Brief example of a rant / ineffective written argument?
September 25, 2013 1:09 PM   Subscribe

Brief example of a rant / ineffective written argument? Possibly from a discussion forum, content thread, or review site?

I am teaching a writing class for adults, and tomorrow we cover argumentation. We're reading some examples of persuasive arguments, and I'm introducing them to Aristotle's gloss on what makes an argument good.

What I need to find now is a brief example of a really *bad* argument. I'd especially like it to be a 'rant'—something overly emotional, perhaps just stating a personal preference (I hate x-y-z) rather than attempting to persuade. I'd love it to be 500 words or less, something my students could critique and re-write in small groups during an hour of class time.

I thought this kind of thing would be really easy to find on the internet (obviously they're out there), but a couple hours of searching have brought me up short.

Does anybody have one near at hand?
posted by toomuchkatherine to Writing & Language (11 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Maybe a Prince of Petworth rant? http://www.popville.com/2013/09/random-reader-rant-andor-revel-906. Or a craigslist rant?
posted by semacd at 1:18 PM on September 25, 2013


Springs1 is legendary for boneheaded rants, often involving ranch dressing.
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:30 PM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't have time to dig for one online, but in a pinch, go to a library and look at the many critical thinking textbooks (e.g. Vaughn, "The Power of Critical Thinking"). There are often end-of-chapter exercises that present ranty arguments for the purpose of identifying fallacies.
posted by Beardman at 1:30 PM on September 25, 2013


If you want an example of a non-brief rant, there's also Gene Ray's argument for the existence of four simultaneous days within one rotation of the planet.
posted by Beardman at 1:33 PM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Go to Reddit! Check out the dopier comments at r/politics, r/worstof, etc.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:54 PM on September 25, 2013


This one is my personal favorite right now
posted by magnetsphere at 1:55 PM on September 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


Probably too short, but the first thing to pop into my head was the infamous "But honestly, Monica" response from the Cooks Source debacle.
posted by Skybly at 2:01 PM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


This constituent letter to the Wisconsin legislature is, um, yeah.
posted by The World Famous at 2:50 PM on September 25, 2013


"Logical Rudeness" by Peter Suber
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:11 PM on September 25, 2013


all sorts of logic gotchas here (Context: Mountain Equipment Coop - Canada's version of REI)
posted by seawallrunner at 6:37 PM on September 25, 2013


This short decision from a Federal court, issued just within the last couple of days, shows, not the rant, but the consequences.
posted by yclipse at 8:16 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


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