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Jessie Ball duPont Library

Church History

Resources for Mid-term paper


This is a summary of material presented in A Manual for Writers by Kate Turabian, 8th edition, pages 50-62.

1.  What a research argument is and is not.   It is not an abrasive dispute, rather an amiable conversation.  "When you make your research argument, you must lay out your reasons and evidence so that your readers can consider them; then you must imagine both their questions and your answers."

2. Build your argument around answers to readers' questions

   What is your claim?

   What reasons support it?

   What evidence supports those reasons?

   How do you respond to objections and alternative views?

   What principle makes your reasons relevant to your claim?

3.  Turn your working hypothesis into a Claim

   When starting your research, you create a tentative answer to a question--that tentative answer is called a working hypothesis. As you gather your research this hypothesis is called a claim.

4.  Assemble the elements of your argument

    "The elements are your claim, your reasons for accepting it, and the evidence that supports those reasons."

4.1  State and evaluate your claim

4.2  Support your claim with reasons and evidence

4.3  Acknowledge and respond to readers' points of view

4.4 Establish the relevance of your reasons

     "  You add a warrant to your argument when you think a reader might reject your claim because it is irrelevant."

5  Distinguish arguments based on evidence from arguments based on warrants

6. Assemble an argument

   "Arguments in different fields look different, but they all consist of answers to just these five questions:

    What are you claiming?

    What are your reasons?

    What evidence supports your reasons?

    But what about other points of view?

    What principle makes your reasons relevant to your claim?  "