This course is to familiarize you with the basic tools for evaluating and writing arguments. It forms a port of the larger course on Academic Report Writing, which is taught jointly by the Departments of Library Science, Thai and Philosophy. However, this part, which is taught by the Department of Philosophy, is self-contained. You can regard this part as a mini-course within the larger one. This page contains some information about this part, as well as links to material for the course itself.
In order to benefit fully from the course, it is necessary that you have access to the Internet. Especially you have to have your own e-mail account and access to the World Wide Web. If you are already reading this page, these requirements are probably met already. We will utilize the Internet technology in our studies, and we will communicate with one another quite intensively through e-mails. Since this is a writing course, you are required to write a lot, and your writing will be in English and mostly in form of electronic communication with me.
Since e-mails are necessary, grades will be determined mostly on your work which is submitted to me through the medium. In the four weeks that we meet, you will be required to write and rewrite a lot. The content will be something that I will try to make interesting. Most likely this will concern topics that are being debated at the moment. That means, in order to write effectively, you may want to know a bit or two about current affairs. For example, we might write on the question whether it is right for Rajabhat Institutes to refuse admission to homosexuals. This is a very important and interesting topic. You have to express your opinions on the issue. What are you thinking about this? What is your view? And how would you present reasons and evidence in support of your view? The last question is the most crucial one because it pertains directly to your ability to write persuasively and argumentatively, which is the objective of this course.
Here are the topics, divided into four according to the number of weeks we will meet. Read them carefully. (List of argument types adopted from Anthony Weston, A Rulebook for Arguments, Hackett, 1987.)
- Week One:
- What is an argument?
Why do we need to argue?
Structure of an argument
Basic rules for writing short arguments
- Week Two:
- Arguments Examples
Arguments by Analogy
Arguments from Authority
- Week Three:
- Arguments about Causes
- Week Four:
- Examples of Argumentative Essays
Analyses of the essays
Here are some further material on writing argumentative essays available on the Internet. They are very useful in helping us understand the matter more fully.
Copyright © 1997, Soraj Hongladarom