Planning an Argument

Organize by Evidentiary Strength

One way to think about organization is in terms of your audience and how they will react to your evidence. List all the evidence that favors your position, and then look at it through their eyes:

Rank your evidence from the most persuasive and authoritative to the least. Organize your argument according to these rankings: either begin with the least persuasive and build to the most incontrovertible, or begin with the most persuasive points, getting the audience on your side, and then present the less persuasive as you go along. Try not to end with your least persuasive, however, as it's always a good idea to exit on a strong note, a power point for the audience to remember.

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Introduction