Essay 1: Categorization

Choose something–a piece of writing, an ad, an object, or a behavior; this “something” is what you’ll be categorizing as arguments, much like how I (in Module 2) categorized the act of giving someone a red rose. This is your subject. You can choose whatever you want, as long as it’s specific (and as long as I don’t tell you to change it ;-).
In the introduction, interestingly introduce your subject to the reader. Tell me about it; enable me to envision it, feel familiar with it. Then, clarify your thesis: state which arguments you’ll be applying to your subject. (For example, Giving a red rose can be informative, convincing, meditative, and Rogerian.)
In the body of the essay, argue as clearly (and creatively) as possible which of the categories of argument best describes your subject. I f you can convincingly argue that your subject fits into all the categories, do so–but don’t feel that you must. Just discuss the best, most-illuminating categories, the minimum number of applied categories being four. (Fewer than four applied categories = – 4 per category short.)
Concentrate on organization; discuss only one argument per paragraph. Hence, if you decide to apply five categories, you’ll have five body paragraphs (plus an introduction and conclusion). Be sure also that your transitions between paragraphs are smooth throughout.
Also, when introducing/defining each category of argument, quote the definition document from Module 2. I (Moyle) am its author; it was written in 2020; because it lacks pages, put the paragraph number in parentheses. (We’re using APA form; see Modules 3 and 4.) In other words, define each argument, then explain how it applies to your chosen subject.
Conclusion: once you’re finished categorizing, come to some sort of conclusion, a conclusion that transcends categorization: make some sort of a broader point. Maybe you’re promoting something, some behavior or object?
Length: 3 full pages, minimum.
Worth: 80 points
Due date: 02.22.21

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Here’s how to start. Brainstorm subjects of interest to you. Here’s an idea for me:
Subject: my drumset …
Then, list some possible categories: my drumset could be Informative, Meditative, Ceremonial, Causal, Invitational …
Then, brainstorm some reasoning for each possible category:
Informative: it informs the viewer that I must be right-handed, like the color black, like low-pitched toms, like a tight, bouncy snare, value not bothering people (volume-reducing heads and cymbal mutes), like trashy cymbal sounds, am not especially tall (seat height), etc.
Meditative: maybe not so much for the other people living in my house, but for me, bashing away to music, mastering a complicated rhythm, working on sticking etc. for a few straight hours is deeply calming, flow-inducing
Ceremonial: mesh heads and cymbals mutes indicate that I value hitting hard but not making too much noise at this time in my life
Causal: heart-rate increase (minor cardio), finger/wrist/forearm/ankle/calf workout, sense of accomplishment, etc., all caused by interacting with the drumset
Invitational: describe the look of them, silently sitting in my dark office, not vibrating, the sticks resting on the snare head, seemingly begging me to sit down and start working out some rhythms …
Notice that this essay would have seven paragraphs: an intro, five bodies, and a conclusion. Now that I have this rough outline, I’m ready to start writing!

Categories of Argument
The following are some–not all–basic types, or categories, of argument; they’ll be our basis of knowledge through essay 1.
The main idea here is that there’s not just one type of argument, but that arguments come in many forms, for many purposes.
the informing argument: these arguments convey or transmit knowledge; they’re listed first because they always apply–everything, in many ways, is informative. For instance, this page you’re currently reading informs you of the terminology needed for essay 1 (the many different types of argument); it also informs you that I know English, that I apparently know how to type, that I apparently know how to post a page in Blackboard, that I apparently prefer Courier New font, etc.
the academic argument: these arguments are made for school (academic) purposes; what they’re about is irrelevant–it’s their purpose that matters. For instance, to me, this page you’re reading is academic because I created it for our online college class; I made it for school purposes. If I were to write, say, a grocery list, that list is not academic because I’m writing it for personal reasons, not academic reasons.
the factual argument: these arguments act as evidence for a claim, or they’re arguments that use evidence. For instance, done well, a research paper is a factual argument, as it backs up its claims with verifiable evidence; more abstractly, the picture on my driver’s license is also a kind of factual argument, for, assuming the picture matches my face, the picture “proves” that the license is mine and not someone else’s–the picture is “evidence” that the license is actually mine.
the convincing argument: these arguments try to get someone to believe us, albeit without any concrete goals in mind. For instance, if I tell my wife I saw a Muscovy duck on the running path this morning, I want her to believe me simply because I’m telling her the truth–but I don’t want her to do anything because of or about it. That’s a convincing argument, in its purest form.
the persuading argument: these arguments are a subset of Convincing arguments. They attempt to convince someone because the arguer wants to inspire change, action. For instance, if I tell my wife about the Muscovy duck I saw this morning and then ask her to take her camera when she runs so she can take a picture of it, that’s persuasive, as I’m trying to convince her to do something.
the proposal argument: these arguments are plans of action, and/or proposed solutions to a problem. For instance, if my son is grumpy because he’s tired, I might propose he go to sleep an hour earlier. Notice the overlap here: I’m trying to Convince him that he needs to do something (go to sleep earlier), which is Persuasion (because an action is the goal) that also functions as a solution, hence Proposal. Three arguments in one!
the understanding/exploring argument: these arguments simply look into something, open-mindedly. For instance, two years ago, I bought a new drumset; however, I didn’t know which drumset to buy, so I did a lot of research into different brands, configurations, etc. I made little lists. I was exploring my options; I was trying to understand.
the decision-making argument: these arguments are a bit mis-named, in that they actually take place after a decision was made, explaining why that decision was made. For instance, if I were to tell you which drumset I ended up buying, and why, I would be making a Decision-Making argument.
the meditative argument: these arguments attempt to create calm, peace, relaxation. For instance, for me, playing drums is meditative–but it might not be for the rest of my family, who has to listen to it …
the forensic argument: these arguments are about the past, or from the past. Think of forensic scientists, archaeologists studying the past; or crime-scene investigators, trying to figure out what happened; or lawyers grilling witnesses about what they saw a year earlier. For some other instances, if you write a research paper about WWI, that’s forensic, for it’s about an historical event. Or, if you have a tattoo that reminds you of the past every time you look at it, that’s forensic too. Why? Because, over time, it’s become a link to your history.
the deliberative argument: these arguments are about the future. Think of juries deliberating whether or not to find a person guilty, thus affecting their future significantly. For some other instances, if you write a research paper about the possible effects of global warming, that’s deliberative, for you’re writing about a possible future. More abstractly, taking a college class is deliberative too, as it will affect your future in many ways, for good and/or bad, depending.
the ceremonial argument: these arguments are about the present. For instance, if you write a paper analyzing how the Coronavirus is affecting your life right now, that’s ceremonial. Notice also that such a paper would almost certainly discuss the early days of the pandemic, making it partly Forensic, and it would almost certainly imagine what might happen to you in the future due to the pandemic, making it partly Deliberative too.
the causal argument: these arguments are difficult to separate from Forensic and Deliberative because causality examines cause and effect, causes taking place in the past (Forensic), effects often taking place in the future (Deliberative). For instance, this lecture is probably making you bored, impatient, maybe even a little angry. The cause is this lecture’s long-windedness, the effect being your resulting emotions.
the definitional argument: these arguments explain what something means. For instance, this entire lecture has been one big Definitional argument, defining these terms. (Notice that these sentences you’re currently reading define Definitional arguments, making them meta-definitions!)
the evaluative argument: these arguments rate or judge something, positively or negatively. Think of them as a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down. If they’re based on numbers, they’re Quantitative; if they’re based on qualities, they’re Qualitative. For instance, if I tell you to see a movie because it’s totally terrifying, that’s Qualitative, for “scary” is a quality that I assume you value; on the other hand, if I tell you to see a movie because it made 1.2 billion dollars in its opening week, that’s Quantitative, as it’s using numbers to support its case.
the invitational argument: these arguments request that the audience do something, literally or figuratively. For instance, if you get a wedding invitation in the mail, that’s literal, for you can physically do what the card requests of you, if you so choose; however, if someone tells you “Go to hell!,” that’s figurative, for you can’t physically go to a place called hell–instead, you’re being metaphorically invited to suffer. How nice!
the Rogerian argument: these arguments seek compromise. Both parties give something up in order to make both parties happy. For instance, imagine you want to eat sushi, and you friend wants to eat Mexican food. What to do? Well, Rogerianly, you can go to a buffet: you might both be sacrificing quality, but you both also get what you want.
End of lengthy, but important lecture!

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