Thursday, August 5, 2010

Topic: The Vocabulary of Argumentative Writing

10-second review: Claim, evidence, warrants, backing, qualifications, rebuttals.

Title: “Teaching Argument for Critical Thinking and Writing: An Introduction.” George Hilllocks, Jr. English Journal (July2010), 24-32.

Quote: “Toulmin’s basic conception of argument includes several elements: a claim based on evidence of some sort, with a warrant that explains how the evidence supports the claim, backing supporting the warrants, qualifications and rebuttals or counterarguments that refute competing claims.” P. 26.

Quote: “That’s a very important point. The arguments we will be talking about are all arguments of probability. That simply means that we can be only fairly certain of our claims. That is why we call such statements claims—because we are claiming they are true.” P. 29.

Comment: A clearly organized model might have helped this article sort out the various elements of argumentative writing. The author describes what he did in class, but stops short of offering a model. RayS.

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