Organizing an Argument

Syllogistic Reasoning

Syllogistic reasoning demonstrates deductive logic and begins from the premise that a fact or opinion is inarguably true. Through a series of steps the writer demonstrates that the position being argued follows logically from that premise; an extension of what is already inarguably true. In another use of this appeal, the writer presents a series of facts from other sources and then draws a logical conclusion based on these facts, showing how each group of facts leads to a premise which the audience can accept as fact, and finally, how these premises, when put together, lead to a certain conclusion.

For example:

In a paper arguing for the agreement reached at the World Environmental conference banning the destruction of rain forests and other large forests, the writer attempts to show why the ban is a logical response to global warming. In his paper, the writer presents scientific authorities' descriptions of global warming and its main cause: a lack of oxygen in the atmosphere. He then presents other scientific evidence about how oxygen is produced on earth, through plant life. By syllogistic reasoning, the writer can then draw the conclusion that if global warming is caused by a lack of oxygen [premise #1], and trees produce the most oxygen on earth as the largest form of plant life [premise #2], then one way to slow global warming is to protect forests [conclusion].
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