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Making Strong Claims The goal of any argument is to change the mind or perspective of your audience In order to do this, you need to provide a claim that is interesting/important and reliable evidence for believing the claim.

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making strong claims
Making Strong Claims
  • The goal of any argument is to change the mind or perspective of your audience
  • In order to do this, you need to provide a claim that is interesting/important and reliable evidence for believing the claim.
  • Thus, the core to any researched argument is the combination: Claim + Evidence
qualities of a strong claim
Qualities of a Strong Claim
  • 1) Claims must be Substantive
  • 2) Claims must be Contestable
  • 3) Claims must be Specific
claims must be substantive
Claims must be Substantive
  • Claims need to say something substantive about the subject you are discussing
  • A lack of substance usually indicates a aimless walk through of data
  • Substantive claims should cause interest in the subject for the reader
claims that are not substantive
Claims that are not Substantive
  • This paper will discuss the role of evolution on the Galapagos Islands.
  • Evolution is a process that can occur on Earth
claims that are not substantive5
Claims that are not Substantive
  • This paper will discuss the role of evolution on the Galapagos Islands.
  • Evolution is a process that can occur on Earth
  • Neither claim tells us anything about Evolution, nor do they inspire the reader to challenge their beliefs
claims that are substantive
Claims that are Substantive
  • This paper will discuss the role of evolution on the Galapagos Islands.
  • In the 1970s, two British scientists demonstrated aspects of evolution that even Darwin never saw
  • Evolution is a process that can occur on Earth
  • All species on Earth go through the same evolutionary processes in the same way.
claims must be contestable
Claims must be Contestable
  • Significance is related to the claims’ contestability
  • No one contests claims that the reader already believes
  • Should force the reader to ask for evidence to support the claim. (Must ask the reader to change or challenge their preconceptions)
claims that are not contestable
Claims that are not Contestable
  • Darwin went to the Galapagos Islands to research his theory of evolution.
  • The Smithsonian Naturalist Center shows a wide variety of species
claims that are not contestable9
Claims that are not Contestable
  • Darwin went to the Galapagos Islands to research his theory of evolution.
  • The Smithsonian Naturalist Center shows a wide variety of species
  • Neither claim challenges the beliefs of the reader, nor do the encourage the reader to ask for evidence to support the claims
claims that are contestable
Claims that are Contestable
  • Darwin went to the Galapagos Islands to research his theory of evolution.
  • Darwin’s discoveries provided indisputable evidence of “Common Ancestry”
  • The Smithsonian Naturalist Center shows a wide variety of species
  • The Naturalist Center provided evidence for a variety of species, but no evidence of adaptation within each species
claims must be specific
Claims must be Specific
  • The claims should avoid vague language
  • Include concepts the reader should look for in the argument
  • Should cover all of the major concepts of the argument
claims that are not specific
Claims that are not Specific
  • The principles behind evolution are very important
  • I learned a lot at while I was at the Smithsonian Naturalist Center
claims that are not specific13
Claims that are not Specific
  • The principles behind evolution are very important
  • I learned a lot at while I was at the Smithsonian Naturalist Center
  • Neither claims provides any specific information, nor do they help the reader prepare to understand the evidence
claims that are specific
Claims that are Specific
  • The principles behind evolution are very important
  • Neo-darwinism is Darwin’s theory of evolution coupled with Mendel’s theory of heredity
  • I learned a lot at while I was at the Smithsonian Naturalist Center
  • At the Naturalist Center we studied variation, adaptation, and mutation
qualities of a strong claim15
Qualities of a Strong Claim
  • 1) Claims must be Substantive
  • 2) Claims must be Contestable
  • 3) Claims must be Specific
slide17
The human genome project has provided lots of evidence for the make-up of our genes
  • Not substantive, not contestable, and not specific
slide19
The human genome will be seen as the most important discovery of the last century
  • Not specific
slide20
Every human cell contains all of the information necessary for the functioning of all aspects of the human body
slide21
Every human cell contains all of the information necessary for the functioning of all aspects of the human body
  • Not contestable
slide23
My debate topic will be about the role of the human genome project
  • Not substantive (also not very contestable or specific)
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