Thinking to Write Lesson W7: Deductive and Inductive Reasoning

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Reviewing Your Argument’s Evidence

So how do you create an argument with solid premises? You review your evidence, making sure that it is fair, objective, and complete. Ask yourself the following questions about the evidence in your paper.

—Have you suppressed any facts? The opponent’s point of view needs to be reckoned with, not ignored. Perhaps you are in the middle of writing what you think is a brilliant paper that argues that Christianity as we know it was created (or recreated) by Paul. You discover a compelling argument that states otherwise. (Or, even more depressing, you discover a book that steals your thunder.) Resist the temptation to pretend that you never saw these books. Work them into your argument in such a way that your work as a whole is strengthened by their presence.
—Have you manipulated any facts? Sometimes we dig up information that can only loosely support our point of view. But we need that information in order to make our argument stand. Is it fair to stretch the information to suit our own purposes? Absolutely not – unless you are going to acknowledge the stretch to the reader, and leave it to him to decide whether your stretch is a fair one.
—Do you have enough evidence? Review the main points of your argument and consider whether or not each point is convincing based on the evidence alone. Do you find yourself relying on your rhetoric alone to make a point? If you are, you may need to return to your sources for evidence.
—Do you have too much evidence? Take a look at your paper. Do your quoted passages outweigh your own prose? If so, perhaps your argument has been buried under the arguments of others. It’s likely, too, that your reader will find so much information difficult to wade through. She’ll be looking hard for an argument that may in fact be impossible to find.
—Is your evidence current? Reputable? It’s not that you can’t use dated sources in a paper, it’s simply that you run the risk of not considering more current information that might challenge your point of view. You’ve also got to make sure that your evidence is reputable. Remember the dictum, “You can’t believe everything you read.” This is especially true of information you find on the Internet, where anyone can post anything, sometimes without the slightest concern for its validity.

SOURCE: Materials for Students: Writing the Academic Paper: Logic and Argument (Dartmouth Writing Program)


DIRECTIONS: Consider the below two video clips; where is the logic?

Clip #1

Clip #2