IDENTIFYING CLAIMS:EXPLICIT & IMPLICITRooneyEnglish 207
Warning:          There is MUCH in this presentation to           wrap your head around.          Don’t panic. 
Parts of an Argument          Claims          Reasons
Evaluating an Argument          Validity of the argument          Analyzing logic and evidence
Analyzing an Argument          Identify the claim: what is the single unifying idea the argument wants           you to b...
Basic Argument Outline       Claim/Thesis: (Only one per argument)       R1)   Explicit Reason Supporting Claim:          ...
Explicit and Implicit ClaimsExplicit                          Implicit Usually found in argument        Assumptions & co...
Basic Argument Outline       Claim/Thesis: Jack murdered Jill          Explicit Reason Supporting Claim: because he shot ...
Determining Validity       Step 1:       State the source’s Claim or Thesis as       accurately and clearly as possible.
Determining Validity       Step 2:          Locate and summarize the Explicit Reasons           (ERs); state the ER as if...
Determining Validity       Step 3:          Locate the Implicit Reasons (IRs) for each Explicit Reason.          To find...
Determining Validity       Step 4:          Now, for each ER, find two sets of information:               a) evidence th...
Final Thoughts          Note that this process may reveal flaws           and inconsistencies in the source’s           a...
Review:Finding Explicit and Implicit Claims1.   State the source’s Claim or Thesis as accurately and     clearly as possib...
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Identifying claims

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  • Introductory notes.
  • The claim is simply the main idea the argument attempts to present or defend – in writing, it’s often called “the thesis” - there can also be subclaims.
  • We judge the validity of an argument by analyzing its logic and evidence; logic refers to the relationship between reasons or premises in an argument; how those reasons are combined to reach a conclusion
  • “Analyzing” means "to take apart" (literally: "to dissolve"), to identify and label those parts, and to examine the relationship between the different parts. This is as true of arguments as it is of “psychoanalysis” or simply analyzing why your car won’t start.  To analyze an argument we (go over slide)Note that the method presented above will not only help us judge the validity of an argument; it will also show us how to construct valid or persuasive arguments. Simply put, if you can see an argument’s underlying structure (especially if you can outline it on paper), you can easily begin to both judge and write arguments.The hardest part of this process is usually identifying the Implicit Reasons for the simple reason that these are often, as the name implies, not actually stated in the argument itself; they are only implied (implicit = implied = assumed but often unstated).  However, identifying the Implicit Reasons often or usually unlocks its most important elements of the argument.
  • When analyzed, all arguments will look something like this:
  •   1) Explicit Reasons: These are most often found stated in the argument itself. We can easily identify them by linking them to the claim by the word or concept “because”.  For example, if I claim that Bubba is “Guilty of murder” the first explicit reason is probably something like because “he killed Bobby Ray”.  2) Implicit Reasons: Normally found in key Assumptions and Context: when, where and why who does what. Assumptions often infer values, and values are often dependent on context.  For example, let’s say the argument provides compelling, seemingly valid evidence that Bubba did indeed kill Bobby Ray. In other words, the first explicit reason has been supported and we judge it valid.  However, the logical link between “kill” and “murder” is only implied  and has yet to be established.  The difference between “kill” and “murder” will be determined by values and context:  did Bubba kill Bobby Ray on purpose, in an accident, in self defense, during a time of war…?  These will determine whether or not, in this case, the claim is valid.
  • How are Implicit Reasons proven or dis-proven?  In this case, the values will be codified in the law, and the context will be determined by examining the evidence.    Claim: "Bubba murdered Bobby Ray"    Explicit Reason: because "he shot him while in deer camp"    Implicit Reason: "he shot him on purpose"    Implicit Reason: "the shooting was not somehow justified" etc.So, to prove our argument we would need to find evidence supporting both the Explicit and Implicit Reasons. Proving the Explicit Reason will be easy, and can be done with references to facts, but proving the Implicit Reasons will get messy and will require context.  Note also how each Implicit Reason will generate its own argument. 
  • 1) State the source’s Claim/Thesis as accurately and clearly as possible; whenever possible, try to do so quoting the author’s own language/words.
  • Locate and summarize the Explicit Reasons (ERs); state the ER as if it followed the Claim and the word “because”. Again, whenever possible, do so using direct quotes.  Explicit Reason Example “…because it is threatening the salmon population.”
  • 3) Locate the Implicit Reasons (IRs) for each Explicit Reason. This will do a combination of two things: it will state/clarify/make obvious the logical principles that connect the Explicit Reason to the Claim, and in so doing it will usually state/clarify/make obvious the cultural principles or values that connect the Explicit Reason to the Claim. To find the IR: write an “IF the IR (is true), THEN Claim (is true)” sentence. You may need or want to broaden the Explicit Reason to state a general value or rule. But be careful to state the line of reasoning as charitably and accurately as possible. Implicit Reason Example:  “IF something threatens the salmon population, THEN  it should be removed” or, without the “IF, THEN” formula, the Implicit Reason could also read: “threats to the salmon population should be removed” or, “the value of saving salmon outweighs the value of the dams”
  • Now, for each ER, you will need two sets of information: a) evidence that the Explicit Reason is true and b) evidence that the Implicit Reason is true:             a) Locating evidence the ER is true is usually a matter of locating quotations and/or factual information. For our example, you simply need to prove that the dams indeed threaten the salmon population. Note proving this will be a matter of data, of numbers and facts. b) Locating evidence the IR is true can be trickier, as the IR is usually implied in the overall context the source speaks to.  Since the implicit reason usually refers to values (valuing salmon, valuing dams), and because context refers to “who, what, where, when, why”, you will usually find there are no universal appeals to Implicit Reasons:  if your farm depends on Snake River dams, you will value the dams more than, say, if your livelihood depends on salmon fishing.
  • Note that this process may reveal flaws and inconsistencies in the source’s argument. You may find, for example, that locating the Implicit Reason disproves the argument.  For this reason, sometimes simply analyzing an argument leads directly to evaluating it: once you’ve taken it apart, it may be obvious why it doesn’t work. More likely, though, this process will reveal the heart of the argument and point us to the real issues that need to be settled. If everyone agrees that Bubba shot Bobby Ray, there’s no point spending a lot of time on this element of the argument. The analysis may reveal that we only disagree about whether or not the shooting was justified or intentional, so that’s where we need to invest our time.
  • A list of procedures and steps, or a lecture slide with media.
  • Identifying claims

    1. 1. IDENTIFYING CLAIMS:EXPLICIT & IMPLICITRooneyEnglish 207
    2. 2. Warning:  There is MUCH in this presentation to wrap your head around.  Don’t panic. 
    3. 3. Parts of an Argument  Claims  Reasons
    4. 4. Evaluating an Argument  Validity of the argument  Analyzing logic and evidence
    5. 5. Analyzing an Argument  Identify the claim: what is the single unifying idea the argument wants you to believe?  Separate the reasons from the other elements of the argument (such as appeals to other Line of Argument)  Separate the reasons from each other  Identify and state the implicit reason behind each of these explicit reasons (this is the hard part)  Identify the evidence necessary to prove each reason and evaluate whether or not the argument has adequately presented that evidence.  Examine the logic used to connect all these elements to the claim.
    6. 6. Basic Argument Outline Claim/Thesis: (Only one per argument) R1) Explicit Reason Supporting Claim: Evidence/Proof Supporting Explicit Reason: Implicit Reason/Assumption/Warrant: Evidence/Proof Supporting Implicit Reason: Evaluation Of This Reason; Why Is It Valid Or Invalid?: R2) Explicit Reason Supporting Claim: Evidence/Proof Supporting Explicit Reason: Implicit Reason/Assumption/Warrant: Evidence/Proof Supporting Implicit Reason: Evaluation Of This Reason; Why Is It Valid Or Invalid?: (and so on)
    7. 7. Explicit and Implicit ClaimsExplicit Implicit Usually found in argument  Assumptions & context Easily identified by linking (when, where & why) to “because”  Often infer values Example:  Values are dependent on  Jack is guilty of murder context  (because he killed Jill)  Example:  what is the difference between kill and murder? (on purpose, self defense, time of war?)
    8. 8. Basic Argument Outline Claim/Thesis: Jack murdered Jill  Explicit Reason Supporting Claim: because he shot her on the way down the hill  Evidence/Proof Supporting Explicit Reason: ??  Implicit Reason/Assumption/Warrant: he shot her on purpose  Evidence/Proof Supporting Implicit Reason: ??  Implicit Reason/Assumption/Warrant: the shooting was not justified  Evidence/Proof Supporting Implicit Reason: ??  Evaluation Of This Reason; Why Is It Valid Or Invalid?
    9. 9. Determining Validity Step 1: State the source’s Claim or Thesis as accurately and clearly as possible.
    10. 10. Determining Validity Step 2:  Locate and summarize the Explicit Reasons (ERs); state the ER as if it followed the Claim and the word “because”.  Example: “…because it is threatening the salmon population.”
    11. 11. Determining Validity Step 3:  Locate the Implicit Reasons (IRs) for each Explicit Reason.  To find the IR: write an “IF the IR (is true), THEN Claim (is true)” sentence.  You may need or want to broaden the Explicit Reason to state a general value or rule.  State the line of reasoning as charitably and accurately as possible.  Example:  “IF something threatens the salmon population, THEN it should be removed”  or, without the “IF, THEN” formula, the Implicit Reason could also read:  “threats to the salmon population should be removed” or, “the value of saving salmon outweighs the value of the dams”
    12. 12. Determining Validity Step 4:  Now, for each ER, find two sets of information:  a) evidence that the Explicit Reason is true and  b) evidence that the Implicit Reason is true:  ER Evidence = quotations and/or factual information. For our example, you simply need to prove that the dams indeed threaten the salmon population. Note proving this will be a matter of data, of numbers and facts.  IR Evidence = tricky - the IR is usually implied in the overall context the source speaks to. Since the implicit reason usually refers to values (valuing salmon, valuing dams), and because context refers to “who, what, where, when, why”, you will usually find there are no universal appeals to Implicit Reasons: if your farm depends on Snake River dams, you will value the dams more than, say, if your livelihood depends on salmon fishing.
    13. 13. Final Thoughts  Note that this process may reveal flaws and inconsistencies in the source’s argument.  More likely, though, this process will reveal the heart of the argument and point us to the real issues that need to be settled.
    14. 14. Review:Finding Explicit and Implicit Claims1. State the source’s Claim or Thesis as accurately and clearly as possible.2. Locate and summarize the Explicit Reasons (ERs); state the ER as if it followed the Claim and the word “because”.3. Locate the Implicit Reasons (IRs) for each Explicit Reason.  To find the IR: write an “IF the IR (is true), THEN Claim (is true)” sentence.  You may need or want to broaden the Explicit Reason to state a general value or rule.  State the line of reasoning as charitably and accurately as possible.4. Now, for each ER, find two sets of information:  evidence that the Explicit Reason is true and  evidence that the Implicit Reason is true
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