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Is Your Argument Logical?. Considerations for Evaluating Reasoning, Evidence, and their Connection (with thanks to Ms. McCorkle). Toulmin Argument. Toulmin’s structure requires writers or speakers to TEST their ideas and analyze arguments. Toulmin Parts.
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Is Your Argument Logical? Considerations for Evaluating Reasoning, Evidence, and their Connection (with thanks to Ms. McCorkle)
Toulmin Argument • Toulmin’sstructure requires writersor speakers to TEST their ideas and analyze arguments
Toulmin Parts • CLAIM--debatable and controversial statement or assertion that you hope to prove • EVIDENCE AND REASONS--personal experience, anecdotes, facts, authorities, etc. • WARRANTS--the logical connection between the evidence and the claim
Toulmin Example • CLAIM: The legal age for drinking should be lowered. • REASON: I have been drinking since the age of fourteen without any problems. • WARRANT: What works for me should work for everyone else. Evaluate the warrant: Is this logical and reasonable?
Sometimes you may want to reverse the order of your information. Consider presenting your evidence first and then leading to your claim: • REASON: I have been drinking since the age of fourteen without any problems. • WARRANT: What works for me should work for everyone else. • CLAIM: So, the legal age for drinking should be lowered.
Consider Your Audience • Agreeing – You don’t really need to argue your point. • Neutral – The audience hasn’t thought about the issue or doesn’t feel strongly one way or the other • Wavering – The audience has though about the issue and sees benefits to both sides • Disagreeing – Since these readers oppose you, think about what you have in common and how you can establish common ground. You want to do this with all readers, but especially disagreeing.
Language and Tone • Toulmin’s structure acknowledges the complications of life in arguments • Avoid the use of absolute language (will, always, never, etc.) • Use language that allows for exceptions to the majority (sometimes, often, presumably, unless, and almost)
Recognize Opposing Views • Acknowledge an opposing view – admit it exists and have given it serious consideration • Accommodate opposing views - acknowledge possible concerns and accept some of them by incorporating them into your argument. • Refute opposing views – demonstrate the weakness of the opponent’s argument.