What is Toulmin Argument

Posted by Splice, Essay Tips Chief Writer

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 as needed. Here are the basic items involved in Toulmin Arguments.

  1. Data/Grounds

  2. These are the evidence that you will use to support your claim or position.

  3. Claim

  4. The statement which you are offering for others, such as your readers or listeners, to accept.

  5. Warrants

  6. These link your data/grounds with your claim. They also explain why the data supports the claim.

  7. Qualifiers

  8. These are words or phrases which show the strength of the connection between the claim and the data.

  9. Rebuttals

  10. These are the arguments which are directed against the possible objections to your claim.

  11. Backing Statements

  12. These give extra support to your warrants.


Here is an example of a Toulmin Argument:

You should stop smoking [Claim] because studies show that almost [Qualifier] 80% of smokers can develop lung cancer [Data/Ground]. Stopping a bad habit can help reduce the occurence of its bad consequences [Warrant, *can be stated or left unstated]. Life expectancy is lengthened if habits bad to one's health are stopped [Backing Statement]. Although it is not always the case that people who smoke will suffer from lung cancer, the risks are higher for those who smoke routinely [Rebuttal].

You may also want to learn more about how to write a Rogerian Argument. You can also try a Toulmin Argument sample, how to write a Toulmin argument, or learn more about Classical Argument.

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