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Structuring Arguments

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Maya Redlinger

on 3 February 2015

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Transcript of Structuring Arguments

created by Sonja Foss and Cindy Griffin
Main ideas:
show attention and respect to other person
helps understand the other point of view
also called rhetorical listening
establishes connections between people
goal isn't winning an argument, its working together
Chapter 7
Structuring Arguments
There Are 3 Main Types
of Arguments

Split class into 2 sides
During a round, each side will send up two players
whichever side has the most points at the end of the game wins and gets a prize!
We will read off a question from the category
Whichever pair slaps the board first and answers the question correctly will win the point for that round!
One player will spin the wheel for a category
Before talking about argument structures, here is some good vocab you should know:
Rogerian Argument Structure
Invitational Argument
Classical Oration
Rogerian and Invitational Arguments
Toulmin Argument
adapted from the nonconfrontational principles of psychologist Carl Rogers
Inductive reasoning
specific examples
Deductive reasoning
for example:
general principal + specific case
for example:
my dog barks
all dogs can bark
I have a dog
dog 1 can bark
dog 2 can bark
dog 3 can bark
conclusion action
since my dog barks, I should get it a muzzle
The Classical Oration
Toulmin Argument
Modern version:
5 parts
Making Claims
Toulmin arguments begin with claims
debatable and controversial statements or assertions you hope to prove.
Good claims often come from experience
Support the claim by finding evidence to back it
Personal Experience
Attach reason to claims
Lines of Argument
Originally used by the Greeks and Romans
When it was first used, it consisted of 6 parts
Structure of a Classical Oration
Alternative Arguments
Example of a classically formatted Argument: Lincoln's First Inaugural Address

Those who nominated and elected me did so with full knowledge that I had made this and many similar declarations and had never recanted them
Introduction- Exordium
Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the Southern States that by the accession of a Republican Administration their property and their peace and personal security are to be endangered. There has never been any reasonable cause for such apprehension.
Indeed, the most ample evidence to the contrary has all the while existed and been open to their inspection. It is found in nearly all the published speeches of him who now addresses you. I do but quote from one of those speeches when I declare that—I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.
The South feels threatened by my election because I am a republican
Fear of me and the Republicans/threats of secession are unnecessary and counterproductive because I am not going to interfere with slavery where it exists
Common Ground:
You, the people, are the ones responsible for voting me into the presidency with full knowledge of my stance on slavery
Paragraphs 3-4
Background- Narratio
Those who nominated and elected me did so with full knowledge that I had made this and many similar declarations and had never recanted them; and more than this, they placed in the platform for my acceptance, and as a law to themselves and to me, the clear and emphatic resolution which I now read:
Resolved, That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.
I now reiterate these sentiments, and in doing so I only press upon the public attention the most conclusive evidence of which the case is susceptible that the property, peace, and security of no section are to be in any wise endangered by the now incoming Administration. I add, too, that all the protection which, consistently with the Constitution and the laws, can be given will be cheerfully given to all the States when lawfully demanded, for whatever cause—as cheerfully to one section as to another.
No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall in consequence of any law or regulation therein be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.
Quotes campaign platform
Paragraphs 4-6
Quotes Constitution Article IV section 2
Lines of Argument- Partitio/Confirmatio
Paragraphs 12, 14-15
I hold that in contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution the Union of these States is perpetual. Perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in the fundamental law of all national governments. It is safe to assert that no government proper ever had a provision in its organic law for its own termination. Continue to execute all the express provisions of our National Constitution, and the Union will endure forever, it being impossible to destroy it except by some action not provided for in the instrument itself.
Descending from these general principles, we find the proposition that in legal contemplation the Union is perpetual confirmed by the history of the Union itself. The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed, in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774. It was matured and continued by the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It was further matured, and the faith of all the then thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged that it should be perpetual, by the Articles of Confederation in 1778. And finally, in 1787, one of the declared objects for ordaining and establishing the Constitution was "to form a more perfect Union."
But if destruction of the Union by one or by a part only of the States be lawfully possible, the Union is less perfect than before the Constitution, having lost the vital element of perpetuity.
"in order to form a more perfect Union"
Perpetuity is part of perfection
Uses logic to establish that the Constitution intended for the Union to be perpetual
Alternative Arguments- Refutatio
Physically speaking, we can not separate. We can not remove our respective sections from each other nor build an impassable wall between them. A husband and wife may be divorced and go out of the presence and beyond the reach of each other, but the different parts of our country can not do this. They can not but remain face to face, and intercourse, either amicable or hostile, must continue between them. Is it possible, then, to make that intercourse more advantageous or more satisfactory after separation than before? Can aliens make treaties easier than friends can make laws? Can treaties be more faithfully enforced between aliens than laws can among friends? Suppose you go to war, you can not fight always; and when, after much loss on both sides and no gain on either, you cease fighting, the identical old questions, as to terms of intercourse, are again upon you.
Plainly the central idea of secession is the essence of anarchy. A majority held in restraint by constitutional checks and limitations, and always changing easily with deliberate changes of popular opinions and sentiments, is the only true sovereign of a free people. Whoever rejects it does of necessity fly to anarchy or to despotism. Unanimity is impossible. The rule of a minority, as a permanent arrangement, is wholly inadmissible; so that, rejecting the majority principle, anarchy or despotism in some form is all that is left
One section of our country believes slavery is right and ought to be extended, while the other believes it is wrong and ought not to be extended...
from Paragraphs 25, 27, 28
Acknowledges Southern fears of anarchy
Recognizes the dispute between the two sides over slavery
Series of rhetorical questions to refute the effectiveness of secession-- would either side really be better off if they were separate entities?
Conclusion- Peroratio
Paragraphs 33-35
My countrymen, one and all, think calmly and well upon this whole subject. Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time...
In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to "preserve, protect, and defend it."
I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.
Plea to audience- please think through your decision before you take action
Neither I nor government are going to provoke Civil War; it is up to you
Even though there is high tension, we are not enemies; we are friends
Parts of the Toulmin Argument

Claim - What you want to prove

Evidence- support and explanation, why the claim is valid

Warrant- connection between claim and evidence

Backing- Support for warrant (why it is a rational assumption)

Qualifier- add specificity to claim, and making the claim less vulnerable to further rebuttal

Rebuttal- potential objections to claim

people should not argue until they can fully understand and sympathetically state the other person's position
acknowledge that alternate claims exist and might be reasonable under certain circumstances
inference that connects the claim to the evidence
typically implicit (unstated)
ex. same sex marriages are mostly long lasting and successful have had no negative impact on the world, it should not be banned
ex. A Nov. 2011 study by UCLA's Williams Institute reported that the rate at which legally recognized same-sex couples (in marriages or civil unions, etc.) end their relationships is 1.1% on average, while 2% of married different-sex couples divorce annually.
ex. Legalizing gay marriage will not harm the institution of marriage, and same-sex marriages may even be more stable than heterosexual marriages.
Describes the conflict
show understanding of alternative positions
Ex: Students don't follow the dress code so it should be checked more often.
describes when alternative positions may be valid
Ex: Checking dress code more regularly might prevent students breaking dress code if everyone was checked every day.
Writer's Position
writer states his/her position on the issue
describe when it would be valid
Additional logic and reasoning to support the warrant
Ethos, Pathos, Logos
Ex: The dress code should be changed to allow more options for the students, such as allowing any type of polo or school shirt and any type of pants (other than jeans).
ex. Same-sex marriages in fact have a positive effect
on our world, for they adopt children to be raised in a loving environment by two fully capable parents
- A June 2014 peer-reviewed University of Melbourne study showed that children raised by same-sex parents score about six percent higher than the general population on measures of general health and family cohesion.
- A study published in Pediatrics on June 7, 2010 found that children of lesbian mothers were rated higher than children of heterosexual parents in social and academic competence and had fewer social problems.(emotional)
- I have a friend who was raised by two mothers, who scored a 2200 on her SAT on her first try and is top of her class
Benefits to opponent
why the opponent should change their mind and agree with the writer
Ex: More students would come to school in dress code because they would have more control over what they wear.
qualifiers are phrases or words giving limitations to your argument
specifies argument
makes argument less vulnerable to rebuttal
Unqualified claim: Same-sex marriages are more successful than those of heterosexual marriages
Qualified Claim: Same-sex marriages are TYPICALLY more sucessful than those of heterosexual marriages.
Conditions of rebuttal
understanding and reacting to these conditions are important in terms of supporting your claims
if a warrant seems frail, revise the claim
It is important to understand rebuttal and anticipate objections
created by Sonja Foss and Cindy Griffin
Main Idea: pay close attention to other argument and show understanding
Goal: work together and establish connections with people
also called rhetorical listening
Uses publicly known information to remind that he does not believe it is in his delegated presidential powers to eliminate slavery
impossible to have more perfection when not united
Wrapping up
Works Cited

M.V. Lee Badgett and Jody L. Herman, "Patterns of Relationship Recognition by Same-Sex Couples in the United States," williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu, Nov. 2011
Lindsey Bever, "Children of Same-Sex Couples Are Happier and Healthier than Peers, Research Shows," washingtonpost.com, July 7, 2014
Full transcript