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The Common Topic Notes - The Common Topic Notes Common...

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The Common Topic Notes Common Topics: Sources of argument that can be used in almost every situation 1. Definition 2. Cause and Consequence 3. Comparison or analogy 4. Testimony and authority Common topics: generally applicable to all arguments Topic: a technique or line of argument that nearly all people will accept as valid, though they may dispute the specific argument you advance with that technique. Definition : names or labels a group, class, kind, or category. - Once a subject is placed in that class or under that label, an audience’s belief about the category transfer to the subject. - If on the other hand, we can show that a subject does not belong in an expected category, we can begin to undo an audience’s expectations about the subject. - Arguments from definition assume the attributes are not accidently, temporary features, but inherent, essential qualities. - Definition arguments can be easily overlooked because they can be very subtle. Sometimes a writer relies on an audience accepting a categorization or label readily in this way; in other situations, the arguer anticipates resistance and argues for categorization. - Once a label or categorization sticks, it can function as more than a definition; it can be a judgment (labels = emotionally loaded), and it can be a justification for action. Cause and Consequence: - Consequences: The good/bad/mixed effects that will follow from the proposal - Causes: Events preceding the proposal - Casual arguments can also back up definitions particularly definitions of action characterized by their motives. Thus we label acts differently depending on our beliefs about the doer’s motivation Comparison (Likeness and Differences, Similarities and Contrasts) - Comparison: Claims about likenesses and differences, support arguments by clarifying definitions, explaining causes, and by supporting predictions but they are most useful for transferring attitudes and values.
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