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The toulmin model
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The toulmin model

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  • 1. Background Stephan Toulmin was born March 25, 1922 and was a British philosopher who worked on a great deal of subjects ranging from ethics, science, and moral reasoning. He is the inventor for many theories of reasoning that we accept today.
  • 2. Toulmin Model One of his writings is, The Uses of Argument, in it he proposes six steps any successful argument should have. Claim, Grounds, Warrants, Backing, Rebuttal, and Qualifiers.
  • 3. Claim A claim is the statement somebody makes that is trying to convince you to support their position. A claim must be made against the status quo in order for your argument to have substance.
  • 4. Claim Claims can be of policy, value, or fact. Policy Claim- Something is to be done or ought to be done Value Claim- Something is good or bad Fact Claim- Something is or will be.
  • 5. Grounds The grounds are your support of the claim you have made. They are the evidence, here is included any statistics you may have on the subject and personal knowledge whether formal education or work experience.
  • 6. Warrants The warrant is the logic that is underlying the argument. It is a generally understood law that most people can agree on. You can usually understand why someone is making an argument based on this step. Is the building block of an argument.
  • 7. Backing Is a more detailed support of an argument. In this stage you must make more of an effort to support your argument with statistics, charts, and grand scale information to support your claim It is in a way a more general support of the grounds
  • 8. Rebuttal In a perfect world you do not need a rebuttal because everything you say will apply in the best way possible. However in our world, it is important to consider the, “unlesses”, there are always ways that a good plan can fail. You always have to account for that.
  • 9. Qualifiers A qualifier tones down your claim to make sure your argument is more honest. Take for example a school change, no matter how effective it is some students will still fail. It is better to use, most likely, then everyone will.

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