Sunday, April 1, 2012

A is for Argument

Okay, while I mostly use this blog to talk about fiction writing, there are other venues that I have knowledge of to share and what better way than to start off this crazy month challenge then to just jump feet first and talk about something that can be found in nonfiction writing: argumentation.

(image link)

There are a few things that come to mind with argumentation. Unfortunately, many people when they hear the word argument they think of one definition of the word which is "the breakdown of communication." That is one form, but there are two others. There is the funny one (called "argument zero" in my argumentation class in college) and I call it funny because it's basically "arguing with yourself". Yep, there is a title for that. And yes, it's okay to admit doing that as a writer. hehe

The other form of argumentation, and the one I took part in for years in college, is the act or process of forming reasons and of drawing conclusions and applying them to a case in discussion. Also known as... Debate (forensics).

As for how this relates to writing, guess what. It does! lol

For real, debate is about the research before hand. While the audience (haha okay, most people don't go watch debates except maybe big ones like the Presidential debates) gets the main exhibit, the arguments pulled together, there is a lot that goes behind the scenes. Writing can be like that. The reader won't see everything that the author figured out in their story, the research and worldbuilding takes work but it's worth the effort.

Went off track a little. Anyways, arguments can also be found in some novels. Most of the time it's the breakdown of communication because that creates conflict. But a character can also have evidence to prove a point to a different character. Then of course there is always nonfiction but what's the fun in that? Kidding. Nonfiction is great too.

Do you use arguments in any way?
Which form of argumentation do you use more?


Angeline Trevena said...

I argue with myself a lot, all the time in fact. But I'm very non-confrontational, so I never really argue with other people (debate, yes). For that reason I find writing actual arguments really tough. I think I need to fight with some people...

DeniseCovey_L_Aussie said...

Hi Dawn! There is an argument for this being the first serious post I've read all afternoon. Great work.


baygirl32 said...

I love reading arguments in books, but I dislike them in real life.. odd right?

Britney Gulbrandsen said...

Writing arguments can be fun :) Great post!

The Muse said...

Interesting post! I considered writing something similar: A is for Aristotle, whose "Rhetoric" systematized Argumentation terminology a looong time ago.

Dawn Embers said...

Angeline - hehe, arguing with oneself is fun.

Denise - *waves hi* Thanks. :-)

baygirl32 - Interesting. I don't like the break down of communication much in person. The debate part I had to get used to though. It's okay to be odd. ;-)

Britney Gulbrandsen - Indeed. Thanks.

The Muse - Why, thank you. Aristotle is who also coined forensics in relation to rhetoric and debate. Another good A option: Aristotle.

Magic27 said...

Hi Dawn!
Thanks for dropping by my blog - I think this A to Z Challenge is going to be fun!
As for argumentation - I used to be in my high school debating society (I was painfully shy, so it was a strange choice of after-school club, but as I was at an all-girls high school (oh yes. really) it was a great way to "meet" boys. Except that being painfully shy meant I never really spoke to them. But still.) and that's a great way to learn how to develop an argument.
Now, I teach English to science students and, when I get good groups, we study technical writing, and that's all about presenting an argument in a clear, concise way.
Great post - very thought-provoking!

Dawn Embers said...

Magic27 - Hi there. I also was a shy teen and took part in my school's speech&debate team. ;-)

Scribe said...

Dawn, excellent argument for using argumentation in our writing. I would like to argue there is an art to arguing, but I think I have either stayed up too late - no it was the wine Shhh, they don't need to know that here. Don't tell me to shush.. Sorry, looks like I must run. It appears I am arguing with myself. Argument Zero Oh hush, you didn't even know that term until you read Dawn's blog.

Gail M Baugniet - Author said...

I will do anything to avoid arguments or conflict. Not saying that is the healthiest way to deal with a situation, just how I am.
On the other hand, a lively discussion with disagreement is fun. Theme: A World of Crime

Dawn Embers said...

Scribe - ;-) lol. There is an argument for the art of it. You amuse me!

Gail M Baugniet - Thanks for the comment. I don't like the breakdown of communication and yelling, never had. Good you at least know how you are.