Friday, 9 March 2007

Iteration and reiteration

I’m still trying to get my argument straight and logical. Never fear, though – nearly there! You can see my efforts on the wiki.

Communicating argument would be easy if the person marking my work could just plug directly into my thought waves. They’d feel its progression and instantly understand. Sigh. Meanwhile, back in the real world, I’m stuck with the task of making sure that my reader can follow where I’m going. For me, this means rejigging my argument again and again until nothing is taken for granted and it all follows on seamlessly.

Unsurprisingly, developing an argument is mentioned in the assessment criteria, defined thus:
"The construction of a coherent and convincing set of reasons for holding a particular point of view; the following of an analytical path leading from a starting point to a concluding point. Good essays contain expressions of positions on the issues raised by the essay. Better essays develop arguments throughout the essay, with each element building on the last."

So, argument is like a skeleton. It should be strong and hopefully not misshapen. Then, we can think about adding some muscle (the evidence) and clothing it all in a nice healthy, attractive skin (an appropriate writing style). I always spend a lot of time thinking about my argument for this reason, but also because – as I mentioned in an earlier blog post – the structure of the argument is inextricably linked to the structure of the essay.

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