Assertion and Support : Drafting

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Under the organizational patterns assertion and support, you state your main claim and then give specific evidence to support it.

For Example :

Nothing so marked out the New Science of the seventeenth century as its proponents’ repeated claims that it was new. Corpuscular and mechanical philosopher on many occasions vigorously insisted that their innovations represented radical departures from traditionally constituted bodies of natural knowledge. Text after text stipulated the novelty of its intellectual contents. In physics Galileo offered his Discourses and Demonstrations concerning two new sciences. In astronomy there was Kepler’s New Astronomy. In chemistry and experimental philosophy Boyle published a long series of tracts called New Experiments about the Void. Bacon’s New Organum was labeled as a novel method meant to replace the traditional organ on […] and his New Atlantis was an innovative blueprint for the format social organization of scientific and technical research. (Steven Shapin : The Scientific Revolution )

Shapin makes his assertion that “nothing so marked out the new science of the seventeenth century as its proponents claims that it was new” and then expands on it with five specific examples taken from books by famous scientists. Such arguments, typical of those that lawyers present in court, are a kind informal logic. They don’t’ use formal syllogistic reasoning, but they appeal to common sense and common knowledge when you use assertion and support pattern for your writing. Keep these points in mind:

• Make a strong opening assertion, but don’t overstate your case.

• Choose the kind of supporting evidence that you know will work well with your readers.

For Example :

Shapin’s paragraph cites books that readers interested in the scientific revolution would recognize. If he were writing for readers with little knowledge of science, he might give different kinds of examples.

Other Pages in This Section :

Reasoning from Evidence


Cause and Effect

Comparison and Contrast



Choosing and Combining Patterns

Successful Writing Index

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