Reviewing and Revising an Argument

Reviewing Your Audience Analysis

Once you've got a working draft, literally re-view your argument through the eyes of the audience. Here are several strategies that can help:

Role Playing: Become the Audience

Put the argument aside and make up a list of questions your audience might ask about the issue. Try to role play the way you assume they might think. Enlist other people's help with this list. Then, return to the paper and see if these questions have been answered.

Profile the Audience

Write a quick audience profile:

Then, look back at your draft to see if you've supplied the kind of evidence likely to persuade your audience and whether you've addressed what they already think. If not, consider replacing or adding further evidence and refuting positions you have not included.

Play Devil's Advocate

Read through your argument as if you don't believe a single word. Look at each reason and the pieces of evidence you present and list any objections that could be made. Then, look at your objections and judge which of these your audience might hold. Revise to counter those objections.

Peer Review

Ask a friend (or several) to read through your argument. Ideally, get at least one who does not hold the same views as you on the issue. Ask them to write down any questions they didn't get answered and any counter-arguments they might make.

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Introduction