The Classical Argument Since rhetors began teaching Greek farmers strategies for appealing their cases to Greek courts in the fifth century B.C., the classical argument has stood as a model for writers who believe their case can be argued logically and plausibly to an open-minded audience. In its simplest form, the classical argument has five main parts: The introduction , which warms up the audience, establishes goodwill and rapport with the readers, and announces the general theme or thesis of the argument. The narration , which summarizes relevant background material , provides any information the audience needs to know about the environment and circumstances that produce the argument, and set up the stakes–what’s at risk in this question. The confirmation , which lays out in a logical order (usually strongest to weakest or most obvious to most subtle) the claims that support the thesis , providing evidence for each claim. The refutation and concession , which looks at opposing viewpoints to the writer’s claims, anticipating objections from the audience, and allowing as much of the opposing viewpoints as possible without weakening the thesis. The summation , which provides a strong conclusion, amplifying the force of the argument, and showing the readers that this solution is the best at meeting the circumstances. Each of these paragraphs represents a "chunk" of the paper, which might be one or more paragraphs; for instance, the
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2009 for the course ENGL 15 taught by Professor Deborahmorkun during the Spring '08 term at Penn State.