8 Types of Arguments and Their Importance

Updated March 10, 2023

While many people associate the term, "argument," with a negative connotation, arguments are actually a regular part of the workplace and other areas of a person's life. Arguments are used to negotiate as well as to determine the best solution for a particular issue. They can also be used to determine the extent of truth there is in a certain claim or hypothesis.

There are several different types of arguments, and each type is used in different scenarios. In this article, we'll explore why it's important to know the different types of arguments and take a look at each type in depth.

Why is it important to know the types of arguments?

Understanding the different types of arguments is important because it allows you to determine which type is most appropriate in a given situation. There are a number of different types of arguments, including causal arguments, narrative arguments and evaluation arguments. Each has a different purpose, and using the right type of argument for the given situation will ensure you get your point across in a clear and confident manner.

There are a few primary reasons why an argument may occur. These reasons include:

  • To solve a problem or make a judgment

  • To defend or explain an action or stance

  • To communicate your point of view and way of thinking to a person or group

Being skilled at arguing requires excellent communication and logic skills. These skills will also help you decide which type of argument is most fitting for the situation.

Related: 125 Argumentative Essay Topics To Choose From

Type of arguments

The following are the primary types of arguments used in daily life:

1. Causal argument

A causal argument is a type of argument used to persuade someone or a group of people that one thing has caused something else. This type of argument focuses on how something occurred and how a problem arose as a result of that occurrence.

This argument type is important because it helps people determine the reasons why certain things happen and to make clear the cause to ensure it doesn't happen again. For example, arguing why climate change is occurring allows individuals to explore potential causes and come to an agreement on those causes.

Related: The Parts of an Argument (With Definition and Examples)

2. Rebuttal argument

A rebuttal argument is centered on refuting an idea or belief that has been present up until this point in time. This type of argument often involves including why a particular idea or belief is flawed and how you feel it can be fixed or changed. Most rebuttal arguments include a statement of the counterargument, a statement regarding your position and how it's different from the counterargument and evidence to support your position.

Related: How To Craft Your Own Unfair Performance Review Rebuttal

3. Proposal argument

A proposal argument is one in which a person proposes a particular solution to a specific issue. This argument should include the establishment of a problem, the details of the proposal and reasons why the proposal is a good idea. For example, an employee may make a proposal argument that proposes a new way to increase customer retention rates.

Related: 26 Logical Fallacies and How To Spot Them

4. Evaluation argument

An evaluation argument is an argument that is used to evaluate whether a particular element is "good" or "bad." For this argument to work, those participating in the argument must first come to an agreement as to the criteria of "good" and "bad." For example, you may make a list of the most widely recognized standards or protocols for judging a particular issue.

5. Narrative argument

A narrative argument is an argument in which an individual states their case by telling a story that illustrates a point directly related to the argument. Unlike other arguments which rely solely on figures and facts, narrative arguments allow individuals to use a narrative to express their stance on a particular issue. For example, an employee may describe their experience with another company's customer service representatives to make a stance on a change the employee wants to make in their own company's customer service approach.

6. Toulmin argument

The Toulmin argument was developed by Stephen E. Toulmin and is an argument that is composed of six different parts: claim, grounds, warrant, qualifier, rebuttal and backing. In this argument, the claim is what the arguer wishes to prove; the grounds of the argument are the facts and evidence that support the claim; the warrant is what links the grounds to the claim; the backing is additional warrant support; the qualifier is used to show that the claim does not always apply to all situations and the rebuttal is acknowledging that there are other valid viewpoints for the claim.

7. Rogerian argument

A Rogerian argument is an argument used to determine the best possible solution to a particular issue based on the interests and needs of all parties involved. This type of argument is used to help those with opposing viewpoints reach a common ground by allowing them to look at a situation from a different perspective. In a Rogerian argument, both parties acknowledge the opposition and build trust by identifying each others' merit.

Related: What's the Importance of Critical Thinking in the Workplace?

8. Classical Western argument

A classical Western argument is used to persuade a group of people of the validity of an argument and/or reveal the truths that define or affect the argument. This is a basic type of persuasive argument and typically includes five different components: an introduction, narration, confirmation, refutation, and a conclusion.

Classical arguments are often used when an individual or group wants to be more aggressive or direct, or when someone wants to establish power with another individual or group. Many people who use the classical argument wrap up their conclusion by incorporating appeals to the audience's motivations, values and feelings to help them identify with the argument.

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