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The Toulmin Model: How we will approach reading, analyzing and writing this year
Stephen E. Toulmin • philosopher and rhetorical theorist • born in England in 1922 • received his Bachelor’s degree at King’s College and his Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Cambridge
More on Toulmin • Toulmin taught at the University of Southern California from 1993 - 2009 • In 1958, Toulmin offered his model of argumentation: a way to compare “truths”
Toulmin Model has three main parts: Toulmin’s Model Claim Data Warrant
Toulmin Model, cont. • Simply: • A Claim is made. • Data is provided in the form of supporting facts. • The Warrant connects the Data to the Claim.
Example #1 • “I am an American.” (Claim) • “My mother was an American citizen when I was born.” (Data) • Anyone born of an American citizen is a legal American citizen. (Warrant) • Toulmin says that the Claim and the Data cannot hold without a sufficiently strong Warrant, or, the weakest argument is the one with the weakest warrant.
Example #2 The U.S. Postal service is wasteful and inefficient. The proposed new mail distribution agency will be wasteful and inefficient. Claim: The proposed new mail distribution agency will be wasteful and inefficient. Data: The U.S. Postal service is wasteful and inefficient. Warrant: the two situations are similar (Reasoning by analogy)
Let's try one together This is the coldest winter since 2000. My heating bills are going to be outrageous. Claim: Data: Warrant:
And another one together I work hard in class, do my homework every night and study for tests. I am going to ace Ms. Rohde's class! Claim: Data: Warrant:
Types of Claims fact: claims that have historical backing judgment/value: claims involving opinions and attitudes policy: claims advocating courses of action that should be undertaken
Types of Data Fact or Statistic: a point of data that claims some objective Expert Testimony: a stated opinion by a person experienced in the field Personal Anecdote: personal experience gained from time in the related field
Connecting the Claim and Data underline a claim, warrant (if it states one) and data in the article create a diagram of the claim, warrant, and data that looks like the example below Claim: ------------------ Data: Smoking is bad It causes lung cancer Warrant: Lung cancer is bad.
Observation 1 Inherency SPS tech exists, but it needs money Claim: ------------------ Data: SPS exists, but no $$ R&D makes tech better - Warrant: if we had invested money, SPS would already work now.
Observation 2 Harm Global Warming is happening now because of humans Claim: ------------------ Data: Warming now - 2000 was warmest year ever - coal and fossil fuel use by humans trap heat. - natural causes couldn’t have caused all the temp rise Warrant: if we had invested money, SPS would already work now.
Observation 2 Harm Global Warming will destroy the planet Claim: ------------------ Data: Warming -> destroy planet Warrant:
Observation 3 Solvency SPS will solve warming before too late – break the dependence on fossil fuel Claim: ------------------ Data: Warrant:
Observation 3 Solvency SPS best Alt energy source Claim: ------------------ Data: Warrant:
Observation 3 Solvency SPS cheap, work well, and possible Claim: ------------------ Data: Warrant: