Everything’s An Argument Argument Despite the graphic on the previous slide, argument is not just a contest of opposing forces or a contentious quarrel. Argument A better way to think of argument is that a process of reasoned inquiry or rational discourse seeking mutual ground. Therefore… We engage in argument whenever we think clearly about our world. 3 Types of Argument Fact Value Policy Arguments of Fact State that something is or is not the case. These arguments include claims of definition and claims of cause. Examples: AP students do better in college. Computers enhance learning in the classroom. The media is responsible for short attention spans. Mercury in the food chain causes cancer. Arguments of Value State that something is or is not desirable. They involve evaluations of quality or worth according to some accepted criteria. Examples: Ernest Hemingway’s novel Farewell to Arms is of significant literary merit. Preemptive war is or is not a justifiable practice. Bill Clinton was or was not a good president. Arguments of Policy State that something should or should not be done. These types of arguments make recommendations for practice or implementation. Examples: The minimum wage should be increased. Stem cell research should be funded. The designated hitter should be eliminated from baseball. An Effective Argument Engages the audience. Encourages the reader to consider the positions as reasonable and valuable. Voice is reasoned, trustworthy, honorable. Uses classic appeals to logos, pathos, ethos. A Reasonable Voice Sees not two sides to an issue but multiple perspectives. Anticipates objections to its position. Recognizes and respects complexity. Presents the argument as the conclusion to a logical process. A Qualified Argument The most effective arguments are qualified ones. The Toulmin Model Stephen Toulmin, (1922-2009) British philosopher, scientist, ethicist. The Uses of Argument, 1958 He created a model for understanding rhetoric and argument. Some Terms of Argument A claim is an assertion. It’s “the conclusion you reach after testing the evidence that supports your belief.” — Kathleen Bell in Developing Arguments. The support consists of the data used as evidence, reasons, or grounds for the claim. The warrant expresses the underlying assumption that links the data and the claim. The Toulmin Model (2) Given data (1) Therefore claim follows (5) qualifiedly (3) Since warrant (6) Unless (rebuttal) (4) Because (backing) Data – Claim - Because In reading research you learn that .... ____________ So you can claim that … _____________ Then ask: What are some warrants that support the claim? ______________ What are less obvious warrants — ones of value, belief, ideology? _________________ Data – Claim - Because How will audience react? Do I need more ________________? What is the strength of my claim? ______________ Who will disagree? Why? Why is my claim stronger? ___________________ Layout Claim: [Conclusion of argument] Where are we going? Grounds: [Facts, data] What do we have to go on? Warrant: [Authorizes how to move from the grounds to the claim] Is this trip legit? What road will get us there? Layout Backing: [If the move from grounds to claim isn’t obvious] Why is this road safer? Qualifier: [Strength of step from data to warrant] How certain are we at arriving at our destination? Rebuttal: [When is move from data to claim NOT legit?] When should we decide not to take the trip? Resources Grimes, William. Stephen Toulmin, A Philosopher and Educator, Dies at 87. New York Times. December 22, 2009. Scanlon, Lawrence. Writing Persuasively. 2006-2007 AP English Language and Composition Workshop Materials. The College Board, 2006.
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