In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Argumentation

  • Introduction
  • General Overviews
  • Textbooks
  • Anthologies
  • Journals
  • Conferences
  • Defining Argument
  • Argument Schemes
  • Fallacies
  • Multimodal Argument
  • Domains of Argument
  • Deliberation and Argumentation
  • Argument and Style
  • Argument and Emotion
  • Presumption and Burden of Proof

Communication Argumentation
Beth Innocenti
  • LAST REVIEWED: 23 June 2023
  • LAST MODIFIED: 23 June 2023
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756841-0013


Two broad divisions characterize orientations to studies of argumentation by communication scholars and scholars in other disciplines. First, communication scholars perform descriptive and normative studies of argumentation, as well as studies that attempt to integrate these two perspectives. Descriptive studies typically employ qualitative and social-scientific research methods and may analyze argumentation both in laboratory and in real-world settings. Normative studies typically employ humanistic research methods and analyze argumentation in the public communication. Second, scholars may view argumentation as more of an epistemological activity—one that generates knowledge or justifies belief—or as more of a practical activity that is designed to achieve a variety of outcomes, such as persuasion, consideration of a proposal, or acceptance of a premise. Various basic questions are addressed by argumentation research: How should we define “argumentation”? How should we analyze it? How should we evaluate it?

General Overviews

The interdisciplinary nature of Argumentation research may explain a dearth of general overviews. Wenzel 1990 continues to serve as a clarifying framework for approaching argumentation research. Van Eemeren, et al. 2014 is the most comprehensive overview. Dutlih Novael 2022 covers fundamental topics in argumentation research and mainly philosophical sources that address them. Hundleby 2021 also covers fundamental topics and mainly philosophical sources but from a feminist perspective.

  • Dutlih Novael, Catarina. 2022. Argument and Argumentation. In The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. Edited by Edward N. Zalta and Uri Nodelman. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ.

    Overviews basic topics including definitions of argument, types of arguments (e.g., adversarial and cooperative, epistemic, consensus, conflict management), argumentation theory, argumentation with respect to various disciplines (e.g., computer science, psychology, communication), and more. Good resource for philosophical sources and a view of argumentation from a primarily philosophical perspective.

  • Hundleby, Catherine E. 2021. Feminist perspectives on argumentation. In The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. Edited by Edward N. Zalta. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ.

    Overviews basic topics, including the definition of argument, goals of arguing, informal logic and rhetorical perspectives, and fallacies. Describes feminist approaches and perspectives on these and other topics. Critiques assumptions and starting points of argumentation research. Focuses mainly on philosophical sources but includes sources in rhetoric and communication. Good introduction to feminist perspectives on argumentation for students and scholars.

  • van Eemeren, Frans H., Bart Garssen, Erik C. W. Krabbe, A. Francisca Snoeck Henkemans, Bart Verheij, and Jean H. M. Wagemans. 2014. Handbook of argumentation theory. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer Verlag.

    DOI: 10.1007/978-90-481-9473-5

    Comprehensive introduction to argumentation with pragma-dialectical orientation. Covers historical background and contemporary developments. Organized in part around approaches to argumentation, including dialectical, informal logic, communication studies and rhetoric, linguistics, and pragma-dialectics. This source is suited for institutional libraries but is cost prohibitive for most personal libraries.

  • Wenzel, Joseph W. 1990. Three perspectives on argument: Rhetoric, dialectic, logic. In Perspectives on argumentation: Essays in honor of Wayne Brockriede. Edited by Robert Trapp and Janice Schuetz, 9–26. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland.

    Outlines three perspectives on argument that can serve as a framework for understanding a wide array of argumentation research. Describes rhetoric, dialectic, and logic perspectives. Covers different views of argument (process, procedure, process) and different accounts of argument purposes, scope and focus, situations, resources, standards, and roles. A clear, broad overview accessible to newcomers.

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