Before you head into strategies that can improve your argumentative texts, a question: do you know the difference between strategy and argument?
Explaining briefly, argument are all the information you use to defend your point of view. Strategies are the ways you expose, articulate, and present this information.
Here, we come very close to the fields of rhetoric and logic, areas of study of Philosophy. And you thought those kind of boring high school classes would never be more useful!
But, you do not have to get your school book out of the closet, because we’ll explain some argumentative strategies you can use in your texts:
The analogy is a figure of language that consists in establishing parallels and similarities between situations, at first, different.
With this, it is possible to approximate the situation in question from the experiences your reader experiences (or, in the case of content marketing, by your persona), simplifying the understanding of something outside your reality.
When well applied, this strategy increases the emotional appeal of the text (about which we will speak shortly). For this, however, one must ensure that it is not too simplistic.
This strategy has to do with something called pathos, a term which, for the Greeks, meant passion and feeling. The idea here is to excite the emotion in your reader in order to conquer the emotional side that is part of forming any opinion, however rational it may be.
To write a text with a lot of emotional appeal, it is important to know the pains of your persona and list arguments close to your reality.
Despite the name “emotional appeal”, however, the ideal is not to overdo it. After all, you do not want your text to get an overly mushy and mellow tone!
This is the fancy name given to the strategy of anticipating the arguments of your interlocutor (in the case of a text, from your reader).
This strategy is easily observed in political debates, where a candidate, already knowing his adversary’s guidelines, deconstructs his arguments before he can even present them, demanding from him a game of his own to counter-argument.
Prolepse can be used, for example, to structure a text about the importance of staying physically active. You can start your production by listing the main objections to physical activities (it is difficult to find time, doing exercises is boring) and deconstructing each one of them in an inter-title.
Types of argument
Now that you know some strategies that can help you in your text, let’s look at some types of arguments you can use to support your thesis:
This argument borrows the credibility of its source, such as a research institute, a researcher, or a witness, so important to journalists.
Since the strength of this argument comes from its source, it is essential to include links to the research cited or to cite the institution behind them. Saying “research points” is the same as saying nothing, precisely because, when you do that, you are leaving out the credibility of the argument.
It is also worth mentioning that when you are writing as a ghost writer (which is the case for most web content productions), your own authority means nothing because your name is not tied to the text.
It does not matter if you are phD in the subject you are writing about: you will need to substantiate your arguments with verifiable and reliable sources.
Here, it is a question of using examples to confirm that the points raised are, in fact, observable in reality. It is worth mentioning that the examples need not only be positive: if the idea is to prove, for example, the need to put an identification collar on your dog, you can mention both cases where the presence of the collar had happy ending as situations in which , due to lack of identification, the animal was not found.
Argument by logic
You have probably already seen those simple exercises of logic, composed of 3 sentences, like “Every man is mortal. Socrates is a man. Therefore, Socrates is mortal. ” This is the basic structure of any logical argument.
But do not worry: it is not necessary to divide all your text into premises and conclusions and try to understand the logical reasoning between them. Arguing by logic is much simpler than that – cause and consequence relationships and conditionality are excellent examples of logical arguments.