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Building an Argument

An argument is "a coherent set of sentences leading from a premise to a conclusion" (Source: Merriam-Webster online dictionary).  Please see below for more information on building an argument in your academic writing.

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When you start building an argument, you need to decide whether you're going to use deductive or inductive reasoning to prove your point.

Please see below for one approach to structuring an argument:

A. Make a Claim

Your claim is your thesis statement or paragraph topic sentence. Think: "What's my point?" See Thesis statements for more information.


A fallacy is "an argument, or apparent argument, which professes to be decisive of the matter at issue, while in reality it is not" (Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913),

Dr. Gilbert Wilkes, who teaches in the Professional Communications program, has kindly given permission for his "liber.rhetoriae" to be posted within this topic. Dr. Wilkes' expertise in rhetoric shines through in his writing, and it's an excellent resource to refer to (and an interesting read...

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