Toulmin’s argument model

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					Toulmin’s argument model

   Created by Stephen Toulmin,
  English philosopher to identify
elements of persuasive arguments
Statement (proposition, thesis) answers the
  What point will your paper try to make?
  What belief or opinion is the author
  “conclusion whose merits we are seeking to
  Ex: The American Dream in the year 2010 is
  to own as much as possible.
    Claims must be credible
  Must support with specific evidence
  Readers may ask
“How do you know this is true”
“What is this based on?”

            It is arguable
      It is precisely worded
It is qualified when necessary
 Claims must be supported—
 evidence, reasons, grounds
           for data
A. Appeals to logic
   1. Facts
   2. Data
B. Appeals to ethos
    1. Quotations from experts (cite text)
    2. Statements based on writer’s credibility
C. Appeals to pathos
    1. Anecdotal information
    2. Case studies
       Qualifiers are used
Used to clarify author’s claims; restricts and
Used to protect their credibility—saying that
the claim may not be absolute protects writer
from proving claim is true in every case.
Examples: typically, usually, for the most
part, some, several, few, sometimes
 Explains the terms and conditions
Made necessary by the qualifier.
EX: Some Americans believe that
 possession of luxuries constitutes the
 fulfillment of the American dream unless
 they have been raised in a home that
 decries this philosophy.
Inferences or assumptions shared by
the speaker and the audience
Links the claim to the support either
explicitly or implicitly (unspoken)
Answers the question: Why does that
data mean your example is true?
Ex: Today’s young women must have
designer purses, shoes.
Consists of further assurances or data
Without this backing, warrant lacks
authority—argument is not credible

   Gives voice to objections, provides conditions that might
   refute or rebut the warranted claim
1. logic is faulty
2. support is weak
3. warrants are invalid
   Then writer has created a rebuttal that supports his or her original
   opinion Ex: Many people give to charities therefore ownership is
   not the American Dream.
    Anticipated objection
 Tool to further claim
Pre-empts the counter argument by
indicating an argument that the other
side may use against your argument
EX: Some may cite the recent desire to
“pay it forward” as shown in shows such
as Extreme Makeover and Big

Admitting that opposing view is valid;
Builds upon it to further one’s own claim
Allows audience to feel valued
EX: While there is a spate of new
conscious- raising, giveaway shows, the
self-absorbed, get-rich-quick shows
outnumber them 10-1. (Unfortunately)
           Diagram of Model

Data                                  Claim

  Warrant        Qualifier   Reservation

           Sample thesis
“Because (support) therefore (qualifier?)
(claim), since (warrant) on account of
(backing), unless (reservation).
Ex: Because it is raining, (support) I should
take my umbrella,(claim) since
When asked to defend a position, one
must explain the merits of the position--
what makes it a workable, viable
position. Supporting arguments would
not merely restate, but actually develop
the position
 When asked to refute a position, one
must explain the problems with the position—
why it is not a workable, viable position.
Arguments should anticipate how the
opposing reader might react to the supporting
arguments and respond accordingly.
 When asked to qualify a position, the
writer recognizes the merits of a position
(claim) but then proceeds to disagree with the
position citing specific evidence. Avoid using
concrete adjectives; use comparative
adjectives (stronger rather than strong )
Do not over qualify—(sometimes good and
sometimes bad)
Qualifying thesis statement
qualify - you can see both sides of the
issue. In your thesis, state "I agree with
X, but disagree with Y."
Claim: what you believe your whole
argument proves
Data: what prompts you to make that
claim; that is, the facts that lead you to
believe your claim is true
Qualifier: the part of the argument that
measures the strength or force of the
claim. Is the claim always true? True in
the United States? True in modern

Rebuttal: the part of an argument that
allows for exceptions without having to
give up the claim as generally true.
For example, you could claim that most
Americans seek to own luxuries, while
admitting that a small segment of the
country deny themselves luxury and
choose to give to others. The very fact
that only a small segment denies
themselves helps to prove your general
point that most want the possessions .
DATA: Children have access to guns.
CLAIM: Stricter gun laws would reduce
children's access to guns.

BACKING: In the town of X, reported
accidents involving handguns decreased
by 1% after X enacted laws to restrict
certain types of handguns. A few other
towns in the U.S. report similar
WARRANT: Stricter gun laws
reduce access to guns.
QUALIFIER: Laws may reduce
access in some cases but not in all
QUALIFIER: Laws may reduce access in
some cases but not in all cases.

BACKING: In the town of X, reported
accidents involving handguns decreased
by 1% after X enacted laws to restrict
certain types of handguns. A few other
towns in the U.S. report similar

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