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Toulmin Argument Essays (Examples)

Toulmin Model of Argument

❶The effectiveness of the model depends on how well one thinks critically and creatively about his or her arguments. Sources Used in Document:

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Toulmin Essay Outline
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Broadly considered these can be called data D. Data can be a direct observation, appeal to published literature or any other form of positive or negative information. During your discussions with Mrs. Smith she may question why she should take hydrochlorothiazide. The response to her question is that she suffers from hypertension.

We can represent the components of this argument using the format developed by Harley Dickinson:. Even after presenting data that acts as the foundation for an argument, you may be asked "How did you get there?

In other words, can you somehow justify the leap from the data you've provided to the claim? Supporting the step between data and the claim is the warrant W. A warrant is distinct from the data and the claim and acts as a bridge between them.

The movement from data to the claim though the use of a warrant forms a Stage 2 argument. You should note that warrants are often implicit i.

Smith may then ask why this particular medication. Essentially, you are being requested to supply a warrant for your decision. Quite simply, you've prescribed this medication because it is effective at lowering blood pressure. One may call into question the validity of the warrant. To demonstrate the validity of the warrant it may be necessary to introduce additional data, information or possibly other arguments as backing B to a warrant. Smith that hydrochlorothiazide will lower her blood pressure.

But she may respond "How do you know? Because in my experience it works experience 3. Because it interferes with a specific biochemical process that will lower blood pressure basic science 4. Because many well designed studies have shown that the drug is effective in lowering blood pressure clinical science.

Clearly there is a wide variety of available warrants for use in an argument with some being stronger than others. With the use of stronger warrants we become more confident in the validity of the argument and are more likely to accept the claim.

As most arguments are not absolute in nature, Toulmin introduced qualifiers Q into his model as a way to express the relative strengths of warrants in supporting the conclusions that they justify.

If a warrant allows us to unequivocally accept a claim given the appropriate data, we can qualify the claim with "definitely" or "necessarily". If there is any uncertainty surrounding the warrant we may be forced to qualify the claim with terms such as "probably" or "possibly". By convention the qualifier is considered separate from the warrant. Taking hydrochlorothiazide does not necessarily guarantee that blood pressure will be lowered. In this case we need to qualify our warrant by stating that hydrochlorothiazide is usually effective in lowering blood pressure.

A rebuttal R acknowledges limitations of the argument and may be put forward to indicate conditions in which the warrant is not applicable and consequently the conclusion can be overturned.

A rebuttal in the case of Mrs. Smith may be that she is currently on a medication that interacts with hydrochlorothiazide. A more efficacious medication may be suggested and thus act as a rebuttal. Smith's particular set of values, whatever they may be, prevent her from using the medication. With the introduction of qualifiers and the search for counterclaims and rebuttals, the Toulmin model can be used to analyze more complex Stage 3 and 4 arguments such as those commonly encountered in the practice of medicine.

Relation to Evidence Based Medicine. Currently there is much controversy among the proponents and critics of evidence-based medicine in regards to the role of external evidence, individual clinical expertise and data from the individual patient in the clinical decision making process.

Harley Dickinson has illustrated the role of such information in the clinical context through the use of Toulmin model of argumentation. Dickinson argues that when introduced in argument information can either be " warrant-using " or " warrant-establishing ". Warrant-using information acts as the basis for a conclusion and attempts to answer "What information do you have to go on?

In the clinical context, warrant-using information relates to the individual patient and is obtained through the patient interview, physical examination and investigative tests. In the case of Mrs. Smith, warrant-using information would include the measurement of her moderately elevated blood pressure on physical examination. Warrant-establishing information serves as the backing or justification of the warrant used to make the leap from the data to the conclusion.

Has links to "case-based" and precedent-based reasoning used in legal discourse. What is important here is the extent to which relevant similarities can be established between two contexts. Are there sufficient, typical, accurate, relevant similarities? For example, smoke is often considered a sign for fire. Some people think high SAT scores are a sign a person is smart and will do well in college. Causal Argument Arguing that a given occurrence or event is the result of, or is effected by, factor X.

Causal reasoning is the most complex of the different forms of warrant. The big dangers with it are: Argument from Authority Does person X or text X constitute an authoritative source on the issue in question? What political, ideological or economic interests does the authority have? Is this the sort of issue in which a significant number of authorities are likely to agree on? Argument from Principle Locating a principle that is widely regarded as valid and showing that a situation exists in which this principle applies.

Is the principle widely accepted? Does it accurately apply to the situation in question? Are there commonly agreed on exceptions? Are there "rival" principles that lead to a different claim? Are the practical consequences of following the principle sufficiently desirable? Academic arguments typically take place in disciplinary communities in which a variety of competing or divergent positions exist.

When preparing to "speak" to the community by writing an argument, writers are aware of the arguments against which they must build their claims, and of the counterarguments which are likely to emerge. Dealing with counterarguments and objections is thus a key part of the process of building arguments, refining them, interpreting and analyzing them. There are several main reasons for introducing counterarguments and objections. It demonstrates that the author is aware of opposing views, and is not trying to "sweep them under the table.

It shows that the writer is thinking carefully about the responses of readers, anticipating the objections that many readers may have. Introducing the reader to some of the positions opposed to your own, and showing how you can deal with possible objections can thus work to "inoculate" the reader against counterarguments.

By contrasting one's position with the arguments or alternative hypotheses one is against, one clarifies the position that is being argued for.

What is the Toulmin Method?

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Sample Toulmin Argument. Now that you have had the chance to learn about Toulmin, it’s time to see what a Toulmin argument might look like. Below, you’ll see a sample argumentative essay, written according to MLA formatting guidelines, with a particular emphasis on Toulmin elements.

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Toulmin Model of Argument: The twentieth-century British philosopher Stephen Toulmin noticed that good, realistic arguments typically will consist of six parts.

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Toulmin Argumentation is a model of argument which suggests six parts in any argumentative text. These elements include: data, claim, warrants, qualifiers, rebuttals and backing statements. Basically, Toulmin Argument analyzes the aspects of your position paper, for instance, so that you can identify the weak points of your arguments and work on them while further improving your strong points. The Toulmin Method of Argumentation is a complex argumentation structure that allows you to establish your argument while considering your opponents’ points of view.

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Toulmin argument paper It has plenty of parkland in well-designated areas ideal for bringing the entire family for camping, hiking, playing, biking and other recreational activities to encourage family bonding and having quality. Political topics like abortion or the death penalty are good fits for a Toulmin argument because they allow you to state your opinion and also have opposing points of view that you can use for the rebuttal portion of the paper.