Argument Templates + Transitions
Derived from Graff and Birkenstein’s crazy-helpful They Say, I Say
Use these templates and transitions to help you use the most sophisticated language when making arguments. This will also help you spice up your language choices and keep you from using the same-old-same-old trusty transitions and lead-ins over and over again.
Warning: Some of these templates include first person (I, me, my, etc.) and you will have to thoughtfully edit them out to keep your paper in academic third person.
Introducing What an Author Says
- X acknowledges that _____________.
- X agrees that _____________.
- X argues that _____________.
- X believes that _____________.
- X denies/does not deny that _____________.
- X claims that _____________.
- X complains that _____________.
- X concedes that _____________.
- X demonstrates that _____________.
- X celebrates the fact that _____________.
- X insists that _____________.
- X questions whether _____________.
- X reminds us that _____________.
- X reports that _____________.
- X suggests that _____________.
Introducing “Standard Views”
- Americans today tend to believe that ______________.
- Common sense seems to say that _________________.
- It is often said that __________________.
- Many people assume that ______________.
Introducing an Ongoing Debate
- In discussions of __________, one controversial issue has been ____________. On the one hand, ______________ argues __________________. On the other hand, ______________ opposes _____________. Others even believe ______________. My own view is ______________.
- When it comes to the topic of ________, most of us will readily agree that __________. Where this agreement usually ends, however, is on the question of _____________. While some are convinced that _____________, others believe that _____________.
Using a Quotation (i.e., Backing up your argument with proof)
- X states, “_______” ( ).
- Example: Standage states, “Some [drinks] have served to highlight the power and status of the elite” (2).
- According to X, “____” ( ).
- According to Standage, “Wine was the lifeblood of [Greece]” (3).
- X himself writes, “_______” ( ).
- Standage himself writes, “Six beverages... chart the flow of world history” (2).
- Odysseus himself says, “I longed for sweet Penelope” (9.21).
- In his book, ______________, X maintains that “________” ( ).
- In his book, A History of the World in Six Glasses, Standage maintains that “Greek and Roman knowledge... had been safeguarded and extended by scholars in the Arab world” (4).
- Writing in the magazine ________, X complains that “____________” ( ).
- Writing in the online magazine Salon, Weitz complains that “reality television is little more than gladiatorial combat” (3).
- X agrees when she writes, “_____” ( ).
- I believe wine was the most influential drink in history. Standage agrees when he writes, “Wins was the lifeblood of [Greece]” (4).
Explaining a Quotation (i.e., Showing that you understand what the quote says)
- Basically, X is saying _______.
- In other words, X believes ____________.
- In making this comment, X urges us to ________.
- In making this comment, Cepeda urges us to look consider whether we do, actually, like hard work.
- X’s point is that _________.
- The essence of X’s argument is that _____________.
Naming Your Naysayers or Opponents (i.e., Introducing your rebuttal)
- Here many ____________ would probably object that _______.
- Here many proponents of choice reading would probably object that complex texts destroy the enjoyment of reading.
- Of course, ____________s would certainly take issue with the argument that ________.
- Of course, antiglobalization activists would certainly take issue with the argument that globalization helps out developing countries.
- ___________s, of course, may want to question whether ______________.
- Patriots, of course, may want to question whether the United States is acting out of selfish motives in its wars overseas.
- Nevertheless, critics of _________ will probably argue that ______________.
- Nevertheless, critics of student-chosen reading will probably argue that reading complex texts is the only way to increase reading levels.
- Although not all _____________s think alike, some of them will probably dispute my claim that ______________.
- Although not all globalization fans think alike, some of them will probably dispute my claim that globalized companies are destroying developing countries.
Making a Concession (i.e., They have a point, BUT...)
- Admittedly, ___________.
- Proponents of X are right to argue that ______________. But they are exaggerating when they claim that _____________.
- Proponents of complex texts are right to argue that reading such material is essential for post-secondary success. But they are exaggerating when they claim that Standage’s book is the only possible complex text for world history students to read.
- While it is true that __________, it does not necessary follow that _____________.
- On the one hand, X is right to say ________________. On the other hand, it is still true that _________________.
Disagreeing, with Reasons (i.e., They are just wrong)
- X is mistaken because she overlooks ______________.
- X’s claim that ____________ rests upon the questionable assumption that __________________.
- X can’t have it both ways. On the one hand, she argues ___________________. On the other hand, she also says ____________________.
- By focusing on _______________, X overlooks the deeper problem of ________________.
Establishing Why Your Claims Matter (i.e., Why should I care about this argument?)
*This is great clincher material*
- X matters because _____________________.
- High school matters because it either opens or closes doors into the rest of my life.
- Although X may seem trivial, it is in fact crucial in terms of today’s concern over _________________.
- Although doing homework may seem trivial, it is in fact crucial in terms of succeeding in high school and developing my brain.
- Ultimately, what is at stake here is ________________________.
- Ultimately, what is at stake here is my lifelong flourishing; being lazy now means being unhappy for decades.
- Although X may seem of concern to only a small group of _________________, it should in fact concern anyone who cares about ________________.
- Although high school may seem of concern to only a small group of nerdy students, it should in fact concern anyone who cares about having an enjoyable life.
For ADDING IDEAS:
also another in fact equally important moreover
furthermore additionally indeed in addition
For MAKING A CONTRAST:
however nevertheless although conversely
on the contrary notwithstanding even though all the same
on the other hand by contrast nonetheless
likewise equally along the same lines
similarly in comparison in the same way
For CITING AN EXAMPLE:
for example in other words in fact
for instance specifically after all
as an illustration consider
For SHOWING RESULTS:
accordingly hence consequently
as a result thus therefore
For REINFORCING AN IDEA:
especially important above all most noteworthy
especially relevant a significant factor most of all
For ELABORATING (expanding upon a point):
actually by extension to put it another way
to put it bluntly in short to put it succinctly
in other words ultimately basically
For CONCEDING A POINT:
admittedly of course although it is true that
naturally granted to be sure
clearly hence consequently
obviously therefore thus
in short all in all