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Monday, 16 March 2015

10 Interesting Facts about Arguments

Are you among those who think that being in an argument is a negative thing, or imagine an argument as being a dispute, and will do anything to avoid one?

There is so much that can be done with arguments; debate, discussion, advocacy, propaganda, education and learning.  Question then is, what are arguments?

Arguments are elements in argumentation. An argument comprises of a claim/assertion (what you propose), support (reasons to back up your claim), and evidence (analysis, examples to further validate your claim and support).

Please note that there is a difference between arguments and argumentation. One could make arguments to advance a position, idea or view without necessarily getting involved in argumentation.

Here are 10 interesting facts worth knowing about arguments;

1. Arguments can be used to move an audience:
Through arguments, we can get people to feel or act a certain way. In a speech, an argument can be used to gain the belief of your audience. An example is the Barrack Obama’s “Yes We Can” speech.

2. They can drive points home
I bet you agree with me on this. At home, in school, board meetings, church and contests. We just can’t do without them.

3. They can redirect questioning
Prior to an argument, your audience or persons listening to you, had a particular view or mindset towards certain issues, but at the end of your argument, they is a possibility of these persons shifting their views; they begin to ask new questions based on the lines of arguments you follow. Thoughts such as; “could that be so”, “I never thought it this way”

4. Lines of arguments can be followed
This basically is the direction, pattern of reasoning or basis on which an argument is made.

5. Those who argue can take logical leaps
Those who argue go beyond the status quo; they do more than following existing lines of arguments, they create arguments.

6. They can sway opponents
Arguments are the best way to influence or change the opinion of your opponent.

7. People can retreat from claims
A claim is a basically a proposition, what this means is that a claim on its own is not an argument, therefore, we can retreat from original views we had about certain things based on the support or evidence we get from another point of view. Example; a claim that Africa is a continent can be retreated from with relevant support and evidence that shows that Africa is a continent.

8. Those who argue can push ideas
We can put forth or make our ideas known through arguments

9. Arguments can be used to advance positions
Many popular views held by the world today were advanced by means of arguments. Example; the shape of the earth is that of an Ellipsoid

10. People who argue come to conclusions
Based on the claim, support and evidence presented to us on a particular view or idea, we decide what to believe.

Alas! We’ve come to the end of today’s thought on Arguments. I am glad you are still with me, so final thoughts;

Barrack Obama argued his way to the white house, Aristotle, Einstein and other great men, made arguments to advance their ideas, theories, policies and views. Start making yours today and it could win you the next big opportunity on Opportunity Desk!

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Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Ononuju Silver from Nigeria wins the UN Exchange Learning Internship in Geneva

We are always excited to hear about your achievements and breakthroughs. Okwaraogoma Ononuju Silver is one of the people we are proud of - he has been following Opportunity Desk, applied severally and rejected severally but he never gave up and alas, got an early Christmas gift last year.

In 2014, Uju applied for the UN Exchange Learning Internship, sponsored by Irish Aid and got selected. He will also be attending the 28th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.

Read the recount of his experience below and be inspired to #keeptrying!

I always thought traveling abroad was a big deal and the opportunities available to attend them were just limited to scholarships and letters of invitation. That perspective changed when I found Opportunity Desk.  It was new to me and I couldn't believe that there are so many opportunities for young people to attend conferences, get scholarships and many more on the same platform.  

I started applying... 

And I was turned down severally.... 

I was invited for a few others but they were not fully-funded. But I continued to improve on myself and my applications. Then in 2014, I applied  for the UN Exchange Learning Internship in Geneva. To my greatest surprise I got it.  

Yes I got it... 

And courtesy of, I have the opportunity to be a part of the program and also attend the 28th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. 

What seemed far fetched and impossible is now a reality... 

I owe this trip to the entire Opportunity Desk team - you do not know the life transforming things you do. If only you knew. Sincerely I am open to working with your team to create more opportunities for other young people.

- Uju Silver

Congratulations and all the best, from all of us!

Have you been successful in any of your applications? Be an inspiration to others by sharing your story with us. Do keep us in the loop of activities as they unfold.
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