MMW2ClaimsandQuestionsHandoutSummer2011

MMW2ClaimsandQuestionsHandoutSummer2011 - Claims and...

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1 Claims and Questions MMW2, Summer 2011 Categorizing Claims There are many different schemes for categorizing claims. One that works well for our purposes distinguishes among five types of claims: Type Example Fact “Mesopotamia lies mostly within modern Iraq.” Value “With good reason, [the King James Version of the Bible] has been termed ‘the noblest monument of English prose.’” Policy “[The Bible’s] message . . . must be presented in language that is direct and plain and me aningful to people today.” Definition “We use the term city-state to refer to independent ancient centers and the agricultural hinterlands they controlled.” Causation “There is evidence for a decline in the standing of women in the Semitic second millennium B.C.E. This development may be linked to the rise of an urbanized middle class and an increase in private wealth.” It is useful to think of claims as answers to questions. As you work on your papers, think of yourself as answering questions rather than merely relaying information. Such an approach will help you to develop arguments. (Note: Your TA will help you to appreciate the difference rhetorical and substantive between arguable claims and statements of fact.) The above types of claims answer the following questions: Fact: Did it happen? Is it true?
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