Broadly speaking, argumentation refers to the way a speaker presents and backs up her viewpoints to convince her audience. Often a speaker will be arguing for a main viewpoint and a number of related viewpoints.

Note that you may encounter slightly different definitions of what constitutes argumentation. Some use the term in a very broad sense, covering many rhetorical aspects of a speech (including modes of persuasion and rhetorical devices). However, others maintain a stricter definition, where argumentation refers to the logical structure behind what the speaker says, and nothing else.

Regardless of definition, it is usually relevant to dive into the speaker’s argumentation during your analysis, as it lets you consider whether the arguments being presented are valid and convincing. Below, you can read more about different argumentation strategies and various types of arguments.

Open argumentation

Open or direct argumentation means that the speaker presents her viewpoints and the basis of them clearly in the speech, leaving no doubt as to what she believes and why. Open argumentation is therefore used when the speaker wants the audience to be able to follow her argumentation as she argues for her case. Typically, open argumentation strives to be objective, and is built upon examples, facts and statements that are laid out for the audience to examine and test out.

Sometimes speakers make the argumentation particularly clear by presenting the...

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