# 3.3: Describing the Reasoning

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## Media Alternative

Listen to an audio version of this page (3 min, 38 sec):

Once we have introduced the argument we will summarize and described its main claim, we will need to show how it supports this claim. How does the writer point us in the direction they want us to go? Whereas we used an arrow in the argument map to show momentum from reason to claim, we can use a phrase to signal which idea serves as a reason for which claim.

## Phrases for Introducing Reasons

• She reasons that _____________.
• He explains this by_____________.
• The author justifies this with_____________.
• To support this perspective, the author points out that_____________.
• The writer bases this claim on the idea that_____________.
• They argue that_____________ implies that _____________ because_____________.
• She argues that if _____________, then _____________.
• He claims that _____________ necessarily means that_____________ .
• She substantiates this idea by_____________.
• He supports this idea by_____________.
• The writer gives evidence in the form of_____________.
• They back this up with_____________.
• She demonstrates this by_____________.
• He proves attempts to prove this by _____________.
• They cite studies of _____________.
• On the basis of _____________, she concludes that _____________.

Our border argument map shows a chain of three reasons leading to the main claim, so our summary can describe that chain.

## Sample summary

In her 2019 article “Wouldn’t We All Cross the Border?”, Anna Mills urges us to seek a new border policy that helps desperate undocumented migrants rather than criminalizing them. She calls for a shift toward respect and empathy, questioning the very idea that crossing illegally is wrong. She argues that any parent in a desperate position would consider it right to cross for their child’s sake; therefore, no person should condemn that action in another. Since we cannot justify our current walls and detention centers, we must get rid of them.

## Practice Exercise $$\PageIndex{1}$$

For each pair of claims and reasons below, write a paraphrase of the reason and introduce it with one of the phrases from the chapter or another phrase that serves a similar purpose.

Here's an example.  Take the following claim and reason pair: “The right of free speech does not apply to speech that endangers public health. Therefore, Twitter should not allow tweets that promote medical claims that have been proven wrong.”

A description of the reason might read as follows: "The writer bases this recommendation on the idea that we do not have a free-speech right to spread ideas that harm other people’s health."

1. "Coffee jumpstarts the mind.  Therefore, students should embrace coffee to help them study."

2. "Students should avoid coffee. Relying on willpower alone to study reinforces important values like responsibility and self-reliance."

3. "Students should drink black tea rather than coffee because tea has fewer side effects."

This page titled 3.3: Describing the Reasoning is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Anna Mills (ASCCC Open Educational Resources Initiative) .