In both formal and informal logic, a main contention or conclusion is a thought which is capable of being either true or false and is usually the most controversial proposition being argued for. In reasoning, a main contention is represented by the top of an argument map, with all supporting and objecting premises which bear upon it placed underneath.
In the context of argumentative text, it is the point that the author wants to convince you to believe - the culmination of all their reasoning. The main contention provides an answer to the following types of questions:
- "Why is the author bothering to tell me these things?"
- "What is the main point the author is trying to convince me of?"
- "What is the most important thing the author is arguing for or against?"
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