Writing an Argument – Checklist of Features A03i Form, tone, content appropriate for audience the tone is usually formal argument and counter argument are developed modal verbs like should, must, will suggest certainty opinion may be presented as fact evidence, quotes from experts, develop the counter-argument diminishing phrases, a tiny minority, extremists claim…, undermine the argument persuasive devices strengthen the counter-arguement the reader may be appealed to directly using the second person AO3ii Paragraphs and Connectives the opening makes the writer’s viewpoint clear either sub-headings or topic sentences indicate the subject of each paragraph each paragraph usually introduces an argument and then counters it contrast connectives signpost the move to counter-argument (but, however, on the other hand) illustration connectives allow for points to be further developed a conclusion summarizes the most powerful point and may demand a course of action AO3iii Sentences and Punctuation a range of sentence types create emphasis rhetorical questions engage the reader the present tense is used to express opinion Don’t Talk to Me Now How many different things can you do at once? One American president supposedly couldn’t walk and chew gum at the same time, but we all have our limits. Psychologists agree that the brain is not incapable of doing two things at once, but you won’t do them as well together as you would separately. So why do people think it’s safe to conduct a telephone conversation while driving a car? Great play has been made of the idea that ‘hands free’ phones allow drivers to safely use a mobile phone. This argument is brainless because it ignores the fact that it is not just your hands that are involved in these activities – you use your brain as well. What is needed is a ‘brain-free’ phone – though to judge from some of the inanities I have overheard, this may not be entirely unrealistic. Another ‘point’ frequently made by phoning fanatics is that it can be no more distracting to drivers than listening to the radio or talking to a passenger. However, listening to the radio doesn’t require me to talk when I need to attend to a road hazard. And most car passengers will keep quiet when they see the driver needs to concentrate. The caller on the other end of the phone might, however, make demands of the driver at the critical moment….