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15.9: Template Phrases for Argument, Summary, Assessment, and Response

  • Page ID
    125465
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    How can I use these templates?

    Glancing at a collection of phrases that help with common writing tasks can energize us and give us a sense of our options as we write. Here we include all the template phrases from Chapter 2: Reading to Figure out the ArgumentChapter 3: Writing a Summary of Another Writer’s ArgumentChapter 4: Assessing the Strength of an Argument, and Chapter 5: Responding to an Argument. Each section heading links to the relevant textbook section for more information.

    Phrases to introduce elements of an argument

    Introducing claims

    Claims of policy

    • We should _____________.
    • We ought to _____________.
    • We must _____________.
    • Let’s _____________.
    • The best course is _____________.
    • The solution is to _____________.
    • The next step should be _____________.
    • We should consider _____________.
    • Further research should be done to determine _____________.

    Claims of fact

    • Research suggests that _____________.
    • The data indicate that _____________.
    • _____________is increasing or decreasing.
    • There is a trend toward _____________.
    • _____________causes _____________
    • _____________leads to _____________.

    Claims of value

    • _____________is terrible/disappointing/underwhelming.
    • _____________is mediocre/average/decent/acceptable.
    • We should celebrate _____________.
    • _____________is great/wonderful/fantastic/impressive.

    Comparative claims of value

    • _____________is the best _____________.
    • _____________is the worst _____________.
    • _____________is better than _____________.
    • _____________is worse than _____________.
    • _____________is just as good as _____________.
    • _____________is just as bad as _____________

    Reasons

    • Because_____________, _____________.
    • Because of this, _____________.
    • If_____________, then _____________.
    • Since_____________, _____________.
    • For this reason,_____________.
    • We can conclude_____________.
    • Therefore, _____________.
    • So_____________.
    • Consequently, _____________.
    • As a result, _____________.
    • Hence_____________.
    • Thus_____________.
    • It follows that _____________.

    Counterarguments

    Mistaken counterarguments

    • It is a popular misconception that_____________.
    • Some have fallen for the idea that_____________.
    • Many people mistakenly believe that_____________.

    Neutrally described counterarguments

    • Many people think _____________.
    • Some, on the other hand, will argue that _____________.
    • Some might disagree, claiming that _____________.
    • Of course, many have claimed that _____________.
    • Some will take issue with _____________, arguing that _____________.
    • Some will object that _____________.
    • Some will dispute the idea that _____________, claiming that _____________.
    • One criticism of this way of thinking is that _____________.

    Counterarguments that have merit

    • It is true that ___________.
    • I do concede_____________.
    • We should grant that_____________.
    • We must admit that_____________.
    • I acknowledge that _____________.
    • X has a point that _____________.
    • Admittedly, _____________.
    • Of course, _____________.
    • To be sure, _____________.
    • There may be something to the idea that _____________.

    Rebuttal to a counterargument

    • This idea misses the fact that _____________.
    • I disagree because _____________.
    • This depends on the assumption that _____________ which is incorrect because _____________.
    • This argument overlooks _____________.
    • This argument contradicts itself _____________.
    • This is mistaken because _____________.

    Concession to a counterargument

    • It is true that ___________, but___________.
    • I do concede_____________, and yet___________.
    • We should grant that_____________, but we must still acknowledge that ___________.
    • We can admit that____________ and still believe that ___________..
    • I acknowledge that _____________, and yet we should nevertheless recognize that _____________.
    • Critics have a point that _____________; however it is more important that we focus on _____________.
    • Admittedly, _____________. However, ___________.
    • Of course, _____________, but I still insist that__________..
    • To be sure, _____________; but _____________.
    • There may be something to the idea that _____________, and yet _____________.

    Limits

    Less than perfect certainty

    • Perhaps, ________.
    • It is worth considering the idea that ________.
    • ________ may________.
    • ________might________.
    • ________could possibly________.
    • Probably, ________.
    • Very likely, ________.
    • Almost certainly,________.

    Narrowing the scope of the argument

    • Few ________.
    • Some________.
    • Many________.
    • Most________.
    • The vast majority of ________.
    • Almost all________.
    • ________ unless________.
    • If it is not the case that________, then ________.
    • ________, except in the case that ________.
    • We can exclude cases where _____________.

     

    Phrases for Summarizing

    Introducing the argument

    • In an article for _____________, writer _____________ discusses _____________.
    • The recent account of _____________ by _____________ focuses on _____________.
    • Writing in the journal _____________, the scholar _____________ argues that _____________.

    Summarizing claims

    Controversial claims of fact

    • They argue that _____________.
    • She maintains that _____________.
    • He contends that _____________.
    • They assert that _____________.
    • She holds that _____________.
    • He insists that _____________.
    • She thinks_____________.
    • They believe that_____________.

    Widely accepted claims of fact

    • He informs us of _____________.
    • She describes_____________.
    • They note that _____________.
    • He observes that _____________.
    • She explains that _____________.
    • The writer points out the way in which_____________.

    Positive claims of value 

    • They praise_____________.
    • He celebrates_____________.
    • She applauds the notion that_____________.
    • They endorse_____________.
    • He admires_____________.
    • She finds value in_____________.
    • They rave about_____________.

    Negative claims of value

    • The author criticizes_____________.
    • She deplores____________.
    • He finds fault in_____________.
    • They regret that_____________.
    • They complain that_____________.
    • The authors are disappointed in_____________.

    Mixed claims of value

    • The author gives a mixed review of_____________.
    • She sees strengths and weaknesses in_____________.
    • They endorse_____________ with some reservations.
    • He praises_____________ while finding some fault in _____________
    • The authors have mixed feelings about_____________. On the one hand, they are impressed by_____________, but on the other hand, they find much to be desired in_____________.

    Strongly felt claims of policy

    • They advocate for_____________.
    • She recommends_____________.
    • They encourage_____________to _____________.
    • The writers urge_____________.
    • The author is promoting_____________.
    • He calls for_____________.
    • She demands_____________.

    Tentative claims of policy

    • He suggests_____________.
    • The researchers explore the possibility of_____________.
    • They hope that_____________can take action to_____________.
    • She shows why we should give more thought to developing a plan to_____________.
    • The writer asks us to consider_____________.

    Summarizing 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 _____________.

    Summarizing the treatment of counterarguments

    Concession to a counterargument

    • The writer acknowledges that _____________, but still insists that _____________.
    • They concede that _____________; however they consider that _____________.
    • He grants the idea that _____________, yet still maintains that _____________.
    • She admits that _____________, but she points out that_____________.
    • The author sees merit in the idea that _____________, but cannot accept_____________.
    • Even though he sympathizes with those who believe _____________, the author emphasizes that _____________.

    Rejection of a counterargument

    • She refutes this claim by arguing that _____________.
    • However, he questions the very idea that _____________, observing that _____________.
    • She disagrees with the claim that _____________ because _____________.
    • They challenge the idea that _____________ by arguing that _____________.
    • He rejects the argument that_____________, claiming that _____________.
    • She defends her position against those who claim _____________ by explaining that _____________.

    Summarizing limits

    • He qualifies his position by_____________.
    • She limits her claim by_____________.
    • They clarify that this only holds if _____________.
    • The author restricts their claim to cases where_____________.
    • He makes an exception for_____________.

    Comparing two arguments

    Similarities

    • Just as A does, B believes that______________.
    • Both A and B see ______________ as an important issue.
    • We have seen how A maintains that ______________. Similarly, B ______________.
    • A argues that______________. Likewise, B ______________.
    • A and B agree on the idea that ______________. 

    Differences

    • A focuses on______________; however, B is more interested in______________.
    • A’s claim is that______________.  Conversely, B maintains that ______________.
    • Whereas A argues that______________, B______________.
    • While A emphasizes______________, B______________.
    • Unlike A, B believes that______________.
    • Rather than ______________ like A, B______________,
    • Whereas A argues that ______________, B maintains ______________.  

    Similarities and differences together

    • While A condemns the weaknesses of ______________, B praises its strengths.
    • A outlines the problem of ______________ in the abstract while B proposes solutions to the problem.
    • Though A and B agree on the root cause of ______________, they differ on its solution.

    Phrases for assessing arguments

    Assessing clarity

    Lack of clarity

    • What exactly does X mean by _____________?  
    • He seems to imply that _____________, but leaves ambiguous whether or not that means_____________.
    • They fail to clarify what exactly _____________ refers to.
    • He does not define what he means by _____________.
    • She explores _____________, but fails to articulate a clear message.
    • X leaves open the question of _____________.
    • The argument never specifies whether _____________ or _____________.
    • Readers will wonder if they mean_____________ or _____________.
    • Readers may be confused by the shifting meaning of the term “_____________.”
    • Many will interpret _____________ to mean _____________, but some might also take it to mean _____________. 

    Praise for clarity

    • This piece clearly articulates the case that _____________.
    • The argument lays bare the assumptions on which the whole case for _____________ is based. 
    • X has clarified the reasoning that underpins the common opinion that _____________.

    Pointing out exceptions

    • The argument is based on the idea that _____________, but this is not entirely true because _____________.
    • The reason given is that _____________, but the author has not considered the possibility that, in fact, _____________.
    • The author does not acknowledge that  _____________ might be the case.
    • The argument presents only two possibilities,_____________ and _____________, when in fact it could be the case that _____________
    • The question _____________ assumes that _____________, when, in fact, it could be that_____________.

    Assessing evidence

    Strong evidence

    • She convincingly supports this claim by _____________.
    • They give many examples of _____________ to support the idea that _____________.
    • His evidence of _____________ ranges from anecdotes to large-scale academic studies to expert testimonials.
    • X refers to credible academic studies of _____________ to bolster their argument that _____________.
    • X refers to a number of credible experts to establish that, in general, _____________.

    Weak evidence

    • X asserts that _____________ but does not offer any evidence.
    • The argument builds on the premise that _____________, but fails to support that premise.
    • X offers scant evidence for the claim that _____________.
    • The argument gives an example to support the claim that _____________, but gives no evidence that this example is typical.
    • _____________ is not enough to show that _____________.
    • The essay offers only _____________ as evidence when it should also point to _____________ and _____________.
    • The argument presents _____________ as a reason to believe _____________, but this supposed reason is just a rewording of the claim.
    • The writer provides no real justification for the idea that _____________; to convince us they just repeat that idea with different phrasing.

    Assumptions

    Critiquing assumptions

    • The argument claims that _____________ will inevitably lead to _____________, but this is far from certain.  
    • They assume that _____________ will set off a chain reaction leading to _____________; however this is unlikely because _____________.
    • _____________relies on the idea that _____________; however, _____________.
    • The argument assumes that _____________ without providing evidence.
    • _____________takes for granted that _____________, but we may wonder whether this is a justified assumption because_____________.
    • _____________depends on the assumption that_____________. Is this always the case? Some might say that _____________.
    • _____________ depends on a belief in _____________, which may not be shared by all readers because _____________.
    • The underlying idea here is that _____________; however we must ask ourselves whether _____________.
    • The implicit assumption is that _____________ but some may question whether, in fact, _____________.

    Praising assumptions

    • X is correct in their assumption that _____________ because _____________.
    • X rightly assumes that _____________. 

    Assessing the treatment of counterarguments

    Praise 

    • The author effectively counters the common view that  _____________ by arguing that, in fact, _____________.
    • The writer acknowledges that  _____________ but explains that this is because  _____________. 
    • The argument responds to the  _____________ critique of their position by noting that  _____________.

    Critique 

    • The argument fails to mention the opposing view that  _____________.
    • The author attempts to respond to critics by claiming that  _____________, but this response is not convincing because  _____________.

    Strengths

    Praise a subsection 

    • Although the argument does not succeed in proving that _____________, it does help us understand _____________.
    • Though the evidence X presents does not prove _____________, it does provide rich material for further discussion.
    • X’s conclusion that _____________ doesn’t seem fully justified, but the evidence does show that _____________.
    • X makes an important point when they note that _____________.
    • X’s insight into _____________ sheds new light on _____________.
    • X clearly outlines the problem of _____________, even though their solution leaves much to be desired.
    • This piece does clarify the nature of _____________ even though it does not _____________.

    Praise for bringing attention

    • X brings much-needed attention to the issue of _____________, which is helpful because_____________.
    • The essay drives home the need for more focus on _____________.
    • This piece highlights the urgent situation of _____________.

    Praise the framing 

    • X’s discussion of _____________ provides a new way to think about _____________.
    • The argument’s biggest contribution lies in its framing of _____________ as _____________.

    Praise for raising a question

    • X’s focus on _____________ helps clarify an important question for further exploration: _____________?
    • The argument points toward the need for further study of _____________ to determine _____________.
    • X’s analysis reveals the gaps in our understanding of _____________.

    Phrases for responding to further the conversation

    Call for clarification

    • X should specify whether they mean _____________ or _____________.
    • X should explain what they mean by _____________.
    • X should elaborate on the concept of _____________.

    Call for support and research

    • Further research on _____________ could show us _____________.
    • A study of _____________ might show whether _____________.
    • Is it really the case that _____________? We need more information about _____________.
    • An investigation of _____________ could help us determine the role of _____________ in _____________.

    Suggest a limit to the claim

    • We should recognize that this pattern is limited to cases where _____________.
    • The argument holds true in situations where _____________.
    • It is important to note that this claim only applies to _____________.
    • _____________ is a notable exception because _____________.
    • We should note that this claim is certainly not true of _____________.

    Point to further implications 

    • The idea that _____________ could apply to _____________ as well.
    • Beyond _____________, X’s argument has implications for _____________.
    • This argument shows how important it is that we take action on _____________.
    • If we accept the idea that _____________, as we should, then the time has come to _____________.
    • Given X’s points, shouldn’t we consider _____________?

    Introduce alternative or additional reasons 

    • Better evidence for _____________ lies in _____________.
    • Another reason why _____________ is that _____________.
    • The fact that _____________ provides further support for X’s claim.
    • My own experience has also shown that _____________ , which leads me to agree with X.
    • I have seen firsthand how _____________.
    • In addition to the evidence X gives, it is also worth considering that _____________.

    Underscore the importance of an argument

    • X’s claim is important because _____________.
    • This is especially concerning because _____________.
    • We should take note of this since _____________.

    Suggest ways to spread the word

    • We could help spread awareness of _____________ by _____________.
    • The idea that _____________ should be taught in _____________ classes.
    • We should all talk to those we know about _____________.

    Introduce alternate claims

    • Instead of _____________, I would argue that _____________.
    • A more accurate claim would be _____________.
    • In actuality, _____________.
    • The idea that _____________ better accounts for  the evidence.
    • We can find a better explanation of _____________ in _____________.
    • As we have seen, it is not true that _____________. Rather, _____________.

    Reframe the issue

    • Instead of focusing on _____________, we should look at the question in the light of _____________.
    • A better way to frame the issue of _____________ would be in terms of _____________.
    • To better understand _____________, we should first ask ourselves _____________.

    This page titled 15.9: Template Phrases for Argument, Summary, Assessment, and Response 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) .

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