Parts of an Argument: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

An argument is a group of statements used to persuade others to be for or against something. This lesson will teach you about the four parts of an argument and how to use them to support your point of view.

What is an Argument?

You've been begging your mom to get a new bike, but she always says 'no.' You keep pleading, 'Mom, please, please, please! I really want that new bike in the store window!' But you never get the answer you want.

Instead of begging, which isn't getting you anywhere, you need a good argument, or a group of statements supporting your position and convincing someone to be for or against something. A good argument will convince your mom that you actually need a new bike, and it should have four main parts:

  • Claim
  • Counterclaim
  • Reasons
  • Evidence

Let's explore these four parts in more detail.

Claim

In an argument, the claim is your main point that tells what you think. But it isn't just some random opinion you have. It's based on what you know and what you've learned while investigating your claim. When arguing with your mom over a new bike, your claim would be, 'I need a new bike.'

Counterclaim

Of course, just like you have your claim, your mom has a counterclaim, which is a point that argues against your claim. Since you've heard her say 'no' a million times, you can already guess what her counterclaim is. She'll probably say, 'You don't need a new bike. The one you have is fine.' But instead of just begging, this time you're prepared with reasons and evidence that challenge her counterclaim.

Reasons

You need to have good reasons, or explanations that tell why your claim of needing a new bike is reasonable. 'Because I want a cool new bike' is not a good reason and doesn't support your claim. Better reasons are, 'I can't ride my bike very well because it's too small, my knees hit the handlebars when I peddle and the chain keeps falling off.' All of those reasons make sense and can be proved.

Evidence

Although you like candy, if your dentist says that you'll get cavities from eating too much, it might make you eat less because the dentist is a trustworthy expert.

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