, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 97–114

Argumentative Text as Rhetorical Structure: An Application of Rhetorical Structure Theory


DOI: 10.1023/A:1007794409860

Cite this article as:
Azar, M. Argumentation (1999) 13: 97. doi:10.1023/A:1007794409860


Rhetorical Structure Theory (RST), as a tool for analyzing written texts, is particularly appropriate for analyzing argumentative texts. The distinction that RST makes between the part of a text that realizes the primary goal of the writer, termed nucleus, and the part that provides supplementary material, termed satellite, is crucial for the analysis of argumentative texts.

The paper commences by determining the concept of argument relation (argument + conclusion) and by briefly presenting RST. It continues by identifying five of RST's rhetorical relations of the satellite/nucleus schema (Evidence, Motivation, Justify, Antithesis, Concession) as five argument relations, each being, logically or pragmatically, a special kind of argument: Evidence being a supportive argument, Motivation an incentive argument, Justify a justifier argument, and Antithesis and Concession persuader arguments. To illustrate, an analysis of three short texts concludes the paper.

Argument relation argumentative text persuasion rhetoical relation rhetorical structure text analysis writer's intention 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Azar
    • 1
  1. 1.Hebrew Language DepartmentUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael

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