Writing To Argue And Interpret

My teacher last year would always write in the margins of my papers What's your thesis? Where's your evidence? How can you prove that? So, now when I argue something, I Make readers believe me. I give them good reasons and lots of examples and they Do believe me—or at least I get better grades.

In the academic world, arguments are a means of creating belief, changing minds, and altering perceptions. Faculty and students alike spend a great amount of time and energy arguing for one interpretation, position, or point of view, and against another. In fact, people making, questioning, attacking, and defending claims throughout the arts and sciences is one of the sure guarantees that human knowledge will continue to advance.

Arguments in the sense considered here—rational disagreements rather than quarrels, fights, and contests—most commonly occur in areas of genuine uncertainty about what is right, best, or most reasonable. In disciplines leading to careers in engineering, business, journalism, environmental studies, and the social sciences, written arguments commonly take the forms of position papers, policy statements, and editorials. In disciplines such as English, art, history, and philosophy, argument is commonly called interpretation, and takes place in scholarly articles, critical reviews, and interpretative essays where the meaning or significance of an idea is open to friendly debate.

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