Saturday, June 16, 2012

Constructing an Argument

Note: Normally, I do not publish my blog, English Updates, on weekends. However, I publish several other blogs during the week having to do with ideas in English education that are not current, but still useful. On weekends, I will publish samples of these ideas. RayS.

Question: What are the steps in constructing an argument?

Claim (Main idea)

Ground (Support)

Warrant (Inferences)

Backing (Justifications)

What is my main point? (claim)

How do I go about supporting it? (ground)

What makes me think that the support is appropriate? (warrant)

What additional support do I have to validate further my claim? (backing)

Claim (main idea): “The Philadelphia Phillies will not be able to repeat as National League baseball champions this season.” P. 201

 Ground (support): “The Philadelphia Phillies are not likely to repeat as National League baseball champs because they have released or traded four veteran players who provided needed leadership down the home stretch last season. Furthermore, their young players who played unevenly last year have not proven themselves over the long haul. Finally, some of the older remaining veteran stars on the team had lackluster  seasons and show signs of decline.” P. 201-202.

Warrant (inferences): “A baseball team needs to have proven players providing experienced leadership in order t win the pennant in the highly competitive, evenly matched National League.” P. 202.

Backing (justifications): “…we might back the warrant that a National League team needs proven players to win the pennant by referring to the official records of major league baseball and to sabermetrics, the mathematical and statistical analysis of baseball records.” P. 202.

Comment: This is the Toulmin model for argument, broken down into steps, terms, explanation and example. Useful. RayS.

Title: “Developing Self-Monitored Comprehension Strategies Through Argument Structure Analysis.” Julia T0-Dutka. Journal of Reading (November 1991), 200-205.

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