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Critical Thinking. Eng II. Claims. A claim is a statement that identifies your belief or position on a particular issue or topic. Example: Both the Democratic and Republican parties have work to do after this election. Types of Claims. Fact Conjecture Value Policy. Fact.

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Critical Thinking

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  • A claim is a statement that identifies your belief or position on a particular issue or topic.
  • Example: Both the Democratic and Republican parties have work to do after this election.
types of claims
Types of Claims
  • Fact
  • Conjecture
  • Value
  • Policy
  • States that something is true, that an event occurred, that a cause can be identified of that a theory correctly explains a phenomenon.
  • Example: Obese children are at risk for heart disease and diabetes.
  • Suggests that something will happen in the future.
  • Example: The economy will improve next year.
  • Asserts the worth of something – good or bad, right or wrong, best, average or worst.
  • Example: Ben is the best applicant.
  • Plagiarism is unethical.
  • Recommends a course of action or a solution to a problem.
  • Example: Our state should ban smoking in public places.
  • All college students should take a communication course.
  • Conclusion based on claims of fact.
  • Fact: Julia has missed the last three meetings.
  • Inference: Julia does not care about the meetings.
  • Fact: Five students are failing freshman English.
  • Inference: The students are lazy
  • The students don’t come to class.
  • The students don’t understand the topic.
constructing an argument
Constructing an argument
  • Claim: State your position.
  • Data: Evidence that supports your claim.
  • Warrant: Explains how and why the data supports the claim
  • Backing: Provides support for the argument’s warrant.
  • Reservation: Recognizes exceptions to a claim.
  • Qualifier: States the degree to which a claim appears to be true.
constructing an argument1
Constructing an argument
  • The Chicago Bears are the best team in the NFC North and will win the Super Bowl.
  • The Bears have a 7-1 record and their defense has scored eight touchdowns off turnovers.
  • The Bears’ 7-1 record is better than any other team’s in the NFC North. The Bears’ defense has scored more touchdowns than some quarterbacks.
  • The team that was last 7-1 went on to win the Super Bowl.
  • The Bears will win the Super Bowl unless Cutler, Hester or Urlacher gets injured.
  • The Bears will probably win the Super Bowl.
  • Errors in thinking that leads to false or invalid claims.
  • Types of fallacies
    • Attacking the person
    • Appeal to authority
    • Appeal to popularity
    • Appeal to tradition
    • Faulty cause
    • Hasty generalization
attacking the person
Attacking the person
  • Makes irrelevant attacks against a person rather than against the content of the person’s message.
  • Examples – political campaign ads
appeal to authority
Appeal to authority
  • Using a supposed expert who has no relevant knowledge or experience on this issue being discussed.
  • Example: “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV, and I recommend that you use Nick’s Cough Syrup.”
appeal to popularity
Appeal to popularity
  • Claims an action is acceptable or excusable because many people are doing it.
  • Example: “Most of your neighbors have agreed to support the rezoning proposal.”
appeal to tradition
Appeal to tradition
  • Claims that a certain course of action should be followed because it was always done that way.
  • Example: We must have our annual company picnic in August because that’s when we always schedule it.
faulty cause
Faulty cause
  • Claims a particular event is the cause of another event without ruling out other possible causes.
  • Example: We are losing sales because our sales team is not working hard enough.
hasty generalizations
Hasty generalizations
  • Conclusions based on too little evidence or too few experiences.
  • Example: Don’t go to that restaurant. I went there once and the service was awful.