Question by Silas G: Defending a point of view in class?
I’m in an English class which includes a lot of forensics (debate, learning how to argue, etc). I don’t want to get into what exactly it is we’re debating because I think that would affect the answers I get, but suffice it to say that everyone in class tends to agree with the author, and one of the professors.
Despite shamelessly promoting the point of view of the book (which I disagree with), the professor is a genius, especially when it comes to, well, arguing.
Case in point, today she asked everyone who had worked as a web designer to raise their hands in class today. I’ve done a lot of back-end coding and programming, but I am no commercial arts student. So when she turned around and asked me a question which, by all rights, didn’t have anything to do with web design, “as a web designer, why would you choose that picture and what message would you be trying to send with it”, I was caught off guard and couldn’t do more than “um..” and start to speak before other students, eager to “save” me, started to interrupt me and were finally called on.
Maybe it’s a little dishonest, but I thought what she did was brilliant. People pull tricks like that in the real world, and I’m in class to learn how to react when things like that happen. The thing is, I don’t really know where to begin.
I experience a lot of “esprit d’escelair”; I always know what to say about ten minutes after it would do me any good. The textbook we have for the class has a lot of info about presenting persuasive arguments in general, but nothing to cover defending one’s self in the kind of verbal sparring I encountered today.
I don’t want to be caught flat on my back again like I was today, and it’s a personal goal of mine to defend my point of view (and speak out about it in front of a class that’s terminally agreeing with eachother that’s bound to find what I have to say pretty disagreeable). I just don’t know where to get started. If I can do it here, I’ll be able to do it in the real world.
Any personal anecdotes, websites, or advice is welcome.
Answer by No Lie
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