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Valid Claims and Arguments. Oregon City High School English Dept. Abstract.

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valid claims and arguments

Valid Claims and Arguments

Oregon City High School English Dept.

  • A common mistake people make when trying to persuade others, or in the course of an argument, is that their claim(s) are not valid. Without valid grounds for making a claim, the claim can be very easily disregarded as an uninformed opinion. As such, it is of extreme importance that students learn to make valid claims and arguments.
validity well grounded or justifiable
Validity: well grounded or justifiable.
  • What is validity—what makes something valid?
    • A. Grounded in fact and/or logical reasoning.
    • B. It is rational and reasonable—it DOES NOT suppose extraordinary circumstances.
    • C. Citation or Quotation or Combo (Data, Fact, Numbers, Studies, etc.).
    • D. Cannot be easily dismissed.
    • E. Cannot be said of opposing argument.
logical claims arguments
Logical Claims/Arguments
  • Logical Claims stand on their own, and are based on simple observations, or by applying logic and reasoning to a given situation (think about using inference and critical thinking).
  • Example: The sun rose yesterday, today, and everyday before that as long as humans have existed; therefore, the sun will rise tomorrow.
your turn using logic
Your Turn Using Logic
  • Given the following information, what is a logical extension or educated guess one could make about the following scenarios?
    • Half of the cost of garbage pick up is eaten up by gas and equipment.
    • Isn’t it strange that 51% of all children born are girls?
    • Mr. Kerr was sure upset today after 5th period.
    • The Zoo, unfortunately, had to give up its Penguins as a result.
data supported claims
Data Supported Claims
  • Data supported claims use statistical information to serve as a basis for making a claim. This usually comes in the form of a citation or quotation.
  • A citation or quotation is where the writer takes data, a fact, or an expert’s opinion, etc., to back up their argument or claim. These are some of the most effective and persuasive arguments in the professional world.
citations and quotations
Citations and Quotations
  • Citation: when a writer uses data in a paper in their own way, but gives the creator of the data credit.
    • Example: The penguins were shown to have been exposed to the poison for several months (Grant et al, 87).
  • Quotation: when a writer takes something someone else said or wrote and uses it in their paper by putting quotations around their exact words.
    • Example: The penguins, “had been exposed to the poison over the course of 6 months, based on blood and stool samples (Grant et al, 87).”
data supported claims1
Data Supported Claims
  • Example: Currently, almost 50% of prison inmates are black, even though African Americans represent only 10% of the U.S. population; therefore, the law enforcement policies of the U.S. and the various states are racist, at least in terms of statistics.
  • Hint: the statistics are facts, but whether you agree or disagree, the claim could be argued, right?
your turn using data
Your Turn Using Data
  • Read the first article on “Mean Girls.”
  • Find 2-3 facts or pieces of data in the article that strike you as interesting.
  • Next (you may work with your table partner) write 2-3 sentences using the information to make a claim. Make sure you either cite or quote the information correctly (ask if you don’t know how).
rhetorical arguments
Rhetorical Arguments
  • Rhetorical arguments are unlike logic or data based claims, in that they rely on two factors:
    • 1) The reader must agree with your premise.
    • 2) The language in the argument must be strong, powerful, and convincing.
    • Question: are rhetorical arguments valid?

NOTE: One of the most common forms of rhetoric is when people ask a rhetorical question, like when your parents say, “well are you going to jump off a bridge just because Heather did?”

what s a premise
What’s a premise?
  • A premise is an opinion that you assume your readers agree with, for example:
    • All men are created equal.
  • The idea of equality is an idea or concept we take for granted in America—in other words, it is a premise we already agree with.
  • Thus, in the U.S., arguments are often made based on the premise of equality, but in reality, is it VALID to say that everyone is equal, or not?
rhetorical questions
Rhetorical Questions
  • NOTE: One of the most common forms of rhetoric is when people ask a rhetorical question, like when your parents say, “well are you going to jump off a bridge just because Heather did?”
  • A rhetorical question is a question where the answer is obvious—when the question seems to answer itself.
  • Engagement: turn to a person near you and ask them a rhetorical question.
rhetoric strong language
Rhetoric: Strong Language
  • Example: The Giants, powered by a beast of a defensive line, and led by their fearless, peerless quarterback Eli Manning, manhandled the Patriots on their way to winning the Super Bowl.
  • Example: If Oregon City High School truly values free speech, then the dress code rules are a clear and egregious attack on our First Amendment rights.
  • Hint: when using rhetoric, it is important to use strong and powerful language in order to persuade the reader to agree with your claim and premise.
your turn rhetoric logic
Your Turn: Rhetoric/Logic
  • Now read the CNN article.
  • Find 2 examples of how the author uses rhetorical language to make a claim or statement that is not technically valid. Explain why?
  • Find 2 examples where the author uses logical reasoning to make a claim. Save them for discussion.
  • WARNING: please do not mark the article! Write your answers on a separate piece of paper please! These need to be used more than once!