Augmentative Analysis Against the Toulmin Model

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Darnell M. Campbell

1st day of October 2012

Professor Enright

English 205

Augmentative Analysis Against the Toulmin Model

The late Stephen Toulmin the creator of the Toulmin Model has constructed and contributed immensely to the analytical study of arguments. The Toulmin Model, a dynamic foundation of structured analysis commonly used to analyze any text in which an argumentative statement develops through the essential elements which goes to define the Toulmin process. In a textbook titled, Elements of Argument written by Annette Rottenberg and Donna Haisty Winchell summarizes the Toulmin Model as a “systematic manner.” (Rottenberg and Winchell, page 22) Stephen Toulmin pointed out three main key terms crucial to the process of rhetoric when analyzing argumentative text. These key terms Toulmin highlights as vital to the process of rethoric when applying the theory of his model. The claim, the support, and the warrant are what Toulmin emphasizes as essential. When applying these critical elements of rhetoric theory to a speech, such as one recently given by presidential candidate Mitt Romney. One should be able to isolate the claim, the support, and the warrant found within his speech. Mitt Romney, a presidential candidate for the upcoming 2012 general election delivered a speech to the Latino Coalition on the 23rd day of May 2012 in Washington D.C on the topic of American education. Romney’s speech vis-à-vis the decline of the American education system supplies magnificent examples and illustrations used to harness the core developments and applications of the Toulmin Model. Rhetoric implications generated by Stephen Toulmin renders one’s ability to become familiar with the evaluative process.

Rottenberg and Winchell announce the definition of the claim when writing, “The claim (also called a proposition) answers the question ‘What are you trying to prove?’ It will generally appear as the thesis statement of your essay, although in some arguments, it may not be stated directly.” (Rottenberg and Winchell, page 23) To defend the definition previously stated the by the authors of Elements of Argument, the claim is a general statement in which the main topics are collectively related when a proposal or question to the audience is made. The goal is to receive approval from the audience in order to effectively validate a sound claim. Stephen Toulmin’s in-depth structure utilized to analyze arguments transitions from the general claim to a more detailed expansion upon which category of claim is relative to the claim itself. Toulmin expounds upon the significance of enabling three principal types of claims when examining argumentative rhetoric and refers to these claims as claims of fact, claims of value, and claims of policy.

A claim of fact is reliant upon the basis that a condition occurred whether past, present, or future and proved by evidence and/or material to verify its legitimacy. Whereas, a claim of value according to Rottenberg and Winchell is an, “…attempt to prove that some things are more or less desirable than others. They express approval or disapproval of standards of taste and morality.” (Rottenberg and Winchell, page 23) Finally, a claim of policy is more or less contingent upon the lack of assertion in policy due to problematic situation(s) that are well overdue for a moral solution. After examining Romney’s speech on education, one must be able to identify the proposal he has made to the Latino Coalition in order to establish which type of claim Romney is directing. Romney boldly states, "So I'll be blunt: I don't like the direction of American education, and as president, I will do everything in my power to reverse this." (Romney, page 3) Here a claim is made by Romney and is directed to his audience. Romney expresses his thoughts on education in a way bold and straightforward manner by using the words “I do...
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