Developing a Balanced Argument

Better argumentThe importance of presenting a balanced argument in your assignments is essential. It shows that you are able to select relevant material and highlights how points are made to either support or contradict an argument. In a recent article in The Conversation the author highlighted the selected reporting of the Australian Government regarding the latest report on the health of the Great Barrier Reef. The information was carefully selected to show the government in a positive light. The material selected was either out of date or misleading, highlighting the ban of dumping dredge spoils with no mention of maintenance required that can cause damage. The report appears to misrepresent the truth and has not used its sources accurately.

Similarly in any assignment, it is important to carefully select the information required. The authors of an article are writing to inform the reader, persuade or critique a topic. Therefore make sure you use the information for the purpose for which it was intended. If the information supports a point you are trying to make, either with relevant evidence or examples paraphrase it in your own words and include it in your assignment and list of references. If the point refutes a point you are trying to make, then also paraphrase in your own words and reference it. More research and reading may be required to find additional information that supports or disproves your original idea. The important purpose in presenting an argument is to show both sides with minimal bias and to make your argument by weighing up two differing views. More importantly, you need to convince the reader why your perspective is the most appropriate.

For information on Academic Skills’ resources that might be useful for identifying an argument in a journal article or constructing your own argument, click on the links below:

Critiques: Critiquing a Journal Article

Academic Argument: Writing an argument

Academic Argument: Developing an argument

Academic Argument: Thesis Statement

Would you like to win an iPad Mini?

librarysurveybannerComplete the Griffith Library User Experience Survey 2015 and you will go into the draw to win an iPad Mini.

Please check your Griffith email to see if you have been invited to participate in this year’s Library User Experience Survey. Your feedback is very valuable in shaping future service improvements.

The survey is completely confidential and will be open from April 27th to May 15th.

Upon completion of this survey you will be eligible to enter the prize draw to win one of two iPad Mini’s.

Facebook messages from World War 1 battlelines

anzac-day-gallipoli-rsl-australian-soldier-war-vet21In August 1914, Australia pledged support to Britain in the conflict that was to become “The Great War”, “The war to end all wars”, and later the First World War. Placing Australia’s contribution into context, it was a small nation with a population of fewer than five million. Over 400,000 Australian troops and nurses served in this war, of which over 60,000 were killed and 156,000 wounded, gassed, or taken prisoner. Australia fought on the side of the Allies alongside troops from New Zealand. New Zealand’s population was just over one million and over 100,000 troops and nurses joined the fray, with a devastating 58% casualty rate.

The impact of the war on those who participated, either by fighting or supporting troops, is being remembered specifically in this the centenary of the fateful landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps at Gallipoli on Sunday, 25th April 1915. There are many events, online stories and exhibitions being held at this time to help commemorate this centenary and it is an ideal time to follow items that may be of use in developing your understanding of the original period.

The State Library of Queensland is running an exhibition called Distant Lines: Queensland voices of the First World War. There are websites devoted to this period from both State and Federal governments. These are all good sources for relevant information and for an inside look at how this war affected individuals, from those at the battlelines, it is worth following the real-time social media project ANZACLIVE.

Described as Facebook from the front, tweets from the trenches, this ground-breaking project recreates the lives of 10 people from the War, “living through the most monumental event of their time – posting their hopes, fears and humour on Facebook every day”. Their Facebook pages, posts and their replies will be based on the extensive diaries that many of the troops and nurses kept, and are being managed by a team of more than 30 experienced journalists and researchers.   Integrated with tweets and Instagram visuals, the project has been undertaken with the cooperation of the NSW State Library, where many of the original journals are kept, and the Australian War Memorial. The input of descendants of the characters has been used to help bring them to life via ANZACLIVE.

Image from Australian War Memorial, Creative Commons Licence

This Week in the Library – Semester 1, week 6


Get week six off to a flying start with some of these great workshops.

Date Workshop Location Campus
Tues 14/4 12:00 Structuring and writing an academic assignment Library N53_1.51 Nathan
Wed 15/4 1.00 Writing a reflective assignment Library N53_1.51 Nathan
Thurs 16/4 1.00 Managing your study Library N53_1.51 Nathan
Fri 17/4 1.00 Writing reports Library N53_1.51 Nathan

Masters and Slaves event

Masters and Slaves Web Banner

Thought you knew your literary greats? Think again!

The popular  Masters and Slaves event has returned for another year. Hosted by the Friends of the Library in partnership with Love That Book, the event will be held at the Uni Bar function centre at the Gold Coast campus. This year will see the live performances by School of Humanities students, with the introduction of accompanying performances by Popular Music students.

Thursday 30 April – doors open at 5.30pm for a 6.00pm start
The Uni Bar function centre, Gold Coast campus
must be pre-purchased and will not be available at the door.

  • Students: $10
  • General admission: $15
  • Friends of the Library: FREE

More info here.


Need help finding the right information for your assignments?

Academic writing requires the use of relevant, reliable and high quality information, typically found in scholarly and peer-reviewed academic journals.

To make a start on discovering new resources and materials visit the subject guide for your area of study. Guides will tell you what databases, journals, books, websites and other information resources are recommended and relevant to your discipline and subject.  If you would like to know more about finding, using and evaluating information, you can check out the researching self-help resources, attend one of the Library’s researching workshops, or book a 20-minute consultation with a librarian.

In addition to scholarly texts, other types of information resources can be useful. For example, you might need to define a key concept in your essay to ensure that the reader understands your argument or context.  Therefore, discipline-related reference resources, including dictionaries and glossaries or standard sites such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics, can be most helpful.

In the case of the visual arts, it is especially relevant to use images to convey thoughts and to support arguments. Within the Library resources you have access to millions of ethically sourced images, as well as videos and multimedia, for the arts, humanities, social sciences and other disciplines.


This Week in the Library – Semester 1, week 5

Image banner - What's On

Library and Learning Services workshops are free for all students and staff, and you can attend as many as you like – as many times as you like! 

Date Workshop Location Campus
Mon 30/3 11.00 Writing a Reflective Assignment Library G10_2.25 Gold Coast
Tues 31/3 12.00 Writing introductions and conclusions Library N53_1.51 Nathan
Wed 1/4 1.00 Exam strategies Library N53_1.51 Nathan
Wed 1/4 4.00 Building an academic argument* PG Library N53_1.51 Nathan
Thurs 2/4 1.00 Writing Reports Library G10_2.25 Gold Coast

Mid-semester break

Date Workshop Location Campus
Wed 8/4 1.00 Setting up your own topic or research question* PG Library G10_2.25 Gold Coast
Wed 8/4 2.00 Writing a Post Graduate Literature Review* PG Library G10_2.25 Gold Coast
Wed 8/4 3.00 Building an Academic Argument* PG Library G10_2.25 Gold Coast

(PG) Postgraduate workshops *


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