The Architecture of Arguments

To develop a strong argument, you need a thesis statement that makes a clear and arguable claim, but you also need to organize your whole paper in an intentional and logical way. You have to strategically sequence interesting ideas and compelling evidence so that your argument is contextualized and moves towards a satisfying conclusion. Here we consider this issue of argumentative structure: How can you make a complex argument that is still clear for your readers? And what are useful visual metaphors to help us understand that structure?

This information about argument structure is presented in the form of a PechaKucha written and narrated by former UW–Madison writing center instructor Rebecca Couch Steffy. A PechaKucha (from the Japanese for “chit–chat”) consists of about 20 slides which are shown for 20 seconds each. This allows for a direct and engaging presentation style.

Works Cited

Glenn, Cheryl, and Melissa Goldthwaite. The St. Martin’s Guide to Teaching Writing. 7th ed., Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013.

Tan, Melissa. “Bringing a Text to Life: The Role of the Reader in Plato’s Phaedrus.” The Yale Philosophy Review, issue 6, 2010, pp. 46–55.