How to construct a balanced argument in an essay?

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Bella_Cullen
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How should you construct a balanced argument when you can find points that you both agree and disagree with?

For example, if you're asked how far you agree with something...I think I sometimes generalise too much because I sometimes don't have a clear agree/disagree answer and can find points to support both sides.
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nonswimmer
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Describe one side, then describe the other.

Describe the strengths of the one side, describe the other.

Come to the conclusion that one side of the argument is stronger because xxxxxx. Even if you have to make this opinion up.
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Captain92
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A balanced argument is an argument where there points to support both sides.
So produce statistics, quotes from professionals, data etc. to back up general points.
Help at all?
Try to keep the amount that you write similar for both sides, and avoid inflammatory language too.
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Bella_Cullen
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(Original post by Captain92)
A balanced argument is an argument where there points to support both sides.
So produce statistics, quotes from professionals, data etc. to back up general points.
Help at all?
Try to keep the amount that you write similar for both sides, and avoid inflammatory language too.
Thanks. And also, do you have any tips on avoiding generalisations when I am expressing my personal opinion, because I can be indecisive sometimes...?
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Captain92
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(Original post by Bella_Cullen)
Thanks. And also, do you have any tips on avoiding generalisations when I am expressing my personal opinion, because I can be indecisive sometimes...?
What sort of subject is this for?
My speciality is avoiding putting personal opinions in because the balanced essays I write are historical or political lol.
Erm, I think the best I can say is that you shouldn't make unfounded claims. I.e. make sure that you have evidence to back stuff up.
E.g. "Thatcher started a revolution." Discuss
Yes she did- points of evidence
No she didn't- points of evidence
Own opinion- new evidence.

There are also different ways to structure an essay that you can bear in mind to ensure that you stay on topic, such as chronological (time-ordered) or thematic (where similar issues are bulked together).
I find thematic essays the easiest because they keep me succint, on topic and prevent me from repeating myself.
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Bella_Cullen
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(Original post by Captain92)
What sort of subject is this for?
English Lit., so there's a lot of personal interpretation involved.
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gbduo
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Introduction

For

Against

Conclusion
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JK471993
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More sophisticated is:

Intro

Stronger evidence for

Weaker evidence for

Weaker evidence against

Stronger evidence against

(or in opposite order depending on weighting of conclusion.

In the conclusion answer the question clearly. Don't sit on the fence. e.g. it is explicitly highlighted that...
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garyharrison02
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Your intro is the most important point. In your intro you should set out your interpretation of the question, how you are going to answer it, what methods you are going to use and then what your overall position will be. So for the question '"Topshop is the greatest shop in the world" Do you agree of disagree?' you would say that you are going to consider what constitutes 'greatest' and analyse the strengths and weaknesses of Topshop. However, you are also going to consider the notion that there are other store, all around the world, that could be of an equal calibre. Finally, you will compare and contrast the two. Ultimately, you hope to prove that Topship is not the greatest store in the world because the notion of greatest is subjective in itself (thesis). All of this goes in your intro! If you then follow the structure you have outlined in your intro you will have a structured essay. Your conclusion should then relate to what you have said in your introduction and your argument should then be balanced. Sorry if thats a little rambled but hope it helps.
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Hicky
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If it's English Literature then I tend to do something like this.

Introduction - Different ways of interpreting a key word, phrase or idea that it's asked you to analyse. Give a dichotomy of two key ways to interpret this. For example, if it's a word like "sister" and it's Rossetti and she uses sexual terminology to describe her sister, the distinction is between a concrete or abstract noun. In the introduction use the word "exegesis" and explain that you intend to weigh up the different exegeses.
Then following on from that you can discuss the distinction and on one side you can allude to different reasons that she could have chosen to do this, such as autobiographical elements (it could be a homage or testament to people in her life), psychoanalytical literary criticism, Biblical allusions, etc....
Then do that on the other side.
Then say which you think is most probable given the circumstances.

In English Literature you have to be 'perceptive' to get an A grade. It was explained to me that this means analysing WHY people do things instead of just what they've done and what elements they have drawn from their own life.
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