How Would You Describe Your Own Personal Argument Style?

A.  Examine the chart below, noting each characteristic that applies to you.  Which style best describes you?  Does one style tend to predominate, or do you have a mixed style?

CONSENSUAL STYLE                                          ADVERSARIAL STYLE   
I prefer to be indirect I am direct and open
I like to give reasons                        I like to reach conclusions
I prefer cooperation   I prefer competition
I favor group consensus         I favor individual opinions
I like affiliation      I like conflict
I hate to fight                                              I like to fight
I prefer to avoid confrontation              I like confrontation
I dislike contentious argument                     I like contentious argument
I am nonaggressive                                 I am aggressive
I solicit many views on an issue                  I tend to see issues as two-sided,
                                                                                    pro and con, right or wrong
I am both logical and emotional                          I am primarily logical
I try to make connectionsI tend to be adversarial
I prefer negotiating                                                  I prefer winning
I favor the personal example,                               I favor abstract ideas and
story, or anecdote                                                   reasoning
I want to keep the community                              I want to keep the individual strong
B.  Write an argument style paper.  Think about the last time that you had to argue convincingly, either in writing or orally, for a certain point of view.  Write a 300-500 word paper in which you describe your predominate argument style during that argument.
Include the following information:

1)  When you argued, what was the issue, who was the audience, what were you
     trying to achieve, and what did you do to achieve it?
2)  Was that typical of your usual style of argument? If yes, explain why; if no,
     explain why and describe your usual style.
3)  What has influenced your style of argument?  Consider home training, role
     models, gender, culture, nationality, national heritage, or any other life
     experiences that have influenced you.
4)  What do you like best about your current style of argument? What would you like to change? How can you become more flexible in your style?

In class on T 3/14 we will read these aloud in class, discuss the different styles described in these papers and some of the influences that have helped create them.

Freewrite (TO BE COMPLETED IN CLASS ON T 3/14):  Write for 5 minutes about the characteristics your class holds in common and also about the types of diversity that are evident in your class.  What generalizations can you finally make about your class as an audience? How can you maintain a classroom environment where people do not feel threatened and where they feel they are being heard?