Parts of an Argument

Arguing from an Ethical Basis

When arguing from an ethical basis, begin by subtly reminding readers of what it is that they are supposed to believe in and then show how your argument is a logical extension of that belief. For example:

Although most people wouldn't call themselves "feminists," it is difficult to find anyone in the 1990s society who doesn't believe women should receive equal pay for equal work. Equal pay, after all, is only fair and makes sense given our belief in justice and equal treatment for all citizens. [First two sentences remind audience what they believe.] However, the fact remains that no matter how commonsensical equal pay seems it is not yet a reality. Addressing the causes of unequal pay, then, is something that goes to the heart of American society, an individual's right to receive fair treatment in the workplace. [Second two sentences illustrate how this ethical belief is being violated, and thus, by logical extension, should be addressed.]
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