Writing Arguments

Most writing is argumentative in some way. In business and professional writing—proposals, problem solutions and analyses, political and ethical debate, advertising—argumentation and persuasion are essential elements of discourse in all walks of life. We write to persuade the reader that what we have to say is correct, intelligent, and rational and that our explanation or position makes sense and is appropriate. We present arguments in any kind of persuasive writing. We may argue that one position is superior to another, or we may present both sides of an argument fairly, allowing readers to draw their own conclusions.

Writing to argue does not mean winning at any cost or simply taking sides. To argue means to present issues and ideas in a fair-minded and rational way—to appeal to the reader’s open mind and judgment. Your readers may be receptive to your point of view, but they expect you to present your argument in a logical, rational way that links evidence with your claims. Whether your argument supports one position or presents the issues on both sides evenhandedly, you must support what you say with evidence.

  • We write arguments or persuasive papers to persuade the reader that what we have to say is correct, intelligent, and rational and that our explanation or position makes sense and is appropriate.

  • Arguments don’t always draw conclusions but sometimes let the readers draw their own conclusions.

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