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Argument analysis

 

Introduction: Analysing an argument in a text

This resource is designed to familiarise students with an argument analysis. It would suit any student studying at a certificate, diploma or degree level and is designed to help with developing essay and report preparation and writing skills.

In analysing an argument in a text, the reader looks for the key argument. This argument may be at the beginning or even towards the end. In many cases, the article is a response to an argument put forward by someone else. The writer of the article you are reading may be making counterclaims to rebut the first writer’s argument.  

Knowing about the writer can help your analysis. Ask questions, such as, what is the writer’s purpose, political or professional allegiance or connection with industry? In the sample analysis of the article 'Universal basic income ignores the value of work', the writer is author Emma Dawson from Per Capita.  This is a left wing think tank that claims to “fight inequality in Australia”.

Showing at least two sides to an argument demonstrates that the writer has considered different views.  They may still favour one side and rebut certain views with counter-arguments. A writer will further strengthen their counter-arguments by giving evidence with referenced citations. 

In this tutorial