ARGUMENTS OF FACT AND DEFINITION

ARGUMENTS OF FACT

Build from a hypothesis, or a tentative claim which
requires further evidence to be accepted as true.

An argument of fact is based on objective truths,
rather than subjective interpretations.

Remember that statistics do not always qualify as
facts, since they can be skewed to present
information in a certain light.

ARGUMENTS OF DEFINITION

Make a claim about the meaning of a term

Consider how that definition compares to related
terms

Often trying to determine “what counts as X.”

EX: Freedom is not the ability to do whatever you
want without consequences, but the capacity to
pursue your dreams while also behaving reasonably
and respectfully in a community.

FORMAL DEFINITION

Describing the exact, objective nature of
something.

The “dictionary definition” of a term.

EX: Freedom: “the power or right to act, speak, or
think as one wants without hindrance or
restraint” (New Oxford American Dictionary)

OPERATIONAL DEFINITION

A definition used by organizations and/or
societies to guide behaviors, create laws, establish
guidelines, etc.

Often defined in relationship to the conditions
and contexts that the term exists within.

EX: An American citizen forfeits their freedom
when they commit murder; thus “freedom” is
contingent upon adherence to law.

OPERATIONAL DEFINITION

A definition used by organizations and/or
societies to guide behaviors, create laws, establish
guidelines, etc.

Often defined in relationship to the conditions
and contexts that the term exists within.

EX: An American citizen forfeits their freedom
when they commit murder; thus “freedom” is
contingent upon adherence to law.

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