Oh... I Didn't Realize That This Was Law School...

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"Strategy 4: Argue Against Possible Objections" (177).

I suppose that this is what everyone is talking about when they refer to an "arguable thesis." According to most of our teachers and classmates, this aspect of a paper is crucial to acquiring reader believability. As a matter of fact, as of late I've made a point to make my thesis as arguable as possible. Additionally, in each of my papers I've placed a paragraph or two in which I raised my "own objections and then argue against them" (177). This is a useful tactic because the writer is anticipating any objections that could come in the future.

Since we have a research paper due soon, I plan to use the tactic of raising possible objections directly in the beginning when I formulate my thesis. This will tell me right away whether or not my argument could not only stand up to the test of time, but also stand up to the analyzation of an angry peer-editor. For instance, if an editor were to make an opposing claim, Roberts asserts that "It is your task to show that the objections (1) are not accurate or valid; (2) are not strong or convincing; or (3) are based on unusual rather than usual conditions (on an exception and not the rule) (177).

So, let's take, for example, a thesis that says "Mathilde did not change and was still childish." I know that this thesis seems rather- blah- but a difficult example is not needed. One must begin by asking oneself if the thesis is arguable... what objections could be stated? Well, someone could argue that Mathilde did change. Therefore, it will be your job to decide if this argument is weak in comparison with yours.

Regardless, as writers it is definately our job to prove our point, and prove it well. So, thanks, Roberts. This section of your book helped me a lot!

4 Comments

Aja Hannah said:

Another objection could be that Mathilde not changing is not unusual because she spent the first (20?) years of her life as spoiled. How does that outweight the 10 she spent working?

I always have a hard time making my thesis arguable. Usually I write a paper, and then scrap it and say "What was I thinking??" before I take another stab at it with a much more arguable thesis. This chapter was certainly helpful for me as well.

JessicaOrlowski Author Profile Page said:

I know! I get into trouble all of the time because I don't make my theses arguable. Like for this research paper... yep. I had to go back and forth between theses (I utterly hate that word).

Dave said:

Jessica, feel free to use "thesi," as a plural for thesis if you want. If anyone questions it just look at them like their an uneducated moron....it'll work.
Anyway, this is one of the strategies that I use pretty frequently, but I picked it up in another class awhile back. At University of Idaho, I took a Persuasive Writing class, and we spent a lot of time discussing a lot of the stuff in this chapter.

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