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Evaluating a Speaker’s Arguments

Overview

You will learn:

  • How to identify a speaker’s argument and evaluate their use of reasoning and evidence

Main Ideas and Arguments

The point of a speech or audio clip is referred to as the main idea. Think of it as the most important thing or things to take away from what the speaker is saying.

Sometimes the main idea takes the form of an argument, or a position in a debate about a topic. Everything the speaker says should come back to the main idea or argument.

What Makes an Argument?

Listen to the sound clip below:

Arguments are broken down into three parts:

  • Claims…What is the speaker trying to prove?
  • Reasoning…Why does the speaker believe their claim is true?
  • Evidence…How does the reasoning make sense to the audience?

Supporting the Claim

To support a claim, the speaker should use:

  • logical reasoning
  • relevant and sufficient evidence

Logical reasoning should make sense with the claim. You should be able to easily understand the connection between the two.

Evidence should be relevant, or related to the argument. It’s also important to use sufficient (enough) evidence to support the reasoning.

Conclusion

You learned how to:

  • Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claim
  • Evaluate reasoning and relevance of evidence used by a speaker