Claim-Evidence-Warrant:A Model for Analyzing Arguments(adapted from the work of Stephen Toulmin) Claim Definition: A claim states your position on the issue you have chosen to write about. A good claim is: • A good claim is not obvious. Why bother proving a point nobody could disagree with? • A good claim is engaging. Consider your audience’s attention span and make claims which point out new ideas: teach the reader something new. • A good claim is not overly broad. Attacking enormous issues leads only to generalizations and vague assertions; keep it manageable. • A good claim is logical; it emerges from a reasonable consideration of the evidence. However, this does not mean that evidence has only one logical interpretation.
Example of a Claim When a person is cold he/she has very few options to keep warm. The Snuggie is the best way to stay warm and be able to function because of its unique design. Why is this a good claim?
Evidence Definition: the evidence or data which you cite to support your claim.Like a lawyer presenting evidence to a jury, you must support your claim with facts; an unsupported claim is merely an assertion. Data can include: • Facts or statistics: objectively determined data about your topic. • Expert opinion:Learned opinion, theory, and analysis that you should cite frequently, both to support your argument and to disagree with. Sources must be quoted, paraphrased, and cited appropriately. • Primary research: an explanation and discussion of your own research findings and how they relate to your topic.
Example of Evidence Two out of three Americans say they are often cold when they only use a blanket. Experts say that Americans are unhappy about their current temperature situation. The Snuggie lets a person hold his/her child securely, make phone calls, eat snacks, read, and many other practical things all while staying warm. Its design allows for enough arm and leg room to be completely warm which was the ultimate goal of the NASA scientists who created the Snuggie.
Warrant Example If a person turns on the heat he/she is wasting money which should be spent on important things like food. Blankets just do not do the best job because they do not cover completely, and they do not stay in one place when performing basic tasks, and most blankets do not cover more than one person, which means if the person has a small child, he or she will usually be cold if they are on the couch together. If a person is too cold then he or shecan get sick, or (in extreme situation) frostbite which can result in a loss of limbs. It is very important to stay warm but not be confined to the couch so that he or she can be more productive. Ultimately, the Snuggie helps solve all of these problems. It is the only blanket that can provide the warmth and support a person needs throughout the harsh winter season.
Assignment (to be completed in your notebook as a new item (#38)). • In no fewer than 8 sentences, use the CEW format to convince me that one of the following is better than its counterpart. Label each of the three parts as you are using them (i.e. claim, evidence, warrant). • Rap Music vs. Country Music • Hunger Games vs. Twilight • Baseball vs. Basketball • Professional Football vs. College Football • Cheerleading vs. Gymnastics • Xbox vs. Play Station • Coffee vs. Tea • Starbucks vs. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf