GSW 1110 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Ad Hominem

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20 Oct 2016
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Basic Essay Writing
Before you start writing, categorize your points and sources. This will help keep the essay
short and avoid repetition.
o Like information should be all addressed at once.
Introductions
o Note: Introductions depend on your audience, think about that to avoid being too
general.
o Be specific to draw someone in with your hook. Do not be too general to your
topic or the reader will lose interest.
o In the body of your introduction, use unique individual stories or examples. This
will pertain to the topic you are arguing; this is your background.
o Use an ambiguous sentence (reverse expectations).
Note: this is not something to use every time.
o Specific descriptions when writing about a place in the essay or introduction.
o Rhetorical questions are good to make yourself and the reader thing more about a
given topic.
This can also be used to jog ideas for forming your essay.
o Background
What do my readers need to know to understand the issue?
Why is this an issue? (get right to the point, don’t jabber on, even
if you are comparing an article, get right to the point).
o Having a more general thesis is acceptable. It is not necessary to list everything
you’re going to talk about in your essay, this is what topic sentences are for.
Analysis
o Breaking down a big idea into smaller pieces so we can explain and better
understand the idea.
After a topic sentence go right to talking about proof that backs it up.
Show why your proof reverts back to your thesis.
Counterarguments
o Ad hominem shifts argument away from the idea.
Instead of attacking your opponent throughout the piece, focus on YOUR
main idea, and the rebuttal will have its own specific areas in the essay.
It is good to address the other side of the point, that is why a rebuttal is
necessary.
o Use quality counterarguments, you want to be fair to the other side.
o Note: it is good to have more than one counterargument.
Conclusion
o It is not necessary to repeat all the main points in the essay. Should be able to
summarize your essay in just 2-3 sentences.
Call to action: what should you be doing? What is your essay getting at?
o Give a prediction, a warning, or recommendation to the reader at the end of the
conclusion.
Don’t have to solidify the ending, the last part of the conclusion is meant
to get the reader to keep thinking about what your essay just addressed.
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