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Toulmin’s Model of Argumentation. There are six aspects of argument These six aspects can be identified in any argument and may be used to both analyze an argument and to compose an argument. Toulmin Theory of Argument. Data (Grounds). Claim. Reservation. Warrant. Qualifier. Backing.

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Toulmin’s Model of Argumentation


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    1. Toulmin’s Model of Argumentation • There are six aspects of argument • These six aspects can be identified in any argument and may be used to both analyze an argument and to compose an argument

    2. Toulmin Theory of Argument Data (Grounds) Claim Reservation Warrant Qualifier Backing

    3. Toulmin’s Model of Argumentation • Toulmin’s model is based on the belief that the intellectual and emotional connection between a claim and the data that supports it depends upon an assumption or warrant

    4. Claim Data You should buy our tooth whitening pro- duct. Because studies show teeth are 50% whiter after using our product. Warrant People want whiter teeth

    5. Toulmin Theory of Argument Data Claim Reservation Warrant Qualifier Backing

    6. Claim - Definition • A claim is a position on the issue, the purpose behind the argument. • A claim is the point of the argument - the claim represents the conclusion that the arguer is advocating. • The claim is the essence of the argument

    7. Examples of Claims • The movie Titanic is an excellent movie • Handguns should be banned • Increases in air pollution cause increases in respiratory illnesses • Global warming is bad for our planet

    8. Toulmin Theory of Argument Data Claim Reservation Warrant Qualifier Backing

    9. Definition of Data • Data (Grounds) is the “Evidence, facts, data, and information that are the reasons for the claim in the first place • Data is significant because it establishes the basis of the argument. In effect, the data is the starting point from which all sound arguments must begin.

    10. Kinds of data Examples • In order to develop an argument that handguns lead to unnecessary injuries ands deaths, a writer may begin by citing the example of a child who carelessly shot himself while playing with a handgun.

    11. Kinds of data Testimony • In order to develop an argument that air pollution is a significant cause of genetic mutations, a writer would begin with testimony from a renowned geneticist

    12. Kinds of data Statistics • In order to develop an argument that the film Titanic is an excellent motion picture, a writer could use the statistical data that grossed over $1 billion at the box office.

    13. Toulmin Theory of Argument Data Claim Reservation Warrant Qualifier Backing

    14. Definition of Warrant • The warrant is the component of the argument that establishes the logical connection between the data and the claim • One could equate the warrant with the reasoning process used by the speaker to arrive at the claim • This is the point in the argument where audience members may not agree with the conclusions (claim) being drawn. • Warrants are largely unstated - implied

    15. Why are Warrants Important? • Warrants are essential to an argument. They make a logical connection between the accepted data and the claim • Warrants answer the often unspoken audience question - “How did you arrive at that claim based on the evidence presented?”

    16. Types of Warrants • A warrant can be classified according to purpose and type. • Authoritative Warrants - “there is a connection between these two things because this authority says so!” • Motivational Warrants - rely on appeals to the audience’s convictions, virtues, and values to support the claim - • Substantive Warrants - rely on traditional forms of logical reasoning - cause-Effect/Effect-Cause, Generalization based on series of examples

    17. Toulmin Theory of Argument Data Claim Reservation Warrant Qualifier Backing

    18. Definition of Backing • Backing is support material that supports the Warrant in the argument • Backing can help audience members understand the reasoning used in the Warrant • Without backing, audience members may question the reasoning in the argument.

    19. Why is Backing Important? • Without backing, the Warrant for the claim may lack support and the audience may not accept the claim • Backing appears to have its greatest effect on the credibility of an argument or speaker. With backing, the argument seems more credible. Without it the argument seems lacking.

    20. Types of Backing • Backing can include any type of support material. Most commonly, backing consists of one or a combination of the following: • Statistics • Examples • Testimony

    21. Toulmin Theory of Argument Data Claim Reservation Warrant Qualifier Backing

    22. Reservation (Rebuttal) - Definition • A Reservation or Rebuttal is an exception to the claim presented by the arguer. • In Toulmin’s model, arguments are not considered universally true. The reservation demonstrates how arguments can be strengthened via limitations of the argument.

    23. Reservation (Rebuttal) - Examples • If an arguer claimed that air pollution was the number one risk to the environment, an exception to this claim would be in the area surrounding Chernobyl. The nuclear hazard around Chernobyl far outweighs air pollution.

    24. Reservation (Rebuttal) - Examples • If an arguer claims that Titanic is an exceptional motion picture because it is enormously popular, an exception to this claim would be the film The Lost World. The Lost World was enormously popular and an embarrassingly bad motion picture

    25. Toulmin Theory of Argument Data Claim Reservation Warrant Qualifier Backing

    26. Qualifiers: Examples • If a writer was arguing that Titanic was a film that people would enjoy, the writer may state that people “will probably” enjoy the film. The writer is demonstrating to the audience that he or she cannot predict with certainty the subjective experience of others.

    27. Authoritative Warrants • A writer claims we should exercise more if we want to live longer. Warrant states experts believe exercise improves the body • A writer claims handguns should be banned - Warrant states that experts believe handguns cause needless death • A writer claims raising global temperatures will change global weather patterns. Warrant states that experts believe ocean water temperatures control world weather patterns

    28. Motivational Warrants • A writer claims Titanic is the best movie of all time; the Warrant states that Titanic appeals to all of our romantic tendencies-note the argument wouldn’t be effective if the reader was an unromantic clod • A writer claims that we need to control global warming for our grandchildren’s sake; the Warrant appeals to those who have children or plan to have them. It would not be an effective Warrant for a confirmed bachelor

    29. Substantive Warrants • Writer claims the government should tax companies according to the pollution they produce; the Warrant is that pollution causes damage to health • Writer claims we should vacation in Mexico over spring break; the Warrant is it’s easiest to relax when the weather is warm • Writer claims if we don’t do something about global warming we will have more storms like Katrina. Example to generalization reasoning

    30. Writing the Toulmin Sentence • Claim - People should wear seatbelts • Support - High rate of serious injury in accidents when seatbelts are not worn • Warrant -Serious injury should be avoided • Backing - serious injury is costly, painful, and dangerous • Qualifier - Typically • Reservation - cases where seatbelts may be dangerous like small children • Rebuttal -High rate of serious injury when seatbelts are worn

    31. The Toulmin Sentence • Because (data as support), therefore, or so (qualifier?) (claim), since (warrant), because, or on account of (backing), unless (reservation). • Because of the new cell phone law, in most cases no one should call while driving since it is good to obey the law because if the law is broken it means a heavy fine unless, of course, there is an emergency.

    32. The … TheToulmin Sentence – another example Because of the high rate of serious injury in accidents when seatbelts are not worn, in most instances we should all wear seatbelts. This is true because avoiding serious injury is good. Serious injury can be costly, painful, and dangerous. Of course there are situations when seatbelts may be dangerous such as in the case of small children who might have their necks broken by the seatbelt. While some may say there is a high rate of serious injury when seat belts are worn, such as when the car goes underwater or bursts into flames, having a device to cut the seatbelt near at hand in such cases is better than not wearing a seatbelt at all.