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Purdue OWL: Logic in Argumentative Writing

Rogerian argument (based on American psychologist Carl Rogers’s studies in psychotherapy) is a bit different—its goal is to develop consensus among readers rather than establish an adversarial relationship. The idea is that a successful argument is a winning situation for everyone. Avoiding all emotionally sensitive language, the writer phrases statements in as neutral a way as possible to avoid alienating readers by minimizing threat and establishing trust. The analysis of the opposition’s point of view is carefully and objectively worded, demonstrating that the writer understands the position and reasons for believing it. In preparation for the conclusion, the writer points out the common characteristics, goals, and values of the arguments and persons involved. Finally, the writer proposes a resolution that recognizes the interests of all interested parties.

Writing an Argument | HarvardWrites

Logic is a formal system of analysis that helps writers invent, demonstrate, and prove arguments. It works by testing propositions against one another to determine their accuracy. People often think they are using logic when they avoid emotion or make arguments based on their common sense, such as "Everyone should look out for their own self interests" or "People have the right to be free." However, unemotional or common sense statements are not always equivalent to logical statements. To be logical, a proposition must be tested within a logical sequence.

Here’s what Harvard faculty say about writing an argument

In order to do an effective and complete analysis, consider all questions under each heading, and then write a paragraph describing the particular area of the text under consideration, giving specific examples from the text to support your answer.

This handout is designed to help writers develop and use logical arguments in writing. This handout helps writers analyze the arguments of others and generate their own arguments. However, it is important to remember that logic is only one aspect of a successful argument. Non-logical arguments, statements that cannot be logically proven or disproved, are important in argumentative writing—such as appeals to emotions or values. Illogical arguments, on the other hand, are false and must be avoided.

Argument | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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There are basically two types of argument: Aristotelian, or adversarial, and Rogerian, or consensus-building. Aristotelian argument (based on the teachings of the Greek philosopher Aristotle) is made to confirm a position or hypothesis or to refute an existing argument. Using the techniques at hand, the writer attempts to persuade the reader to a particular point of view. The writer uses logic, appeals to the rational in the audience, and provides empirical and commonsense evidence to persuade the audience members to change their beliefs, attitudes, and actions.

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How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

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