Building an Argument


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Let's have fun with an outrageous claim.

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Building an Argument

  1. 1. Building an Argument Let’s have fun with an outrageous claim.
  2. 2. Arguments have layers. Claim Reasons Evidence Warrants Acknowledgements / Responses
  3. 3. Claim What do you think? • Your response becomes your thesis and includes – Topic – Stance / Opinion Until we really understand climate and how it works in relation to the Earth, we can not accept global warming as truth.
  4. 4. Qualifications for Claim Until we really understand climate and how it works in relation to the Earth, we can not accept global warming as truth. • Is this claim contestable? • Does this claim declare something? • Is this claim supportable with evidence? • Does it pass the reversible test? • Is the claim laid out well?
  5. 5. Reasons Why do you think that? 1. There are numerous examples of both cooler and warmer areas on Earth. 2. There are a number of natural phenomenon that happen regularly that can cause cooling (El Nino, volcanic eruptions). 3. There are effects beyond our own atmosphere that control climate (solar flares). 4. There are natural cooling and warming periods on Earth – both mini and long term. 5. We do not have enough detailed data on climate history to say how much effect our activity has on our climate.
  6. 6. Qualifications for Reasons • Do your reasons explain why you think the audience should accept your claim? • Do they represent judgments not shared by your audience? • Do your reasons rest on evidence?
  7. 7. Evidence How do you know that’s true? • There is that show mini warming and cooling trends lasting years – recent and last two centuries. • The Little Ice Age • Medieval Warm Period. • Solar flares and weather effects. • Mount Pinatubo and other volcanoes
  8. 8. Qualifications for Evidence • Could it be looked up? • Is the evidence not contestable (at least for the time being)? • Is it comprised of representations of states of affairs that are treated as facts? • How closely do you need to match your readers’ expectations? • How strongly will your readers resist your claim –will your evidence need to be stronger if they will be more resistant? Along with that, how fully do you expect your readers to accept your claim? • The four maxims of quality evidence 1. Is it accurate? 2. Is your reporting of evidence accurate enough? 3. Is your evidence representative? 4. Are you using reliable sources?
  9. 9. Warrants Why do the reasons and evidence support the claims? • My evidence shows that there are changes in the patterns throughout recorded history that we have thoroughly explained. • This information shows there is a lot we do not know about climate. • Until we understand it better, we can’t know exactly how much impact human activity has on climate change.
  10. 10. Qualifications for Warrants • Does is assert a logical connection between your reason/evidence and your claim? • Does the warrant include both your reason and your evidence? • Can it be assumed, or does it need stating? Warrants Checklist: 1. What is your warrant? 2. Is it true? 3. Are your specific reasons/claims legit examples of your warrant? i.e. does your reason match your warrant, and does your claim match your warrant
  11. 11. Acknowledgements / Responses What about alternative views or contrary evidence? • There are recording setting high temperatures in many places recently. • WE have had higher temperature trends in recent years in many places worldwide. • There are some extreme weather patterns that include melting of ice caps and droughts in unusual places. • There is increased human activity where we know pollution is being put out at increasing amounts. It must have a negative impact.
  12. 12. Qualifications for Acknowledgements & Responses • Acknowledgements: – Raise alternative views, reasons, claims, warra nts – Show how an argument can be located amongst a field of other arguments – Give a nod to possible concerns you think your audience may have with the argument • Responses: – Accept or reject an acknowledged alternative or explain problems within your own argument.
  13. 13. Avoid the Weak Remember: A flag that your paper is weak are the phrases • This a controversial topic. • This is a topic that everyone is debating. • This is a very serious topic. Are you saying any of these things? Then revisit your topic and your research.