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Structuring Arguments

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Emma Jackson

on 21 September 2012

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Transcript of Structuring Arguments

"Arguments can't be stamped out like sheet
metal panels; they have to be treated like living things - cultivated, encouraged and refined" (Lunsford, 91). Structuring Arguments A method for constructing arguments that can be expressed in thesis statements. Toulmin Argument A claim answers "what is the point?" Arguments begin with claims
Claims are statements of belief or truth that should be debatable and/or controversial.
Making Claims Every claim has at least two or three reasons. Attaching Reasons To shape arguments:
put claims and reasons together to create enthymemes A reason is a statement that offers evidence to support a claim Crucial step in Toulmin argument is learning to state the warrants that support particular claims. Determining Warrants The warrant is the connection between the claim and the supporting reasons. Backing is evidence offered in support of a warrant. Known as Toulmin argument from British Philosopher Stephen Toulmin
Helps writer think more cleary about the elements of the writing process
Summer work should not exist. Example of simple claim: Claims are not questions. Questions are asked in order to reach a claim. Summer work should not exist because it makes students sad. Enthymemes are arguments in brief Example: Summer work should not exist because it makes students sad. Example: From this, the warrant becomes What makes students sad should not exist. If the warrant is accepted by readers, specific evidence to prove the claim can be presented.
If the warrant is not accepted by the readers, the warrant would have to be defended before the claim. Offering Evidence Backing and Grounds Warrant:
What makes students sad should not exist. Example:
Sadness can lead to decreased motivation as well as a poor performance in school.
Perpetual sadness can lead to depression, making all aspects of the student's life affected by summer work.
Backing: The grounds is evidence offered in support of the enthymeme. After using backing to make readers grant the warrant, move to demonstrating the truth of the enthymeme. Enthymeme:
Summer work should not exist because it makes students sad. Example: Grounds: Summer work contributes to the rise of stress in students.
This work detracts from students being able to enjoy their summer. Qualifiers are terms and conditions that limit claims and warrants. Using Qualifiers Backing and grounds can draw from a full range of argumentative claims. Appeals to values and emotions are as appropriate as appeals to logic and facts. Qualify an argument by spelling out the terms of the claim
Qualifiers include
few, rarely, it is possible, many, in the main, in some cases, under these conditions, possibly,perhaps. Potential objections to an argument are called conditions of rebuttal. Skeptics may offer constructive criticism to help fix the claim, reason and/or warrant. Understanding Conditions
of Rebuttal Claim = Summer work should not exist.
Claim + Reason = Summer work should not exist because it makes students sad.
Warrant = What makes students sad should not exist.
Revised Claim + Reason = Extensive amounts of summer assignments should not be allowed because it is a hassle for students.
Revised Warrant = Things that are a hassle for students should not be allowed. Toulmin Teaches: Beyond Toulmin Claims should be stated clearly and be qualified
Claims should be supported by good reasons
Claims and reasons should be based on something the reader(s) will accept
All parts of an argument need solid evidence
Effective arguments anticipate objections readers might offer (constructive criticism)
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