Due 5/30/14

Your finals are on June 2nd from 10:00-2:00. You may complete and submit this study guide prior to taking your final for up to 10 extra credit points. You may prepare one sheet of handwritten notes to use during the test. The final exam will give you an opportunity to show your mastery of skills that you have been practicing throughout the semester. Use this forum to study with your classmates. Leave three responses each week and one comment. Complete and turn-in the attached study guide for up to 10 extra credit point the day of testing. The following are some key areas that you can expect to see on the exam:

1) Questions that test your understanding of a reading selection.

2) Questions that test your understanding of the way in which a selection is written.


- The main purpose of the first paragraph is to...
- The main purpose of the essay is to...
- Identifying examples of irony, metaphor, hyperbole, simile,symbolism, and personification in the selection.
-Identifying the use of extended metaphor, hyperbole, logical persuasion, and sensory language.
- Which details support the idea that____?

3) Questions that ask you to analyze the way in which a selection is written.

- What is the author's purpose in writing this article?
- What is the author's position?
- How does the author organize and present ideas in the essay?
- How does the author support his ideas?
- How does the author's personality affect his writing?
- How does that author express his ideas? ( allusions, use of irony, persuasive argument,or use of allegory)
- What bias does the author reveal in his/her writing?
- Describe the mood in the first half of the story and tell how it changes in the second half.

4) Questions that ask you to analyze and evaluate a passage.
- Is the author's argument still valuable today? In which ways is it archaic and outdated?
- Describe the tone of the essay.
- What theme is expressed in the first paragraph of the essay?
- Which statements show the use an emotional appeal to a person's conscience rather than an appeal to reason?
- Why does the author draw a comparison between ____ and ____?
- In your opinion, how persuasive is the author's argument and why?

5) Proofreading and Revision:
- subject/ verb agreement
- correct word usage ( that, which/ who/ whom)
- sentence structure
- correct capitalization and punctuation
- use of transitions
* For practice on revision and proofreading, go to the textbook link from the Parkview website and select "High School Language Arts" and then "Test Practice."

Terms to know:







Due 5.2.14

1) Please read the article below and then post your answers in the comments section. 2) Comment on student post from this week.

Three Ways to Persuade
By John Edlund
1 Over 2,000 years ago the Greek philosopher Aristotle argued that there were
three basic ways to persuade an audience of your position: ethos, logos, and
Ethos: The Writer’s Character or Image
2 The Greek word ethos is related to our word ethics or ethical, but a more
accurate modern translation might be “image.” Aristotle uses ethos to refer
to the speaker’s character as it appears to the audience. Aristotle says that
if we believe that a speaker has good sense, good moral character, and
goodwill, we are inclined to believe what that speaker says. Today we might
add that a speaker should also appear to have the appropriate expertise or
authority to speak knowledgeably about the subject matter. Ethos is often
the first thing we notice, so it creates the first impression that influences
how we perceive the rest. Ethos is an important factor in advertising, both
for commercial products and in politics. For example, when an actor in a pain
reliever commercial puts on a doctor’s white coat, the advertisers are hoping
that wearing this coat will give the actor the authority to talk persuasively about
medicines. Of course, in this particular instance the actor’s ethos is a deceptive
illusion, but the character, background, and authority of the speaker or writer
can be a legitimate factor in determining whether we find him or her credible.
3 A writer’s ethos is created largely by word choice and style. Student writers
often have a problem with ethos because they are asked to write research
papers, reports, and other types of texts as if they have authority to speak
persuasively, when in fact they are newcomers to the subject matter and the
discourse community. Sometimes students try to create an academic image
for themselves by using a thesaurus to find difficult and unusual words to
sprinkle throughout their texts. Unfortunately, this sort of effort usually fails,
because it is difficult to use a word correctly that you have not heard or read in
context many times.
4 Sometimes a writer or speaker will use what is called an ad hominem
argument, an argument “against the man.” In this strategy, the writer attacks
the character or personality of the speaker instead of attacking the substance
of his or her position. This kind of argument is usually considered to be a
logical fallacy, but it can be very effective and is quite common in politics.
This type of argument undermines a speaker or writer’s ethos. When you are
writing a paper, consider the following questions.
Questions for Discussion:
1. What kind of image do you want to project to your audience?

2. What effect do misspelled words and grammatical errors have on your

Logos: Logical Arguments
5 In our society, logic and rationality are highly valued and this type of persuasive
strategy is usually privileged over appeals to the character of the speaker or to
the emotions of the audience. However, formal logic and scientific reasoning
are usually not appropriate for general audiences, so we must rely on a more
rhetorical type of reasoning.
6 For Aristotle, formal arguments are based on what he calls syllogisms. This is
reasoning that takes the form:
All men are mortal.
Socrates is a man.
Therefore, Socrates is mortal.
7 However, Aristotle notes that in ordinary speaking and writing we often use
what he calls a rhetorical syllogism or an enthymeme. This is an argument
in which some of the premises or assertions remain unstated or are simply
assumed. For example, no one in ordinary life would think that Socrates could
be immortal. We would simply assume that Socrates could be killed or that he
would die of natural causes after a normal lifespan. As a result, we can logically
say the following: Socrates is a man; therefore, Socrates is mortal. Not all
assumptions are as obvious as this one, however.
8 For example, when the bubonic plague swept through Europe and parts of
Asia in the 14th century, killing as much as three quarters of the population
in less than 20 years, it was not known how the disease was spread. At one
point, people thought that the plague was spread by cats. If one assumes that
cats spread the disease, the obvious solution to the problem is to eliminate the
cats, and so people began killing cats on sight. However, we now know that
the plague is spread by fleas which live on rats. Because cats kill rats, killing
off the cat population led to an increase in the rat population, a corresponding
increase in plague carrying fleas, and thus an increase in cases of plague in
humans. Killing off the cats was a logical solution to the problem of plague, but
it was based on a faulty assumption.
9 Rhetorical arguments are often based on probabilities rather than certain truth.
The people of medieval Europe really had no way to determine what the real
cause of the plague was, but they felt that they had to do something about it,
and the cat hypothesis seemed probable to them. Unfortunately, this is true
of many of the problems we face even today. We cannot know with absolute
certainty what the real solution is, yet we must act anyway.
10 Persuasion, to a large extent, involves convincing people to accept our
assumptions as probably true and to take appropriate action. Similarly,
exposing questionable assumptions in someone else’s argument is an
effective means for preparing the audience to accept your own contrary

Questions for Discussion:
1. Imagine some arguments that start from faulty assumptions, such as “If
pigs could fly,” or “If money grew on trees.” What would be some of the
logical consequences?
2. Do you think that logical arguments are a better support for a position
than arguments that are based on authority or character? In other words,
would you support a policy just because a celebrity or an important expert
supported it?

Pathos: The Emotions of the Audience
11 Most of us think that we make our decisions based on rational thought.
However, Aristotle points out that emotions such as anger, pity, fear, and their
opposites, powerfully influence our rational judgments. Due to this fact, much
of our political discourse and much of the advertising we experience is directed
toward moving our emotions.
12 Anger is a very powerful motivating force. Aristotle says that if we want to
make an audience angry we need to know three things: 1) the state of mind of
angry people, 2) who the people are that this audience usually gets angry at,
and 3) on what grounds this audience gets angry at those people. While the
actual causes of a war may be economic or political, and thus related to logos,
the mobilization of a people or a nation to war inevitably consists of appeals
to pathos. Leaders mobilize their followers to go to war by reminding them
of their historical grievances against other groups or nations, blaming other
groups for economic difficulties, and focusing on perceived insults, crimes,
and atrocities committed against their own citizens by others. In the twentieth
century, such appeals to pathos inspired the Holocaust in Germany, genocide
in Rwanda, and ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia. Individuals were
inspired through pathos to attack, rape, or kill neighbors who had lived near
them all their lives, simply because of their ethnicity or religion.
13 Many political decisions have an emotional motivation. For example, when a
gunman with an assault rifle shot up a schoolyard full of children, people were
suddenly interested in banning such weapons. In this case, several emotions
are involved, but perhaps the strongest one is pity for the small children and
their families. The logical arguments for banning or not banning assault rifles
had not changed at all, but people were emotionally engaged with the issue
after this event and wanted to do something.
14 Of course, not all appeals to pathos result in violence or political action.
Advertisements for consumer goods often aim at making us insecure
about our attractiveness or social acceptability and then offer a remedy for
this feeling in the form of a product. This is a common strategy for selling
mouthwash, toothpaste, chewing gum, clothing, and even automobiles.
15 Appeals to the emotions and passions are often very effective and are very
common in our society. Such appeals are not always false or illegitimate. It is
natural to feel strong emotions about tragedies, victories, and other powerful
events as well as about one’s own image and identity. You may find it effective
to use pathos in your own writing.

Questions for Discussion:
1. Can you think of an advertisement for a product or a political campaign that
uses your emotions to persuade you to believe something? Describe it,
and analyze how it works.
2. When do you think it is unfair or deceptive to try to use emotions to
persuade people?


Due 4.25.14

Close Reading 2
1. Read the article below.
2. Now go back and reread the article. Please annotate as you read, following the directions below.
Annotating and Questioning the Text
You should question the text in your second reading, “reading
against the grain” and “playing the disbelieving (or doubting) game.”
As you read, look for claims and assertions Rifkin makes. Does he
back them up? Do you agree with them?
As you read, do the following:
1. Underline (with a double underline) or highlight in one color the
thesis and major claims or assertions made in the article.
2. Underline (with a single underline) or highlight in a second color
the evidence in support of the claims and assertions.
3. Write your comments and questions in the margins.
After reading the article again, answer the following questions:
1. What is the thesis of Rifkin’s article?
2. Does Rifkin make any claims that you disagree with? What are
3. Do any claims lack support?

4. Post the your response to questions 1-3 in the comments section.

A Change of Heart about Animals
Los Angeles Times, September 1, 2003
By Jeremy Rifkin
They are more like us than we imagined, scientists are finding.
1 Though much of big science has centered on breakthroughs in biotechnology,
nanotechnology and more esoteric questions like the age of our universe, a
quieter story has been unfolding behind the scenes in laboratories around the
world -- one whose effect on human perception and our understanding of life is
likely to be profound.
2 What these researchers are finding is that many of our fellow creatures are more
like us than we had ever imagined. They feel pain, suffer and experience stress,
affection, excitement and even love -- and these findings are changing how we
view animals.
3 Strangely enough, some of the research sponsors are fast food purveyors, such
as McDonald's, Burger King and KFC. Pressured by animal rights activists and by
growing public support for the humane treatment of animals, these companies
have financed research into, among other things, the emotional, mental and
behavioral states of our fellow creatures.
4 Studies on pigs' social behavior funded by McDonald's at Purdue University,
for example, have found that they crave affection and are easily depressed if
isolated or denied playtime with each other. The lack of mental and physical
stimuli can result in deterioration of health.
5 The European Union has taken such studies to heart and outlawed the use of
isolating pig stalls by 2012. In Germany, the government is encouraging pig
farmers to give each pig 20 seconds of human contact each day and to provide
them with toys to prevent them from fighting.
6 Other funding sources have fueled the growing field of study into animal
emotions and cognitive abilities.
7 Researchers were stunned recently by findings (published in the journal Science)
on the conceptual abilities of New Caledonian crows. In controlled experiments,
scientists at Oxford University reported that two birds named Betty and Abel
were given a choice between using two tools, one a straight wire, the other a
hooked wire, to snag a piece of meat from inside a tube. Both chose the hooked
wire. Abel, the more dominant male, then stole Betty's hook, leaving her with
only a straight wire. Betty then used her beak to wedge the straight wire in a
crack and bent it with her beak to produce a hook. She then snagged the food
from inside the tube. Researchers repeated the experiment and she fashioned a
hook out of the wire nine out of 10 times.
8 Equally impressive is Koko, the 300-pound gorilla at the Gorilla Foundation in
Northern California, who was taught sign language and has mastered more than
1,000 signs and understands several thousand English words. On human IQ
tests, she scores between 70 and 95.
9 Tool-making and the development of sophisticated language skills are just
two of the many attributes we thought were exclusive to our species. Selfawareness
is another.
10 Some philosophers and animal behaviorists have long argued that other animals
are not capable of self-awareness because they lack a sense of individualism.
Not so, according to new studies. At the Washington National Zoo, orangutans
given mirrors explore parts of their bodies they can't otherwise see, showing a
sense of self. An orangutan named Chantek who lives at the Atlanta Zoo used a
mirror to groom his teeth and adjust his sunglasses.
11 Of course, when it comes to the ultimate test of what distinguishes humans
from the other creatures, scientists have long believed that mourning for the
dead represents the real divide. It's commonly believed that other animals have
no sense of their mortality and are unable to comprehend the concept of their
own death. Not necessarily so. Animals, it appears, experience grief. Elephants
will often stand next to their dead kin for days, occasionally touching their bodies
with their trunks.
12 We also know that animals play, especially when young. Recent studies in
the brain chemistry of rats show that when they play, their brains release
large amounts of dopamine, a neurochemical associated with pleasure and
excitement in human beings.
13 Noting the striking similarities in brain anatomy and chemistry of humans and
other animals, Stephen M. Siviy, a behavioral scientist at Gettysburg College in
Pennsylvania, asks a question increasingly on the minds of other researchers. "If
you believe in evolution by natural selection, how can you believe that feelings
suddenly appeared, out of the blue, with human beings?"
14 Until very recently, scientists were still advancing the idea that most creatures
behaved by sheer instinct and that what appeared to be learned behavior was
merely genetically wired activity. Now we know that geese have to teach their
goslings their migration routes. In fact, we are finding that learning is passed on
from parent to offspring far more often than not and that most animals engage in
all kinds of learned experience brought on by continued experimentation.
15 So what does all of this portend for the way we treat our fellow creatures?
And for the thousands of animals subjected each year to painful laboratory
experiments? Or the millions of domestic animals raised under the most
inhumane conditions and destined for slaughter and human consumption?
Should we discourage the sale and purchase of fur coats? What about fox
hunting in the English countryside, bull fighting in Spain? Should wild lions be
caged in zoos?
16 Such questions are being raised. Harvard and 25 other U.S. law schools have
introduced law courses on animal rights, and an increasing number of animal
rights lawsuits are being filed. Germany recently became the first nation to
guarantee animal rights in its constitution.
17 The human journey is, at its core, about the extension of empathy to broader
and more inclusive domains. At first, the empathy extended only to kin and tribe.
Eventually it was extended to people of like-minded values. In the 19th century,
the first animal humane societies were established. The current studies open
up a new phase, allowing us to expand and deepen our empathy to include the
broader community of creatures with whom we share the Earth.

Jeremy Rifkin, author of The Biotech Century, is the president of the Foundation on
Economic Trends in Washington, D.C.

Due 4.11.14

A figure of speech is a rhetorical device used to achieve a particular effect. An author will often use a word or phrase that diverges from its normal meaning. Such words and phrases are charged with a specialized meaning separate from the literal meaning. An author will use a figure of speech for emphasis, freshness, or clarity. However, sometimes the desired effect is ambiguity between a literal and figurative interpretation. Study the following examples and then post 3 examples of your own using 3 different rhetorical devices from the list.

Idiom –
An idiom is a word or phrase used figuratively to express a particular meaning understood by a common group of people. The meanings of idioms come from their usage among speakers of a particular language or dialect within a particular region or community.

Example: "A blessing in disguise" is something good that is not recognized initially. "Actions speak louder than words" is to say that what one does is more important than what one says.

Euphemism –
A euphemism is a substitution of an inoffensive term for one considered offensive. When a speaker uses one of these expressions, the intention is to have a less offensive or disturbing effect on the listener than what the word or phrase it replaces.

Example: "pre-owned vehicles" for "used cars"—"the big C" for "cancer"—"lost their lives" for "were killed"—"ill-advised" for "very poor or bad"

Hyperbole –
Hyperbole is an exaggeration or intentional overstatement that is most often used for emphasis or rhetorical effect.

Example: The path seemed to stretch on forever.
Example: There must be a million ways to explain the outcome.

Understatement –
Understatement is a figure of speech in which an author deliberately makes something seem less important or serious than it truly is, either for ironic emphasis or for politeness and tact. Whereas hyperbole exaggerates, understatement minimizes, saying less than what is really meant.

Example: "A soiled baby, with a neglected nose, cannot be conscientiously regarded as a thing of beauty."—Mark Twain
Example: "The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated."—Mark Twain

Litotes –
Litotes is a particular form of understatement used by denying the opposite or contrary of the word which would otherwise be used. Litotes expresses an affirmative by negating its opposite.

Example: Heat waves are not rare in summer. (as opposed to "Heat waves are common in summer.")
Example: Hitting that telephone pole certainly didn't do your car any good.

Oxymoron – An oxymoron is an expression that uses contrasting images.

Example: The silence was deafening.
Example: "This fellow is wise enough to play the fool."—Shakespeare

Metonymy –
Metonymy is the substitution of an abstract or suggestive word for another, usually concrete, term. Metonymy is a figure of speech where the name of a thing is substituted for another word or term closely associated with it.

Example: "The White House" for the President and "creature" for person
Example: Idua liked to speak Kiowa because he could express himself better in his native tongue. (The term "tongue" is used to represent language)

Synecdoche –
Synecdoche is a kind of metonymy in which something is used for the whole. In synecdoche, a part is used to represent the whole or the whole is used to represent a part.

Example: "hands" to refer to workers, "wheels" to refer to cars, "head" for cattle, and "bread" for food
Example: "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat."—Winston Churchill, 1940

Antithesis –
Antithesis is a rhetorical technique in which words, phrases, or ideas are intentionally contrasted, usually through the use of parallel structure. Antithesis is the juxtaposition of contrasting ideas. The contrast may be in words or in ideas or both.

Example: "What if I am rich, and another is poor—strong, and he is weak—intelligent, and he is benighted—elevated, and he is depraved? Have we not one Father? Hath not one God created us?"—William Lloyd Garrison, "No Compromise with Slavery"
Example: "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice . . . moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."—Barry Goldwater

Rhetorical Question –
Asking a question not for the purpose of eliciting an answer but for the purpose of asserting or denying something. It is used for effect, emphasis, or provocation, or for drawing a conclusion from the facts at hand.

Example: "For if we lose the ability to perceive our faults, what is the good of living on?"—Marcus Aurelius
Example: "You say there is but one way to worship and serve the Great Spirit. If there is but one religion, why do you white people differ so much about it?"—Red Jacket, 1805

Due 4.4.14

1. Use this rubric to evaluate your argument essay.
2. Review post 10.25.14.
3.Identify and post the elements of Toulmin's model from your essay in the comments section.

___Strong topic sentences/thesis
statement addresses the prompt/topic
in a compelling and highly interesting
___Reasons, details, facts strongly
support topic
___Varied or subtle transitions sound
natural, enhance the flow of the paper
___Effective examples, evidence, ela-
boration used
___Strong conclusion revisits topic/thesis in an interesting way
___Quality and Quantity of infor-
mation entertains and/or educates:
prompt is fully developed
--Intriguing or highly interesting examples,
evidence and explanation to bring the prompt to life.
__ fully develops prompt
___A variety of sentence structures
(simple, compound, complex)
___Rich words, content, vocabulary,
and/or figurative language create
mental pictures
___Style of paragraph/essay uses
specific words and sentence structures
that reflect a specific purpose
___Very few errors in CUPS

Due 3.28.14

1. Review "The Argument" format as needed, paying close attention to the concluding paragraph section.
2. Draft and post your body paragraphs and conclusion to your drag racing argument.
3. Return to this post after 3/28/14 and leave feedback/ comments for at least two posts.

Due 3.21.14

1. Draft and post an introductory paragraph for your drag racing argument.
2. Bold your thesis statement.
3. Return to this post after 3/24 and leave a comment for two classmates.

Due 3.14.14

1. Review "The Argument" from last week.
2. Write and post an outline in argument essay format taking the con position on drag racing.

Due 3.7.14

Our focus over the next several weeks will be on composition. This week you will:
1) Go to the Parkview website/ Go to Links/ Select "Writing"
2) Select and read " The Argument" PowerPoint
3) Respond to this post by 1) stating the difference between an argument and a persuasive, 2) give examples of your own 3) post the format of an argument essay 4) comment on the post of two other classmates.

Due 2.28.14

The UC A-g requires that students have one hour of weekly "interactive instruction." Discussion Boards and blended learning opportunities are provided to meet this requirement allowing our students the opportunity to complete the 15 course sequence of courses and apply to the UC and CSU systems. Since the inception of this learning tool, our scores have steadily and significantly increased.

Please comment on the following:
1) Which Discussion Board topics have helped prepare you this year?
2) What topics would you like to see posted in the coming months?

Due 2.21.14

With the adoption of the Common Core a new measure, Smarter Balance, is being put into place to assess your learning . This week I would like you to visit the Smarter Balanced practice test site below and take a practice test for Language Arts. 1) Report back your findings in a comment of no less that 2 paragraphs. 2)Respond to a minimum of 2 other comments.


The poetry foundation has an audio "Poem of the Day" at the link below. Preceding the poem, is a brief comment by the poet. SAve this link to your Favorites tab.

Due 2.14.14

Here is another poem by Gerard M. Hopkins from your textbook. Compare and contrast the mood and language of this poem to Spring and Fall. Post your findings.

Glory be to God for dappled things –
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

Due 2.7.14

Close reading is important because it is the building block for larger analysis. Your thoughts evolve not from someone else's truth about the reading, but from your own observations. The more closely you can observe the more original and exact your ideas will be.
(1) Paraphrase each line of the poem. Say what it says using different words. DON'T SUMMARIZE MULTIPLE LINES INTO SINGLE LINES! The point isn't brevity. The point is precision. ( an example is including at the end of this post)
(2) Answer the questions below.

*This is a link to a site that will recite the poem to you: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/173665

Spring and Fall
by Gerard M. Hopkins
(to a young child)
1 Margaret, are you grieving
2 Over Goldengrove unleaving?
3 Leaves, like the things of man, you
4 With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
5 Ah! as the heart grows older
6 It will come to such sights colder
7 By and by, nor spare a sigh
8 Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
9 And yet you wíll weep and know why.
10 Now no matter, child, the name:
11 Sorrow's springs are the same.
12 Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
13 What héart héard of, ghóst guéssed:
14 It is the blight man was born for,
15 It is Margaret you mourn for.
(1) Why is the poem entitled "Spring and Fall?" Is the poem about spring and fall? Or is it about something else?
(2) The poet addresses his poem "to a young child"? Who is that child? (There may be more than one possibility here.)
(3) What is Margaret crying about in the opening lines? What does she see that saddens her?
(4) Why are Margaret's thoughts "fresh"? What connotations does that word have instead of "innocent" or "immature" or "young"?
(5) What does the speaker suggest Margaret is really crying about, even though she doesn't know it?
Paraphrase Example:
Gray's famous “Elegy Written in a Country Church-Yard”:
The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
The surface-level meaning is something like this:
At evening, when the curfew bell rings,
The cows go home,
The plowman goes home,
And leave me in the dark.”

Dr. L. Kip Wheeler

Due 10.25.13

The Argument:
1) Watch http://youtu.be/D-YPPQztuOY
2) Read the Lecture below.
3) Complete the excercise at the bottom.
-Correct responses will not be posted for about a week so that you can think over the material and your responses.
Toulman's Argument Model
A claim is a statement that you are asking the other person to accept. This includes information you are asking
them to accept as true or actions you want them to accept and enact.
For example:
You should use a hearing aid.
Many people start with a claim, but then find that it is challenged. If you just ask me to do something, I will not
simply agree with what you want. I will ask why I should agree with you. I will ask you to prove your claim. This is
where grounds become important.
The grounds (or data) is the basis of real persuasion and is made up of data and hard facts, plus the reasoning
behind the claim. It is the 'truth' on which the claim is based. Grounds may also include proof of expertise and the
basic premises on which the rest of the argument is built.
The actual truth of the data may be less that 100%, as all data are based on perception and hence there is some
element of assumption about it.
It is critical to the argument that the grounds are not challenged because, if they are, they may become a claim,
which you will need to prove with even deeper information and further argument.
For example:
Over 70% of all people over 65 years have a hearing difficulty.
Information is usually a very powerful element of persuasion, although it does affect people differently. Those
who are dogmatic, logical or rational will more likely to be persuaded by factual data. Those who argue
emotionally and who are highly invested in their own position will challenge it or otherwise try to ignore it. It is
often a useful test to give something factual to the other person that disproves their argument, and watch how
they handle it. Some will accept it without question. Some will dismiss it out of hand. Others will dig deeper,
requiring more explanation. This is where the warrant comes into its own.
A warrant links data and other grounds to a claim, legitimizing the claim by showing the grounds to be relevant.
The warrant may be explicit or unspoken and implicit. It answers the question 'Why does that data mean your
claim is true?'
For example:
A hearing aid helps most people to hear better.
The warrant may be simple and it may also be a longer argument, with additional sub-elements including those
described below.
Warrants may be based on logos, ethos or pathos, or values that are assumed to be shared with the
listener. In many arguments, warrants are often implicit and hence unstated. This gives space for the other person
to question and expose the warrant, perhaps to show it is weak or unfounded.
Toulmin's Argument Model
This information comes from a website on argument. Their information on syllogisms and on fallacies is pretty
good, too: http://changingminds.org/disciplines/argument/argument.htm
The backing (or support) for an argument gives additional support to the warrant by answering different
For example:
Hearing aids are available locally.
The qualifier (or modal qualifier) indicates the strength of the leap from the data to the warrant and may limit how
universally the claim applies. They include words such as 'most', 'usually', 'always' or 'sometimes'. Arguments may
thus range from strong assertions to generally quite floppy or largely and often rather uncertain kinds of
For example:
Hearing aids help most people.
Another variant is the reservation, which may give the possibility of the claim being incorrect.
Unless there is evidence to the contrary, hearing aids do no harm to ears.
Qualifiers and reservations are much used by advertisers who are constrained not to lie. Thus they slip 'usually',
'virtually', 'unless' and so on into their claims.
Despite the careful construction of the argument, there may still be counter-arguments that can be used. These
may be rebutted either through a continued dialogue, or by pre -empting the counter-argument by giving the
rebuttal during the initial presentation of the argument.
For example:
There is a support desk that deals with technical problems.
Any rebuttal is an argument in itself, and thus may include a claim, warrant, backing and so on. It also, of course
can have a rebuttal. Thus if you are presenting an argument, you can seek to understand both possible rebuttals
and also rebuttals to the rebuttals.
Toulmin Argumentation Model Exercise

The passage below is a short piece arguing in support of a US "junk food tax." Read through the piece and look for the different parts of Toulmin's model. Afterwards, answer the questions below the passage. Does the piece offer strong evidence, backing, rebuttal and qualification to support its claim?

With the alarming rise in obesity rates among Americans in the past few decades, numerous debates have arisen over how (or if) public policy should be changed to help improve this trend. One promising strategy, already adopted by seven states, has been to try and deter consumers from purchasing unhealthy foods through a tax on soda or sugary drinks and junk food (Lohman, 2002). These taxes address the issue that Americans today are consuming almost 20% more calories than they did in the early 1980’s, and those calories are coming from increasingly less-healthy sources, mainly high-fat and high-sugar processed foods (USDA, 2002). Furthermore, processed foods and drinks are increasingly more affordable than the fruits, vegetables, and whole grains needed to sustain a healthy diet (Marsh, 2011). Assuming that cost is a more pertinent factor of food choice than personal taste, increasing the price of soda and junk food through taxes, while using that revenue to subsidize unprocessed fruits and vegetables would entice consumers to choose healthier products as they become more affordable than their unhealthy counterparts.

There is evidence to suggest that cost, more so than preference, influences purchasing choices. A year after New York increased cigarette taxes from $1.25 to $2.75, smoking rates dropped by 12% to a historic low (Harutyunyan, 2009). Although some might argue that smoking is more of a lifestyle choice than eating, it is rather the choice of what foods to eat which will hopefully be affected in the long run. Additionally, this tax might hurt those in areas with little access to fresh produce and whole grains, such as in low-income urban areas; therefore the “junk food tax” would only work if healthy food choices are made not only affordable but easily available to low-income consumers through the use of subsidies (Marsh, 2011). However, if precautions are taken to ensure equal access to healthy food among all citizens, then using the “carrot” of subsidized healthy food and nutrition education along with the “stick” of a food tax, the typical American diet can-- and should-- be changed for the better.


1.Harutyunyan, R. (June 6, 2009). “Cigarette Tax Increase Lowered NY Smoking Rates.” EmaxHealth. Retrieved from http://www.emaxhealth.com/2/58/31581/cigarette-tax-increase-lowered-ny-smoking-rates.html
2.Lohman, J. (2002). Taxes on junk food. Washington DC: Office of Legislative Research. http://www.cga.ct.gov/2002/olrdata/fin/rpt/2002-r-1004.htm

3.Marsh, B. (July 23, 2011). “Bad Food? Tax It, and Subsidize Vegetables.” The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/24/opinion/sunday/24bittman.html?pagewanted=all

4.US Department of Agriculture (2002). Profiling food consumption in America. In Agriculture Factbook: 2001-2002. Retrieved from http://www.usda.gov/factbook/chapter2.htm

1) What is the author's claim in this piece?

2) Where does the author present evidence in this piece?

3) What is the warrant in this piece? Is it stated explicitly?

4) Where does the author present backing for her warrant?

12% to a historic low (Harutyunyan, 2009).

5) Does the author rebut possible counterarguments?

6) How does the author qualify her claim?