Effective Argument Essay

1570 words - 6 pages

Throughout history authors all around the world have written successful arguments through their own creative reasoning, evidence, diction, and tone. Writers Cornel West and Jonathan Swift are only two of the many authors who have done so. West, in his book Race Matters (1993), argues that Americans need to stop viewing African Americans as the “problem people” and instead view society as a whole. Swift argues for a similar idea in his essay A Modest Proposal (1729), by writing a satirical solution. He argues that Ireland needs to stop viewing the poor Irish as the problem, but rather all of society and come up with a solution for the issue together. They both use logical evidence and reasoning, as well as creative diction and tone to write an effective argument. Even though West and Swift’s essays differ immensely from one another, they both have a unique style and are successful in illustrating the significance of their arguments.
The First factor that strengthens their arguments is each writer’s use of logical evidence and reasoning. West uses authoritative sources to emphasize certain points that relate to his topic. For instance, on page 59, he uses a quote from African American civil rights activist W. E. B. Du Bois in order to explain the feeling of being seen as the “problem people” in society (West). By using a famous figure to portray the true feeling of being seen as the outsider, West touches his audience on an emotional level while providing strong support for his argument. He also provides relevant facts and percentages to support his ideas. For example, when stating what must be done to improve the current situation, he mentions that society must focus on the public and the “common good” and that this can be done by providing basic necessities such as housing, food, jobs, and education for everyone (West 62). Although West suggests ways to improve society and supports his ideas with evidence, he does not give one solution to fix the problem but rather focuses on emphasizing that society must change their attitude towards racism and the “problem people”. Swift also uses logic and facts to support his ideas, though it is the certain logical approach that he takes which makes his argument so effective. He begins by listing all of the advantages of his proposal and even goes on to give specific facts such as how many children could be sold yearly and the kingdom’s profit from this. Even though the solution he provides in his essay is morally wrong, the idea of eating children, he does support this idea with many logical points that do make sense when ignoring the moral part of the issue. In addition to their evidence and reasoning, West and Swift’s essays have another factor that contributes to creating their effective arguments.
Each writer’s own diction and tone also adds great depth and strength to their piece. West’s book is written with great diction that allows his paragraphs to flow smoothly and lead into...

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