NU Ideas

NU Ideas Volume 6


Nagoya University Multidisciplinary Journal

Third International Symposium on
Academic Writing and Critical Thinking

The Secret of Building a Logical Argument

Wai Ling Lai
Nagoya University

At Mei-Writing we advocate a writing approach for research papers that begins with a preliminary thesis statement. The entire process of research writing under the Mei-Writing approach is the development and confirmation of the thesis statement, by equipping it with logical or convincing support. At the end of the process, the thesis statement is turned into a confirmed conclusion. The approach to building a logical argument from an argument’s conclusion is called Construction Logic. In this paper, I will briefly explain the motivation for Construction Logic. I will also address an important question concerning the new approach; namely, what are the premises that constitute convincing support? As we shall see through an example, there are basically two types of premises needed in order to make a thesis statement convincing. The first is called the Premise of Proof, which functions to prove that the thesis statement is true by presenting the evidence that infers the truth. The second is called the Premise of Defense, which functions to prove that the thesis statement is not false by presenting the evidence that can defend the statement against some known counter statements. I shall explain why these premises make one’s argument clearer and more convincing, so as to explain what makes Construction Logic “special”.

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