The thesis, the arguments and the foundations

In an argumentative text, the thesis is an opinion whose main purpose is to demonstrate truth and credibility using different arguments.

An argument is a precision of the thesis, a reason that supports it. The author makes use of arguments to show that his personal position in relation to a given topic holds water.

The thesis

The thesis is the core of the argumentative text, the idea that will be defended by the author throughout his text. The thesis is based on a societal debate and represents a clear position on this one. The argumentator exposes his thesis (takes position) on the subject and tries to convince the recipient to share his opinion. The arguments that will follow in his speech will flow directly from this thesis.

  1. Social equality passes first and foremost by free education.
  2. We must protest against the intolerable idea of censoring material intended for teenagers.
  3. The government should ban the free sale of tobacco products.
  4. Schools must work more actively to develop young people’s sense of belonging to their Francophone culture.
    To demonstrate his thesis, the author presents arguments. The arguments are the basic reasons that are advanced to justify his thesis and convince the reader. All the arguments of an argumentative text support this thesis and must ensure the logic of the discourse.

One can easily find the arguments of the text by asking the following question: Why does the author affirm that + thesis? The statements of the text that can begin with one because are the arguments of this thesis .

  • Thesis: Social equality passes first and foremost by free education.
  • Argument: All should be able to access higher education regardless of the economic environment from which they come.
  • Thesis: We must protest against this intolerable idea of censorship of material intended for adolescents.
  • Argument: Censorship is too often badly applied.
  • Thesis: The government should prohibit the free sale of tobacco products.
  • Argument: To turn a blind eye to the free sale of cigarettes is to encourage a criminal and hypocritical industry.
  • Thesis: Schools must work more actively to develop young people’s sense of belonging to their Francophone culture.
  • Argument: Ensuring that young people carry their culture is a good way to counter the massive intrusion of American culture.
  • To successfully develop each of his arguments, the author must know the various argumentative processes.
  • The foundation of the arguments
  • The foundation is what the author relies on to build an argument. This is concrete proof that an argument is solid. This foundation is necessary to deepen the author’s speech.

The arguments used to defend a thesis can be based on:

  • A fact
  • A value
  • A logical principle
  • A fact
  • A fact is what happened, what happened and is easily verifiable or observable (which is opposed to a judgment, an interpretation). A fact is what really exists, which is real.
  • Presenting a fact gives credibility to the argument.

Thesis: Leisure time divides young people in France because they have different financial resources.

Argument: In France, reading is a hobby practiced more by young people who belong to favored socio-economic groups.

  • Basis (fact): An important study in France shows that adolescents and young adults whose parents are managers or teachers read more than young people whose parents are workers or employees.
  • A value
  • A value is what is true, beautiful, good, according to a personal judgment dictated by a morality or an ethic.
  • Referring to a value can arouse strong reactions because of the emotional burden it carries.

Thesis: Young people must feel that they are actors of change considered in the Quebec society of today.

Argument: Encouraging young people to get involved in Quebec politics is an interesting way to give them the opportunity to realize their greatest ambitions.

Basis (value): In the name of freedom, young people want to believe in their dreams and seek to invent original means that can change the society in which they want a future that lives up to their ideals.
A logical principle
A logical principle is a reasoning that establishes an explicit or implicit connection between a cause and a consequence.

In order to express a logical principle, we use deductive reasoning, which very often requires the use of relationship markers.
The logical principle places the reader before a reasoning that is difficult to contradict.

Thesis: I believe that we must change the way we think about a crisis and think about what it can bring constructive.

Argument: Crises force people to take stock of the situation and look for solutions to improve it.

Rationale (logical principle): If we want society to evolve, it becomes inevitable that, from time to time, it experiences more or less serious crises so that the collective awareness necessary for any reform is initiated.

The pitfalls of argumentation

Argumentation is the central point of any good argumentative text. If the arguments are not strong enough or if the organization of the ideas shows enormous weaknesses, the message will not pass to the readers. This is why we must avoid certain pitfalls.

To avoid these pitfalls, it is essential to prepare the writing of an argumentative text by constituting a good plan.