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ENGLISH 83R WEEK 11, DAY 2, 11/5/14 
THE TOULMIN METHOD OF ARGUMENTATION 
MRS. E. BUCHANAN
 Please put one of your words in a sentence on 
the board. 
 If you do not have a copy of “Rising to the 
Occasion of Ou...
STEPHEN TOULMIN 
 Contemporary philosopher 
 His method will show you how to analyze the logic of any argument. 
 He de...
MAKING CLAIMS 
 In the Toulmin model, arguments begin with claims, which are 
debatable and controversial statements you ...
THE CLAIM 
 Logical analysis beings with identifying the claim (thesis) along with any specific qualifications or 
except...
THE CLAIM 
 The author supports passive euthanasia (letting someone die by withholding or 
discontinuing treatment). 
 H...
THE CLAIM 
 Think of the claim in an argument as the most general statement in that 
argument. 
 It may not be a particu...
THE QUALIFIERS 
 How is the claim qualified? Does it include words or phrases to 
indicate that it might not hold true? 
...
QUALIFIERS 
 May qualifies his claim in paragraph 6 with the phrase “On the 
whole,” indicating that he recognizes possib...
QUALIFIERS 
 Example of a qualified claim: 
 Many books by Charles Dickens are fun to read. 
 Example of an unqualified...
IDENTIFYING EXCEPTIONS 
 Oftentimes, an author will specifically exclude from an argument certain cases or situations. Su...
DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN QUALIFIERS AND EXCEPTIONS 
 Qualifiers and exceptions are similar in that they both put limits on ...
DATA 
 The specific evidence or reason used to support the claim (often introduced with the 
word “because” or “since”; s...
EXAM THE REASONS 
Ask yourself two questions as you examine the reasons: 
1. Does the author give really good reasons? 
 ...
EXAMINE THE REASONS 
2. Ask yourself, “Does the reason fit in with the thesis?” 
 In other words, does the relationship b...
EXAMINE THE REASONS 
 Be careful as you examine whether reasons are good and whether they are relevant 
(relating to a su...
EXAMINE THE REASONS 
 Do you think the first reason was relevant? 
 Yes 
 Because we value the chance to prepare for de...
WARRANTS/EVIDENCE 
 What kinds of evidence are offered as support for each reason? 
 Evidence includes: data, anecdotes,...
WARRANTS/EVIDENCE 
 Look at May’s second reason in paragraph 2: “the chance to 
grieve before a loved one dies.” 
 For t...
WARRANTS/EVIDENCE 
 We would all probably like to believe that the people we argue with will accept our 
claims and reaso...
DETERMINING THE SUFFICIENCY & CREDIBILITY OF EVIDENCE 
 As you look at the evidence supporting a reason, ask yourself if ...
ANTICIPATED OBJECTIONS AND REBUTTAL 
 When we analyze an argument using the Toulmin method, we look for 
potential object...
IMAGINE SOMEONE LOOKING OVER YOUR SHOULDER 
 As you use Toulmin, image a crowd of “prospective readers” hovering over 
yo...
REBUTTAL 
 They may get on your nerves, but they’ll likely help you foresee the 
objections and reservations real readers...
EXAMPLE 
 Data: Because independent research has shown that 70% of students who 
take one A.P. class are more likely to g...
LET’S PRACTICE 
 Everyone has picked up an article on euthanasia. 
 During the one hour break you will do the following:...
SOURCES 
 Crusius, Timothy and Channell, Carolyn, The Aims of Argument. Boston: McGraw Hill. 2006. Print. 
 Writing at C...
TOULMIN ACTIVITY DISCUSSION
HOW TO RESEARCH
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Eng 83 r toulmin's method of argumentationr

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Eng 83 r toulmin's method of argumentationr

  1. 1. ENGLISH 83R WEEK 11, DAY 2, 11/5/14 THE TOULMIN METHOD OF ARGUMENTATION MRS. E. BUCHANAN
  2. 2.  Please put one of your words in a sentence on the board.  If you do not have a copy of “Rising to the Occasion of Our Death.” Please pick one up from the computer.
  3. 3. STEPHEN TOULMIN  Contemporary philosopher  His method will show you how to analyze the logic of any argument.  He developed a model that focuses on identifying the basic parts of an argument.  Before viewing the remainder of this essay, read the article “Rising to the Occasion of Our Death.”  Continue using the article as you view the PowerPoint (quiz Wed.)
  4. 4. MAKING CLAIMS  In the Toulmin model, arguments begin with claims, which are debatable and controversial statements you hope to prove.  Notice in this model the arguments depend on conditions set by others— your audience or readers.  It’s raining might be an innocent statement of fact in one situation; in another, it might provoke a debate: No, it’s not. That’s sleet.  And so argument begins, involving a question of definition.
  5. 5. THE CLAIM  Logical analysis beings with identifying the claim (thesis) along with any specific qualifications or exceptions.  First, ask yourself “What statement is the author defending?”  What do you think is the author’s claim for the “Rising” article?  It is located in paragraph 6:  [Our] social policy allow terminal patients to die, but it should not regulate killing for mercy.”
  6. 6. THE CLAIM  The author supports passive euthanasia (letting someone die by withholding or discontinuing treatment).  He opposes making the legalization of active euthanasia (giving a patient an overdose of morphine to cause the patient’s death).  The author does more than taking a side – “Euthanasia is wrong.”  His claim is more specific and detailed.  Remember, a claim is a statement you are asking the other person to accept.
  7. 7. THE CLAIM  Think of the claim in an argument as the most general statement in that argument.  It may not be a particularly general statement all by itself, and some for arguments are very narrow indeed.  But the claim is like the umbrella statement that all other parts of an argument have to fall under.
  8. 8. THE QUALIFIERS  How is the claim qualified? Does it include words or phrases to indicate that it might not hold true?  Qualifiers are words like some, most, many, in general, usually, typically and so on--little words whose value to an argument is immeasurable.
  9. 9. QUALIFIERS  May qualifies his claim in paragraph 6 with the phrase “On the whole,” indicating that he recognizes possible exceptions.  Other qualifiers include “typically,” and “most of the time.”  Careful arguing does not usually like to make absolute claims.  Qualifying words/phrases are used to restrict a claim and improve it’s defensibility.
  10. 10. QUALIFIERS  Example of a qualified claim:  Many books by Charles Dickens are fun to read.  Example of an unqualified claim:  Books by Charles Dickens are fun to read.  Without qualifying words like some or many, a claim like this can be interpreted (by the careful analytical eye) as All books by Charles Dickens are always fun for everyone to read.
  11. 11. IDENTIFYING EXCEPTIONS  Oftentimes, an author will specifically exclude from an argument certain cases or situations. Such exceptions serve to restrict a claim, so that it is understood to apply in some situations but not in others.  A claim like  Most books by Charles Dickens are fun to read.  might be limited by the following exception:  Having labored over David Copperfield in high school, I would not rank that book among them.  Exceptions like this one are important, because without them, readers who would like to challenge a claim may begin to create exceptions of their own.
  12. 12. DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN QUALIFIERS AND EXCEPTIONS  Qualifiers and exceptions are similar in that they both put limits on how far a claim may be carried.  A qualifier, however, is merely a word (like some or usually) which serves to limit a claim, while an exception is an example of a case or situation in which the claim does not apply.  Most books by Charles Dickens are fun to read.  might be limited by the following exception:  Having labored over David Copperfield in high school, I would not rank that book among them.
  13. 13. DATA  The specific evidence or reason used to support the claim (often introduced with the word “because” or “since”; sometimes this is the claim of another argument).  Begin by asking yourself, Why is the writer promoting this claim?  Look for any statement or statements that are used to justify the thesis.
  14. 14. EXAM THE REASONS Ask yourself two questions as you examine the reasons: 1. Does the author give really good reasons?  A reason is only as good as the values it implies.  A value is something we think is good or worth pursuing.  For each reason specify the values involved and determine whether you accept those values.
  15. 15. EXAMINE THE REASONS 2. Ask yourself, “Does the reason fit in with the thesis?”  In other words, does the relationship between the claim and the reason hold up to examination?  Example: You should buy a car from Merle Stone Chevrolet because Merle is a family man with six beautiful grandchildren.  Is a reason offered in this claim?  NO!
  16. 16. EXAMINE THE REASONS  Be careful as you examine whether reasons are good and whether they are relevant (relating to a subject in an appropriate way).  Before going any further, write down all of May’s reasons from the article.  Is this what you chose for his first reason?  Those who know they are about to die should have time to prepare for death and to seek reconciliation with people from whom they have become estranged. (Note, if you don’t know the meaning of any of the words in this sentence, be sure to look for context clues or use your dictionary.)
  17. 17. EXAMINE THE REASONS  Do you think the first reason was relevant?  Yes  Because we value the chance to prepare for death and to reconcile with estranged friends or family.
  18. 18. WARRANTS/EVIDENCE  What kinds of evidence are offered as support for each reason?  Evidence includes: data, anecdotes, case studies, citations from authority.  May’s argument is a good example of a moral argument about principles.  Therefore it does not require much evidence.
  19. 19. WARRANTS/EVIDENCE  Look at May’s second reason in paragraph 2: “the chance to grieve before a loved one dies.”  For this reason he does offer evidence – the value of advanced grieving.
  20. 20. WARRANTS/EVIDENCE  We would all probably like to believe that the people we argue with will accept our claims and reasons as perfect and complete by themselves, but most readers are unlikely to do that.  They want evidence of some sort--facts, examples, statistics, expert testimony, among others--to back up our reasons.  To be believable and convincing, evidence should satisfy three conditions. It should be sufficient, credible , and accurate.
  21. 21. DETERMINING THE SUFFICIENCY & CREDIBILITY OF EVIDENCE  As you look at the evidence supporting a reason, ask yourself if the author makes use of enough evidence to convince a reasonable reader.  It is important to decide how credible (believable and authoritative) a piece of evidence is within an argument.  As you look at the evidence supporting a reason, ask yourself whether or not this evidence matches with readers' experience of the world.  If it doesn't, does the evidence come from a source that readers would accept as more knowledgeable or authoritative than they are?
  22. 22. ANTICIPATED OBJECTIONS AND REBUTTAL  When we analyze an argument using the Toulmin method, we look for potential objections to the argument's reasons, objections which the writer expects his or her opponents to make.  Usually, these are included in arguments as opportunities for the writer to present her or his own reasons as refutations/rebuttals.
  23. 23. IMAGINE SOMEONE LOOKING OVER YOUR SHOULDER  As you use Toulmin, image a crowd of “prospective readers” hovering over your shoulder, asking questions.  At every stage in Toulmin argument— making a claim, offering a reason, or studying a warrant— you might converse with those nosy readers, imagining them as skeptical , demanding, even a bit testy.
  24. 24. REBUTTAL  They may get on your nerves, but they’ll likely help you foresee the objections and reservations real readers will have regarding your arguments.  In the Toulmin system, potential objections to a claim are called conditions of rebuttal.  Understanding and reacting to these conditions are essential to back up your claim where it is weak, but also to understand the reasonable objections of people who see the world differently.
  25. 25. EXAMPLE  Data: Because independent research has shown that 70% of students who take one A.P. class are more likely to graduate college than students who take no A.P. class.  Claim – Therefore all students who are academically prepared should have access to A.P. classes in high school.  Warrant- Since high school should prepare students for college success, students should have access to A.P. classes.
  26. 26. LET’S PRACTICE  Everyone has picked up an article on euthanasia.  During the one hour break you will do the following:  Go to Computer Commons B  Read your article – make sure to annotate!  Complete the Toulmin activity. You may work with someone else that has the same article if you wish.  Return to class at 3:15 p.m., and be ready to discuss your article.
  27. 27. SOURCES  Crusius, Timothy and Channell, Carolyn, The Aims of Argument. Boston: McGraw Hill. 2006. Print.  Writing at CSU – The Writing Studio. www.writing.colostate.edu
  28. 28. TOULMIN ACTIVITY DISCUSSION
  29. 29. HOW TO RESEARCH

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