Thursday, February 28, 2008

Toulmin that "dumb" article!

Do a Toulmin analysis on the “How Dumb Can we Get?” article.  Blog your analysis if you can and do it on paper if you can’t.  Use the attached handout to help you.

Toulmin Model


  1. For this do you just want a sentence or do you want more than that?

  2. What we talked about in 1st period is that you need to boil the whole argument down to the once sentence. The danger is that you oversimplify or just do one point within the article. Obviously there will be more than only one datum and the Toulmin model doesn't have room for that, at least in the sentence form. So, try to boil it down to the most central elements. It may help to make lists of the data, warrant(s), etc. and then to write the sentence.

  3. Um.... yea i showed up to class today at like 9:02am and i read through this toulmin thing and I'm not sure i fully understand it... I'm thinking we probally talked about it befor i got there could you explain it to me or should I come in early tomorrow and have you explain it to me... I am a little confused not like i was when i was cloudy confused on the other assignment there is just a hint of fog in my mind.... can you help clear it up? :) Would you like me to make up the timed write?

  4. I'm not really understanding the "warrant" or "backing."

    I'm can't make much sense of, "warrant: expresses the assumption necessarily shared by the speaker and the audience. Also the principle, provision or chain of reasoning that connects the grounds/reason to the claim." I'm not sure how to explain how the reasons are connected to the claim. What did you use for the umbrella example?

    And for the "backing" of the "warrant"- does this just mean I have to find how she sites her opinion? I think I understand the rest. :]

  5. sammyanne,
    We will be doing an activity with our timed writes tomorrow. We probably should have talked about this at the end of class. Oh well. If you want to make it up so you can better participate, write for 40 minutes only on the following question:

    In many national elections, only a fraction of eligible voters actually cast ballots. For local elections, the voter turnout is often even smaller. To prevent this state of affairs, some countries, such as Australia, make voting compulsory for all adults. In a well-written essay that draws upon your reading, experience, or observations for support, take a position on the issue of compulsory voting.

  6. Could you help me out with one more thing? I'm having trouble distinguishing the "rebuttal" and the "qualifier".

    Susan says, "I cannot prove that reading for hours in a treehouse (which is what I was doing when I was 13) creates more informed citizens than hammering away at a Microsoft Xbox or obsessing about Facebook profiles." -- My initial recation was to call this a rebutal... but reading the descriptions, I can't really distinguish them.

    It almost seems like her "qualifiers" don't come until she is responding to people's comments. Could you perhaps use the umbrella example again to clarify for me? Sorry to bother you, Mr. G.

  7. Panda,
    Warrant and backing is the thing that people always have the hardest time getting. In the umbrella example, the shared assumption (warrant) was that the umbrella will keep one dry. The backing was that it does so because it is made of waterproof material.

    The umbrella sentence went:

    Because it is raining, therefore I should (probably) take an umbrella, since it will keep me dry, on account of it being made of waterproof material, unless it has a hole in it or it is so windy that rain blows sideways.

    Does that make sense?

    Also, if you (Sammy) want to come in early, we can unfog your head (hopefully).

  8. Panda,
    Does that comment answer both posts or do you need more?