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Mark's Guide to Arguing Successfully (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
I actually wrote this in response to a forum thread to deviated from a valid argument into senseless trash-talk. Tell me what you think.


Alright, boys and girls. Due to high demand, I now bring you "Mark's Guide to Arguing Successfully." You might want to take notes.

Step 1: Build up your credibility. In any argument, a credible person will elicit a greater response than one that is not. Ways that you can do this include (but are not limited to) speaking in correct English and without profanity; being courteous to the person that you are arguing with, even if you disagree with what he is saying; clearly stating your viewpoint; and stating the basis for your viewpoint. You will find that doing this will make you come off better in an argument, and make people more inclined to consider you viewpoint.

Step 2: Present valid arguments. When presenting a viewpoint that opposes somebody elses, you must be able to back that viewpoint up. For example, if you are arguing that Vermont Cheddar Cheese is better than Swiss Cheese, tell us WHY! Otherwise, your argument will fall flat.

Step 3: Refrain from personal attacks on your opponent. Remember when I talked about credibility in step 1? Nothing can lose you credibility faster than to insult your OPPONENT when you're supposed to be arguing for or against a CAUSE. It makes the insulter come up as desperate, and gives more credibility to the opponent. Let us consult the cheese example again.

Person A: Cheddar Cheese is better than Swiss Cheese due to its Vitamin B-12 content.
Person B: Oh yeah? Well... you're a fag!

If you had to make a vote, now, would you be more inclined to pick Cheddar Cheese or Swiss?

Step 4: Always take your opponent's viewpoint into consideration. If you can disprove your opponent's VIEWPOINT, without attacking the opponent personally, you just might be winning your argument.

Person A: Cheddar Cheese is better than Swiss Cheese due to its Vitamin B-12 content.
Person B: Actually, studies show that due to the pasteurization process, Cheddar Cheese looses a great deal of its nutrients, including its Vitamin B-12 content. Swiss Cheese, on the other hand....

Do you see what Person B just did? He disproved one of Person A's main points, which gives him more stock in this argument. Through it all, he was polite, courteous, he considered his opponent's viewpoint, and he successfully argued against it.

Take my advice, and you'll always come off looking good in an argument, even if you lose it.