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Make a Case for Your Idea

Make a Case for Your Idea

Author: Soma Jurgensen


In this tutorial you can expect to explore multiple ways in which you can build a case for your idea or recommendation:

  • writing a composition paper
  • building a court case
  • difference between fact, opinion, assumption, and bias
  • inductive reasoning
  • using evidence

Keep an eye out for updates on:

  • deductive reasoning
  • and more

With the vast amount of information available on the internet we've also seen a boom in the number of "experts" who express their opinions. What sets true experts apart is their ability to make a case for their idea or proposal.

Whether you are the writer, or a teacher of writing, you will find something useful in this tutorial.


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The basics of arguement - getting students started

For a review of the basic elements of argument, take a look at this tutorial.

Teachers, you'll find a nice suggestion for a discussion lesson plan.

Learners, ask yourself the questions in the lesson plan and see how argumentative structure affects your life.

Supporting details fill in your paper

It's not enough just to outline and write up a paper from start to finish. Organize your thoughts and support them with details. This tutorial has a great explanation about how to write and support your paper with details.


Don't just write - Build a case

Writing a proposal, argumentative essay, or paper is much like presenting a case in a court room. How? Listen to this video to learn more.

Facts are facts, right?

Opinions, assumptions, and even biases often hide behind a curtain of what the writer/speaker calls facts. What is the difference?

Lead change with inductive reasoning

Do you know how to convice a skeptical audience of your case? Often using inductive reasoning is a better strategy than jumping right into the change you are looking for. Take a look at this video for more details on how to build a case using inductive reasoning.

Lead the reader through the problem

Before the reader/decision maker is ready to make a change, he/she needs to see the problem through your eyes. When writing for business a recommendation is often made through a memo or proposal that includes a problem statement.

The problem statement answers the questions “why should I make this change or take this recommendation.

Let’s use a broken radiator in my home as an example. I want to convince a maintenance person to come out an fix it on a snowy Sunday in MN. I have to prove I really have a problem. I might identify and support the symptoms as follows:

A) It’s cold in here and the radiator is supposed to keep the house warm (symptom)

  • It’s normally 69 degrees but no matter how high I turn the radiator the house isn’t warmer than 58 degrees (evidence and “research” where I give actual numbers)

B) It’s leaking

  • There is steam coming out (I can observe and measure this)
  • There is a water puddle on the floor (I can observe and measure this)
  • etc.

C) It’s making weird sounds

  • The noise is loud and frequent (still needs evidence)
  • It’s so loud that it drowns out the T.V. in the next room (comparison – context – observable)

I think I can convince the maintenance person to come out in the cold because there is an observable, measurable, problem with support and research vs. my own opinion.

When you present the problem make sure to back it up with evidence and even ideas about what experts say when these symptoms exist.

For more information on writing proposals see this tutorial