Argumentation and language

Here, we will give you some discussion points related to the overall argumentation and language of the article “My seven-year-old-son the boxer” by Sarah Hughes.


Direct (or open) argumentation involves the author transmitting an explicit message. In this case, readers get to know the author’s point of view about a situation. Indirect (or closed) argumentation involves an implicit message and a closed text where readers need to work out the message by themselves. In “My seven-year-old son the boxer”, the argumentation is mixed.

Open argumentation

When Hughes uses direct argumentation, she states her point of view in a straightforward manner, and there is no hidden message behind her words. She also employs the first-person narrator: “I expected his excitement to dim. Like most six-year-olds he was prone to sudden enthusiasms – pirates, Furbies, football cards – which swiftly fade to be replaced by the next equally thrilling thing.”(ll. 19-23);

In the end I decide the only way to deal with my mixed feelings is to be honest. I tell Osh that I’m not keen on him boxing, but that while we’re in New York in the summer we can go to the city’s most famous gym, Gleason’s. (ll. 182-187)

Indirect argumentation

Hughes also uses indirect argumentation in her article, as she uses multiple quotes to suggest reasons for and against letting her son pursue his passion for boxing. For example, she quotes The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Paediatric Society’s joint statement abou...

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