Toulmin model of argumentation
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  • 1. Toulmin Model of Argumentation English 10
  • 2. Court Case Scenario• In a courtroom, there are 2 sides: the prosecution and the defenseImagine that a case involves a student being charged with grand theft auto…
  • 3. Court Case Scenario • The Prosecution’s claim would be…he is guilty! • But is that enough? • No… • What does the prosecution need to present? • Proof! • Ex: he was caught with the keys, the car is in his garage, his fingerprints are on the car
  • 4. What do you use to defend a case?• The proof used to persuade a jury is like the data used to persuade an audience to believe one’s claim.• You must use logic (logos) in an argument• You may also use emotion (pathos) to affect an audience
  • 5. Who is Toulmin? • Stephen Toulmin was a British author, philosopher, and educator (passed away Dec. ’09) • Studied rhetoric (using language as a means to persuade) • Developed a model of argumentation that involves the following terms: claim, data, and warrant.
  • 6. Choosing Your Toulmin Essay Topic• You can write an essay about literally anything – shoes, politics, cars, people, etc.• Regardless of what kind of subject you choose – whether its based on knowledge or experience – you must have an opinion about your subject.• Opinion: A belief not based on absolute certainty or positive knowledge, but on what seems to be true, valid, or probable to ones own mind or judgment.
  • 7. Creating an Opinion• Every opinion that you are considering as a potential essay topic should be checked against these questions:• 1) Can a valid argument be made against it?• 2) Can I defend it logically against this argument?• If you can answer yes to both these questions, you can be reasonably sure that you are on the trail of an interesting topic.
  • 8. TOULMIN: INTRODUCTION / POSITION STATEMENT• Your Toulmin essay will begin with an introduction.• Typically, you want to engage the reader, introduce the subject, acknowledge the opposition, and end the introduction with your THESIS STATEMENT (the opinion that will guide the body of your paper)
  • 9. THESIS STATEMENT• The thesis statement is the LAST sentence of your introduction paragraph.• It outlines the body of your paper by stating your overall opinion and outlining your three main points in the order you will be talking about them.• Ex: There should be stricter bans on smoking (opinion) because it is detrimental to the smoker (1), people around the smoker (2), and the environment (3).
  • 10. TOULMIN BASIC STRUCTURE• After the intro paragraph, you will begin your body paragraphs.• Each body paragraph will include the following terms:• POSITION STATEMENT: topic sentence that presents the argument/opinion• CLAIM: opinion; a more specific sub opinion• DATA: research that backs up the claim• WARRANT: sums up claim; confirms it; shows WHY the DATA supports the CLAIM• CONCLUDING STATEMENT: generalizes and reinforces everything mentioned within the paragraph.
  • 11. CLAIM-DATA-WARRANT• Example of a common knowledge argumentative paragraph• (PS): Hats are inappropriate in a classroom setting.• (C): A student is often inattentive when he/she wears a hat.• (D): It is easier for students to fall asleep when hats are permitted.• (W): Therefore, hats should not be worn in school if they distract from one’s education.
  • 12. TOULMIN BASIC STRUCTURE• Each body paragraph will have ONE TOPIC SENTENCE or POSITION STATEMENT, and three sets of “claim-data-warrant.”• (C), (D), (W)• You will eventually form three body paragraphs for your Toulmin essay• Each body paragraph will end with a CONCLUDING SENTENCE, as well.
  • 13. TOULMIN BASIC STRUCTURE• Intro with attention grabber, general information, and acknowledgment of opposition, leading to THESIS• Body Paragraph 1: (PS), (C1), (D1), (W1), (C2), (D2), (W2), (C3), (D3), (W3), (CS)• Body Paragraph 2: (PS), (C1), (D1), (W1), (C2), (D2), (W2), (C3), (D3), (W3), (CS)• Body Paragraph 3: (PS), (C1), (D1), (W1), (C2), (D2), (W2), (C3), (D3), (W3), (CS)• Conclusion that begins with the THESIS, restates main points, and leads to a CALL TO ACTION or OVERALL GENERALIZATION
  • 14. TOULMIN: POSITION STATEMENT (PS)• Begins each body paragraph• Also called the topic sentence• States an OPINION• Takes a POSITION on an issue, and must be supported by the rest of the paragraph
  • 15. TOULMIN: THE CLAIM (C) • The CLAIM is the conclusion you have drawn in support of your position • This statement must be strong and eloquent, well- thought and polished. • Ex: “Dress codes are not good” is a WEAK claim.
  • 16. TOULMIN: THE CLAIM (C)• Do NOT use passive voice in your writing.• What is passive voice?• This occurs when the object of a sentence becomes the subject. It often uses the following words: is, am, are, was, were, etc.
  • 17. TOULMIN: PASSIVE VOICE• Passive voice: The fossil was discovered by Steve.• Active voice: Steve discovered the fossil.• Which of the following is in passive voice?• Amy sent the letter.• Jill swam across the ocean.• Jordan is eighteen.• The document is signed by the president.
  • 18. TOULMIN: THE CLAIM (C)• The claim must be arguable.• Is “I like pizza” a good claim?• Is “drinking and driving is dangerous" a good claim?• No. You can’t argue a personal opinion (and you should not use first person, anyways) and most would not argue against a claim that drinking and driving is dangerous.• The claim must be controversial AND be able to be defended.
  • 19. TOULMIN: DATA (D) • Data is the evidence or information that supports the claim; it is the proof that backs up your opinion • How do you come to an opinion? • You examine the facts. • Thus, you must research the DATA BEFORE YOU FORM THE CLAIM. • But when you write your argument, you state the CLAIM BEFORE THE DATA.
  • 20. TOULMIN: DATA (D)• EXAMPLES OF DATA to use in your essay:• FACTS• STATISTICS• EXPERT OPINION• DIRECT QUOTES• CURRENT EVENTS• LAWS/HISTORY
  • 21. TOULMIN: DATA (D)• Data must be verifiable:• It must come from a qualified source• The source is sufficiently unbiased• The source was in a position to make the observations regarding the data• The data is sufficiently recent
  • 22. TOULMIN: WARRANT (W)• Allows data to be linked to the claim• This lessens the room that opponents have to attack• The warrant provides evidence that the data does indeed support the claim and follows the claim logically• Acts as a bridge and answers the “So what?” question
  • 23. C-D-W Review• Claim = opinion• Data = evidence• Warrant = affirmation• Claim = You make a point• Data = You back up a point• Warrant = You restate the point as correct
  • 24. C-D-W Example • Claim #1: Many sports require cooperation • Data #1: For example, basketball players must pass to each other or getting the ball down the court would be more difficult • Warrant #1: Clearly, if it wasn’t for teamwork, a basketball team would likely fail.
  • 25. C-D-W Example• Claim #1: Air bags are necessary in cars.• Data #1: They lessen the impact of crash victims• Warrant #1: Therefore, air bags help to ensure the safety of passengers.
  • 26. C-D-W Example• Claim #1: Music education enriches a person’s intelligence.• Data #1: Studies prove that children who are exposed to music at a young age score higher on aptitude tests later on in life.• Warrant #1: Since music is proven to improve IQ scores, it should be part of a schools curriculum.
  • 27. TOULMIN: CONCLUDING SENTENCE (CS) • Falls at the end of each body paragraph. • May take the form of restatement of the position statement, • Or it can summarize the paragraph’s contents, • Or it can be a final comment concerning the issue at hand
  • 28. What do I need to find while researching?• Background information about topic for introduction• Possible opposing arguments to your topic to mention in introduction• Facts, statistics, laws, etc. to back up THREE different position statements that apply to your thesis• Remember, for each of those position statements, you need three claims.• Example: (PS) Smoking endangers ones health.• (C1) Detrimental to lungs• (C2) Harmful to heart• (C3) Increases risk of cancer
  • 29. KEEP YOUR RESEARCH• You must PRINT all of your sources and make sure they include the proper information to create in-text citations and your Works Cited page.• This includes information such as the web address, author, publishing date, publisher, etc.• You need to use a minimum of FOUR reliable sources in your essay