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Toulmin Model.Activity

Chapter 13 – Toulmin Model Exercise
The primary triad of the Toulmin Model
 Claim
o This is the beginning and end of the argument.
o Often you are able to identify the claim by how you feel about a topic: I think the
death penalty is wrong; I think we should have universal healthcare; I think we
should reinstate the military draft.
o These are the reasons why someone should believe your claim
o You can think of this as the connective tissue between the claim and grounds.
o If you believe in logic of the grounds you must submit to the claim
o Often the warrant is not stated.
o Warrants often rely on common knowledge and dominant ideological beliefs
(what the ancient Greeks called doxa)
o People often take the warrant for granted and an argument can be strengthened at
times by stating the warrant for the audience.
 Claim: If you care about the environment you must be vegan.
 Grounds: Vegan diets lower carbon emissions because factor farming contributes to the
production of greenhouse gases, fecal runoff is contaminating our water table, and forests
all over the world are clear cut to create land to raise animals.
 Warrant: Environmentalists want to reduce carbon emissions, prevent water pollution,
and stop deforestation.  How could someone committed to these causes not follow a
practice that is a solution to theses problems?
The Secondary Triad
All arguments will contain all three elements of the primary triad. Not all arguments require the
elements of the secondary triad. It is up to the speaker to determine whether their argument
requires any of the elements of the secondary triad.
 Backing
o Simply, this is evidence that the warrant connects to the grounds.
o It provides additional support for why the grounds are valid.
 Rebuttal
o These are exceptions that can diminish the force of a claim
o In your speech you should always consider refutations to address these
shortcomings before they arise in the minds of your audience.
 Qualifier
o This is the degree of truth of your claim.
o This is when you address the probability of your claim.
 Backing: 14.5-18% of total carbon emissions are from animal agriculture and 14% of
total carbon emissions come from the transportation sector. Additionally, animal
agriculture produces methane emissions which is 23 times more potent than carbon
o This example shows how animal agriculture is more harmful to the planet than the
transportation sector. The carbon emissions from the transportation sector has
been one of the top issues the environmental movement has been fighting for
Rebuttal: OK, animal agriculture may be bad for the planet but humans must eat meat and
animal products to survive. This is not something that can really be part of an
environmental agenda because human survival must not be sacrificed for the planet.
o Your rebuttal: Many nutritionists and medical doctors agree that being vegan is
not only best for our planet but for our health as well.
Qualifier: While the vegan diet is clearly best for the planet it is unrealistic to expect the
entire planet to go vegan overnight.
The Toulmin Model is an excellent tool for forming and analyzing arguments. For this activity I
want you to consider a claim that you feel invested in. It is acceptable to use your persuasive
speech topic. First complete the table below:
Touliminize Your Argument!
Rebuttal(s) to your claim:
Your response to the rebuttal:
*Note: If you feel that an element of the secondary triad was not necessary than provide a
justification for why you feel it was not needed.
Second: Reflect on how this exercise made you view your claim. Did it make you think
differently about the claim? Did your position shift at all?