Sunday, January 17, 2010


The Final Exam of
Writing in Professional Context 2
H. Cunong N Suraja
Arranged by:
NPM : 07211210145
Semester : VB

Nowadays, almost people are definitely able to write anything. Even we can see that children are also able to express their feeling in form of writing. But, what is being our focus here is not about this one. Here, we discuss about persuasion which has been very common in our society.
In persuasion, there is purpose to gain by the persuader. Newspaper editorials aim to persuade the readers, advertisers lure readers in the pages of magazine or newspaper, and in our everyday communication, we often wish to convince the people we communicate with of our point of view. Here, persuading in writing context is chosen because persuading in this form is not as easy as doing it in form of speaking. Almost all of people are able to persuade orally, but in fact there are many people find difficulties in presenting their persuasion in writing correctly because there are may things to organize. And in order to get the purpose, one of the important things in persuasive English writing is generating the argument that is necessary to get the persuasion successful.
A. Persuasion
Definition of persuasion is written in Oxford dictionary which says that it is act of persuading somebody to do something or believe something.
Other source –Brainy Quote- explains that persuasion is the act of influencing the mind by arguments or reasons offered, or by anything that moves the mind or passions, or inclines the will to a determination.
In conclusion, persuasion is done to get the information recipient to accept the persuader’s point of view.
B. Persuasive English Writing
Persuasive English writing is a type of English writing where your main goal is to persuade or convince someone to do something that you want them to do. The main purpose of persuasive texts is to present an argument or an opinion in an attempt to convince the reader to accept the writer’s point of view.
A form of persuasive writing is a letter written to someone telling him or her an idea that you have.
More than two thousand years ago, the Greek Philosopher made a study of rhetoric, the art of persuasive discourse. Mastery of the skills of persuasion was highly regarded in Athens, for public. Virtually every young man of the upper classes studied under a rhetorician like Aristotle, who taught the three appeals of argumentation and persuasion.
1. Ethos
Sometimes called the ‘ethical appeal,’ this method relies on the character and personal traits of the speaker or writer. The audience is moved in part, then, not by what is said but by who said it. Today celebrities are often used in advertising campaigns because of the recognition factor, but they don’t have the kind of credibility that Aristotle had in mind. As a writer, you can acquire some measure of ethical strength by demonstrating during the course of your argument that you are an earnest seeker after the truth, unmotivated by selfish ends.
2. Pathos
Appealing to the emotions of the audience, pathos is the method of persuasion. Perhaps because it has been so often served ignoble ends, this approach has acquired a bad name. Yet rhetoricians from the time of Aristotle have known that men and women are emotional beings as well as rational. A responsible appeal to the feeling of the audience, far from being reprehensible, is often necessary to create a frame of mind receptive to your logical argument.
3. Logos
The logical method is directed to the rational faculty of the audience through the reasonableness of the piece. It employs facts, data, and evidence that the mind can weigh in assessing the truth or validity of the assertion. This is the classical mode of argumentation.
C. Argument
An argument is the process of reasoning for or against something. Its purpose is to convince the reader to agree with you or to do something you want. Here, you have to persuade your audience to consider your point of view, even if they may disagree with it.
In order to write a persuasive writing you need to have argument as reasons why the readers should do what you are suggesting. Argument in persuasive English writing can be generate in several forms:
A. Deductive Reasoning
Deduction is the process of reasoning begins with general assumptions and proceeds to a conclusion. When the assumptions or premises are acceptable to the reader and they are correctly related to the conclusion, there is certainty to the argument. Example of a deductive argument is the syllogism:
Major premise (Assumption): All primates are mammals.
Minor premise (Linking Statement): The chimpanzee is a primate.
Conclusion: Therefore, the chimpanzee is a mammal
Assumption: Someone who is falling in love feels happy.
Linking Statement: Jerry is falling in love.
Conclusion: Jerry feels happy.
Because your conclusion is usually your shaping idea, begin here to construct your syllogism. By adding a causal conjunction to your conclusion, you can usually arrive at your linking statement: Jerry feels happy because he is falling in love.
Deduction is useful when you are trying to persuade your readers of a highly controversial conclusion because, if you can get them to agree with your assumption, you have a good chance of getting them to agree with your conclusion.
B. Inductive Reasoning
Induction is the way we learn most of what we know. Based on limited experience and knowledge, we form a conclusion that expresses a general truth. The movement in inductive reasoning is from specific to general, from fact to principle. For example:
Fact: I have been promoted by my employer
Conclusion: My work has been satisfactory.
They are actually three types of persuasive induction: sampling, analogy, and causal generalization.
1. Sampling
This is used to arrive at a conclusion about a group through reference to a certain percentage of that group rather than the entire membership, as discussing or even knowing about every member of a group would be impossible.
2. Analogy
This is helpful to an argument because it suggests that things alike in some ways must also be alike in others. You might argue by analogy that hecklers at public meetings are like political tyrants: They take ideas hostage. This statement suggests that hecklers, like tyrants, prevent the free exchange of ideas.
3. Causal generalization
This generalizes about many members of a class in order to determine why one member of the class is different.
All of these methods must be handled logically, for there are many pitfalls in their use. If you use too few examples or samples, you may not prove your position.
The criteria for successful inductive reasoning include the following:
a. Your examples should be of sufficient quantity.
b. They should be randomly selected.
c. They should be accurate and objectively presented.
d. They should be relevant to the conclusion drawn.
e. They should disprove the evidence of the opposition.

C. Cause and Effect Reasoning
This method of reasoning tells what has happened to produce a result, or it tells what will result from a certain situation or event. The following three points must be considered before using cause-and-effect reasoning.
There must be a strong and true connection between the cause and the effect stated.
The cause must be string enough to produce the result.
There must be no possibility that some other cause could have produced the same result.
D. Argument by Authority
This method of reasoning uses statements from experts to support a line of reasoning. Authorities must be reputable, recognized as authorities, and up to date. The exact words of authorities must be enclosed in quotation marks or set off from the rest of the text by indention. Authorities should be identified by name. If detailed facts about the authority are required, they are usually mentioned in a note at the bottom of the page or at the end of the writing. Vague references to authorities are not acceptable in formal argument. Do not use terms such as They say…, Everyone knows…, Authorities agree…, and so on. Be sure the authority is an expert, that he / she is reliable, and that he / she is quoted exactly.

E. Classical question
The classical questions are useful in generating ideas that will supply proof for your argument. Because most arguments combine deduction and induction, we direct your attention here to questions that generate proof for both types of arguments.
The classical question “What examples are there of it?” can generate a sampling to support an inductive argument. Other inductive questions are “What is it like?” (analogy or analogies) and “What factor not characteristic of others in its class may have caused it?”
Deductive arguments can be supported by material generated by the classical question “What is it?” which may help you argue that your subject, as defined, has certain properties: characteristics, parts and functions. For example, if you argue that “This gun is a product of human hatred and fear because it is a weapon,” then you can base your argument on the assumption that “Weapons are products of hatred and fear,” and that the ownership of guns therefore should be abolished.
A. Deductive reasoning, or deduction, starts with a general case and deduces specific instances.
Deduction starts with an assumed hypothesis or theory, which is why it has been called 'hypothetico-deduction'. This assumption may be well-accepted or it may be rather more shaky -- nevertheless, for the argument it is not questioned.
Deduction is used by scientists who take a general scientific law and apply it to a certain case, as they assume that the law is true. Deduction can also be used to test an induction by applying it elsewhere, although in this case the initial theory is assumed to be true only temporarily.
Say this Not this
Gravity makes things fall. The apple that hit my head was due to gravity. The apple hit my head. Gravity works!
They are all like that -- just look at him! Look at him. They are all like that.
Toyota make wonderful cars. Let me show you this one. These cars are all wonderful. They are made by Toyota, it seems.
There is a law against smoking. Stop it now. Stop smoking, please.

Deductive reasoning assumes that the basic law from which you are arguing is applicable in all cases. This can let you take a rule and apply it perhaps where it was not really meant to be applied.
Scientists will prove a general law for a particular case and then do many deductive experiments (and often get PhDs in the process) to demonstrate that the law holds true in many different circumstances.
In set theory, a deduction is a subset of the rule that is taken as the start point. If the rule is true and deduction is a true subset (not a conjunction) then the deduction is almost certainly true.
Using deductive reasoning usually is a credible and 'safe' form of reasoning, but is based on the assumed truth of the rule or law on which it is founded.
Deductive conclusions can be valid or invalid. Valid arguments obey the initial rule. For validity, the truth or falsehood of the initial rule is not considered. Thus valid conclusions need not be true, and invalid conclusions may not be false.
When a conclusion is both valid and true, it is considered to be sound. When it is valid, but untrue, then it.
B. Inductive reasoning, or induction, is reasoning from a specific case or cases and deriving a general rule. It draws inferences from observations in order to make generalizations.
Inference can be done in four stages:
1. Observation: collect facts, without bias.
2. Analysis: classify the facts, identifying patterns o of regularity.
3. Inference: From the patterns, infer generalizations about the relations between the facts.
4. Confirmation: Testing the inference through further observation.
In an argument, you might:
• Derive a general rule in an accepted area and then apply the rule in the area where you want the person to behave.
• Give them lots of detail, then explain what it all means.
• Talk about the benefits of all the parts and only get to the overall benefits later.
• Take what has happened and give a plausible explanation for why it has happened.
Inductive arguments can include:
• Part-to-whole: where the whole is assumed to be like individual parts (only bigger).
• Extrapolations: where areas beyond the area of study are assumed to be like the studied area.
• Predictions: where the future is assumed to be like the past.
Say this Not this
Look at how those people are behaving. They must be mad. Those people are all mad.
All of your friends are good. You can be good, too. Be good.
The base costs is XXX. The extras are XXX, plus tax at XXX. Overall, it is great deal at YYY. It will cost YYY. This includes XXX for base costs, XXX for extras and XXX for tax.
Heating was XXX, lighting was YYY, parts were ZZZ, which adds up to NNN. Yet revenue was RRR. This means we must cut costs! We need to cut costs, as our expenditure is greater than our revenue.

Early proponents of induction, such as Francis Bacon, saw it as a way of understanding nature in an unbiased way, as it derives laws from neutral observation.
In argument, starting with the detail anchors your persuasion in reality, starting from immediate sensory data of what can be seen and touched and then going to the big picture of ideas, principles and general rules.
Starting from the small and building up to the big can be less threatening than starting with the big stuff.
Scientists create scientific laws by observing a number of phenomena, finding similarities and deriving a law which explains all things. A good scientific law is highly generalized and may be applied in many situations to explain other phenomena. For example the laws of gravity was used to predict the movement of the planets.
Inductive arguments are always open to question as, by definition, the conclusion is a bigger bag than the evidence on which it is based.
In set theory, an inductively created rule is a superset of the members that are taken as the start point. The only way to prove the rule is to identify all members of the set. This is often impractical. It may, however, be possible to calculate the probability that the rule is true.
In this way, inductive arguments can be made to be more valid and probable by adding evidence, although if this evidence is selectively chosen, it may falsely hide contrary evidence. Inductive reasoning thus needs trust and demonstration of integrity more than deductive reasoning.
Inductive reasoning is also called Generalizing as it takes specific instances and creates a general rule.
C. When describing a cause-effect situation, start with the cause and then add the effect or effects afterwards. This is particularly concerned with words in a single sentence, although the logic applies if spread across sentences.
Say this Not this
The girl slapped the boy. The boy was slapped by the girl.
If you send me the money, I will send you the goods. I will send you the goods if you send me the money.
The people kicked the ball out of the field. It hit a passing police car. A police-car was hit by a ball. It had been kicked out of the field.
Poverty is on the increase. People are desperate. Crime rates are rising. Crime rates are rising because people are desperate due to increasing poverty.
Cause-and-effect reasoning is generally persuasive as it helps answer the question 'why' something happens, making a statement objective and rational rather than a blind assertion.
Starting with the cause is often linguistically easier than starting with the effect, making the sentence easier to both say and understand.
Starting with the cause builds creative tension as an expectation is set up that something will happen because of it. This can make your audience more interested in what you are saying.
There is also an assumption in this argument that one cause can have multiple effects. This can be used to show the power of a simple action.
False cause-to-effects happens when we do not like something (for example handguns) and seek to create an effect to justify our beliefs (for example that having handguns will lead to many people becoming criminals).
D. Argument from authority or appeal to authority is a logical fallacy, where it is argued that a statement is correct because the statement is made by a person or source that is commonly regarded as authoritative. The most general structure of this argument is:
Source A says that p.
Source A is authoritative.
Therefore, p is true.
This is a fallacy because the truth or falsity of the claim is not necessarily related to the personal qualities of the claimant, and because the premises can be true, and the conclusion false (an authoritative claim can turn out to be false). It is also known as argumentum ad verecundiam (Latin: argument to respect) or ipse dixit (Latin: he himself said it).
On the other hand, arguments from authority are an important part of informal logic. Since we cannot have expert knowledge of many subjects, we often rely on the judgments of those who do. There is no fallacy involved in simply arguing that the assertion made by an authority is true. The fallacy only arises when it is claimed or implied that the authority is infallible in principle and can hence be exempted from criticism.
• Referring to the philosophical beliefs of Aristotle: "If Aristotle said it was so, it is so."
• Referring to the philosophical beliefs of Jesus, Muhammad, or any other religious figure: "If (religious figure) said it was so, it is so." Such an appeal may be based upon the belief that the speaker in question is holy and, by extension, inerrant. Alternately, the figure may be considered to be an expert on the given subject: "Buddha was a great moral teacher and he said that euthanasia is wrong, so it must be wrong."
• Referring to a sacred text: "If (the text) said it was so, it is so." Like in the previous example, such an appeal may be based upon the belief that the sacred text in question is inerrant. This argument may also present a false dilemma situation, where the text can be interpreted in multiple dissimilar ways.
• Referring to a famous text or work: "Democracy in America criticized American political party division, so we ought to promote bipartisanship."
• Quoting a well-known personage: "As Samuel Johnson said, patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel." Implying that, therefore, patriotism is always bad. (The term "patriot" was used at the time by radical followers of John Wilkes, whom the conservative Johnson opposed); or "There is no need to critically examine Plan A because [person's name] is in favour of it, and [person's name] is [experienced, knowledgeable, respected] in this field."
• Referring to what one is told by one's teacher and/or parent: "My teacher said so, therefore it must be so."
• Believing something because it is attributed to an honored profession, as in: "This doctor recommends (brand-name) aspirin" or "Bankers recommend that people have six months' wages in a savings account".
• Appealing to some reference or citation from a famous book or author without considering the actual truth of the citation. References in no way ensure, without any doubt, that the claim is true. References simply show where the information or claim possibly originated and to avoid plagiarism.
• Appeals to various well known opinion poll firms that are assumed to have collected the best data from a large enough sample, and that there were no leading questions.
E. Chunking is a simple technique to use during questioning to vary the level of detail of information you get.
1. Chunking down
Sometimes the person you are talking with is speaking at a very high level, covering general ideas and themes. Leaders often like to think this way, with grand plans and visions.
Sometimes you deliberately started this way, getting a big picture before you dive into detail.
Chunking down is getting more detail by probing for more information about the high-level information you already have. The goal is to find out more, fill in the empty gaps in your picture, test the reality of the situation, and so on.
The more you ask chunking questions, the more you will find further detail. Keep going and you'll soon end up in the weeds. In fact if you go too deep, you can get lost. A tip: try to stay within three chunking levels for most of the time, digging deeper only on topics of particular interest where you want to bottom out the subject.
Chunk down by asking questions such as:
• How did you that?
• Why did that happen?
• What happened about...?
• What, specifically,...
• Tell me more about...
• What is the root cause of all this?
2. Chunking up
Sometimes the person you are talking with is already down in the details. Some people (most engineers, for example) are happiest when they have their teeth sunk into the grit of a tangible problem. Yet it can also help them if they come up for air some time and see the big picture - and maybe find they were digging in the wrong place...
To chunk up, you are doing the opposite of chunking down - looking for a more generalized understanding. This includes looking for overall purpose, meaning, linkages, etc.
Chunk up by asking questions such as:
• What does this mean?
• Let's look at the bigger picture...
• How does that relate to...?
• What are we trying to achieve here?
• Who is this for? What do they really want?
3. Up and down
You can use both methods together as a way of building a broad understanding. For example:
• Start at a high level of chunking to define the initial problem.
• Chunk down to find possible project goals.
• Chunk up to review and agree the project.
• Chunk down to build an understanding of the problem.
• Chunk up to look for problems in the overall system.
• Chunk down to find specific actions to address.
• etc.

The purpose of persuasive writing is to persuade the readers to do what we want or at least to make them have the same point of view with us. One of the most important things in persuasive English writing is generating the argument that is necessary to get the persuasion successful.
Argument in persuasive English writing can be generated in several forms:
o Deductive Reasoning
Deduction is the process of reasoning begins with general assumptions and proceeds to a conclusion.
o Inductive Reasoning
The movement in inductive reasoning is from specific to general, from fact to principle.
o Cause and Effect Reasoning
This method of reasoning tells what has happened to produce a result, or it tells what will result from a certain situation or event.
o Argument by Authority
This method of reasoning uses statements from experts to support a line of reasoning.
o Classical Question
The classical questions are useful in generating ideas that will supply proof for your argument.

Biddle, Arthur. Writer to Writer. McGraw-Hill Book Company. New York: 1985.
Buss, K., & Karnowski, L. (2002). Teaching persuasive texts. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
Stanley, Linda. Ways to Writing. MacMillan Publishing Company. New York: 1988.
Wishon, George and M. Burks, Julia. Let’s Write English. Litton Educational Publishing International. USA: 1980.

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