Argument in the AP English
Language Classroom
Don Stoll
Rowan University
Argument vs. Persuasion
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Definition of Argument
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Reasoned inquiry-logos
Rational discourse
Seeking common ground-ethos
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Rhetoric
Definition of Persuasion
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A question of belief and preference-pathos
Manipulate-able
Types of Argument
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Argument of Fact
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Arguments of Value
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Something is or is not the case
Causal argument
Something is or is not desirable
Evaluations of quality or worth according to
accepted criteria
Argument of Policy
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Something should or should not be done
Toulmin Model - terminology
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Claim - an assertion
Support - data used as evidence, reasons, or
grounds
Warrant - assumption shared by the writer &
the reader
Backing - data/assurances to support the
warrant
Qualifier - restrictor
Reservation - explains the qualifier
Rebuttal - objections to claim and/or warrant
The Toulmin Sentence
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Because (data as support), therefore, or so
(qualifier?) (claim), since (warrant), because,
or on account of (backing), unless
(reservation).
Because of the new cell phone law, in most
cases no one should call while driving since it
is good to obey the law because if the law is
broken it means a heavy fine unless, of
course, there is an emergency.
Writing the Toulmin Sentence
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Claim - People should wear seatbelts
Support - High rate of serious injury in
accidents when seatbelts are not worn
Warrant -Serious injury should be avoided
Backing - serious injury is costly, painful, and
dangerous
Qualifier - Typically
Reservation - cases where seatbelts may be
dangerous like small children
Rebuttal -High rate of serious injury when
seatbelts are worn
Toulmin Sentence….
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Because of the high rate of serious injury in accidents
when seatbelts are not worn, in most instances we
should all wear seatbelts. This is true because
avoiding serious injury is good. Serious injury can be
costly, painful, and dangerous. Of course there are
situations when seatbelts may be dangerous such as
in the case of small children who might have their
necks broken by the seatbelt. While some may say
there is a high rate of serious injury when seat belts
are worn, such as when the car goes underwater or
bursts into flames, having a device to cut the seatbelt
near at hand in such cases is better than not wearing
a seatbelt at all.
Writing the Toulmin Sentence Again
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Claim - Sweetened soft drinks should be removed
from the school’s vending machines
Support - high obesity of teens in our school
Warrant - sweetened soft drinks lead to fat teens
Backing - obesity leads to heart disease and
diabetes
Qualifier - After it is cleared by the administration
Reservation - People who need sweetened food in
an emergency like diabetics
Rebuttal - Tens should be encouraged to take
responsibility for their own health and make their own
decisions.
Writing the Toulmin Sentence Claim of Fact
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Claim - Students who work hard in high
school do better in college
Support - There is greater demand for AP
courses
Warrant Backing Qualifier Reservation Rebuttal -
Writing the Toulmin Sentence Claim of Value
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Claim - Faux news programs are a great
addition to television
Support People who are aware of current
events are better off than being ignorant
Warrant Backing Qualifier Reservation Rebuttal -
Writing the Toulmin Sentence Claim of Policy
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Claim - Department chairs should receive
extensive training in management skills
Support - The new principal is decentralizing
power
Warrant Backing Qualifier Reservation Rebuttal -
Further Reading
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http://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/argument/toulmin.html
http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/co300man/list10.cfm
http://www.unl.edu/speech/comm109/Toulmin/index.htm
http://www.public.asu.edu/~macalla/toulmintime.html