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Arguments in academic writing are usually complex and take time to develop. The strength of your evidence, and your use of it, can make or break your argument. You already have the natural inclination for this type of thinking, if not in an academic setting.
We all use argumentation on a daily basis, and you probably already have some skill at crafting an argument.
The more you improve your skills in this area, the better you will be at thinking critically, reasoning, making choices, and weighing evidence. In academic writing, an argument is usually a main idea, often called a “claim” or “thesis statement,” backed up with evidence that supports the idea.
In fact, making an argument—expressing a point of view on a subject and supporting it with evidence—is often the aim of academic writing.
Your instructors may assume that you know this and thus may not explain the importance of arguments in class.
Did you present them with lots of instances of your past trustworthiness?
Did you make them feel guilty because your friends’ parents all let them drive?Pay attention to your textbooks and your instructor’s lectures.What types of argument and evidence are they using?Instructors are usually looking for two things: This second part can be done in many ways: you can critique the material, apply it to something else, or even just explain it in a different way.In order to succeed at this second step, though, you must have a particular point to argue.Instructors may call on you to examine that interpretation and defend it, refute it, or offer some new view of your own.In writing assignments, you will almost always need to do more than just summarize information that you have gathered or regurgitate facts that have been discussed in class.Medical practices have now changed because some people began to doubt the effectiveness of bloodletting; these people argued against it and provided convincing evidence.Human knowledge grows out of such differences of opinion, and scholars like your instructors spend their lives engaged in debate over what claims may be counted as accurate in their fields.In their courses, they want you to engage in similar kinds of critical thinking and debate.Argumentation is not just what your instructors do.