistics.

American National Election Studies (ANES)