Influencing through Argument

Influencing through Argument

Influencing through Argument

Influencing through Argument

Synopsis

A basic text for citizens, professionals, and debaters of all types. This book introduces readers to the basic types of arguments and how to criticize and engage them, including induction, deduction, and causation. Readers will be familiarized with the ways in which advocates support their arguments and how to criticize and engage these forms of support, including historical data, statistics, examples, anecdotes, expert testimony and common experience. Readers will also encounter how to prepare for argumentative situations and how to conduct themselves within them, including debates, panel discussion, public speeches and informal settings. The original 1964 text has been updated and filled with new examples and activities.

Excerpt

The president of the corporation stands and says: “Will the meeting please come to order? I have called this meeting of the executive council to consider the new proposal of Ms. Jones, our personnel manager, to improve our method of securing employees.” The meeting continues with Ms. Jones presenting her proposal. If Ms. Jones does well, she presents carefully constructed arguments to prove why a new method is needed and shows how her proposal will improve recruitment. Organizations throughout the world daily consider many such proposals, with committees hearing arguments for adoption or rejection and making decisions based on what they hear.

The chairperson speaks: “Our committee, as you know, has been appointed by the president of the university to consider the best methods for raising endowments. Ms. James has a method that she wishes to suggest for our consideration.” Ms. James then proceeds to explain her plan and present arguments in its favor. She reveals how other colleges have had great success with similar plans. This is typical of the meetings of committees of all kinds of institutions and organizations in which argument plays a dominant role.

The gavel raps and the courtroom quiets. The judge announces: “The prosecuting attorney will now sum up the case for the prosecution.” This public official then proceeds to use the evidence presented through the days of examining witnesses to draw conclusions for the jury to evaluate in determining the guilt or innocence of the accused. This process is one of presenting arguments.

Ms. Brown comes to the reception area and greats Mr. Smith. The young woman speaks: “I am Ms. Brown from the Mutual Life Insurance Company.

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