The Language of Argument

Make a Claim    

A claim is a statement that is arguable. This must be supported by:

  • Data or evidence
  • Facts
  • Examples
  • Statistics
  • Evidence

Evidence must be valid. Conclusion reached must follow logically from premise or preceding statements:

  1. The Premise (a statement)
  2. Argument  1.      Sub argument(s)
  3. Conclusion
  4. Premise 2
  5. Argument 2

Analysis of facts

  • Direct observation
  • Personal experience
  • Anecdotal material
  • Findings in a report
  • Statistics
  • Research/findings from experts in a field
  • Quotations from reliable sources


  • Evidence and reasoning must be presented in persuasive manner
  • Try to convince reader at all times

Facts & Opinion

A fact is something that really exists or occurs. Facts – should be verified – need to examine the evidence.

Opinion is a judgment or a belief – need to test by examining the evidence and testing what inferences can be drawn from it

Example: All planets in the solar system are round. – Fact. As the planets in the solar system are round, the earth must be a round. – Inference. All planets in the solar system are wonderful. – Opinion

Deductive Inductive


  • Don’t jump to conclusions
  • Don’t make sweeping or extravagant claims
  • Don’t take the disputed point for granted
  • Don’t ignore the issue
  • Don’t offer only two possible answers. An argument is rarely ‘black and white’. There may be alternative possibilities.







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