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CLAIMS. Identifying the arguer’s point. Claims. A claim is the point an arguer is trying to make. The claim is the conclusion, proposition, or assertion an arguer wants another to accept. The claim answers the question, "So what is your point?”

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CLAIMS

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CLAIMS

Identifying the arguer’s point


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Claims

  • A claim is the point an arguer is trying to make.

  • The claim is the conclusion, proposition, or assertion an arguer wants another to accept.

  • The claim answers the question, "So what is your point?”

    • example: “You should send a birthday card to Mimi, because she sent you one on your birthday.”

    • example: “I drove last time, so this time it’s your turn to drive.”

    • example: “Because the groundhog saw his shadow,there will be six more weeks of winter.”


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Clue words for identifying claims

  • Claims often follow words such as “therefore,” “thus,” and “hence”

    • example:” Ned is conservative, therefore he tends to vote for John McCain.”

    • example: “There are newspapers in the Boswell’s driveway, thus they are probably out of town this weekend.”

    • example: “The car’s engine is still warm, hence it must have been driven recently.”


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We conclude that…

Results indicate…

Consequently…

So…

In short…

It follows that…

Shows that…

Indicates that…

Suggests that…

It should be clear that…

We may deduce that…

Points to…

The point I’m trying to make is…

The most obvious explanation is…

It is highly probably that…

Proves that…

The truth of the matter is…

More clue words for identifying claims


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More about claims...

  • There are four basic types of claims:

  • fact: claims which focus on empirically verifiable phenomena

  • judgment/value: claims involving opinions, attitudes, and subjective evaluations of things

  • policy: claims advocating courses of action that should be undertaken

  • definition or classification: claims about categorization and classification


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Factual claims

  • Empirically verifiable—ultimately there is a correct answer somewhere

  • The arguers may not be able to prove the correct answer

    • example: “More than 300 innocent people have been executed in the United States.”

  • An arguer is making a factual claim even if the arguer has the facts wrong

    • example: “Dr. Gass is 6’4” tall.

  • Facts may involve the past, present, or future

    • example: “California’s Hispanic population will more than double over the next 10 years.”


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Judgment or Value claims

  • Involve matters of taste, opinion, attitudes

    • example: “Torture is wrong.”

  • Always carry an evaluative dimension:

    • positive vs. negative

    • good versus bad

    • right vs. wrong

  • Not all opinions are equally good

    • example: “Norbit was the best movie of 2007.”


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    Policy

    • advocates what should be done

      • example: “there oughta be a law…”

      • example: “You should change your motor oil every 4,000 miles.”

  • Requires someone to take a specific course of action

    • an individual

    • a legislature

    • a court

  • should ≠ would


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    definition

    • advocates a specific definition or interpretation of a concept

      • example: “Tiger Woods is African-American.”

    • often necessary to define key concepts prior to arguing claims of fact, value, or policy

      • example: “Rich people should pay higher taxes.” What constitutes “rich”?

    • often centers on what category or classification is most appropriate


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