Unit C Lit Terms

  1. argumentation
    convincing readers of the soundness of a particular opinion on a controversial issue using clear thinking and logic; incorporates all other modes of writing, including description, narration, exposition, analysis, reporting

    logic based
  2. persuasion
    utilizes emotional language and dramatic appeals to readers' concerns, beliefs, and values in order to convince the reader and urge him/her to commit to a course of action

    emotionally based
  3. logos
    soundness of argument: facts, statistics, examples, authoritative statements; must be unified, specific, adequate, accurate, and representative

    crucial with a hostile audience
  4. pathos
    emotional power of language; appeals to readers' needs, values, and attitudes, encouraging them to commit themselves to a viewpoint or course of action; relies on connotative language

    use primarily with a supportive audience
  5. assertion
    thesis or proposition of an argumentative paper

    can support, oppose, or qualify; should be debatable and narrow
  6. claims
    statements that require support
  7. claim of opinion
    judgment based on facts and arguable on the basis of facts

    The school needs a new chemistry lab to replace the existing outdated lab.
  8. claim of fact
    potentially verifiable and thus not arguable

    The cost of medical care is rising.
  9. claim of belief
    while seemingly arguable, is not based on fact and so cannot be contested on the basis of facts

    The primary goal of government should be to provide equality of opportunity for all.
  10. evidence
    must relate to readers' needs, values, and experience; must be unified, adequate, specific, accurate, and representative

    personal observation or experience; statistics; facts, examples; expert opinion; appeals
  11. assumption
    an opinion, a principle, or a belief that ties evidence to claims: the assumption explains why a particular piece of evidence is relevant to a particular claim assumptions are not flaws, but necessities; however, if your audience does not share your assumptions, it will be harder to convince them of your claims

    claim: The school needs a new chemistry lab. evidence (in part): testimony of the teachers assumption: teachers are the most capable of evaluating the present lab's quality
  12. opposition
    those who hold an opposing viewpoint; you should respectfully acknowledge your opposition and their counter-claims, make concessions when appropriate, and refute their counter-claims when possible
  13. induction
    • - inference of generalization based on specific evidence; in inductive reasoning, you present your case and then form a conclusion based on the evidence
    • - specific to general

    • Analyze advertisements in newspapers and magazines (evidence).
    • Read comments by advertisers, publishers, and critics (more evidence).
    • For a conclusion about print advertising (generalization/claim).
  14. deduction
    • - begin with a premise/assumption (generalization, belief, or principle), provide evidence or new information, then draw a conclusion
    • - general to specific then back to general

    • Premise: The administration should not raise fees on dorm rooms in poor condition. (generalization)
    • Premise: The room in Polk Hall are in poor condition. (evidence)
    • Conclusion: The administration should not raise feels on the rooms in Polk Hall. (claim)
  15. syllogism
    • - logical equation used in deductive reasoning
    • - syllogistic errors can lead to faulty conclusions, which are the basis for many logical fallacies (see list 9 terms)

    • see above (deduction)
    • premises must be true in order for the conclusion to be true
  16. Classical argument
    state claim; provide evidence (weakest to strongest); anticipate and refute counter-claims; conclude

    standard deductive structure
  17. Toulmin argument
    • - Three parts of an argument:
    • - Claim - thesis, proposition, or conclusion
    • - Data - evidence
    • - Warrant - underlying assumption that justifies moving from evidence to claim

    • Readers are more apt to consider your argument valid if they know what your warrant is.
    • Implicit warrant can be sufficient.
    • Encourages qualifying the claim--explain under what circumstances it might be invalid or restricted.
  18. Rogerian argument
    • - goal is to reduce conflict rather than produce a "winner' and "loser"
    • - use a respectful, conciliatory posture and empathetic tone
    • - emphasize share interests and values / common ground
    • Structure:
    • - Begin by making a conscientious effort to understand the viewpoints with whom you disagree; put yourself in theirs shoes and focus on what they believe and why they believe it
    • - Open your essay with an unbiased, even-handed restatement of opposing points of view (shows you're fair and open-minded).
    • - When appropriate, acknowldege the validity of some of the arguments raised by those with differing views.
    • - Point out the areas of common ground.
    • - Finally, present evidence for your position.

    • Prevents alienation of opposition
    • works towards compromise
    • earlier you acknowledge opposition, the more effective your argument will be
    • use complex sentences that open with subordinate clauses (acknowledging opposition's opinion) followed by a main clause (stating your opinion)
    • use balanced sentences
    • (see Longman, 547-550 for complete explanation)
  19. logical fallacy
    errors in argument, which either evade the issue or treat the argument as if it were much simpler than it is

    Avoid these!
  20. begging the question
    treating an opinion that is open to question as if it were already proved or disproved

    The college library's expenses should be reduced by cutting subscriptions to useless periodicals. [Begged questions: Are some of the library's periodicals useless? useless to whom?]
  21. non sequitur (Latin: "It does not follow.")
    linking two or more ideas that in fact have no logical connection

    If high school English were easier, fewer students would have trouble with the college English requirement. [Presumably, if high school English were easier, students would have more trouble.]
  22. red herring
    introducing an irrelevant issue intended to distract readers from the relevant issues

    A campus speech code is essential to protect students, who already have enough problems with rising tuition. [Tuition costs and speech codes are different subjects.]
  23. pathos (appeal to fear or pity)
    substituting emotions for reasoning

    She should not have to pay taxes because she is an aged widow with no friend or relatives. [Appeals to people's pity. Should age and loneliness, rather than income, determine a person's tax obligation?]
  24. bandwagon
    inviting readers to accept a claim because everyone else does

    As everyone knows, marijuana leads to heroin addiction. [What is the evidence?]
  25. ad hominem (Latin: "to the man")
    attacking the qualities of the people holding the opposing view rather than the substance of the view itself

    One of the scientists has been treated for emotional problems, so his pessimism about nuclear waste merits no attention. [Do the scientist's previous emotional problems invalidate his current views?]
  26. hasty generalization
    making a claim on the basis of inadequate evidence

    It is disturbing that several of the youths who shot up schools were users of violent video games. Obviously, these games can breed violence, and they should be banned. [A few cases do not establish the relation between the games and violent behavior. Most youths who play violent video games do not behave violently.]
  27. sweeping generalization
    making an insupportable statement; these are often absolute statements involving words such as all, always, never, and no one that allow no exceptions; can also be stereotypes

    • People who live in cities are unfriendly.
    • Californians are fad-crazy.
    • Women are emotional.
    • Men can't express their feelings.
  28. reductive fallacy
    oversimplifying the relation between cause and effect

    Proverty causes crime. [If so, then why do people who are not poor commit crimes? And why aren't all poor people criminals?]
  29. post hoc fallacy (Latin: after this, therefore because of this)
    assuming that because A preceded B, then A must have caused B

    The town council erred in permitting the adult bookstore to open, for shortly afterward two women were assaulted. [It cannot be assumed without evidence that the women's assailants visited or were influenced by the bookstore.]
  30. either/or fallacy
    assuming that a complicated question has only two answers, one good and one bad, both good or both bad

    Either we permit mandatory drug testing in the workplace or productivity will continue to decline. [Productivity is not necessarily dependent on drug testing.]
Card Set
Unit C Lit Terms