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 The material selected was either out of date or misleading, highlighting the ban of dumping dredge spoils with no mention of maintenance required that can cause damage.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

3 Comments on “Developing a Balanced Argument”

  1. Rebecca Smithers says:

    I think you mean “selective” reporting…