The Making of Arguments eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 290 pages of information about The Making of Arguments.

The definitions on page 70 are to be taken as part of this agreed statement.

EXERCISES

1.  Criticize the following sentences for their fitness as parts of introductions to briefs: 

    a.  It is agreed that the commission form of government has succeeded
    in Des Moines because it is simple and easily controlled by the
    people.

    b.  Summer baseball is to be understood as playing baseball for
    money, for a man who is given his board and lodging by a hotel for
    playing is taking the equivalent of money.

c. (As one of the contentions for the affirmative on the question whether a street railroad should be compelled to build a certain new line, which would not be immediately profitable.) The convenience of the public should be considered before large dividends, since the public grants the franchise.

2.  Make an agreed statement of facts for an argument on one of the subjects in the list on pages 10-12.

NOTE.  This is a good exercise for class use:  let the different members of the class propose facts to be agreed on, and then put them before the rest of the class for criticism.

23.  Arrangement of Material.  For the arrangement of the material in a brief, it is not possible to give much general advice, since this arrangement would change with the space allotted to the argument, and especially with the audience.  On this point knowledge of your readers, of their acquaintance with the subject, and of their prepossessions will count as much as knowledge of the subject when you come to the arguments of practical life.

In general, if your audience is likely to be lukewarm or indifferent, begin with a point which will stir them up.  In the argument on the introduction of commission government into Wytown, for which I have constructed a brief, I assumed that the citizens were already aroused to the need of some change, and therefore began by showing that the evils of the present administration can be traced chiefly to the present system of government.  If I had assumed that the people needed first to be aroused to believing a change to be necessary, I should have put at the beginning an exposure of the corruption and inefficiency of the present city government, with specific cases to establish the point.

Likewise for the close of your argument be sure that you have a strong and effective point.  In the case of commission government for Wytown, by refuting the objection that too much power is given to the councilmen I provide a chance to show at the same time how completely the commission government keeps the control in the hands of the people; and the latter point is the strongest that can be made for the commission form of government.

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The Making of Arguments from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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