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Toulmin Argument Example Outline For An Essay

Outline of the           Claim—assertion, thesis, conclusion to be established

A. Contains topic plus controlling idea

B. Signaled by words like ought to, must, it is essential

II.        Grounds—evidence, reasons, support

A.    Deductive--premises from which a claim is derived

B.     Inductive—sample, experiment, observation

III.       Warrants—why the reasons support the claim; principles or assumptions

A.                Deductive—meanings of terms, parallel argument

B.                 Inductive—representative sample

C.                 A generalization of why the evidence supports the claim.

IV.       Backing—implicit assumptions that show the warrant is reliable and/or evidence to support grounds

V.        Modal Qualifiers

A.  Words like probably, in most instances, typically—they show when, how, and why the claim is reliable

VI.       Rebuttals—counterarguments or exceptions to the claim


Claim: After school jobs create a negative experience for teens because they conflict with the essential goal of success in academics.

Grounds: Explanation that study time is essential to successful academic performance

Warrants: Explanation of importance of academics versus moneymaking for teens, using information provided by the grounds

Backing: Studies of a decline in academic performance once students take on an after-school job; testimonies of students, parents, and teachers

Modal Qualifiers: Most (Many, Some, Often, Usually) teens do not have enough spare time to succeed at both a job and school.

Rebuttals: After school jobs create a positive experience for teens because they teach the values of responsibility and time management.


Toulmin Argument Sample/Example

Here is a sample Toulmin argumentation. The example provided will relatively help you get a clearer understanding of how this technique works.

"Smoking in Public Places Should be Banned"

Smoking in public places should be banned (claim) because it puts other people, especially children and pregnant women, at risk of breathing smoke from cigarettes (ground). Smoking in public places also endangers people who have respiratory ailments (ground). Recent studies show that almost (qualifier) 80% of those who ingest secondhand smoke from public smokers have a higher risk of getting respiratory problems than smokers themselves (data).

Banning an act that causes problems to innocent civilians is helpful in many ways (warrant). If smoking in public places is banned, we actually reduce or totally eradicate the danger of putting non-smokers at risk of developing lung and heart problems (backing statement). Moreover, if we ban smoking in public places, we also stop the smokers from further increasing their chances of acquiring health problems for themselves (backing statement).

While it can be said that not all people who smoke in public areas are always causing harm to others, it remains a fact that smoking per se is a cause of health problems (rebuttal). It is not enough to say that the size of affected people are relatively just a small fraction; plenty or few, one person put at risk is more than enough (rebuttal). It is only the case that smoking in public places, therefore, should be banned.

There are many other samples/examples of Toulmin arguments. For starters, you may want to know more about Toulmin arguments, how to write a Toulmin argument, or Rogerian arguments.

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