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Toulmin Method of Argumentation

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Toulmin Method of Argumentation

Post  Admin on October 16th 2008, 12:14 pm

The Toulmin Method of Argument Analysis

As you know from your reading, the Toulmin method of argument analysis presents a step-by-step approach to examining the logic of an argument. While there is more that contributes to the successfulness of an argument than logic alone, most people would agree that they want their arguments to be, first and foremost, logical. The Toulmin method is helpful toward that end.

This handout is arranged as a worksheet so that you can download it and use it whenever you want to conduct a Toulmin analysis of an argument.

Analyzing the claim.

Identify the claim (thesis). What statement is the author defending?









Look for qualifiers. How is the claim qualified?






Find the exceptions. In what cases or circumstances would the writer not press his or her claim?







Summarize the claim. Write out the claim as a thesis statement broken into its various parts (claim, qualifiers, exceptions).





Analyzing the reasons.

List the reasons. Why is the writer advancing this claim?







Examine the reasons. Is each reason a really good reason? Is each reason relevant to the thesis?

Yes, because….

Or no because…..


Analyzing the evidence/data.


List the evidence. What kinds of evidence are offered as support for each reason?







Examine the evidence. Is the evidence good (sufficient, accurate, credible)? Is the evidence relevant to the reason it supports?





Noting refutations. What refutations does the writer offer? How does the writer respond (accommodate or refute) each objection?





Warrant

What is the unstated assumption or unstated moral judgment?

Warrant 1:



Warrant 2:



Warrant 3


Warrant 4-


Warrant 5-
Warrant 6-


Some Rhetorical features:
(At least 7)
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