Argument Examples


When one makes an argument in everyday life, the person is giving a set of reasons to persuade someone else.

Examples of Argument:

A teenager makes an argument that she should be allowed to have a cell phone because of emergencies and because she needs to be able to call a ride after school.

A customer makes the argument that he should not have to pay for his meal because his steak was not cooked correctly.

A lawyer makes the argument that her client is not guilty because she was somewhere else when the crime committed.

In a literary sense, a text can also present an argument. Most often, we think of non-fiction texts that are argumentative, or persuasive in nature. However, novels and poems can also present an argument or attempt to persuade readers based on the plot of the story.

Examples of Argument

In a speech given at Rice University, John F. Kennedy made an argument that the United States must go to the moon. Here is a small excerpt: "We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

In his satirical essay A Modest Proposal, Swift makes the argument that the English can address the issues of starvation and overpopulation in Ireland by feasting on Irish babies.

In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen begins with the proposition that "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."

Mark Antony, in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, gives a famous speech where he presents an argument that Caesar maybe wasn't as bad as Brutus claimed:

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest-
For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men-
Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?
O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.

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Literary Terms Examples