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Your professor has told you that you need to "build an argument". Presumably, that doesn’t mean that you’re supposed to get two or more people into a lively debate, so what are you supposed to do? In academic writing, building an argument refers to using rhetorical tools to create a persuasive example that proves a point. In other words, you need to find ways to support your thesis and topic statements that prove your understanding of the topic; to assist you with this quest, please see the resources provided below on critical thinking and building arguments.

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Critical or analytical thinking "is that mode of thinking - about any subject, content, or problem - in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully taking charge of the structures inherent in thinking and imposing intellectual standards upon them" (Paul &...

An argument is "a reason or reasons why you support or oppose an idea or suggestion, or the process of explaining these reasons" (Cambridge University Press, n.d., para. 2).  Please see below for more information on building an argument in your academic writing.