Types of arguments in essays
In the following, you will be presented with different types of arguments. These types of argument can be found in the argumentation in text messages, journal articles, chronicles, daily speech, advertisements etc .. The argument types are used by a sender for the purpose of convincing or persuading the recipient and it is therefore important to decide what kind of argument the sender applies. Some of these types of arguments appeal to logos, others to ethos and others to pathos.
In a longer text, the sender will typically use different types of arguments. Therefore, it is not so interesting to look at all types of arguments used by the sender, but rather to look at which types of arguments are used or most frequently used by the sender, as it tells something about what is characteristic of the text in question. In addition, evaluate the effect or significance of the selected argument types.
In shorter texts, such as advertising texts, very few types of arguments will most often be used.
The character argument – x is a sign of y
The argument builds its argument on the premise that something is evidence of something else.
Example: The ice on the North Pole is declining year by year as an expression of (is a sign of) global warming.
Reasoning argument – x is the reason for y
The sender builds up his argument that something is the cause of something else.
Example: It was because the coach replaced Bendtner at the 1-1 position that we won the match 2-1.
Classification argument – what applies to 10x (the amount) also applies to x (the individual)
The sender believes that when it comes to the bulk of a quantity, it applies to the whole quantity. Here the amount can be different parts of the population, a type of product or similar. Thus, from the whole (the quantity) to the part (the individual)
Example: Young high school students have way too much free time (implied, so does every high school student)
or: 8 out of 10 consumers lose 5 kg the first week (implied: so do you).
Generalization argument – when it comes to x (the individual), it also applies to 10x (the amount)
The type of argument is the opposite of the classification argument, as it is here that what applies to the individual also applies to everyone else. In other words, the individual ends here as a whole.
Example: I’ve tried running a marathon myself, and it wasn’t particularly hard (so it won’t be for others).
Comparative argument – when it comes to x, so does for y
The sender compares one thing, phenomenon, event or other that one is trying to convince with another, which the sender thereby claims to be similar. What applies to one must also apply to the other. The difference between the comparison argument and the generalization argument / classification argument is that in the comparison argument one only compares with a single case where in generalization the individual applies to several, and in the classification several apply to the individual
Example: Of course it will be fun, Peter. Don’t you remember how fun it was last year?
Authority argument – x is true because y says so
The argument is based on the fact that the sender refers to others as evidence that the claim is true. The sender can refer to different types of authorities:
The expert argument refers to specific persons who are an authority in the field. For the argument to be good, the recipient must agree that the person the sender is referring to is an authority. It should be borne in mind that some experts are staged experts, which means that they are not really experts, but are staged as experts. It is typically seen in commercials where an actor is given a white coat and must act as an expert, but the recipient is not presented to that person and their area of expertise, and it is not clear that this person has a job where the person works with it. area that he or she is pronouncing.
Example: Thomas Bigum, an expert in facebook, does not believe that
facebook is devastating to the way young people communicate.
Distribution argument points out that many others agree with this argument.
This means that because others believe it to be so, it must also be true. It is important to keep in mind that it differs from the classification argument. The classification argument goes that what applies to most also applies to the individual. But the propagation argument is an expression of authority. Because most people believe this to be true, it is true.
Example: As most people know, eating candy is unhealthy.
Or: Many others your age would never think of it something.
The Truth Postulate points out that it is true because the sender says it is true. Notice that this kind of argument is called a postulate of truth because the sender postulates to be right and it is rendered purely linguistic. No authority is referred to outside the sender itself, but linguistically, the sender clearly states that x is true.
Example: Obviously you have to ride a bicycle helmet.
Or: It is obvious to everyone that you have to ride a bicycle helmet.
Experiential argument is an argument one can encounter in journalism, where a journalist interviews a person who has experienced an event up close or who has had experience with something. The argument of experience differs from the Expert argument in that the argument refers to someone who has experience in the field but is not an expert.
Motivational argument – you get better at yourself by doing x
The sender appeals to the recipient’s feelings, thereby trying to convince the recipient or to get the recipient to endorse the sender’s claim. The sender tries to arouse the recipient’s sympathy, ethical values, need for security or justice, fear or attempts to stand out from others – there are many options. One can scare: “If we have too many friends then baby dies”. Or you can appeal to the recipient wanting to look young, as you can see in many moisturizer advertisements.
The word choice argument is not an actual argument, but is an expression of the sender using a particular word or term in his or her argument so that the sender can (more easily) convince the recipient. Calling a firing round for ‘restructuring’ is a word choice argument. ‘Aliens Service’ instead of ‘Aliens Agency’ is also a word choice argument. It’s about using words that have roughly the same denotation, but in reality have different connotations – which can be positive, negative or neutral. There is a lot of language manipulation along the way, as the sender tries to avoid calling ‘a spade a spade’ in order to more easily convince the recipient.