Persuasive Writing — The College Writer


Chapter 17: Strategies for Argumentation and Persuasion
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Concepts

The chapter provides a good definition of an argument: “a series of statements arranged in a
  • logical sequence, 
  • supported with sound evidence, and 
  • expressed powerfully 
  • so as to sway your reader or listener.” 
No matter how “right” you think your arguments are, they must be
  •  arranged logically, 
  • supported with sound evidence, and 
  • expressed powerfully. 

In other words, even if you were trying to “argue” something obvious, like the fact that the earth revolves around the sun, your argument would still be weak if your supporting evidence was based on a dream you once had or the barking patterns of your dog. 

In writing an argument, it’s not just what you’re saying, it’s how you say it that really counts.

In coming up with a good strategy for presenting an argument, remember the importance of identifying your audience. Sometimes they may be “preaching to the choir,” presenting an argument to an already sympathetic reader, while other times you may  encounter hostility to your ideas. 


Remember the  importance of striking a fine balance between being passionate about the subject without losing the ability to argue reasonably. There are times when indignation, sarcasm, or shock can make a strong argument even more persuasive and other times when these emotional tones are inappropriate. Different audiences and situations might require different approaches.