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Toulmin Schema

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Bryan Johnson

on 26 March 2013

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Transcript of Toulmin Schema

Organizing All of the Pieces Toulmin Schema Enthymeme Grounds and Backing Toulmin Outline Example Enthymeme = Claim + Reason Warrants Warrant: the often unspoken assumption for why a particular reason is valid for the claim being made Grounds: Supporting evidence meant to convince your audience to accept your reason as true or correct (GRRR) Buckyballs Back in Stores Claim: the assertion that you are attempting to prove
e.g. "Consumers should buy the newest Corvette." Reason: the premise meant to prove your claim as valid or best
e.g. "The newest Corvette is better than all previous models." Enthymeme: "Consumers should buy the newest Corvette because it is better than all previous models." -or- "The newest Corvette is better than all previous models, therefore consumers should buy it." Enthymeme: "We should not move into this neighborhood because the houses are being fumigated for cockroaches." Claim: We should not move into this neighborhood. Reason: The houses are being fumigated for cockroaches. Warrant: The presence of pests makes a place undesirable to live in. Each enthymeme in your argument will have its own warrant. Warrants connect each reason to the claim. Sometimes the warrant remains unstated in your final persuasive essay, and sometimes it must be explained and defended. Search Warrants Claim: The police should be allowed to search this house. Reason: The police suspect that the house contains illegal drugs. Warrant: Suspicion of an illegal substance justifies the search of a location. Stephen Toulmin Philosopher, 1922-2009 Rejected argument models based on formal logic in favor of a more audience-based, courtroom model of argument Two main ideas behind Toulmin Schema:
all assertions and assumptions are contestable
"verdicts" on persuasiveness of opposing arguments is rendered by a neutral third party (just like a judge or jury) Meant to anticipate counterarguments and to construct an argument that appeals to a larger group than those that already agree with us Backing: Supporting evidence or arguments meant to convince your audience to accept your warrant as true or correct (BmW) Claim: "We should not move into this neighborhood." Reason: "The houses are being fumigated for cockroaches." Grounds: Evidence showing that the houses are being fumigated for cockroaches.
Large fumigation tents on homes
Testimony by residents of cockroach problem
Type of poisons being used Warrant: "The presence of cockroaches makes a neighborhood undesirable to live in. Backing: Evidence showing why cockroaches are bad for residents of a neighborhood.
Data on the diseases roaches carry
Property value rates for pest-infested homes
Personal discomfort Rebuttal and Qualifiers Rebuttal: possible resistance to or refutation of one or more elements of the argument (reasons, grounds, warrants, and/or backing) Be aware that your paper will (hopefully) have more than a single reason for your claim, so you will end up with multiple enthymemes (claim + each individual reason) Qualifiers: words or phrases used to limit the force of a claim and indicate the degree of its probable truth (e.g. "very likely," "most," "sometimes") Claim: "We shouldn't elect Joe as committee chair." Reason: "Joe is too bossy." Grounds: Evidence of Joe's bossiness. Examples of the way he dominates meetings--doesn't call on people, talks too much
Testimony about his bossiness from people who have served with him on committees
Anecdotes about his abrasive style Rebuttal: Evidence that Joe is not bossy or is only occasionally bossy. Counterevidence showing his collaborative style
Testimony from people who have liked Joe as a leader and claim he isn't bossy; testimony about his cooperativeness and kindness
Anecdotes showing Joe's bossiness aren't typical Qualifier: "Joe is often too bossy." Warrant: Bossy people make bad committee chairs. Backing: Problems caused by bossy committee chairs. Bossy people don't inspire cooperation and enthusiasm
Bossy people make others angry
Bossy people tend to make bad decisions because they don't incorporate advice from others. Rebuttal: Arguments that show bossiness is good or that diminish how much bossiness is considered as a limiting factor Sometimes bossy people make good chairpersons
Argument that this committee needs a bossy person who can make decisions and get things done
Argument that Joe's good leadership traits outweigh his bossiness Qualifier: Bossy people typically make bad committee chairs. Adapted from Writing Arguments, Concise Edition: A Rhetoric With Readings, Fifth Edition, by Ramage, Bean, and Johnson Claim: Major retailers like Amazon and Walmart should resume sales of Buckyball products. Reason 1: The Buckyballs website store has seen a dramatic increase in sales over the past three months. Grounds: Evidence of increase sales.
Information from Buckball site about number of sales in past three months vs. previous months
Testimony from CEO about amount of recent sales Rebuttal: Buckyball website information may not be objective
Qualifier: Evidence indicates an increase, the website supports this Rebuttal: Sales increase result of blowout sales, not new interest
Qualifier: Increased sales in part from blowout sales, times x to y Warrant: Increased sales on website would mean increased retail sales Backing: Evidence of other times when increased website sales = increased retail sales Rebuttal: Site sales do not necessarily relate to retail sales
Products where site sales did not relate to retail
Number of sales does not reflect profit made Qualifier: Increased website sales may indicate higher sales in the retail market.
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