Four Modes of Discourse
Narration: Telling a story. tells or retells a sequence of events within a particular time frame for a specific purpose and needs a point of view.
Description: That which appeals ot the five senses- may be informative, impressionistic, organizational, or contain figurative language
Exposition: That which explains or informs, used mostly in nonfiction especially articles, essays, and various books.
Argumentation: also be referred to as the Assertion-with- Evidence essay. **Presenting a position in hopes that the reader will accept an assertion. Necessary parts are a clear assertion, qualifying or opposing another's view, and convincing the audience to change its own view.
Four Standards of Judgment
Convention of Bilaterality: Argument is explicitly bilateral: it requires at least two people or two competing messages. The arguer, implicitly or explicitly, is saying that he or she is presenting a message that can be examined by others.
Convention of Self-Risk: In argument, there is always the risk of being proven wrong.
The Fairness Doctrine: Our system of government, from the community level up to the Congress itself, is based upon the "fairness doctrine." This, in itself, presents the following concept: the idea that debate (argument) ought to be as extended and as complete as possible in order to guarantee that all viewpoints are aired, considered, and defended.
Commitment to Rationality: When you argue or debate, a commitment is made to proceed with logic. When you make an assertion, you are saying, "This is what I believe and these are my reasons for that belief." As a debater, your commitment is to giving evidence, examples, data in support of your assertion -- reasons that you believe fully support your claim and should be accepted by the audience or the doubtful.
Evidence in Argumentation (Facts)
To support your proposition, one must present evidence. There are two (2) types of evidence used in argumentation : facts and opinions. Facts consist of items that can be verified or proven. There are four (4) categories of facts:
By Scientific Measurement; one measures the and determines the measurements.
By the Way Nature Works; we know that there are specific patterns and established facts;
By Observation; in courts of law, this consists of eyewitness testimony. In research, this might consist of a longitudinal study of a phenomenon carried out over a period of years involving several hundreds or thousands of cases looking for and recording similarities and differences.
By Statistics; Results from surveys and reports
1. Questions or challenges should be professional. Insulting, condescending, or comments involving personal language or attacks are unacceptable.
2. Critical analysis, synthesis, rhetorical skill, and wit are keys to debate success.
3. Focus on the opposing side’s position or argument. Knowing the “other side” is critical for preparing strategies to refute your opponent’s arguments.
4. Limit your arguments to three or less.
5. Use logic to make your arguments. Present these arguments clearly and concisely.
6. Know the common errors in thinking like logical fallacies and use them effectively in your refutation.
7. Present the content accurately. Only use content that is pertinent to your point of view and draw on support from authoritative sources.
8. Be certain of the validity of all external evidence presented for your arguments. Also, challenges to the validity of evidence should be made only on substantive grounds.
9. Your rebuttal (or conclusion) in a debate is your final summary position. Use it as an opportunity to highlight important issues that indicate proof of your points or refute your opponent’s argument.