I believe there are four main categories of argumentation, with one subcategory that is combined as needed with the primary four:
- Religious: Either defending or vilifying the authority of spiritual works.
- Rousing: Appeals made on emotional grounds. Generally, these are smokescreens and hold negligible weight upon scrutiny. Because each side displays equal passion and because riling emotions is not the front where progress can be made, emotional arguments should be swept away almost immediately. This includes sarcasm and verbal sparring.
- Reasoning: Logical progressions, syllogisms, comparisons and contrasts, philosophy, and the like.
- Research: Clinical studies and meta-analyses. These, however, do not reflect true daily situations and cannot account for every possible variable.
- Reality: The undeniability of our human experience; existentialism in its true meaning; what we go through each day. This subcategory is reflected in some of the arts — music, movies, poetry and such — and fits easily with the prior categories and can be used to support them at will.
Though, for instance, the religious may use their sacred text more and the analytical may use research more and the ignorant may use sarcasm more, all sides utilize all four categories to undergird their perspective. They are wise to do so. No single category can solve a disagreement, but cumulatively they clarify each perspective overall.
Know when and when not to use each.