Sentence Variation Techniques

Claim, Support, and Warrant: The Basics of Persuasive Writing
Claim: The main idea, thesis, opinion, belief that is your focus. A claim is an assertion that
something is true. Not a statement of fact, but a conclusion, thesis, proposition, main point. A
claim is a statement that you are asking the other person to accept. This includes information you
are asking them to accept as true or actions you want them to accept and enact. Ask yourself,
What’s my point? What am I trying to prove? What do I want to convince my readers of?
Support: The statements given to back up your claim. This can take many forms: facts, data,
personal experience, expert opinion, quotations, evidence from other texts or sources, emotional
appeals. The more reliable and comprehensive your support, the more likely your audience is to
accept your claim. You can use hard evidence or expert opinions. Ask yourself, What
information will convince my readers of my claim?
Warrant: The logical relationship between claim and support known as a warrant. The beliefs,
values, inferences, and experiences that you are assuming your audience has in common with
you. If your audience does not share the assumptions you are making about your support, then
your argument will not be effective. The warrant is the “logic” of your argument. It functions as
a sort of bridge between your claim and your support. It answers the question 'Why does that
data mean your claim is true?'
You shouldn’t eat that mushroom.
Support: The mushroom is poisonous.
Warrant: That person’s knowledge about mushrooms is reliable.
Most Americans need to exercise more.
Support: According to the latest government figures, most Americans are overweight.
Warrant: Exercise can enable weight loss.
You should use a hearing aid.
Over 70% of all people over 65 years have a hearing difficulty.
A hearing aid helps most people to hear better.
You should buy our tooth-whitening product.
Studies show that teeth are 50% whiter after using the product for a
specified time.
People want whiter teeth.
The weakest part of any argument is its weakest warrant. Remember that the warrant is the link
between the data and the claim. If the warrant isn't valid, the argument collapses.
Now that you're familiar with the three main parts of an argument, let's look at two other
Qualifier: A qualifier is a statement about how strong the claim is. For example, if you are
claiming that stains on teeth are caused by drinking coffee, you might need to acknowledge that
there may be other causes as well. Your qualified claim would be that drinking coffee is the most
significant cause (although perhaps not the only cause) of stained teeth.
Rebuttal: A rebuttal is an exception to your claim. For example, you might have to acknowledge
that a certain kind of coffee does not stain teeth. Your claim, however, would be that coffee is
the major cause of stained teeth except for those coffee drinkers who drink the special non-teeth
staining coffee.