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9.8: Key Takeaways

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    • Facts are statements that can be proven using objective data.
    • Opinions are personal views, or judgments, that cannot be proven.
    • In writing, you want to strike a balance between credible facts and authoritative opinions.
    • The purpose of persuasion in writing is to convince or move readers toward a certain point of view, or opinion.
    • An argument is a reasoned opinion supported and explained by evidence. To argue, in writing, is to advance knowledge and ideas in a positive way.
    • It is essential that you not only address counter-arguments but also do so respectfully.
    • It is also helpful to establish the limits of your argument and what you are trying to accomplish through a concession statement.
    • To persuade a skeptical audience, you will need to use a wide range of evidence. Scientific studies, opinions from experts, historical precedent, statistics, personal anecdotes, and current events are all types of evidence that you might use in explaining your point.
    • You should be mindful of the use of I in your writing because it can undercut the strength of your argument.
    • In college writing, every paragraph (or part of a paragraph has a purpose). Some common purposes are summarizing, explaining, evaluating, and synthesizing, and this can be done through narration, definitions, comparing, and cause and effect, among others.
    • Definitions establish the way in which people communicate ideas. They set parameters for a given discourse.
    • Context affects the meaning and usage of words.
    • The thesis of a definition essay should clearly state the writer’s definition of the term in the specific context.
    • The purpose of writing a comparison or contrast essay is not to state the obvious but rather to illuminate subtle differences or unexpected similarities between two subjects.
    • There are two main organizing strategies for compare-and-contrast essays.
      • Organize by the subjects themselves, one then the other.
      • Organize by individual points, in which you discuss each subject in relation to each point.
    • Use phrases of comparison or phrases of contrast to signal to readers how exactly the two subjects are being analyzed.
    • The purpose of the cause-and-effect essay is to determine how various phenomena are related.
    • The cause-and-effect essay can be organized in one of these two primary ways:
      • Start with the cause and then talk about the effect.
      • Start with the effect and then talk about the cause.
    • Strong evidence is particularly important in the cause-and-effect essay due to the complexity of determining connections between phenomena.

    This page titled 9.8: Key Takeaways is shared under a CC BY-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Athena Kashyap & Erika Dyquisto (ASCCC Open Educational Resources Initiative) .