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Writing an Argument: Methods of Reasoning

As you present your arguments pay attention to the methods you use.
1. Make sure that any conclusions you draw follow from the evidence you provide. If you say that some attendants on one airline have developed cancer, it would be too sweeping a conclusion to then say that all attendants should receive financial compensation. If you say that "because asbestos workers have received compensation, airline personnel should, too," you might be accused of not providing relevant evidence.
2. If you begin your argument with generalizations and argue deductively from the generalizations, be sure that the premises of your argument are valid. If you state that "smokers take a calculated risk" and that "Ellen is a smoker," it is valid to conclude that "Ellen takes a calculated risk." However, it is not valid to use as a premise "Smokers die from smoking-related diseases" and "therefore, Ellen will, too"; not all smokers' deaths are related to cigarettes.
 
[seealso.bmp]
See also
Basic Strategies
Issue and Audience
Claim, Reasons, and Evidence
Refutation
Flaws in Logic