How To Write A Classical Essay


What is a Classical Argument Essay?

A Classical argument is the basic form of persuasive argument typically used in essays and position papers. It has at least five parts: the introduction, narration, confirmation,refutation, and conclusion. The parts of a classical argument are arranged logically. That is, one section logically follows from the one before it. It is styled in this way for ease of transition in thought, especially for the main purpose of effectively persuading the reader or audience. The following is an explanation of the different parts of a classical argument.

The speaker/writer has at least three tasks in the introductory part of a classical argument. These are: (1) to warm up to the audience, (2) to establish a connection or "rapport" with the audience, and (3) to state the general claim of the argument.

This is where the speaker/writer has to provide a summary of the background information relevant to the argument. This is also where the speaker/writer outlines the circumstances that lead to the claim and its corresponding consequences. In some examples of classical arguments, the narration comes together with the introduction.

This is where the speaker/writer gives the supporting evidence to the claim. Supporting facts and opinion from authority are usually included in this section. The stronger the link between the supporting evidence and the claim, the stronger the argument of the speaker/writer will be. This is also the part where the claim is elaborated. A typical technique used in the confirmation section of a classical argument is the Toulmin technique.

This is where the opposing claims are presented or acknowledged, and then addressed accordingly. In most cases, counter-examples are best used as counter-arguments for the opposing claims. This is also the part of the classical argument where the speaker/writer anticipates possible objection to his claim and addresses them appropriately.

This is the final part of the classical argument where the speaker/writer summarizes the main points and reiterates the claim. In some cases, speakers/writers using this form of argument end with an appeal to the emotion of the reader or audience.

In summary, the Classical Argument is a basic approach to the art of persuasion. It contains the essential parts of any persuasive argument. Its transition is logical, making it an easy-to-use technique without sacrificing the quality of the transition of thoughts. You may also want to know more about Rhetorical Arguments.

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Question/Answer format: To make your topic idea into a thesis you need to turn the topic idea into a question first. Examples:

  • Does divorce cause serious problems for the children? (fact)
  • What is "domestic violence?" (definition)
  • What are the causes of divorce? (cause)
  • How important is it for couples to avoid divorce? (value)
  • What can you do to make your marriage divorce-proof? (proposal)

Answer: Your question often can be the title of your paper, or it can be the last line of the introduction. Your answer to this question is your thesis.

Example: The most important way to make your marriage divorce-proof is to make sure you have carefully prepared for that commitment.

Refute Objections: You might want to put an introductory phrase in the first part of your thesis to show that you are refuting other ideas about the answer.

Example: While some people think there is no way to divorce-proof your marriage, studies have shown that there are fewer divorces when people carefully prepare for that commitment.

Roadmap: An additional way to make a strong thesis is to do a "Roadmap" which tells in just a few words the three or more main points you will cover.

Example: While some people think there is no way to divorce-proof your marriage, studies have shown that there are fewer divorces when people carefully prepare for that commitment by taking time to get to know the other person before becoming engaged, spending time with one another's family and friends, talking about hot-button issues like finances, and getting extensive premarital counseling.

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