By: Barbara P.
14 min read
Reviewed By: Cathy A.
Published on: Mar 13, 2023
Knowing how to effectively persuade someone is an invaluable skill. But it can be difficult to understand the types of arguments that will help you do this.
You may have heard about different types of arguments. But don't know how to use them or which one is best for a given situation.
This blog post will explore the different types of arguments and how to use them for maximum persuasion power. We'll discuss which types are most effective in different scenarios and look at some examples so you can easily put these techniques into practice.
So, let's dive in and take a closer look at the types of arguments that can help you be an even more persuasive speaker.
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As a student, you may be asked to write an argumentative essay. But what type of argumentative essay should you write?
Let’s take a look at four major types of argument with examples.
The classical argument is one of the oldest forms of argumentation in history. It uses a five-part structure that includes:
This type of essay focuses on establishing strong argument and evidence. It helps to support your position through the use of facts and reasoning. The goal is to persuade readers that your position is valid despite any opposing arguments that may exist.
Explore our argumentative essay crafted on classical argument to get a clear understanding of arguments!
The Aristotelian argument is based on Aristotle’s rhetorical triangle. It focuses on three main components:
This type of essay requires you to provide logical evidence to support your argument. It also appeals to the reader’s emotions in order to make a convincing case for your position.
The goal is not only to prove why your position is correct but also why it matters.
See our argumentative essay based on the Aristotelian approach to get a better idea!
The Toulmin argument was developed by philosopher Stephen Toulmin as an alternative version of the classical approach. It focuses on:
This type of essay allows you to explain complex topics in detail while still offering room for debate or disagreement from readers.
To gain a clearer comprehension of Toulmin's approach, take a look at our argumentative essay!
The Rogerian argument was inspired by psychologist Carl Rogers’ work in conflict resolution and mediation theory.
Unlike other forms of argumentation, this approach does not require you to take sides. Instead encourages dialogue between two conflicting positions in order to find common ground between them.
This type of essay emphasizes understanding both sides before presenting an opinion or conclusion. It is to create a more balanced view on a topic while considering all angles before reaching a decision.
Searching for tips to construct compelling arguments? Our argumentative essay guide has all the answers!
Have you ever been in a debate and heard a statement that sounded so convincing. But then, upon closer inspection, you realized it was completely unfounded?
Let’s take a look at different types of argument fallacies.
Ad hominem—or “argument against the person”— is when somebody tries to invalidate another person's argument. They do it by attacking their character instead of refuting their ideas.
It’s an appeal to emotion rather than logic and is often seen as an attempt to distract from the real issue.
For example, someone says
|“My opponent must not know what he’s talking about because he’s always late for class.”
This statement has nothing to do with the actual argument. Instead attempts to discredit your opponent based on his behavior (or lack thereof).
A strawman argument is when somebody misrepresents another person's position in order to make it easier to attack.
In other words, they set up a “straw man” version of their opponent's argument. Then proceed to knock it down with ease.
This type of fallacy is often used in political debates when one candidate takes their opponent's stance. Mostly the candidates do it out of context in order to make them look foolish or uninformed.
|If candidate A says they support raising taxes on the wealthy, candidate B might respond by saying “So my opponent wants us all to pay more taxes? That’s outrageous!”.
Of course, candidate A never said anything like that—but candidate B still gets points for making it sound like they did!
An appeal to ignorance occurs when somebody claims that something must be true. Because there is no evidence proving otherwise.
This type of argument relies on ignorance rather than logic. It falls apart quickly once facts are introduced into the discussion.
For example, If someone says
|“There must be aliens out there because nobody has proven otherwise!”.
This would be an example of an appeal to ignorance since there is no evidence either way as to whether or not aliens exist.
The false dilemma fallacy is one of the most commonly used fallacies out there. It is where someone presents two choices as if they are the only possible options. When in reality there could be more than two.
This is usually done to support an opinion or idea by simplifying it down to two extreme outcomes. One being desirable and one being undesirable—with no middle ground.
|“Either you support this policy or you don’t care about our country”
This is a false dilemma. Because there may be other policies that could be better for the country than either of those two options presented.
The slippery slope fallacy is another common fallacy that states that taking a certain action will lead to catastrophic results. It happens while ignoring any potential positive outcomes or steps in between mentioned action and the ultimate result.
An example of this would be
|“If we allow people to play video games then eventually everyone will become addicted and never do anything else!”
There are numerous possible outcomes between allowing people to play video games and everyone becoming addicted. Therefore this statement is an example of the slippery slope fallacy because it ignores all those possibilities.
A circular argument occurs when someone uses the conclusion they want to reach as part of the evidence for why it should be reached in the first place.
An example of this would be
|“We need stricter laws on gun control because guns are dangerous".
Stating that guns are dangerous does not provide sufficient evidence for why stricter laws should be passed. Rather it simply reiterates what needs to be proven already.
Therefore, this statement constitutes a circular argument because it does not provide evidence for why something should occur.
Hasty generalization is when you draw a conclusion based on an insufficient amount of evidence. This type of fallacy usually happens when we don’t have enough information to make an accurate judgment.
|if someone says “all cats are mean” they most likely haven’t spent much time with cats, because there are plenty of cuddly ones out there!
The red herring fallacy is when someone introduces irrelevant information into an argument in order to distract from the actual issue at hand.
It’s important not to get so caught up in these distracting elements that you forget what you were actually arguing about!
|If your friend is trying to explain why they think government spending should be increased for public schools. But then starts going off on a tangent about how taxes should be lowered for small business owners, it may be a red herring fallacy.
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This type of fallacy occurs when someone attempts to discredit another person based on their hypocrisy or inconsistency instead of addressing the actual issue at hand.
This type of argument can very quickly become personal and can lead to both parties feeling attacked rather than heard.
|If someone argues that all people should have equal rights. They then turn around and discriminate against another person based on their race or gender. They are committing an appeal to the hypocrisy fallacy.
This occurs when someone assumes a cause-and-effect relationship where none exists.
|One might assume that their success was due to luck, rather than their hard work and dedication.
It’s important to be able to differentiate between correlation and causation in order to avoid this fallacy. Just because two things happen at the same time doesn’t necessarily mean that one caused the other.
This fallacy occurs when someone continues investing in something that isn’t yielding results. They are doing so just because they have already invested so much into it.
|If a student has spent months studying for a test but still fails, they may feel compelled to keep studying for the next test. Despite the fact that what they are doing isn't working. Simply because they don't want all of their hard work and effort to go “to waste."
It is important to recognize when a situation is not going your way and be willing to move on from it. Instead of wasting more time and energy on something that won't yield results.
This fallacy occurs when someone tries to use an authority figure or expert. They use it as proof of something without any supporting evidence or logical reasoning.
For example, if someone says
|“My professor said X so it must be true," this would be an appeal to authority since they are not providing any proof or logical reasoning behind why X is true
They are simply relying on the fact that the professor said it so it must be true. Don’t forget that even experts can make mistakes!
Always ask for proof before accepting someone's opinion as fact just because they have authority or expertise in a certain area.
Equivocation is one of the most commonly used fallacies. It occurs when someone uses the same word with different meanings throughout an argument.
For instance, if someone says
|"Fruit comes from trees," then follows up with "Apples come from fruit," they're equivocating since apples don't grow on trees but rather on branches that come off of trees.
This fallacy is often used in debates because it can be difficult for the opposition to catch. They can't correct it without appearing foolish in front of their peers.
This form of persuasive rhetoric takes advantage of people's emotions rather than relying on logic or facts.
It occurs when someone attempts to convince you by appealing to your sympathy or compassion. Instead of presenting any real evidence or data that supports their position.
|If your opponent were arguing against gun control laws and claimed that it would prevent poor people from hunting for food for their families, that would be an example of an Appeal to Pity fallacy.
Since there are other solutions available besides repealing gun control laws.
Finally, the Bandwagon Fallacy is a type of logical fallacy where someone attempts to persuade you by claiming that everyone else believes something or does something so you should too.
For instance, if someone said
|"Everyone else thinks this new policy is great; you should too," they would be using the Bandwagon Fallacy
It doesn't matter what other people think; only your own opinion matters in this situation.
Examine our argumentative essay outline and discover how to craft your own, unique structure!
What are the three types of arguments in logic used in philosophy?
Commonly, the three main types of argument in philosophy are deductive, inductive, and abductive.
So if you're ready to learn about them and evaluate arguments, keep reading!
Deductive arguments are all about reasoning from general truths to specific cases.
They go something like this: premise 1 + premise 2 = conclusion. Basically, if the premises are true, then the conclusion must follow logically.
|Let's say that premise 1 is “all cats have fur” and premise 2 is “Stinky is a cat”. Then the conclusion would be “Stinky has fur”.
See how that works?
Inductive arguments take things a step further than deductive arguments by making a prediction based on evidence from different sources.
These types of arguments go from specific cases to more general conclusions.
|Let's say you observe ten cats with fur and conclude that all cats have fur - that’s an inductive argument!
The more evidence (cats with fur) you gather, the stronger your argument becomes.
Abductive arguments are a bit different than deductive and inductive arguments. They focus less on facts and more on explanations for why things happen or how they got there.
Abductive reasoning goes from observed facts to forming hypotheses as to why those facts exist or how they were derived in the first place.
|I observe clouds gathering in the sky and hear thunder rumbling in the distance. I might reasonably assume that it will rain soon even though there is no guarantee that this will happen. It could turn out to be just a passing storm.
In this case, my conclusion is based on observation—the clouds gathering in the sky. But again it isn't guaranteed that the claim is true. There could always be some other explanation for why these phenomena occurred!
Take a look at this video to learn about types of arguments descriptively!
A claim is the main assertion or point you put forward to support your position. By using various types of claims, you can present your ideas in a persuasive and effective manner.
Let's explore the 5 types of argument claims:
All in all, this blog gives an overview of different types of arguments commonly used. It's important to understand the subtle differences between these common types of arguments. This way you can have a better understanding of how to effectively argue your point of view!
With this knowledge in hand, you will be well-equipped to make your case in any debate or essay.
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Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.
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