Writing Argumentative Essays

Answer to Task: Working out the main premise from a paragraph

Paragraph 1
The main premise of paragraph 1 is: Australia should become a republic.

You can see this from the text below. All the phrases which oppose Australia becoming a republic contain problematising phrases (circled in blue), making them appear debatable and possibly untrue. They are followed by a set of statements that are presented as non-debatable or as facts and which argue for Australia becoming a republic. The connective "However" (circled in red) separates the two sets of statements.

Note: the phrase "as Smith explains" presents Smith's statement as non-debatable or as a fact. Therefore, it is not a problematising phrase. This phrase is used to present another witer's argument supporting your main premise which you have found in another published text during your research of the essay topic. We will look at this phrase further on in this unit.



Paragraph 2

The main premise of paragraph 2 is: Australia should remain a constitutional monarchy.

You can see this from the text below. All the phrases which support Australia becoming a republic contain problematising phrases (circled in blue), making them appear debatable and possibly untrue. They are followed by a set of statements that are presented as non-debatable or as facts and which argue for Australia remaining a constitutional monarchy. The connective "However" (circled in red) separates the two sets of statements.

Note: the phrase "as Jacobsen states" presents Smith's statement as non-debatable or as a fact. Therefore, it is not a problematising phrase. This phrase is used to present another witer's argument supporting your main premise which you have found in another published text during your research of the essay topic. We will look at this phrase further on in this unit.



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