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Lecture Comments (3)

1 answer

Last reply by: Donald Price
Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:30 PM

Post by Yichun Wang on March 29, 2014

A minor mistake. It should be will exist in the claim of facts part.

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Post by Heidi Schmeck on August 24, 2013

Professor Hendershot:

I'm brushing up on my writing skills to prepare for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Although your lectures are geared toward high school students taking AP courses, I've found them helpful in preparing for the GRE Analytical Writing section (Issue and Argument essays). Thank you for the informative and entertaining tutorials!

Cheers,
Heidi Schmeck

Rhetoric Crash Course: Claims

    Source: The Elements of Argument, Annette Rottenberg
  • The Three Elements of Argument
    • Claim: The main idea, or thesis, of your argument.
    • Support: The information that backs up your claim.
    • Warrant: The “big idea” that connects your support to your claim.
  • An Example: Cutting in Line at the Movies
    • Claim: “What?”
    • Support: “Why?”
    • Warrant: “So what?”
  • What is a Claim?
    • A claim, or proposition, is the answer to the question, “What are you trying to prove?”
    • A claim is usually the conclusion of your argument.
    • In an essay, your claim is almost always going to be your thesis statement.
    • The claim is the “What?” part of your argument.
  • Types of Claims
    • Claims of fact assert that a condition has existed, exists, or will exist.
      • Example: The earth revolves around the sun.
    • Claims of value express approval or disapproval, and try to prove that some action, belief, or condition is right or wrong, good or bad, beautiful or ugly, worthwhile or undesirable.
      • Example: Dogs make the best pets.
    • Claims of policy argue that certain conditions should exist, and that listeners should act to create them. They almost always use the words should, ought, or must.
      • Example: Littering should be a felony.
  • Claims of Fact
    • The defining characteristic of a claim of fact is that it can be verified.
      • We can use our senses to check some facts.
      • Others can be verified with authoritative sources of information (like reference books).
      • Still others require academic research and experimentation.
      • Predictions about the future can be verified by waiting to see how things turn out.
    • To evaluate a claim of fact:
      • Make sure the claim is backed up by sufficient and appropriate data. The more controversial the subject, the more facts and testimony you’ll need. The facts must be accurate, current, and typical of other facts and opinions not mentioned.
      • If the claim is backed up by expert opinions, make sure those experts are reliable authorities. Are they respected in their field? Do other experts disagree?
      • Make certain that you are distinguishing between facts and inferences. Facts can be verified; inferences are opinions formed on the basis of evidence, and can never do more than suggest probabilities.
  • Claims of Value
    • The defining characteristic of a claim of value is that it declares something to be good or bad.
      • Many claims of value are about aesthetics—whether a certain work of art is “good” or not (whatever “good” means in that context).
      • Others are about morality—whether an action or belief is morally right or morally wrong.
    • To evaluate a claim of value:
      • Determine the standards or criteria by which the action, belief, or value is being judged. What makes a good singing voice, a good movie, a good meal?
      • Evaluate the system of values under which the claim is being made. Moral arguments, in particular, are often the result of people agreeing on common underlying values—the value of life, freedom, etc.—but disagreeing about which values are most important or how those values should be protected.
    • The defining characteristic of a claim of policy is that it argues that a certain policy or course of action should be adopted. Claims of policy want you to do something!
      • They may argue that a certain situation needs to change.
      • They may present a solution to a problem.
  • Claims of Policy
    • The defining characteristic of a claim of policy is that it argues that a certain policy or course of action should be adopted. Claims of policy want you to do something!
      • They may argue that a certain situation needs to change.
      • They may present a solution to a problem.
    • To evaluate a claim of policy:
      • Make sure the claim is clearly proposed.
      • Make sure the problem actually exists as described.
      • Make sure that the argument takes opposing arguments into account.
      • Take care that the argument is supported both by solid data, moral considerations, and common sense.

Rhetoric Crash Course: Claims

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Lesson Overview 0:11
  • The Three Elements of Argument 0:34
    • Claim
    • Support
    • Warrant
  • An Example 1:27
  • What is a Claim? 3:12
    • Define Claim/ Proposition
    • Conclusion of Argument
    • Thesis Statement
  • Types of Claims 3:51
    • Claims of Fact
    • Claims of Value
    • Claims of Policy
  • Claims of Fact 5:19
    • Defining Characteristic
    • To Evaluate a Claim of Fact
  • Claims of Value 8:33
    • Defining Characteristic
    • To Evaluate a Claim of Value
  • Claims of Policy 11:19
    • Defining Characteristic
    • To Evaluate a Claim of Policy