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1 The Toulmin Model of Argumentative Logic Terms to Know Claim = the claim of an argument is the statement of your position on the issue you are arguing. In formal argument, this statement is known as the conclusion of an argument; in an argumentative essay, it is also known as the thesis statement. Qualifier = a qualifier is a word or phrase that limits or clarifies the claim of an argument. Exception = an exception is attached to the claim of an argument, and specifies an instance or instances where the claim does not apply. Reasons = the reasons in an argument are the statements that directly support the claim. The reason in an argumentative essay are always supported with evidence. In formal argument, the reasons are known as the premises or the minor premises of the argument; in an argumentative essay, they are also known as the main points. Evidence = the evidence is the information, gathered through research, that supports the reasons of an argument. Warrants= the warrants of an argument are the unstated assumptions behind the argument; they are based on reality or value assumptions and they are what make the reasons relevant to the claim. In formal argument, the warrant takes the form of a major premise; in a deductive syllogism, it is the ‘if/then’ statement. Opposing reasons = similar to the reasons of an argument, the opposing reasons are the statements that offer support for an opposing claim. Rebuttal = the rebuttal is an evidence and logic-based explanation of why the opposing reasons are wrong, or why they do not undermine the argument’s claim.IntroductionIt is likely that you have written at least one argumentative essay using the five-paragraph format. In this type of essay, the arguer’s position is stated in a thesis which appears at the end of an introductory paragraph. The thesis is supported and expanded upon in three body paragraphs, and then is restated in a concluding paragraph. Sometimes the five-paragraph essay is known as a ‘hamburger essay’ because the ‘meat’ of the argument is sandwiched between the introductory and concluding paragraphs. While this formula is a good way for students to learn how to write an argumentative essay, the arguments in a five-paragraph essay are often unsatisfactory, because students who use the model fail to address the underlying assumptions that support their argument, and also fail to address the opposition to their argument. For these two reasons, arguments written in the five-paragraph essay format typically do not demonstrate the level of critical thinking and argumentative logic that is expected in college-level writing.
2 When critical thinkers make an argument, they know they must move beyond the kinds of "gut-level" and superficial argumentation that characterizes the way most people typically argue. To argue criticallyis to: •Clearly state a position on the issue being argued •Support that position with relevant reasons backed up with strong evidence •